Game 9: Sac State

Tipoff: Saturday, 2pm - Leavey
TV: WCCNetwork
Line: Torvik- Broncos -11, 86% win probability; ESPN- 78% win prob.

Sac State:
The Hornets are 3-4, are on a 3 game losing streak with no wins of note. Ranking of 232 on Torvik. Playing under their third coach in three years.
Statistically, there’s not much they do well. They shoot a decent % from 3 (35%) but attempt a below average amount. They’ve been poor on D, allowing fairly high eFG%.
Top threats are:

  • 6-3 guard Zach Chappell (13pts, 40% from 3)
  • 6-9 forward Akol Mawein (10.4pts, 6.7rebounds, 1 block)
  • 7-1, 280lb center Callum McRae (10.3pts, 9rebs, 1 block)
  • 6-3 guard Austin Patterson (9pts, 47% from 3)
  • 6-4 guard Gianni Hunt (8pts, 3.3 assists; transfer from Oregon State).

For the Broncos, this starts a 4 game home stretch (Sac St., NewMexico State, San Jose St. and Portland St.) where the Broncos will be favored including a couple of games by double digits. Need to go at least 3-1 in this stretch, should be 4-0.
Hoping the balanced scoring from the Wyoming game continues and that Stewart has turned the corner with his solid game vs. Wyoming. While the starters played well vs. Wyoming, we didn’t get much production from the bench, we need a couple of those guys to step up and chip in.

Prediction: Broncos enjoy the familiar confines of Leavey, 81-68

I do believe the program is making progress as a couple of years ago we would be less enthusiastic at this point. The team cannot afford to overlook anyone and any of the remaining non league games could be trouble. SJS is off to a good start and we lost to Cal the last time we played them when they had a bad team. I do think we should be hoping for anywhere between 7-0 and 5-2 with UCI and Boise State the toughest games. Sac State should be a win but we have to get off to a good start in this and the other games to build our confidence as we get ready for league. I do like what I see so far and hope it can carry through for the rest of the year.


I love Carlos Stewart and the physicality and excitement he brings to this team. But with that hitch in his jumper, I think we’ll need to learn to live with some streaky shooting.

I agree with this. The schedule has been pretty tough so far–not Gonzaga tough but absolutely a decent challenge for an NIT-hopeful squad. I would have loved to see the Broncos more competitive at Utah State. But in the end, it’s only one loss. And they’ve at least shown the ability to shore up issues when they have presented themselves. I think the most optimistic zone of the rational spectrum of expectations would have us at about 6-2 at this point in the schedule. The Broncos may have gotten some help with injuries to good opposing players. But the loss of Jalen and Josip should have stung more than it has so far, and the team hasn’t needed Carlos Marshall to get the 3 decent wins. If you tell me at the beginning of the season that Giordan is out indefinitely, Carlos Marshall will miss games 4-8 (at least), and Keshawn will start the season with a shooting percentage in the teens, I’d probably predict a 3-5 record for this squad.

For this game, I’m just hoping that there’s no Menlo-style letdown in energy. The Broncos can and should win this one handily and rotate in some more of the bench guys to work out the kinks.

Give me 84-67 with the Broncos finally putting in a complete performance against a lesser opponent. Podz with another 30-point performance. Bediako continues his hot streak from the free throw line and gets 6-8 from the stripe with a 12 point performance overall.


Current line on ESPN/Caesars: Broncos -12, O/U: 139.5.

Reminder…early 2pm tipoff today.

Can someone please get Holt to stop shooting 3’s. 0-4 in 1st half and about 1-7 on perimeter jump shots from Holt and Tilly off the bench…just not the shoot we need or are looking for.

As Henry Caruso pointed out, Sac State runs a lot of the same stuff as St.Mary’s. The Sac State gameplan has been exactly how I would guard us…completely sag (like 15 feet)off our non 3 point shooting big men until they prove they can make a shot from outside.

And making Callum McRae look like John Bryant…and he isn’t.

Looks like he is out of breath every play yet he is owning us on the inside. I like when we send Carlos streaking up the floor on defensive rebounds and then have Podz try to pass him the ball with a long lead pass. Did some of that early in the game but got away from it.

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If Holt or Bediako get a perimeter touch with McRae sagging off then look for dribble/hand-off/screen action with Podz or Justice…with McRae sagging off, he won’t be able to help and Podz or Jusctice get easy looks from 3.
It’s not that hard.

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And maybe we jinxed ourselves in the other thread discussing the great defensive rebounding…have given up 10 already in the 1st half which would be too many for an entire game.

Similar to Iona and Wyoming, we can’t stay in front of anyone off the dribble. Fortunately in those games we shot well enough to overcome that.

Except for those painful isos, the Gatorade POYs played well. After struggling on the glass for much of the game, some clutch offensive rebounds at the end as well. “Ugly, but we’ll take it!” might be the theme of the season.


Good final 4 minutes to pull away and close out the game after being down off/on in the middle of the 2nd half.

The great defensive rebounding deserted us tonight, gave up 18 off boards.

Podz was everywhere as usual. 2nd good game in a row for Carlos, need that to continue.


Broncos survive. I’ll take it. The thing that saved the Broncos today is lack of turnovers. Excellent job particularly by Stewart and Podz. Credit to Sac State. They aren’t bad (some quality transfers)and are well coached. They certainly gave the Broncos a different look on defense and did some things other teams are certain to try.


A win is a win, but like I mentioned earlier, we can not take anyone for granted. Maybe this was a let down game after the Wyoming win, like the Menlo game. It won’t get easier the next couple of weeks.

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Hornets +10 in second chance points off of 18 offensive boards. Not good. But a win is a win. 7-2 at this point is pretty good no matter how the individual games look. But the Broncos have yet to have a “complete” game a la TCU last season. Hopefully that’s coming.

I like having Pods, Justice, and Stewart all officially capable of 20+ in a given night. Does anyone know when Giordan will be back?


Any word on Carlos Marshall’s injury? We could definitely use another reliable shooter.


Haven’t seen anything. Not sure if he has a separated shoulder or recurring dislocated shoulder but either way, both can be difficult to rehab quickly and often need surgery to truly fix so you’re stuck wearing the heavy sleeve brace and avoiding contact drills in practice in hopes you can get through games without reinjury. We’ll see…concerns me the that he was already wearing the brace on his left shoulder before being injured in practice.

Just found the below from his Twitter. Note the heavy brace on his left knee. And no indication that he’s returned to team practices or contact drills. I’m fairly certain it was an ACL and considering he was injured in the WSU NIT game, it has been less than 9 months; could still be months away from stepping on the floor in a game.

Finally feeling like myself again !!!

— Giordan Williams (@Geeewilliams2) December 2, 2022

seems like GW’s best bet would be to red-shirt

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