Nov. 20, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team opens the 2002-2003 season Friday when it travels to the University of the Pacific for a non-conference matchup at the Spanos Center in Stockton, Calif.
The game will be broadcast live on the Bronco Radio Network, which consists of 1640 AM KDIA in San Francisco, 103.3 FM KSCU in Santa Clara and on the Internet at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com.
A 1964 graduate of Pacific, Dick Davey enters the season as the dean of West Coast Conference coaches. He owns a 173-117 record and owns the third-most league victories in the history of the WCC. He was a two-sport star for the Tigers, lettering in basketball and baseball.
The two teams enjoy a series in men's basketball that dates back to the 1904-05 season. The Broncos currently own an 82-37 series lead over the Tigers but have dropped three of the last four meetings and the last three in Stockton.
Santa Clara is expected to be without the services of several key players at Pacific due to injuries. Sophomore forward Jordan Legge (knee), redshirt freshman forward Scott Borchart (shoulder) and junior transfer guard J.R. Patrick (knee) did not play in the exhibition loss to the Olympic Club and are expected to miss the next two weeks of competition.
The Broncos do expect to see the return of junior all-WCC guard Kyle Bailey. The Fairbanks, Alaska native missed three weeks of practice and the exhibition contest due to a lower back injury. He returned to practice and is expected to play at Pacific.
"Certainly we would like to have a fully healthy team," said Davey. "But, we don't so we are prepared to give it our best shot. I really like this team and their work ethic. The guys who have been in practice throughout the preseason have really picked-up the pace and, I thought, played pretty well against the Olympic Club. We are prepared to start three guys who originally walked-on to our program and I have been really pleased with their effort."
Last season, Demetrius Jackson scored 37 points, 28 in the second half, to lead the Tigers to a 85-83 victory in the season opener for both teams. Santa Clara led by as many as 21 points in the first half, but Pacific outscored the Broncos 14-4 at the end of the half to cut the deficit to 42-31 at intermission. Jackson made a three-point play at 1:38 that got the Tigers to within two at 80-78, and his three-point shot from the right with 47 seconds remaining put Pacific ahead for good, 81-80. Kyle Bailey led SCU with 26 points, while Steve Ross added 23.
Santa Clara returns home Monday, November 25 for a 7 p.m. contest against UC Santa Cruz at the Leavey Center. click here for tickets.