Tip-off: Saturday, 6pm, Spanos Center, Stockton
TV: NBCSports Cal; given recent games, it may be available on regional ROOTSports and Bally channels.
Line: Torvik- Broncos -5, 68% win probability; ESPN- 66% Bronco win probability, no line yet.
10-9 on the season, 3-1 in the WCC. After a rough start, going 2-5 including some loses to bad teams, the Tigers have played much better of late, are 7-2 over their last 9 games with solid wins over Fresno St., San Jose St., and LMU.
One key to their improvement appears to be Oklahoma St. transfer Keylan Boone who didn’t play for them until their 7th game and has started their last 6 and leads them in scoring and rebounding.
Something unique for the Tigers is they regularly play 10 guys double digits minutes and they’ve had 12 different players start games, 10 have started at least 4 games and guard Luke Avdalovic is their only player to start every game.
- 6-8 wing/forward Keylan Boone (12.5pts, 4.7rebs; 39% from 3, leads them in 3’s attempted per game).
- 6-5 guard Luke Avdalovic (10.4pts and a remarkable 59% from 3 but doesn’t do much else).
Beyond those two, it is hard to predict who will start but other top rotation guys whether they start or not:
- 6-2 point guard Tyler Beard (10pts, 3assists, 44% from 3).
- 6-2 guard Jordan Ivy-Curry (9pts, 29% from 3)
- 6-6 wing Nick Blake (8.8pts, 38% from 3)
6-1 pt guard Mo Odum, 6-4 guard Greg Outlaw, and 6-7 forward Judson Martindale have started their past several games but stats are unimpressive.
Looking at advance metrics, they’re top 40 in the country shooting 3’s at a nearly 39% clip. They’re subpar defensively allowing a high shooting % and are a poor rebounding team at both ends of the floor. The poor rebounding is likely due to a small frontcourt and limited post players and sometimes have a lineup on the floor with no one over 6-7. 6-10 center Sam Freeman is their only true post in their regular rotation but only plays ~12mins/game. While Bediako and Braun usually aren’t our go-to guys, there may be an opportunity for them to have their way in the post and/or offensive glass given Pacific’s limited size.
For the Broncos, they need to defend well against the 3, Pacific’s primary strength. Pacific plays a deep rotation, so their guys should be fresh; we need some solid minutes from our bench to allow our starters to stay fresh and have their legs for the stretch run of the game if it’s close. Hoping to see Stewart bounce back from the rough shooting night vs. GU.
Prediction: Broncos with a comfortable 80-71 win.
This is an important game, Broncos need to win to get to 3-2 and buffer against some challenging games and potential losses over the following 5 games with BYU and SMC next week and GU and USF in 2 weeks. Lose this game and we fall two games back of Pacific and they become a legit contender for 3rd or 4th.