Aug. 7, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team announced its season schedule today for the upcoming 2006-07 year, the 100th season of men's basketball at Santa Clara. The Broncos will face a strong non-conference schedule, followed by a wide-open West Coast Conference slate beginning in January. The Broncos will play seven teams in the non-conference schedule that made the NCAA Tournament last season and two more that reached the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
The season tips off on Nov. 14 with a game against Holy Names College at 7:00 p.m. PT at the Leavey Center. Among the big names in the non-conference portion of the schedule are seven-time NCAA Champion Kentucky, perennial NCAA tournament invitees Utah, Nevada and Pacific, along with local rivals Stanford, California and San Jose State. The team will also travel to Springfield, Mo. to play in the Price-Cutter Classic on December 1 and 2 against Alabama State and Missouri State, which beat Stanford in the NIT in 2006.
"I think it is one of the tougher non-conference schedules that we have put together since I have been here," said head coach Dick Davey. "It is definitely going to test us right away. We need to use the non-conference games to get some confidence, and if we do, we feel like we can have a pretty good year."
The Broncos will play the University of Kentucky for the first time in program history when they travel to Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. on Dec. 19, one year after traveling to the University of North Carolina for a non-conference match-up.
"The game at Kentucky will be just a tremendous experience for the team, with over 20,000 fans cheering against you," said Davey. "I have a lot of respect for their program and we have always wanted to play a game at Rupp Arena, and now we will have that chance."
The Broncos close out their non-conference slate with the 40th edition of the Cable Car Classic on Dec. 28 and 29. In the annual holiday tournament, SCU faces Colgate in the first round at the Leavey Center followed by Air Force and George Washington. The championship and consolation games are scheduled for Dec. 29.
The Broncos open up conference play after the New Year with three straight games at home against Saint Mary's (Jan. 6), Gonzaga (Jan. 13) and Portland (Jan. 15). The rest of the conference home dates include Pepperdine (Jan. 27), Loyola Marymount (Jan. 29), San Francisco (Feb. 5) and San Diego (Feb. 13). The WCC Tournament is set to be played in Portland, Ore. from Mar. 2 - 5, as the Broncos attempt to take home their first conference tournament crown since 1993.
"This year there will be a number of teams that can compete for the top spot, unlike the past few years," said Davey. "And I think that we are one of them. Overall, the conference is up from last year and hopefully we can get a few teams into postseason play."