Game 5: UCF

Tipoff: Sunday, 4pm PST
TV: CBSSportsNetwork
Line: Torvik- UCF -1, win probability 55%; ESPN- 68% win prob for UCF

3-1 on the season with a win over 0-4 Florida St and coming off the OT win over OK St. Friday.
Top players appear to be:

  • 6-5 senior wing CJ Kelly (15pts, only shoots 37.5% from the field but gets to the FT line a lot).
  • 6-9 freshman forward Taylor Hendricks (14.7 pts, 7rebs, 2 blocks).
  • 6-2 soph pt guard Jaylon Young (9.3pts, 3 assists, 38.5% from 3)
  • 6-5 senior wing Ethiel Horton (9pts, 4rebs)
    The Knights play a grinder, slow pace and are playing very good on D so far holding teams to a 42% eFG% including only 24% from 3 and forcing turnovers. They’re also very strong on the offensive glass with 40% offensive rebound %; much like the DePaul game, the Broncos need to rebound well at the defensive end and not give up 2nd chance points to UCF.

Broncos need to pick up where they left off Friday with solid D, very good rebounding and offensive contributions from an array of players. Two big opportunities for Bronco improvement…cut down on the turnovers and somehow get Justice untracked.
Justice didn’t look any better Friday, 0-4 from 3 incl some bad misses. Just 8 to 10 pts with one or two made 3’s from him would be a big lift for the offense and take some pressure off of Podz.
It will also be interesting to watch the rotation off the bench…Tongue played the backup minutes at the 4 ahead of Tilly who didn’t play at all and Akametu got the backup minutes on the wing with Marshall injured.

Prediction: Broncos win in a down to the wire game 70-67.


Justice is the key to getting this offense three more steps toward its potential and giving SCU enough options to challenge good defenses like UCF. They fought pretty hard in the last one, and their intensity was rewarded, especially on defense.

UCF will slow the game down, so give me 72-66 Santa Clara. I like what 92 said about Justice just needing a few makes to get back on track, not necessarily an offensive explosion. So I’ll predict that Justice gets 11 points on an efficient 4-6 shooting and Tongue drills another 3 on his way to a 12 point game of his own.


Current line: UCF -2.0. Line was -3.0 yesterday.

Big stretch of games for SCU here… would love to get this one, hoping Keyshawn gets to see the ball go in a few times!

Keyshawn finding his rhythm would def be disruptive and a game changer. UCF likes a slower paced game. If Santa Clara outpaces them and shuts down the Freshman Hendricks on the 3 - I could see a Bronco win here.

Pregame radio interview with Sendek…Marshall still out for today’s game.

Playing very hard but a miracle we are leading in this game with all the offensive rebounds we are giving up.

I do think UCF is a Top 50 Defense but we are making them look like the Bill Russell Celtics. This is the most disjointed I have seen us on offense in years. Might be time to just let Podz play point.

First half was tough to watch.

Wow, that was a painful 1st half to watch, 11 TO’s, 21% shooting. Fortunately the 8 Off rebs we’ve given up are mititgated by 8 off rebs of our own.

Wish we’d run something other than pick/roll sets in this game. It’s giving us nothing, UCF is trapping most ball screens, putting us on our heels, creating turnovers and/or disrupting any kind of flow. Run stuff with off-ball screens instead.

Some back door action would be nice to see. Disrupt the top where our guards are having difficulty seeing inside and are missing the roll on the pick and roll. Get the bigs moving around more underneath and banging through the middle.

Some encouraging signs in the second half but sheesh, the turnovers. I liked when we had Akametu guarding the UCF player bringing the ball up. Would have him do that full court whenever he is in the game.

#25 for UCF is one heck of a freshman.

Well…at least we won one of two in the Bahamas.

Not much positive from this one but at least Justice made several 3’s and Akametu looked solid, not sure I want him taking many 3’s yet but I like his athleticism, D, rebounding and ability to finish around the rim.

Don’t think we’ll see anyone in the WCC with that style of play with the ability and athleticism to go with it. Teams like Pacific may ugly it up and play physical like UCF but don’t have the overall ability of UCF.

I liked the second half better. Broncos need to learn to throw the ball inside on an overreactve defense and then kick to the wide open perimeter. We had the speed and could have beaten them on transition but we opted for the slower paced game. Happy Justice hit a few but he was still 4-15 attempts. Would like to see a higher percentage. Little concerned about the poor officiating. Out the gate we lost an offensive opportunity when Keyshawn was called for backcourt - yet he was 18 inches inside. Carlos literally shoved out of bounds but Broncos were called for out of bounds. The phantom Carlos charge when we were within 5. Those very poorly missed calls added up. We REALLY need work on our substituion. Too many minutes, wears players out. Put fresh legs in for more of those quick transition 2 pt plays.

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Just couldn’t finish tonight; if a couple of those misses around the basket go in it’s a different result.

These last two are the only Bronco games I’ve seen this season, and while I like the front court depth and stronger rebounding, this team could really use someone with Vrankic’s skill set on offense. Having someone adept at scoring on the block is a real weapon. I didn’t see that this weekend.

We were out coached!!

Definitely out coached!!!

Yeah, but I mean aren’t we all used to that by now? Honestly, I’m at the point where that is just something that I take with me entering each game.