Game 15: vs. Yale

Tip-off: Saturday, 4pm @ Leavey
Line: Torvik- Broncos -4, 64% win prob; ESPN- Broncos 55% win prob, no line yet.

The Bulldogs are 7-6 coming off a loss last week to Kansas. The are currently ranked #143 on the NET rankings. The Bulldogs played two early season games vs. the WCC, a 15pt loss to GU in Spokane and a 3pt win at LMU.
Top Players:
7-0 forward Danny Wolf (13.2pts, 8.8rebs, 1.5 blocks, 43% from 3)
6-4 guard Bez Mbeng (13.5 pts, 4.7rebs, 3.5 assists, 2 steals, 25% from 3)
6-6 forward Matt Knowling (11pts, 4.1 rebs)
6-6 wing John Poulakidas (10.8pts, 42% from 3)
6-4 guard August Mahoney (9.2pts, 43% from 3)
Looking at analytics, the Bulldogs are above average but not elite both offensively and defensively. They aren’t active on the offensive glass and the defensively they don’t force many turnovers. These are areas the Broncos have frequently been mediocre to poor so we will hopefully see improved defensive rebounding and improvement in coughing up turnovers.

Yale plays at a slower pace, ranked ~300 on Torvik in tempo; meanwhile the Broncos are best playing more up tempo so we need to push the ball after defensive rebounds and try to get some fast break and early offense buckets.

Mbeng is a good athlete and defender and suspect you’ll see him matched up on Bal.

The Broncos have been up and down with two recent solid wins over Wash St. and Duquesne bookending a bad loss to SJSU. If the Broncos are going to challenge for 3rd or 2nd place in the WCC, they are going to have to play with better consistency. This needs to start with improved defense and rebounding and of course limiting the turnovers. The Broncos have shot it well frequently but are going to have a cold shooting night here and there and when they do, they need to be clean in other areas of the games to pull off the wins.

Prediction: Broncos win 79-71 in the final non-con tuneup before WCC play begins.


Line opened at -1.5 but is now -3.

I’m a little worried about Danny Wolf. He was one of the best players during the Euro tournament that Bal played in and kept Hunter Dickinson quiet during their last game. The front court will have its work cut out.

Yale, like Santa Clara, is hungry to reestablish themselves after some head scratching losses.

Looking for Tilly to return and hopefully do a good job defending Wolf. The Utah State game showed that SCU can successfully contain a productive big man. I’m not expecting huge offensive outputs from Tilly or Caffaro.

82-74 Santa Clara

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Agree on Wolf, watched them play GU earlier this season, he has good size and is a solid all around player. He has some perimeter game with range out beyond the 3. He doesn’t shoot a ton of 3’s but averages 1 make a game (13/29 - 45%). Would be great if Tilly can return today as he’s probably better suited to guard Wolf on the perimeter than Caffaro.

Wolf and Mbeng are their top talents. Mbeng has power conference ability; not a great perimeter shooter but does everything else well, is a good athlete and very good defender.

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I’m at the game. Good crowd for a Saturday during holiday break. Tons of kids. Was there some promotion for children?

Yale very hot right now.

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Much better now. This team is better with Knapper at the point. He isn’t perfect, but he is a substantial improvement. Bal is pretty awesome and may be another NBA prospect, but I think he’ll have to stay another year to reach those heights which is better for SCU.


8 minutes and 2 points.


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Herb…PLEASE recruit a PG!! We need someone who values the basketball, makes smart decisions.

Tired of watching the errant passes and chaos that we see on offense.

Need a quarterback on the floor and this team doesn’t have it.


We are a 1-2 pass team and shoot. Yale is wearing us down with their passing and they play like a unit. We don’t. LONG SEASON ahead.

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Was looking through some of the recent seasons, our Broncos have been one of the worst teams in the country at forcing turnovers.

Defensive Turnover % the last 4 years…(283th, 286th, 259th, 296th). I can understand not wanting to foul but it seems like we should be able to find a better balance.


Only two assists in the half. The ball movement is barely there and often reckless when it is. Looking for better this half.


Love seeing Bryan let it fly from 3. It is a shame he has averaged only 2.5 three point attempts per game this season.

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As long as you’re asking, how about a 7 footer that looks to tear down the backboard instead of a soft layup???


Ugly game. Turnovers. Missed free throws. Terrible shot selection. We are in for a long season with the current play.


Just embarrassing. No heart.


I’ve seen enough.

Time to move on from Herb.


The offensive scheme is just…bad. One of Bal, CMJ, or Bryan goes iso → defense collapses and traps the driving player → no one is open on a cut or a catch-and-shoot → turnover, desperate pass, or bad shot. Wash, rinse, repeat. O’Neil finally had a great game and was a bright spot. Caffaro had some strong moments on defense and rebounding. But the Broncos are missing any team flow which comes from understanding where the others are at, making the right reads, and looking for the open guy. I still think SCU has never had a more talented 1-8 players, but man they play a lot of selfish iso ball seemingly for want to a scheme that allows them to thrive as a unit.


Bronco Bob’s point is valid in that Sendek’s teams have never been strong in creating turnovers. We don’t have the pressure defense to compensate for our sloppy play on offense. I’m sure both Knapper and Benjamin are good kids, but neither is good enough to hang with a player like SMC Mahoney or GU Nembhard who will eat them up.

I don’t see us being a factor in the conference as we lack structure offensively and the ability to create turnovers defensively. I don’t know the status of Sendek’s contract but at some point the question arises…“Have we seen enough?”… Back to back NIT appearances aren’t enough. Lastly, Keating beat GU once, nada for Herb. Will that change this season? I would say NO.

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The 7-0 start seems so long ago. I had hopes but at this point I think Broncos will be lucky to be fourth or fifth in league and maybe worse. While this looks to be a down year for the league we do not seem to be up for taking advantage of the opportunity. As many have mentioned we need a solid point guard and need to limit turnovers. We are very inconsistent, playing some real good games and then some stinkers. I believe we have some talent, but they are not playing as a team. Very discouraging. The women are doing well so I guess that is our hope for a post-season this year. As for Herb, he better make some adjustments as he seems to get good talent but hasn’t made it work for making the NCAA’s. I hope I am wrong but I am not optimistic about the rest of the year. GO BRONCOS!!


Quick poll: Who would be your Bronco MVP during non conference play?

Bryan gets my vote