WCC Game 16: vs. USF

Tip-off: Saturday 4pm @ Leavey
TV: ESPN+
Line: Torvik- Dons -1, 55% win prob; ESPN- Dons -2.5, 64% win prob.
Rankings: Broncos ( 109 NET / 130 Torvik); Dons ( 62 / 71 )

San Francisco
The Dons are 22-8 overall and 11-4 in the WCC and off an unspectacular 18 pt loss to GU. With our loss to Portland, USF has locked up 3rd place.
Starting lineup:

  • 6-9 forward Jonathan Mogbo (14.8pts, 10.1 rebs, 3.4assists, 1.7steals, 66% FG%)
  • 6-2 guard Marcus Williams (14pts, 3.8 assists, 34% from 3)
  • 6-4 guard Malik Thomas ( 11.7pts, 38% from 3)
  • 6-8 forward Ndewedo Newbury (9.5pts 1.1 blocks, 41% from 3)
  • 6-8 guard Mike Sharavjamts (8.1pts, 2.7assists, 37% from 3)

Reminders on what makes the Dons the go…they have a strong overall defensive rating, 57th on Torvik, primarily through great defensive rebouning (ranked 18th) and generating TO’s (ranked 34th). On offense their overall shooting efficiency is good 19th on Torvik but primarily due to a very high 2pt% aided by Mogbo’s shooting efficiency plus their guards finish well when they get to the rim. Mogbo has not looked quite as dominate of late…maybe he’s hit a wall and is a little worn out after doing so much for their team.

For the Broncos…who knows what we’re going to get on Saturday after the poor performance vs. Portland. As many have voiced, this is an incredibly inconsistent Bronco squad capable of hanging with very good teams but also susceptible to looking like a lackadaisical and uninspired 300ish ranked team. We’ll see if the Broncos are feeling sorry for themselves and come out unfocused and experience yet another slow start or if they’re motivated to get some revenge after the 1st USF game and come out w/ more energy.

The Broncos are locked in at 4th and are 2 games back of USF. With nothing on the line and after the bad loss to Portland it will be interesting to see if Bronco students and fans show up.

Prediction: Both teams have hangovers from their Thursday defeats, Broncos stumble and sputter but garner the win 75-72.

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Whether the crowd on either side is fired up for it, I hope the players are.

Embarrassing loss on Thursday, revenge for the fiery contest in sf a couple of weeks ago.

I have a long rope of patience, but starting to feel the pinch when it comes to getting this group to perform at their highest - ie. Coaches.

We will see how this game plus Vegas plays out.

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92bronc -

I know that we all appreciate your game previews. They are informative and no doubt time consuming to piece together.

Thank you!

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92,

I’ll second Pete’s comment. Many thanks for taking the time to do your game previews. I particularly like the advanced metrics that you dig up for us. Really helps to get us ready for what to expect.

Now, lets get some revenge on the Dons before we head to the desert next week! I’ll be there.

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+1 ‘92!! The previews are fantastic.

This one is meaningless. Tough. Shouldn’t be that way. I’ll watch, cause I’m a sucker, but all comes down to USD a week from today.

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At 18-12 and nothing to play for in this game I would like to see a different starting lineup. Let’s have Cam start the game and set a tough physical defensive tone which was lacking last game. We have the shooters, we have rebounders, we just need a better overall toughness. If we can cut down on turnovers which have improved lately, missed free throws and the coaches can recognize mismatches like we had with Robinson last game, and make the adjustments, who knows where this team would be right now.

Probably better than a WCC 4 seed.

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Bronc, also appreciate your game previews and homework. Be nice if coaches read it……

Many thanks!

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If the Broncos eked out a close win against Portland, overtime or no, I would feel pretty confident going into this one. I think USF is demoralized after Gonzaga whipped them at “home” and don’t have quite the energy for revenge here that SCU will have. But I worry that our guys are also demoralized after Portland and will have Senior Night distractions on top of it all. I tend to think that teams play worse on Senior Night, not better, with little evidence to back that supposition.

Still, I think that the Dr. Jekyll version of SCU is better than the best of this USF team. The Mr. Hyde version is much, much worse. If the former shows up, SCU can win by 10 or more. If the latter, SCU could get blown out at home.

Bal found his shot at the end of the last game. I hope he shares the ball, but at least he can be counted as a scoring threat again. That might give SCU the needed edge.

73-68 Broncos in a revenge win. Ensminger and Cam each get double-doubles in an aggressive, hard nosed game that suits both of them. And no ejections (please).

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We had the talent to win 23 games this year but poor defense, turnovers and coaching stubbornness cost us winnable games

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Pistol, G-man, 'Hoops5, 'musings and others-
No problem and no thank you for indulging my hoops obsession.

I can’t promise how long I’ll keep doing the previews. I’m certainly open to sharing the duties if others are interested and will or turning it over all together.

Or just replace me with an AI bot. I’d like to think I can still do a hair better than AI…I see a lot of garbage sports articles on my news feed that appear to be AI generated. But AI is learning and getting better and smarter and I’m not.

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And…a reminder on the early 4pm start.

Re: Mogbo…he had a very quiet 1st half vs. the Broncos last time around (I think scoreless or maybe a point or two) but then took over in the 2nd half across the board (scoring, rebounding, defense) including the key backcourt steal late in the game as well as the offensive rebound and drew the foul, marginal call though it was.

Between that game and other USF games I’ve watched, it’s a little surprising USF isn’t more purposeful about getting Mogbo scoring opportunities, especially considering how efficient and deadly he is in the key. They do put the ball in his hands a lot at the top of key and he even brings the ball up and starts the offense occasionally because he’s a great passer (leads all WCC forwards in assists I believe). I imagine they want a balanced offense and they do have that but if I was coaching them, I’d call two or three set plays per half that insure Mogbo gets a touch in scoring position, including a back screen lob or two. Benefits the Broncos and USF’s other opponents that they don’t do more of that.

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I love Caffaro defending Mogbo in this early going.

This camera work is making me physically nauseated. Very herky-jerky.

Another stinky slow start.

2points in almost 5 minutes. Our women are better coached than the men.

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The defense is pretty stellar so far, though. Which makes me think there are effort issues as well.

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FREE THROWS!!! C’mon.

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Santa Clara had an opportunity to go up big, but sloppy pass to Tongue got stolen, not hitting free throws and then two Broncs going for the same rebound and losing it out of bounds. Dons have 10 fouls and Broncs are not taking advantage. Oh, should I mention Bal just has to take that shot in the lane and not even draw iron. I am rooting for the Broncs but they look like they want to steal defeat out of the jaws of victory.

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I was busy typing my last comment and missed a few minutes of the game only to turn it back on and find that Santa Clara was still at 20. They should very easily be at 30 by now.

Absolutely. 4 points left at the line. Stupid turnover on the rebound. Awful couple of iso plays from Bal and Marshall. Even if SCU doesn’t convert all of those, there was a real good shot at being up 15 or so while USF cold as ice.

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Good minutes off the bench from Tongue. Defense and rebounding has been terrific, limiting Dons to one shot. I am not one to normally call out the officiating but USF got away with at least two travel calls in first half.

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