Portland Pilots (8-5) vs. Santa Clara Broncos (7-7)
Date: Monday, December 30, 2013
Location: Chiles Center, Portland, OR
Time: 3:00 PM PST
Last Season: Santa Clara won both games. They defeated the Pilots 70-46 in Santa Clara, and 75-63 in Portland.
Alec Wintering, 8.5 PPG, 4.3 APG
Bryce Pressley, 7.8 PPG, 3.4 APG
Kevin Bailey, 17.6 PPG
Ryan Nicholas, 12.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG
Thomas van der Mars, 12.2 PPG, 6.4 APG
Evan Roquemore, 11.3 PPG, 3.8 APG
Brandon Clark, 16.3 PPG, 3.5 APG
Jared Brownridge, 14.5 PPG
Jerry Brown, 9.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG
John McArthur, 4.2 PPG
KEYS TO THE GAME
Get Ryan Nicholas going early: Ryan Nicholas works so hard on defense and is one of the best rebounders in the WCC, but his offense has struggled recently. He is an excellent low post option who can also step out and shoot. If he can make Jerry Brown work on defense, it will limit Brown’s impact on the other end of the floor and make Santa Clara very one-dimensional.
Evan Roquemore’s floor leadership: The 7 turnovers he had against Gonzaga were unacceptable. He’s seen the highs and the lows of this program over the past 4 years. He’s won two postseason tournaments and also gone 0-16 in league play in his first three seasons. It’s okay if he is not shooting well, but he needs to take better care of the ball.
Portland has scoring options on both the inside and outside and two excellent ball distributors in Bryce Pressley and Alec Wintering. Santa Clara scores nearly entirely on the perimeter, and Ryan Nicholas and Thomas van der Mars will exploit the Broncos inside. I predict a 72-65 victory for the Pilots at home.