Santa Clara Broncos (0-0) vs Utah Tech Trailblazers (0-0)
2023-11-08 22:00:00 EDT
The Line: Betting Odds: Santa Clara Broncos -9 -- Over/Under: 150.5
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The Utah Tech Trailblazers and the Santa Clara Broncos meet Wednesday in college basketball action from Leavey Center. Utah Tech managed to go 14-19 overall last season, finishing far down in the standings of the WAC. As for Santa Clara, they’re coming off a 23-10 overall run in 2022-23 which ended in the First Round of the NIT. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Utah Tech Trailblazers
Utah Tech struggled last year, especially in conference play. The Trailblazers managed a 14-19 overall record and a 5-13 mark in the Western Athletic Conference. That would leave Utah Tech just one spot out of the basement in the standings, ahead of only New Mexico State (2-16).
The Trailblazers went 2-5 to finish off the regular season but were able to beat Stephen F. Austin 80-76 in overtime during the first installment of the conference tourney. Utah Tech would fall to Southern Utah 76-75 in the quarterfinals, however. Head coach Jon Judkins will try to improve on that result this year in his 19th season at the helm.
Santa Clara Broncos
Over on the Santa Clara side, they’re coming off a 23-10 overall run last season. The Broncos ended up at 11-5 in West Coast Conference play, leaving them in third place behind Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga (both 14-2). After a loss to San Francisco in the conference tournament, Santa Clara fell to Sam Houston 58-56 in the first round of the NIT.
Looking ahead to the 2023-24 season, Santa Clara’s Herb Sendek has a lot of holes to fill. All five starters are gone, most notably Brandon Podziemzki, who averaged 19.9 PPG and 8.8 RPG. Carlos Stewart (15.2 PPG) and Keshawn Justice (13.3 PPG) are big losses as well, but the good news is that Carlos Marshall (10.0 PPG) is back from shoulder surgery in an injury-shortened season of just three games.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll probably stay with Santa Clara in this one. Probably also not touching it. The Broncos will look quite a bit different this year, and it’ll take a little while to see how the incoming players will shake out. Santa Clara does have some intriguing talent on the roster, including ex-Arizona Wildcat Adama Bal (2.5 PPG) who will serve as a legitimate 3-point threat and facilitator. Jalen Benjamin (16.0 PPG) has come over from Mount St. Mary’s after hitting 49 3-pointers last year. There are definitely some shooters on the roster, but we’ll have to see how things work out chemistry-wise. This seems a winnable game for the Broncos and will serve as a nice preview to the season ahead.