Nov. 16, 2000
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Santa Clara men's basketball team mixed work with play today on their first full day in Alaska for the Top of the World Classic.
Following a short morning strength and conditioning session, the Broncos attended a pretournament luncheon for the participating teams, sponsors, organizing committee and other local dignitaries. Each coach was introduced and most took advantage of the time to thank the Fairbanks community for their hostpitality and introduce their teams.
Utah State coach Stew Morrill followed suit but added some interesting comments regarding the Santa Clara team and, in particular, its freshman point guard Kyle Bailey.
"You folks should know something about Dick Davey and his Santa Clara team," said Morrill, a 1974 Gonzaga graduate. "Coach Davey talks about being the underdog and how our team beat the same exhibition team his team lost to. He doesn't tell you that same exhibition team lost its two best players right before we played them and they were stuck on a bus for an hour-and-a-half trying to get to Logan. That wasn't the same team he saw in California, I can promise you that.
"And, I can tell we are going to be walking into a hostile environment tomorrow night. Usually in these things, two neutral site teams are pretty evenly matched as far as crowd support goes. But with Bailey playing for Santa Clara, it is pretty apparent that there is going to be a lot of Santa Clara fans in attendance tomorrow night. We will be the visiting team, whether we are supposed to be or not. Don't let coach Davey fool you. We certainly have our work cut out for us. It's going to be a great game."
Following the luncheon, the Broncos went straight to practice at Lathrop High School. Approximately 900-plus students, teachers and staff were on hand to fill-up the gym for a pep rally for the Broncos. Coach Davey addressed the crowd and stressed the importance of education. He used Bailey as an example of a hard worker both in the classroom and on the court and praised his teachers, coaches and community.
"You have a fine example of a role model in Kyle Bailey," said Davey. "Kyle has worked really hard to have great success here at Lathrop High School and now at Santa Clara University. You all should be really proud of what Kyle has achieved and strive to do the same."
In addition to the rousing reception from Lathrop High School, the gym was decorated with numerous signs and posters welcoming the team and Bailey.
The team went through a one-and-a-half hour workout at Lathrop then conducted a 45-minute shootaround at the Carlson Center. When the Broncos arrived, the team was forced to wait an additional one-half hour while the Aggies from Utah State finished its workout. The practice schedule for the tournament was pushed back due to the length of the luncheon.
Following a short period at the hotel, the team watched the first two games of the tournament at the Carlson Center. Host Alaska-Fairbanks played Colorado, while Austin Peay faced Jackson State.
Fairbanks, Alaska: Partly Cloudy. High 14, Low 11
Fairbanks, Indiana: Windy. High 54, Low 27
Fairbanks, Louisiana: Showers. High 57, Low 39
Santa Clara, Calif.: Partly Cloudy. High 63, Low 40
Notable: The Santa Clara and Austin Peay teams are staying at the Captain Barlett Inn. Built in 1975 to house pipeline workers, the hotel was named in honor of Captain Robert Bartlett. Bartlett is considered the greatest ice navigator of this century. Born in Newfoundland in 1875, Captain Bartlett spent over 50 years of his life mapping the waters of the far North and led over 20 expeditions to the Arctic, more than anyone before or since! The unsung hero of Commander Robert Perry's attempts to reach the North Pole, it was Captain Bartlett who broke trail through the frozen Arctic wastes to within 150 miles of the North Pole, only to be excluded from the final exploration party. Although celebrated in his own lifetime in both Europe and the United State, Captain Bartlett's name is not well-known today.