Busting Brackets

Gonzaga Basketball: 3 keys to key road matchup at Santa Clara Broncos

Gonzaga goes on the road for the first time in WCC play to take on the Santa Clara Broncos. What are the keys to the Bulldogs winning?

San Diego State v Gonzaga
San Diego State v Gonzaga / Robert Johnson/GettyImages
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1. Limit impact of Carlos Marshall and Adama Bal

Last season, Santa Clara had the WCC Player of the Year in Brandin Podziemski, who averaged 19.9 ppg and 8.8 rpg. He, along with 15 ppg scorer Carlos Stewart, are gone but the team has benefitted from the emergence of Marshall.

After two years as a double-digit scorer at Tennessee State, Marshall transferred to Santa Clara, where he was limited to just three games last season due to injury. So far, he’s been great for the Broncos, averaging 14.2 ppg and 5.6 rpg while shooting a whopping 47% from three-point range. That includes a 29-point game on the road at San Jose State.

The leading scorer for the team is Bal, a transfer from Arizona and former top-50 prospect. The 6’6 guard is producing 15.9 ppg and 3.0 apg, 49% from the field and 41% from three-point range. He has six 20+ point games already, including a career-high 28 points last week at Pepperdine.

Santa Clara is a roster filled with big guards and they’re a top-40 three-point shooting team. That’s the recipe for an upset against a team in Gonzaga that’s at best, streaky from deep. But if they can limit the Broncos’ only two double-digit scorers, that’ll be key for a road win.