WCC Game 5: BYU

Tip-off: 8PM @ Leavey


Line: Torvik- BYU -1, 55% win probability; ESPN- BYU -3, 47% win probability (no not a typo)

Cougars are 17-4, 5-1 in the WCC, coming off two unimpressive wins over Portland and USD. The Cougars have been a little thin in the post, vet Gavin Baxter has missed the past 14 games and returning starting center Richard Harward has been out all season. In their place, 6-6, 254lb frosh forward Fousseyni Traore has been starting, backed up by fellow 6-9 frosh Atiki Ally Atiki (candidate for the All-Name team). Traore is obviously a strong player, but also fairly athletic, leads them in rebounding at 8/game as well as blocked shots, 1.4/game.
Alex Barcello is key for them, averaging nearly 17/game and shooting 46% from 3. Remaining starters are 6-1 transfer pt guard Te’jon Lucas (leads them in assists), 6-6 wing Trevin Knell (3pt threat) and 6-8 forward Caleb Lohner.
The Cougars have a strong bench: Gideon George and Seneca Knight are both veteran, athletic 6-6 forwards, 6-5 wing Spencer Johnson is a solid scorer, plus Atiki.
As a team, the Cougars are solid at both ends ranked 40 to 50 in both off and def efficiency on Torvik. In particular they defend the 3 well (28%, 11th in the nation) and are a strong offensive rebounding team (43rd in the nation.

Rebounding has been a problem for the Broncos, they are going to have to focus on keeping BYU’s strong and athletic forwards off the offensive glass. I expect Jalen will get the defensive assignment on Barcello.

Prediction: BYU nips the Broncos 79-75.
Worried about our rebounding and interior matchups…we haven’t faired well against teams with physical/strong/athletic posts.

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Would be so nice to win this one

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I remember staying up pretty late while down in South America to listen to the call the last (and only?) time the Broncos won this game in WCC play. It was very exciting. Fortunately, the games have been much closer under Sendek in recent years. This is actually a data point that I think really moves in Sendek’s favor over the previous regime: even against better BYU teams than the ones KK faced, Sendek’s squads have kept the games close and actually won (once).

Here comes Sendek’s second win over BYU: 77-73 Santa Clara. Carlos Stewart is a revelation and gets 18 points.


I’m pretty sure Carlos can drive whenever he wants, as long as he keeps his composure - dish when needed. Guys need to anticipate it too. Maybe his athleticism shines even more in this one, along with Jalen’s.

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the betting line has already moved hard to BYU -3 as of 5 minutes ago. I expect that will continue to move in BYU’s direction. Game time will probably be closer to BYU -4 or -4.5, which I still think is low.

Agreed… seems like free money. Perhaps this is part of the new stimulus package?

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Energy much better tonight than on Monday. Feel like the first 10 seconds of every offensive possession should be Jalen Williams trying to score off isolation. Not sure BYU can stop that. We really wasted 5 or 6 possessions in the last few minutes of the 1st half.

Also, what a collapse by USF against St. Mary’s tonight.


Can’t believe USF lost that game.

This game against BYU is exciting. Definitely attainable and I think we are all playing very well as a team. The flops are getting out of hand though…

I’m pretty shocked that it’s not a packed crowd. This should be a huge game for the students. Maybe SCU is still restricting attendance to 25%.

Yes, attendance restrictions are still enforced…otherwise, the crowd would’ve been packed with Cougars fans!

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Getting a win here would really improve our Broncos’ post-season chances.

Pipes needs to stop jacking up 3-pointers. His outside shooting is ice-cold. He just focus on his dribble penetration efforts.

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County still limiting it to 25%. We are 3-14 from 3 but only down 1. Hopefully make a few down the stretch here.

Vrankic has committed some horrible turnovers

I couldn’t agree more on Vrankic…Sloppy and careless with the ball tonight. 5th year senior…C’mon

nice win. now just need to take care of business against the Group of Five the rest of the way.


WOW!!! Great job guys.


Great win! It was a difficult off balance shot but give credit to JW. Fantastic game, not to mention having to guard Barcello too!


What a game and a win!

the win counts as a QUAD 1 win, correct?