Feb. 10, 2005
By Brian Witter
The Santa Clara
Amidst a turbulent basketball season that has been dominated by names like Bailey, Perkins, and Niesen, one freshman standout has been garnering a reputation for himself. Brody Angley, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Redding, Calif., is among the top scorers on the Bronco squad and has started in all but six of Santa Clara's games this season.
Angley, who currently averages 22.5 minutes per game, came out strongly, with his first start coming in the Broncos' third regular season game where he posted eight points and four assists. After earning seven rebounds in the memorable upset of North Carolina, Angley's fellow teammates and coaches quickly realized the potential he possessed.
"Brody has had a great year so far," Bronco Head Coach Dick Davey said. "He immediately stepped up and gave us some ball handling depth at the point guard position which we had previously lacked. He is a very strong player and I expect him to have some great years with the Broncos."
However, basketball has not always been the lone sport in which Angley has excelled at.
The relatively small 195 lb. Angley led Redding Enterprise High School to multiple winning seasons as a running back. He rushed for 4,650 yards, a regional record, in his tenure there and scored a total of 74 touchdowns. He also set a career-high scoring record with 527 points, shattering the previously-held career point high by nearly 130. In recognition of his accolades, he was named the region's most valuable player his junior year.
Though swift on the football field, Angley was also a motivating force on the basketball court. He guided his high school team to four league championships and two state semifinal appearances, in addition to earning the league MVP award four years in a row.
"I chose basketball over football for sheer love of the game," Angley said. "I had football scouts checking me out from places like Cal and Oregon State, and other basketball scouts from Santa Barbara but I knew playing at Santa Clara would be the best fit. As much as I like football, it seemed like I would have a better college career playing hoops instead. I've met so many great guys here and feel that the situation I am in suits me just fine."
Angley has proven himself on the court both offensively and defensively, producing 2.8 assists per game and the second-most steals at 28, with four of those coming against San Diego two weeks ago.
"It's been such an experience playing with guys like them," Angley said. "Really, everyone on the team that has been here longer than me is so helpful and I know that I couldn't ask for a better group of teachers. Growing up and playing in this area, you hear a lot of things about playing under Coach Davey and Steve Seandel that might intimidate you, but then you get here and realize that everyone is supportive and shares the same objective of winning, which rubs off on you pretty quickly."
Though he achieved impressive numbers in non-conference play, Angley has seen less minutes in the Broncos' wobbly West Coast Conference games. Santa Clara is currently third in the WCC at 5-4 behind Gonzaga and Saint Mary's.
In Santa Clara's 92-75 loss on Feb. 5, Angley had only one basket in 15 minutes of play, but Coach Davey is fairly confident that the guard's recent stagger is merely due to first-year jitters.
"Brody's somewhat hit the wall in the last two weeks and I've been playing more of the older guys recently so he hasn't seen as many minutes as of late, but he'll back," Davey said. "When he set the bar high early on in the season and then started to experience defeat, it more than likely upset his confidence, but I have my convictions that he'll continue to do good things for this team and make a difference later on like he has in the past."
Angley's teammates acknowledge his presence on the court and some have even compared him to point guard and former Santa Clara star Steve Nash, one of Angley's personal favorite players and role models. Angley has already surpassed Nash's freshman-season assist mark by one, and is also ahead of the current Phoenix Sun's steals totals by two. He is currently on pace to have more rebounds than Nash as a freshman as well.
"When Brody first started practicing with us, I knew he was going to see some considerable playing time and be a big deal out on the court," senior guard Kyle Bailey said. "I think the future of this team is in good hands with freshman guys like him and Mitch Henke around."
Santa Clara will be in action again tomorrow night at the Leavey Center against Saint Mary's, who the Broncos routed by 23 points on Jan. 15. With an overall record of 12-12, Santa Clara is looking for a strong win to solidify their seeding in the WCC. Angley is convinced that a cohesive team that plays smart offensively is the key.
"We've got to keep our heads up, especially now," Angley said. "With the moment of truth approaching, sticking together and scoring consistently is the only way we're going to have a shot at outlasting our opponents."