WCC Game 13: @ BYU

Tip-off: Thurs., 6pm (PST) @ Marriott Center
TV: CBSSportsNet
Line: Torvik- Cougars -5, 69% win probability; ESPN- 74% Cougar win prob, no line yet.

16-12 overall, 6-7 and 6th place in the WCC, and coming off a rough week with losses to Pepperdine and GU.
Top Players:

  • 6-6, 240lb post Fousseyni Traore (12.9pts, 7.8rebs)
  • 6-5 wing Spencer Johnson (11.2pts, 1.8 steals, 46.5% from 3)
  • 6-6 wing Gideon George (11pts, 6rebs, 31% from 3)
  • 6-4 pt guard Dallin Hall (7.5pts, 3.3 assists, 36% from 3)
    Key players off the bench: 6-2 Rudi Williams (12.2pts, 2.8 assists, 31% from 3) and 6-7 wing Jaxson Robinson (8.9pts, 34% from 3)…both have been off/on starters.

Traore is a load in the paint, may be a challenge for Bediako/Tilly/Holt both in keeping him from getting deep post position and keeping him off the glass. And hacking him doesn’t help as he shoots 76% from the FT line.

The Cougars get fairly balanced scoring from their rotation with 6 different players averaging between 7.5 and 13pts per game. BYU shoots 3’s at a higher than average frequency but is shooting only 33%, below average. Contrary to most of the BYU teams of the past, the Cougars excel at defense more than offense, ranked 34th on Torvik incl 14th in defensive rebounding and are better than avg in most defensive metrics.

For the Broncos, we need to get back to winning the rebounding battle after getting dominated on the glass by LMU…not a sustainable approach to winning. Gideon George frequently plays the 4; when he does, both Braun and Tongue have a size advantage…an opportunity there in the post and/or offensive glass. With the exception of the USD game, Justice has struggled over the past 6 games, and in particular has struggled in the 1st half of games; would be a bonus for the Broncos if he sinks some early 3’s, helps the Broncos get out to an early lead and quiets the usually vocal Cougar crowd.

Prediction: Broncos keep the win streak alive, 75-73.


To be more specific, we got dominated by LMU’s offensive rebounding – they had SIXTEEN (16) offensive boards to our 21 defensive boards, meaning that they secured over 40% of their missed shots. With numbers like that, it is a miracle that we won.

Our history in Provo is not good as I recall, but this Bronco squad is one of the most resilient that I can remember. There have been several times where we’ve been down in the second half (even double-digit points down) and came back to win, or at least draw close.

Our best chance to win, in my opinion, is to play FAST. From what I can tell, BYU’s defense is exceptional in half-court set, but it doesn’t seem that they are particularly great in transition. I think Stewart could have a big game (points and assists) if he can push the pace.

I’m gonna go with: Broncos 81 - 77 BYU


This is not the BYU that we are used to seeing. The one thing they do well consistently is play physically in the key. If SCU can match that then there’s a good chance to grab a win in Provo.


May be the last time we play these doofuses… go get em, Broncos!


Rebounding at our offensive end was also very poor vs. LMU, just 8%; total of just 2 off rebounds.
We have been a much better offensive rebounding team this season compared to the typically very poor offensive rebounding during Sendek’s tenure. Off rebound % this season is roughly 31.5%, ranked 88th on Torvik.

Current line: Cougars -5.

Was just digging into the Cougars’ stats this season. Of the players who have significant minutes, Traore really is the key guy: he shoots over 60%FG. Given that we don’t play zone, who’s gonna have that M2M primary assignment? Traore is a load at 6’6" 240lbs. Basically like a Barkley.

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A big game for SCU. A win and we are well positioned for WCC tourney and NIT berth, maybe even long shot for NCAA’s if we win out. Rebounding, defense, making FT’s and not letting the crowd effect us will be major factors for our chances. Really like how team has battled and would like to send BYU fans home unhappy. Need Justice, Podz, and Stewart to be hot and for the big guys to play well. Hope Tilly can have another good game along with Tongue, Braun and Bediko. Go Broncos!!


DRatings currently has us projected as a #5 NIT seed (up one line from last week)

No other WCC team is in the field based on yesterday’s most recent projections.

I agree. A win in Provo sets us up nicely relative to a NIT bid and conference tournament.

Note: Zags #4 seed NCAA projection
Gaels #5 seed NCAA projection

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THIS is the game for ALL players to play at their potential. If everyone is ON their A-game, we walk away with the WIN.


This is an incredibly deep SCU team. I’m not sure if it’s the best 1-5 in the past 20 years or so, but it’s gotta be the best 1-10 since well before my era.


That was one of the MOST BRILLIANT coaching strategies of HS! Put HOLT in to cause chaos and grab a few fouls to keep our other guys out of foul trouble. It was GREAT. Holt is a tad clumsy but he plays aggressive ball and is EXACTLY what we needed in there. Even pulled a key board! Picked up a foul for their big too. Good stuff.


That was one of the best SCU halves in the last 15+ years. Let’s close this out!


I’m sure @bettererer approves :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


OMG!!! We are leading in Provo??? What a way to send them to the Big-12 if we can keep it going. Only bad thing in first half- JB standing at the top of the key. Shoot if your in the paint instead of shoveling to JB

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Yep, great 1st half, balanced contributions. Podz on fire early, great coast to coast layup for Knapper showing his speed, nice feed from Stewart to Tongue with the quick elevation and dunk.

Need to…clean up the defensive rebs…too many off rebs and 2nd chance points allowed. BYU hasn’t made a 3 but need to continue to close out on their shooters and not let them get hot from 3 in the 2nd half…that’d be one way they could get back in the game quickly.


The Cougars are picking up momentum. Santa Clara is doing well on the boards, but there are too many turnovers this half.

Unbelievable spin move and fadeaway by Tilly. Give me three more seasons of that.


13 point swing on the Vegas line ain’t bad at all. First win in Provo since JFK? I’ll take it. See ya Cougars.


Hurrah!!! Great team win. Way to go Broncos!!!