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Washington State Cougars vs. Santa Clara Broncos
Where and when: Leavey Center, Santa Clara, California, Tuesday, 10 pm EST
The Washington State Cougars will travel to the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, California, for a Tuesday night matchup with the Santa Clara Broncos. The Broncos have not only played well versus the Cougars in winning two of their last three matchups straight up, but have also covered in four of their last five matchups (3-straight). And while the Cougars have won two of three at Leavey Center, the Broncos picked up an 8-point win in last year’s contest.
Washington State’s CJ Elleby continues to be the tip of the spear for the offensive success of the Cougars. First-year coach in Kyle Smith was able to talk Elleby from entering the NBA draft simply by articulating his vision in 2019 for Washington State. “Once I got to be around him and got to know him for a little bit, I was very comfortable staying at Washington State,”. “He’s (Smith) very clear in what he wants and makes it very clear on how we’re going to get there.” Said Smith, “He has the most to lose by having a coaching change,”. “For him to opt back in and embrace what we’re doing is special.”
Expect big things from Elleby this year while the Cougars are returning some experience as well as size in 2019. Unfortunately, the problem with the team in the past has been ongoing inconsistency from players on the team not named Elleby.
Santa Clara had four double-digit scorers in their second win of the season over Cal Poly. With the numbers that the team has put up in their first two outings, it looks as if the Broncos are on the right path, as they will certainly need everyone to step up on both ends of the floor if they are to somehow compete for a West Coast Conference title at the end of the year. The Broncos lost out to graduation as well as to players transferring out of the program last year, yet has also picked up some key pieces to their puzzle in the offseason as well.
After an average and disappointing season to where they were bounced in the second round of the WCC tournament, the Broncos return an interesting corps of players such as DJ Mitchell, Trey Wertz, along with Jaden Bediako.
Cougars take out Redhawks thanks to EllebyElleby led with 27 points along with 7 rebounds in the Cougars’ win over the Seattle Redhawks. Washington State was able to garner a 43-21 lead at the half behind the sophomore’s play. Unfortunately, the only other double-digit scorers were sophomore guard Isaac Boyton with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists in addition to Jaylen Shead posting 10 points off the bench. Collectively, the Cougars shot just 41% on the night along with 33% from long-range. The starting five for Washington State (minus Elleby) went a combined 10-27 in the win.
As pointed out, consistency needs to get much better from the role players within Washington State’s lineup. However, they may have some issues versus Santa Clara, as they have been very assertive on both ends of the court thus far in 2019.
Santa Clara bounce Mustangs at homeThe Broncos had huge performances from their veteran lineup in a 14-point win over the Mustangs of Cal Poly on November 8th. These collective performances will certainly be needed on a nightly basis in order to ensure the team remains competitive. Junior Guglielmo Caruso recorded a double-double with 15 points along with 12 boards while DJ Mitchell (15 points) and Tahj Eaddy (14) also contributed to the win. Junior Josip Vrankic averaged double -digits for Santa Clara in each of his seasons as he posted 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in their win over the Mustangs.
Defensively, the Broncos have been aggressive in allowing just 37% shooting (23% 3FG) in 2019. The Cougars have only shot 41% thus far in the year, yet is scoring 85 points per game. It will be interesting to see if the pressure applied by the Broncos will be effective versus the Cougars and their shaky offensive set.
Trends from Covers.com:
- SCU is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
- SCU is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 vs. Pacific-12.
- WSU is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
While Elleby continues to provide solid performances for the Cougars, the rest of the team is simply not up to speed. Washington State will remain competitive in this contest, however, the home team will slowly begin to pull away as the Broncos have a plethora of weapons in which they can utilize in order to keep defenses busy. Look for the Broncos to pull out a win in this matchup, as they have proven that they have the Cougar’s number.
Prediction: Santa Clara Broncos
Full-Game Total Pick
The over has been the play in four of the last five games amongst these two squads. Furthermore, I feel that the offenses are the key to these teams being successful. With that being the case, with the talent that each squad possesses, look for each to have some opportunities to score throughout this contest. However, the Broncos will be at home and will look to continue their stellar play in 2019, thus allowing them to pull through in a high-scoring contest.