Tip-off: Saturday, 4PM @ War Memorial
TV: Stadium (might be on WCCNetwork as well)
Line: Torvik- Broncos +10, 18% win probability; 24% Bronco win probability on ESPN, no line yet.
16-5 overall, 3-3 in conference. Dons licking their wounds after coughing up the huge 20+ pt lead vs. SMC. They also lost to BYU a week ago after being up at halftime and up by 10pts middle of the 2nd half. Their NCAA tourney bid opportunity is narrowing, they’re going to need to get at least 1 win over SMC or BYU in the follow up game and not suffer any losses to lower tier league teams if they want that NCAA bid.
IMO, this USF is more talented than both BYU and SMC. No real weaknesses, their rotation checks most of the boxes: athletic backcourt with big time scorers, a deep frontcourt with both some size and athleticism. Bouyeau is key for them, IMO a top 5 player in the league, is a better overall player than Barcello with an outside chance of getting to the NBA (by comparison…better chance than Barcello or Colby Ross for instance). He does everything well: 18pts/game on efficient shooting, 5rebs, 4assists, 1.5 steals, he even blocks a lot of shots for a guard with 19 on the season. I suspect Jalen will get the defensive assignment and will have his hands full. In post, Yauhen Massalski has been a huge addition for them, addressing what was a major weakness for them last season. He provides a strong traditional post presence, leads them in rebounding at nearly 9 a game, 2nd in scoring at 14/game and near the top in the league in shot blocking at 2.5/game. 6-10 Duke & Columbia transfer Patrick Tape, super quick Khalil Shabazz and Columbia transfer guard Gabe Stefanini round out their starting lineup.
They play a solid 8 man rotation and their bench is experienced with former starting forward Josh Kunen, Nevada transfer Zane Meeks (good shooter/scorer) and 3pt threat Julian Rishwain. Statistically as a team, there are no real weaknesses for USF. Their defense is much improved, most likely because of the transfer forward additions combined with the athletic backcourt; ranked 23 in defensive efficiency and 63 on offense on Torvik.
Need Pipes to continue his resurgence, need everyone to make their layups and absolutely have to someone, someway rebound the basketball.
Prediction: USF nips the Broncos 80-77. (Predicting a narrow loss against BYU worked out for us so sticking with it…hope I’m wrong again).
Game day bump.
Reminder on the early, 4PM start time.
I really would love to win this one. Our record at War Memorial has been awful, and USF is the only WCC team that I legitimately hope loses night in, night out. USF is legitimately good, and we won’t get the benefit of two green (if talented) frosh bigs like against the Cougs. Massalski was a decent big at USD, now transformed into a WCC 1st teamer at USF. Tape’s aggression during their tilt in Spokane was fearsome and likely to pose issues for our lanky front court.
Take more threes and get some offensive boards. SCU wins another squeaker 79-75. Pipes finds his way back to being a legit scorer and gets 21.
I’m seeing Broncos as only 7.5-point underdogs on various sports books. It’s probably a pretty good number…I say that because I don’t like either side of it!
On another note, USD 3.5-point underdogs to LMU seems off to me. USD>LMU, right? LMU’s wins are against very low NET teams.
It is almost a must win for the Dons if they dream of making the tournament. We will get their best shot for sure. USF is good but they did go 1-7 down the stretch in conference play last year, so not exactly a group that is used to winning a ton in conference if you can keep it close. I pulled up the box score from our game last year and turnovers killed us…23 total and good for 34% of our offensive possessions (our worst % of the season.) We must not waste possessions to have a chance.
Bouyea is lightning fast… gonna be hard to slow him down with man D so maybe just eat the idea of him getting his 20 pts. Hopefully Herb lets the bigs fight on the blocks as you know USF’s Massalski and Tape are going to scratch, shove, body check, and hack their way around the key. Have to match brute force with the same.
SCU is the more talented team overall (not by a wide margin, but still). A win here would go a long way for the Broncos.
Line has moved from 10 to 7.5, coincidence that I’m in Nevada currently?
I wouldn’t say we have a more talented team by any margin, this could be and hope it’s a tight one.
Good start. We are making Bouyea play slow on offense.
We can do it! Let’s go Broncos!
I think this 3rd game in a week is particularly tough on Vrankic with the hip surgery/mono overhang. He just doesn’t look right.
We had a nice start. I hate to be pessimistic but I’m getting pretty tired of the Vrankic iso plays and horrible turnovers…
Wow Jaden Bediako has been so impactful this half. I LOVE to see it.
Oh no…I hope Jalen is ok.
Agree scocos8… senseless to intentionally attempt to get Josip the ball with his back to the basket. Facing the basket, sure, but otherwise, just no.
Only 4 turnovers in the first half. Jalen doing an excellent job on both ends of the floor. Dons had 7 offensive rebounds, to our 2. Have to shrink that gap to have a chance in the second half.
Wow great shooting run for both teams… 15 made buckets in a row. Fun to watch.
If we’re gonna run set offense can we please make sure JWil touches the ball at least once every possession? Simple stuff.
Damn… bad guys won, but good game.
Really well played game. BYU/SMC/USF/Santa Clara might be as even as 4 good teams have ever been in this conference.
Feel like we still have pretty good momentum. Come home and get the win against Pacific on Monday and hopefully the return to full capacity in Leavey can push us over the top against St.Mary’s and USF in a few weeks.
Can anyone explain the Justice flagrant to me in the first half? He got 95% ball on his reach from behind. It seems like such an absurd call but maybe I missed something.
Pacific just beat BYU.