Game 5: TCU @ So Cal Challenge

Tip-off: Monday, 7:30 PM

TV: CBS Sports Network…something we can be thankful for this week, a 2 game respite from the crummy WCC stream.

Line: Torvik - basically a toss-up, Torvik has it Broncos +0.3 and 49% win probability. ESPN 45% Bronco win probability, no line yet.

These two So Cal Challenge games are a chance for this team to further demonstrate that they are legit. Neither TCU or Fresno St. are elite teams or locks or even probable for at-large tourney births. But both are ‘name’ schools, TCU a power conference school, Fresno St. from MWC typically one of the top mid-major conferences. Great opportunity to build a little buzz.

TCU is 3-0 but without any significant wins. Best win is over Southern Miss (#177 on Torvik). TCU’s top players appear to be 6-2 sophomore guard Mike Miles ( 19pts, 5 assists /game) and 6-7 junior forward Emanuel Miller (11 pts, 10 rebs /game). TCU also has a famous name of sorts on their squad with Chuck O’Bannon Jr.

For the Broncos, hoping Vrankic is over his illness. Broncos were a little sloppy at times with mistakes and turnovers vs. Poly; not a huge issue but need to see them get back to playing the very clean games we saw vs. Stanford and Nevada. Rebounding is still a question mark and something to watch IMO.

Prediction: A close game but the Broncos continue to roll, 79-75.

TCU is a program and Jamie Dixon is a coach that really needs this year to be good.

They started 4-0 last year before cratering to a losing record and 5-11 in conference. And from that team they lost…well, a lot. A 15 ppg NBA guy, and of their 9 guys that averaged at least 4 ppg, 5 transferred.

Miller is a transfer from Texas A&M and it would be hard to imagine him not being good. He was a 16/8 guy last year at aTm. 59% FG, 81% FT. Micah Peavy is another transfer that is more iffy. So far good rebounder but not a good shooter from the field or free throw line and wasn’t last year either at Texas Tech. I don’t know how a 40% foul shooter is a top 50 rated high school player, but he was.

Miles has 4.3 assists per game but also 5 turnovers. Farabello is a career 42% 3-point shooter. After that hopefully the team knows better than I do bc it’s a real mixed bag.

Dixon and TCU are 28-30 and 12-22 in the league in the last two years. I imagine they’re looking at this as a big game and tournament to turn their fortunes around.

This (plus boise) are the true litmus tests to see if this SCU team is legit. I’m not going to try to get the normies excited about this team until they win a game like this.

Wouldn’t surprise me if Fresno is better than TCU. They have most of their team back from last year. Like the WCC, that upper tier of the MWC is tough to crack.

Fresno plays 4 WCC teams in the next 2 weeks so we will have a pretty good idea of where they are by then. They have a very similar non-con schedule to SCU, actually – bunch of WCC, Irvine, Cal, Poly, another Pac-12 (Utah), Weber (SCU has Montana), Northridge (SCU has Fullerton), a few others.

Looks like Vegas has TCU favored by 1. I assume Vrankic will play if it was just a cold that kept him out against Cal Poly.

I’m considering driving up to Capistrano for this game, but it’s being played in a high school gym yet they want $100 a ticket for reserved seats? Might just watch it on the tube.

I didn’t pay $100 for my tickets for when Kansas comes to Boulder later on…

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I don’t think the TCU or Boise games are going to give SCU any problems. Why would you feel those are a litmus test?

Nevada and Stanford are of similar if not better caliber.

If anything, the Fresno St. and UCI games that follow the TCU game are more of a test.

Barring injuries or the like I expect SCU to finish the non-conference schedule with a near perfect record. Its real tough to go 15-0, but considering the schedule I see them doing extremely well.

It’s very hard to see the logic behind thinking Fresno is a test but Boise isn’t.

Boise was quite a bit better last year. Their top 6 in minutes percentage are all seniors. Maybe they aren’t better than Fresno (though maybe they are), but they are certainly on the same level, especially when playing them in Boise where they are 25-3 in the last 2+ seasons.

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The biggest change this year is the Broncos’ ability to consistently score in the mid-80’s. That’s a lot of points in college basketball. Herb has this offense rolling. Prediction: Broncos win 85-72 tonight!

Boise (59th Kenpom, 56th Torvik) and TCU (62nd KenPom, 67th Torvik) are the best teams (via the trackers) that Santa Clara will play until WCC play. Both of them have top 50 defenses and are for real challenges if we are hoping for an NIT or even (deep gulp, hope that kills you, etc) a NCAA bid.

More importantly, winning these games is going to set the tone for December. We need to split them and I think its a coin flip at best.

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Boise’s not what was expected of them from my perspective. I’ve watched them twice and unless things change dramatically for them they aren’t an NCAA or NIT hopeful.
From what Ive seen they look a lot like a 7th place WCC team. Winning away from home is never easy but that will likely present more of a challenge than those other Broncos do.
Early season kenpom and such are almost pure guess work as they are operating on such limited data. 10 games into the season those algorithms begin to take shape and by the time league play begins they are worth paying attention to.

Boise just outrighted an midtable SEC team by double digits. They’re definitely not bad.

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I tend to think playing @Boise makes that game tougher than these neutral site games…

It’s hard to accurately extrapolate from the first three games, but we’ll know more about our Broncos after these two, that’s for sure.

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well that really stinks

ugh…Mono is a concern, not a simple cold. Like any illness, different people are impacted to different degrees but Mono seems to cause a lot of lingering energy issues, loss of strength/weight, etc.
Hope Josip has more mild symptoms and bounces back well and quickly.

Ugh. This is where losing Danilo Djuricic hurts. I don’t think he would have been a starter for us but would have given us another physical body. I like Cameron Tongue’s willingness to mix it up and not play scared but can’t expect much from a true freshman. Will take a hot night from 3 to win this one.

Looks like TCU’s guard will be out for this game. Seems like he got injured in their first game. This will be a tough one but we are hot and I’m feeling optimistic! 78-71 Broncos!

I swear it’s every year there’s something. How do you get mono during a pandemic? He could be down for 1-2 months, and probably won’t be the same all season bc he will have to be at away from practice, weight room, etc.

Snakebit. That’s the only word for it.

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