WCC Game 4: San Diego

Tip-off: Monday, 6pm @ Leavey

TV: WCCNetwork

Line: Broncos -10, 83% win probability on Torvik; on ESPN - 83% win probability, no line yet.

In short, the Toreros don’t suck the way they have the previous few seasons; may save Sam Scholl’s job if their decent season continues.
11-8 on the season, 4-2 in the WCC though most of the WCC wins are against the bottom dwellers (winless Pepperdine and Pacific plus Portland). They do have a decent win vs. LMU. Non-league they had a good win vs. Nevada but also some bad losses vs. Fullerton St., South Alabama, and CS-Northridge, plus they barely beat a bad Cal Poly team by 1 pt. So kind of a mixed bag for them.
Re: the roster…they had huge turnover this off-season, returning only 4 players who were in the rotation and brought in a bunch of transfers…5 in all, a mix of younger transfers who are immediately eligible as a result of the new transfer rules plus several grads or upper classmen. Marcellus Earlington, a 6-6, 240 transfer from St. John’s has been a key addition, leading them in scoring (14pts) and 2nd in rebounding; obviously a wide bodied guy who is strong inside but he also leads them in 3ptrs made. Terrell Brown, a 6-10, 235 pound grad transfer from Pittsburgh, has been starting most of the season at center and is their leading rebounder and shot blocker (2.5/game) though not very proficient on offense. Guard Joey Calcaterra returns but his scoring is down (8.6/game) after two season in double digits. They’ve added 4 new guards, a mix of transfers and frosh, who are all getting PT and appear to be a fairly athletic group. 6-3 junior transfer from Denver, Jase Townsend appears to be the best of the bunch is 2nd on the team in scoring at 11.5/game. Scholl has been going deep to his bench, sometimes playing 10 guys…10 players average more than 15mins a game with no one over 28mins/game.

Prediction: Broncos prevail, 78-71. Have to beat the middle of the pack and lower end WCC teams if this season is going to amount to anything.

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our side had better be prepared. I watched the USD-BYU match, and the Toreros played a heckuva game, losing late 79-71. BYU is a lot better than the Broncos, so SCU -10 seems just wrong.

Agree buckets. Both the Torvik line and Torvik & ESPN win probabilities seem high…hope they are right.
Last few games they’ve been starting a frontcourt of Brown (6-10, 235), Earlington (6-6, 240) and Josh Parrish (6-4, 215 but looks and plays bigger).
We’ve had a lot of trouble with teams that had big/strong frontcourt guys who played physical (LA Tech, Cal, Boise St., UC Irvine)…hopefully we have some Plan B’s in mind to counter that challenge if we’re getting bullied. You can’t simply say ‘our guys need to play tough and physical’; Braun and Vrankic are each giving up 20 to 30 lbs…only so much you can do with that, the physics are not on their side.

I know I sound like a broken record but this is yet another game where a pack-it-in zone would be of some value at least for part of the game as the Toreros don’t shoot it well from 3pt territory. Or alternatively a Tony and Dick Bennett style Pack Line man. But won’t hold my breath.

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With Bediako back, hopefully we can keep Braun fresh. Braun really is an impressive athlete to be able to run the floor like he does at his size. Rather than having to play him 35 minutes, I would tell him to just go crazy running as fast as he could rim to rim for closer to 27 minutes. Don’t love when we post him up far from the basket, but he can be effective facing the basket and sprinting to the glass. Felt he was the best big man athlete on the court against St. Mary’s with his ability to tip out several offensive rebounds.

One thing that stands out to me from looking at San Diego’s metrics is that they play slooooow. Adjusted temp is 259th in the country. We are 31st in tempo. But anyway, this
falls into the must win and should win category.


Have to beat USD home and away. Simple as that.

Give me 75-63 Broncos. I’m hoping for a dominant Jalen performance and more good shooting from Pipes.

I can live with missed shots but the unforced turnovers are worse than the St. Mary’s game.

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FIVE TURNOVERS in the first 8 minutes of the game. Unacceptable. And against this USD squad, SCU COULD GET TO THE RIM ON EVERY POSSESSION. But they need to move, too many bodies standing around while the guy with the ball takes time deciding what he wants to do.

I remember back to those high-scoring first 5 games of the season, when everyone was moving, quick-passing, and back-cutting away from the ball. What happened to that team?

under a minute left, Sendek calls a timeout, and the best play they have is one-pass to Justice to take a 3-pointer?

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70-70 OT. Former SCU assistant Scholl, with a less-talented squad, outcoaches Sendek to push it to extra-time.

Agreed buckets.
At least we got the win, but seriously this is what we should expect from Sendek at this point. Sometimes I wonder, WTF is Herb teaching these kids?

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The final score was to my liking: the Broncos got the win, but I won my bet. I took USD and that ridiculously huge point spread.

Take the win and move on but not a well played game.
Defense and rebounding continue to be problematic.
And once again the opposing center/5 took it to us; Terrel Brown and Pinchuk split the minutes at the 5 and combined for 21pts, 13rebounds and 5 blocks…going to have to address that otherwise upcoming games with BYU, USF are going to be a challenge as they’re strong in the post.

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Herb continues to insist that EVERYONE run back on defense instead of the bigs trying to get the rebound. SD killed us with offensive rebounds.

No plays from Herb with game on the line as usual

With SCU’s NET rating, it will be imperative to beat the conference-bottom five (Pepp, Port, Pacific, USD, LMU) every game in order to get a spot in the NIT. Losses to the top 5 should be OK, as the current NET ratings are 2, 25, 28, 35.

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Yeah, glad with the win and the guys showed some grit down the stretch…but I would just show them tape from the first 5 games of the season over and over. Ball moved better then and there was a real sense of urgency for every defensive possession and rebound. Once we lost a few mid-season, the team seems to have settled and has more of a “going through the motions” look to it, especially on defense. And finally, we are too good of a 3 point shooting team to only get 11 attempts up in one game.


I here you, NET wouldn’t suffer much in your scenario but we would end up 19-12 in regular season then with maybe one WCC tourney win we’d be at 20-13. I’m not certain or overly confident the NIT selection comm places as much emphasis on advance metrics and ratings and worry they’d be unimpressed with a 20-13 record and instead select a 17 or 18 win P5 school over us.
And without at least 1 win vs. USF, SMC, BYU we’d likely end up no better than 5th and there’d be a narrative that there is a significant drop off from those teams to us. Plus 5th/6th gets one less bye in the WCC tourney than 3rd/4th.

my point is that a loss to the “bottom 5” will likely knock us out of NIT contention. We have to sweep those teams.


Also, wanted to add that I thought Carlos Stewart was really good tonight. It was a performance similar to what he did at San Jose State. The Pipes Jr. block might have been the play of the game, and Vrankic carried us offensively down the stretch. Vrankic is still getting his wind back after recovering from mono but he had some impressive drives to the basket where he blew past his defender from the 3pt line.


Can anyone who has watched SCU basketball for the last decade say with a straight face we won’t drop at least one or more game against the “other” teams (USD, Pepp, LMU, Pac, USD, Port) in the WCC? I agree this may be our best chance to do so in a long while… but we always seem to lose one lame road game.

Hope we can get SMC or USF in Leavey… and I hope the boys can keep the faith if we fall to 2-4 after the next two. Lots of games left.