March 11, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team completed the 2000-2001 season last week winning six of its last seven games and advancing to the championship game of the West Coast Conference Tournament.
However, the Broncos were not invited to the NCAA Tournament nor the National Invitation Tournament, despite a 20-win season and its fourth 10-win conference record in the last seven years. Gonzaga earned the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, while Pepperdine will represent the league in the NIT.
"The most discouraging thing is our seniors not having a chance to go to postseason play," said Head Coach Dick Davey, the WCC's winningest active coach and the first Bronco mentor to lead Santa Clara to four 10-plus win seasons in WCC play. "Obviously, they aren't the only ones that contributed to what we did this year. But, they are the ones that ended their careers this season. They didn't get a chance to experience what I think is a real high in college basketball.
"Not going to postseason is discouraging, there is no doubt about that. The object of the game is to win and to get into postseason play and we didn't do that.
Seven teams from the state of California and three teams from the Bay Area earned berths into the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga, by virtue of its 80-77 win over the Broncos in the WCC championship game, will represent the league in the annual March affair.
"We always root hard for the teams in our conference. We want our conference to do well. Not only that, we want the Bay Area to do well. We are also rooting for Cal and Stanford to be successful as well as for Fresno State coming out of this area. We like to have the teams in California show themselves well in the tournament."
The 2000-2001 season will be memorable for Bronco followers for a variety of reasons.
"Brian Jones is one of the most accomplished college players ever to go through our program," said Davey. "He is an incredible competitor and he left his heart out on the floor every time out."