WCC Game 5: at Pacific

Tip-off: Thursday, 7pm @ the Alex Spanos Center
Line: Torvik- Broncos -13, 88% win probability; ESPN- 91% win prob, no line yet.

The Tigers are 6-13, 0-4 in the WCC. Just four D1 wins, two of those are #338 (on Torvik) LeMoyne and in OT to #362 Miss Valley State (the worst team in D1 basketball on both Torvik and NET).
Top Players:
6-7 forward Cam Denson (8.8pts, 5rebs)
6-7 wing Judson Martindale (10.2pts, 39% from 3)
6-1 point guard Moe Odum (8.6pts, 4.8assists, 29% from 3)
6-5 wing Donovan Williams (9.1pts, 4.5rebs, 28% from 3)

As you can imagine, there’s not much that the Tigers do well, in fact they have a below average ranking for every meaningful team stat on Torvik. With teams like this, the one way they can sneak up on you is the 3pt shot…the great equalizer. But they normally don’t shot the 3 well, just 31.6% as a team. The exception is Martindale, he is one dimensional so hopefully we simply run him off the 3pt line.

And they don’t have much size in their primary front court rotation, we should be able to easily control the glass with our size advantage (they are #357 on Torvik in offensive reb %).

Hopefully the Broncos are motivated to redeem themselves after the embarrassing SMC performance.

Prediction: Broncos still look less than polished but pull away for the win, 82-62.

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UOP is atrocious (one of the worst in all of D1)

SCU should cruise to an easy win but with Herb’s 1 on 1 dribble create offense and backpeddle no touch D, it wouldn’t surprise me if this one comes down to the wire.


Between the embarrassing drubbing by SMC and last year’s horrific loss to Pacific, I think that the team is ready for this one. There should be lots of motivation there. Plus CMJ has been asleep for multiple games in a row. Time for him to come alive.

86-59 SCU with BK grabbing a double-double with 14 pts and 10 boards.

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Sounds like Knapper is out.

And fun fact: Makai Richards starting for Pacific is our own Zeke Richards’ little bro.

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Sounds like my double-double prediction is in doubt.

On a serious note, it seems like we have a lot more one-off injuries in recent seasons. I’ve assumed that it’s because the concussion protocol is more stringent now due to heightened awareness. Or maybe I’m overstating it. Just seems like players weren’t so regularly missing single games even 7-8 seasons ago.

Good 1st half…nice balance offensively with all 10 guys contributing.

Femme…Do you know why Knapper is out?

Pre-game radio said Knapper suffered an injury during the week.
We’ve seen some improvement and decent contributions from Knapper of late, fingers crossed it’s a minor injury and he’s not out long.

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rolled an ankle during practice, was actually going to interview him for a feature in the newspaper when it happened (we still did it and I’ll post that whenever it goes up)


BK is wearing a boot. I’ll have to ask what happened to his foot. But that can’t be good if he is wearing a boot.

Update: out for the next game too and then back in business.


I know it was just UOP, but that was the
most physical I’ve seen SCU defend all season…


Broncos won the 50:50 balls for the first time on many game


I know UOP is probably the worst team in the conference and not the best example.

Broncos saw alot of zone last night from the Tigers and although there were some miscues, they looked more confident and aggressive in attacking both with their passing and shot selection.

Collectively, our big men, are above average passers with Caffaro really impressing me the most. Tilly, O’Neil and Cam look for the open man too.


Didn’t catch the game, but saw we took 39 3s?!

Has to be the most this season so far right?

Glad we got a win after the previous embarrassment.

UOP kept leaving them open, so they kept firing. All but a few were pretty much wide open shots. O’Neil and CMJ were hitting them; Bal and Bryan were not. But it evened out to almost 39% from three. Not bad at all. And yes, the previous record was 30 against SJSU (the Broncos hit almost 50% in that one and still lost). So they blew through that record in a big way. The many 3s contributed to being +8 on O-Boards, but the rebounding was good pretty much across the board. Again, just lowly Pacific, but +17 on second chance points will usually get you a win.

The guards were looking inside and trying some pick-and-roll action again, which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t, but at least forced Pacific to take actions seriously on defense. Bal threw a few awful passes, including one that was a laser right at Ensminger’s foot only to go out of bounds. I would love to see Bal just dial in some basic fundamentals against lesser WCC squads. He’s usually the most talented player on the floor but goofs up all too often with some one-handed rocket out of a pirouette to a player who isn’t ready to receive the ball.

Ensminger played really well, I thought. I still think that him at the 4 is a strange choice. But he played tough on defense and getting rebounds. He’s a reluctant scorer but contributes in other ways that makes him worth keeping on the floor for stretches.


One play that stood out to me: the Tigers occasionally employed a trapping defense, but SCU figured it out, with Tilly just standing at the top of the key. He got the ball and seemingly was surprised that no one was defending him. He nearly traveled, but ended up getting an easy two-point basket.

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Almost like SMC taught them a lesson they won’t forget :cry::grimacing:

Hopefully it’s the start of a new trend and not just a one off


I saw no pick and roll awareness from the guards. While Pacific executed at least 3 successful last in the first half as acknowledge by their former head coach. Do not hey ever practice this basic attack. This would help them on offense and defense.


Ensminger is coming into his own. He’s only a RS Freshman, so getting these types of minutes speaks of his overall talent. His father was a rebounding machine - so that part of his game is in his DNA!

I did see him run the U20 German PG position quite well against France over the summer, so I know he can run point. I think the tacit understanding is Jake will get a shot at PG/ballhandling once Bal moves on.


Have to take the win with a grain salt given the weak opponent.
The Good:

  • Engsminger as noted
  • O’Neil’s shots were falling and he got to the rim a few times (still want see him operate in the paint more and get to the rim).
  • Rebounding: 11 to 3 offensive rebounds. The Broncos 24 missed 3ptrs made for more long rebounds and the Broncos competed for them and extended possessions.
  • Pacific played zone about 2/3 of the game (some 1-3-1, some 1-2-2); Broncos did OK, found guys for open 3’s but just as important a good opportunity to get some game experience vs. zone in case teams spring it on them in a critical game later.

The Bad:

  • Defense was still suspect, allowed too much dribble penetration by Odum especially but also Williams and Martindale and they scored at the rim. Ended up fouling Odum and Williams a lot (20 FT’s between the two of them). And advance stats support this…just an average Def Efficiency rating on Torvik.
  • Took us a little longer than I’d like to put Pacific away in the 2nd half.

Jalen Benjamin played the fewest minutes of the 10 Broncos who got in the game. That’s a little weird with the starting point guard out. And he played well. He’s a nice offensive spark, plays hard on defense and can play up tempo and stay in control. Unfortunately, he got totally hosed by the refs on his turnover and at least 2 of his fouls.

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