November 16, 2006

Men's Basketball Blog 2006-07

Scott Dougherty and the Broncos are back for another season of men's basketball. This year, Dougherty has a new role in addition to his on-court duties. The Portland, Ore. native will write a weekly blog throughout the 2006-07 season that will give Bronco hoops fans an insider's perspective on the ins and outs and ups and downs of the men's basketball team. Dougherty will write about hoops, classes, road trips and everything else that goes on as the Broncos aim for the WCC title.

Dougherty is a junior eligibility-wise, but is in his fifth year at Santa Clara, following a redshirt season in 2002-03 and a medical redshirt last year. Coming into 2006-07, he had appeared in 49 games for SCU and is one of the team's top shooters. He also keeps himself busy off the court with a double major in combined sciences and finance, while still spending time playing the guitar.

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Posted: Feb. 2, 2007
The Streak
In the world of sports, the "streak" is one of the most illustrious and sought after achievements an individual or team can strive for. Streaks, whether positive or negative, come in all shapes and sizes. For example, teams go on winning streaks or capture consecutive championships; individual players compete in consecutive matches throughout their career or accumulate a particular statistic consistently over several games. Throughout history, many great athletes have become immortalized by the streaks they have recorded: Joe DiMaggio connected for hits in 56 consecutive baseball games, Cal Ripken Jr. accumulated 2,632 consecutive starts, Aaron Rodgers completed 27 consecutive pass completions while playing for the Cal Bears. However, just as in the game of life, a streak is defined by a beginning and an end, and must therefore eventually come to its conclusion.

You may or may not be aware that a current member of the Santa Clara University men's basketball team recently achieved a streak of his own. Until Monday night's game versus the Pepperdine Waves, shooting guard Joey Kaempf had yet to attempt a field goal from inside the arc. Those of you who know Joe well are not the least bit surprised. Unfortunately the streak came to an end. With ten minutes to play in the first half Joe stole the ball from Pepperdine's Blake Wallace, taking the ball the length of the court with lightning speed to finish the fast break with a dazzling lay-up. After the play, on his way back down the court, Joe wore an expression of disappointment and frustration from having to break from the comfort of his normal routine. On the bench, members of the Santa Clara basketball team and coaching staff broke out in laughter and smiles.

After the game, when questioned about the play that ended his impressive streak, Joe stated, "I didn't even try to steal the ball...it just fell in my hands. On the way down the court I thought about pulling up for the three, you know, to keep the streak going." Coach Steve Seandel instructed Joe that in future situations he should call time out, walk over to the huddle, and demand that coach draw up a play for him to shoot a three.

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Posted: Jan. 26, 2007
Traveling with the Broncos
These days, traveling anywhere by airplane has become an increasingly annoying experience. While I concede their importance, the increased security measures at airports across the country have made flying into somewhat of a chore. I have yet to travel anywhere this season without having at least one item confiscated when passing through security. Last weekend, en route to San Diego, the security guard studied me carefully as he removed a tube of toothpaste and a water bottle from my carry-on bag. Let's get serious, not even MacGyver could conceive a bomb from toothpaste and water. He would at least need a paperclip and some string; yet surprisingly both of these items are still allowed through security (I am confident that Homeland Security and the FAA will eliminate this threat shortly). In addition to the security checkpoints, I am also not fond of the airplane boarding process.

I am a strong advocate of assigned seating. I don't care if it is an aisle, a window, or even a middle seat; I just like to know where I am going to sit when I get on the plane. Unfortunately the team generally flies on Southwest Airlines when traveling to play opponents in the WCC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with its airplane boarding policy, Southwest assigns individuals a letter of A, B, or C based on the order in which they check-in for the flight. Due to the fact that most passengers check-in online the night before the flight, when the Santa Clara basketball team arrives at the airport shortly before the flight, we routinely receive C boarding. As a result, by the time we are allowed onto the plane, all the A's and B's have chosen aisle or window seats, leaving the average 6'6'' Bronco with the coveted middle seat.

However, a few of the more clever players seem to have circumvented this nuisance by requesting "pre-boarding" under the pretense that they need additional seating assistance due to their physical size. When asked about this stunt, center Josh Higgins replied: "My height is a disability!" Coach Steve Seandel countered this statement by pointing out that Josh's disability is the only reason he is playing college basketball...we should all be so lucky. Regardless, it was quite a site to see Sean, John, and Josh standing in line to pre-board with several elderly couples, two young mothers, and a mother-to-be.

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Posted: Jan. 15, 2007
Proud To Be A Bronco (and not a Gael)
Hey Bronco fans. Well Christmas break is over and so is the preseason schedule for Bronco Basketball. The Santa Clara campus is once again buzzing with activity. Last week's game versus longtime archrival Saint Mary's College marked the start of the regular season for the men's basketball team. The home game match-up versus the Gaels is perhaps the most important game of regular season play. While it is true that Gonzaga may draw a larger crowd and more hype, Santa Clara's true rivals are the Saint Mary's Geals. The tradition dates back several decades when it began on the football field. Now, with the retirement of both football programs, the rivalry is carried out on the hardwood.

If you happened to be in attendance at the game last Saturday, aside from all the Ruff Riders returning to the student section now that break is over, you may also have recognized a few familiar Broncos amongst the crowd. This year's game against the Gaels carried with it an added importance due to the return of several former players to the Mission Campus. Players both young and old returned to the Leavey Center once again to showcase their finely-tuned skills against one another on Saturday afternoon for an SCU basketball Alumni Game before the evening game between the Broncos and the Gaels.

Former Bronco great Bud Ogden proved he still has what it takes by dazzling the audience with deep three's and no-look passes. From my own era, I enjoyed seeing former teammates and fellow Oregonians Jim Howell and Graham "Pooh" Neuburger playing ball once again. Even members of the current coaching staff Lloyd Pierce and Jamie Holmes showcased their talents in the alumni game. After groans of disappointment concerning his first dunk, Coach Pierce stepped up his game and kept things exciting with a spectacular reverse dunk on a breakaway.

That night, before the match-up against the Gaels, the players that participated in the alumni game came into the locker room to deliver a pre-game speech led by former Bronco Ron Reis. Aside from getting everyone pumped-up and ready to play, the speech made me realize how important the game really was to so many people. Most importantly though, it made me realize how proud I am to be a Bronco instead of a Gael!

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Posted: Jan. 6, 2007
Passing The Time Over Winter Break
Happy New Year!!! Well 2007 is here and that means another Christmas break is coming to an end. For me the feeling is bittersweet. For our six seniors it may very well be the last Christmas break of our lives. Never again will we take an entire month off from work to lounge around and do nothing. School will resume shortly, and while I am not looking forward to classes I am excited to have the student body back on campus. Let me fill you in on a few of the happenings of the team while the rest of the students were away on break.

When they are not busy putting up shots in the gymnasium, you might catch Danny and Joey listening intently as teammates give them both advice on how to get girls. As a result of their curiosity, the team has created a type of "Love-Line" to aid them in their quest to meet girls. Topics range from cheesy pick-up-lines to suggestions on how to make the first move. Brody and Brandon seem to have the most advice to offer, while Big Josh does manage the occasional dynamite drop-in. Brandon actually passes on knowledge given to him by previous greats like Linden Tibbets, the Texas Flash. Ladies, if you read this, both men are very eligible bachelors.

Lately, however, "Love-Line" has been put on hold due to more exciting activities. Brandon and Danny each recently purchased BB guns and have turned their basement into a firing range. Danny is the proud new owner of a Red Rider one-pump rifle while Beaver went with the imitation glock, which he always remembers to turn sideways when shooting. Target practice generally consists of shooting at Christmas ornaments from the tree, little green army men, or pictures of regular season opponents. Unfortunately neither Brandon nor Danny have any aim whatsoever, so I don't think I will put myself in harms way by going over to their house again. Big Josh tried to partake in the shootout as well, but made the mistake of bringing an airsoft pistol to a gun fight.

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Posted: Dec. 16, 2006
Holiday Break
Hey Bronco Fans! Let me start by saying Merry Christmas. It's that time of year again and if you haven't caught the holiday spirit yet I hope you do soon. As for Bronco hoops, school is out and grades are in, and while we may not win any academic awards, at least I can say we are all eligible to play ball. Merry Christmas Coach Scuilli. Now that school is out, you may be wondering how the Santa Clara men's basketball team spends its Christmas break. Allow me to explain.

When break begins each member of the team receives a large sum of money, called "per diem," which is supposed to cover essential living costs (eating) over the entire break. The problem with this system arises when players fail to allocate these funds accurately to last the entirety of break. The temptation to purchase items other than food is very strong. Take for instance the player who spent over half his per diem during the first week of break on a handheld Sony PSP Playstation and several games. Or, being that we are a basketball team, other players are more likely to spend their money on the hottest new shoes, perhaps the latest Jordans. If you are Brody Angley, you will most likely see several movies over the break, and regardless of their quality, claim they are all amazing. Cedric will actually spend his per diem on food; however, with Cedric's eating ability, he'll be lucky if the money lasts him through Christmas Eve.

Living situations also change for various players over the break. This year the school decided to shut down all the dormitories. As a result Cedric, Jonathan, Calvin, and Domineek were all forced to find housing with teammates over the break. While Gunner moved into an empty room at my house, Cedric, Domineek, and Calvin all decided to move in with John Bryant in his one bedroom apartment...sounds cozy. I would like to point out the interesting fact that Joey, Danny, and Brandon have an empty room at their house yet nobody is staying with them. Good teammates.

Lastly, I'd like to point out that Danny Pariseau has been pegged as the scrooge of the men's basketball team. He has absolutely no holiday cheer, becoming easily agitated at the sound of a catchy Christmas jingle. I'm pretty sure he's on Santa's naughty list and will receive nothing but coal in his stocking. If you see him around, be sure to wish him a Merry Christmas.

As Brody would say, Feliz Navidad,

Scott

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Posted: Dec. 2, 2006
On the Road
The Santa Clara men's basketball team began their first official road trip of the season this Thursday morning. With that in mind, I had decided that a rundown of what its like to travel with the Broncos would make for an excellent blog topic for this week. As if to give me something extraordinary to write about, the powers that be blew an icy storm across the Midwest, making our flight into Springfield, Missouri a very difficult task. Aside from briefly summarizing the journey to our final destination I will not waste your time with all the details. For the full story I strongly urge you to visit the Broncos' official website, www.santaclarabroncos.com, to read the eloquent words of radio broadcaster Dave Lewis, the voice of the Broncos.

The trip began like so many others throughout my career at Santa Clara; early. The team departed the Leavey Center for the San Jose airport at 6:00 am on Thursday morning. Interestingly enough, this is the exact time the team would arrive at its final destination of Springfield, Missouri on Friday morning. Allow me to fill you in on the happenings of this 24-hour journey.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly until the team reached Denver for our scheduled layover. However, the team would spend the next eight hours at DIA during which five of the team's flights were cancelled. Flights to Tulsa, Memphis, and Kansas City were all considered throughout the day. It seemed as though every time you looked over your shoulder Coach Pierce was back in line at the information desk trying to get us another flight to any airport close to Springfield.

What would you do with eight hours in Denver International Airport? Well, with finals week looming on the horizon, you might expect players to be studying diligently at some remote unoccupied gate. However, if you know anything of the stigma surrounding the men's basketball team then you already know that didn't happen. Perhaps this is why we are always the caboose when it comes to team GPA in the athletic department. Aside from academics, you might also expect players to be studying their scouting reports of upcoming opponent Alabama State...nope, that didn't happen either. Instead, team members spent the afternoon eating, playing cards, and searching out strangers in the airport who look like team members (let me just say that everyone with a beard looks like Brandon Rohe...he is a man of many faces, and much hair). Regarding the latter, I'd like to credit Joey Kaempf for creating such an interesting game to pass the time. While Coach Pierce was busy pulling the wool over Brody's eyes in texas hold `em, I decided to try my luck against Coach Davey in a competitive game of cribbage. Double D ultimately proved to be too damn tough minded as he took two out of three games without even breaking a sweat.

A break in the weather finally allowed the team to catch a flight to Kansas City, a mere 180 miles (approximately) from our final destination. Under normal conditions the drive from KC to Springfield would most likely take about two hours (only an hour and a half if you drive like my housemate Colin Davis). However, the storm reduced the four-lane highway to one lane each way and reduced our average speed to 35 miles/hour. After a quick stop at Denny's and the Waffle House (where Dr. Beaver wooed our lovely waitress Sharon), we drove through the night to reach Springfield at 6 am after six hours of driving. I must add that I was most impressed by the performance of our bus driver, Bob, who made the trip both ways for a grand total of eleven hours. While the highway was littered with semis and pick-up trucks, Bob managed to get us to our destination unscathed and without so much as a hiccup.

From the outside looking in you might think it was a road trip from hell. Personally, aside from the fact that my back is killing me from trying to sleep on the bus, I found the trip to be exciting. As stated by Brody Angley, it's a trip we will look back on and remember when we are old and our playing careers have long been over.

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Posted:Nov. 15, 2006
The Newcomers
Hello Bronco fans, and Happy Thanksgiving. I hope that everyone enjoyed a relaxing day amongst friends and family, I know I did. The team spent the morning hours practicing and preparing for Saturday's game against Nevada, after which team members went their separate ways in search of a feast worth giving thanks for.

Thanksgiving break is always an interesting experience for Santa Clara athletes, at least those still in season. While the majority of students travel home to be with loved ones for the holiday, we remain behind to practice and compete for good old SCU. Most volleyball, soccer, and basketball players at Santa Clara can't even remember the last time they spent Thanksgiving at home. For the young freshman it is often their first holiday away from home and away from family. This year's Bronco team saw two freshman additions to the roster: Cedric Latimer and Jonathan Gunderson.

Cedric Latimer
Ced can most easily be described as a "gym rat." He is routinely one of the first players to arrive at practice and almost always the last to leave. You'll likely find Cedric at the gym in the evenings as well, shooting jumpers or working on his ball-handling. Even after a game, when most players are heading home, Cedric heads to the weight room to pump some iron. But let's face it, if you're going to sport tattoos on your forearms and triceps, you better do some curls for the girls to keep the pipes looking large. I'm not so proud to say that even my own girlfriend commented on how much bigger Cedric's arms are than mine.

Cedric originally hails from Finland, hence the "Finland's Finest" tattoo, but if you ask him he will undoubtedly tell you that he is from L.A. Members of the team have likened Cedric to a garbage disposal, due to his uncanny ability to eat everything in sight. Danny Pariseau has suggested that at least one, if not both, of Ced's legs are hollow, allowing him to store food for the long winter ahead.

Jonathan Gunderson
If you happened to catch our game at California on Monday you may already know how Jonathan received the nickname "Gunner"....let me just say it's not just because of his middle name. Gun entered the game near the end of the first half and proceeded to launch a thirty-footer the first time he touched the ball. But don't let one errant shot fool you, he is shooting 50% from beyond the arc for the season thus far.

When Gunner is not playing basketball you might catch him hangin' loose and living the OC lifestyle; or perhaps he'll be catching up on the happenings in his home town by watching his favorite show Laguna Beach. (If you have not seen the show I suggest you check it out. It depicts what life is like in the "real" OC. My housemate Chris Stansbury went to Laguna Beach High School and like totally gave me the 411 on everyone on the show. I think it's Chris' claim to fame). Anyway, when he is not watching Laguna Beach, Gunner can most likely be found at the residence of fellow teammate Joey Kaempf. Joe has taken Gunner on as his protégé, teaching him style both on and off the court.

Thanks for tuning in,
Scott

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Posted:Nov. 15, 2006
Introducing the wise, old men
Hey bronco fans!!! Well I have to admit this is my first ever blog, so being that I'm new at this you may have to cut me a little slack. I'll try not to bore you. When Jed asked if I would be willing to write the weekly blog for the men's basketball team I was more than willing but a little unsure about what I should write about. I've decided to refrain from simply summarizing each game, talking merely about things we did well and things we did poorly. After all, chances are that if you are reading these blogs you are a Bronco fan and probably watched the game yourself. I have decided instead to keep you updated on the happenings off the court. I'll do my best to acquaint you with a more personal side of SCU men's basketball. If you're lucky I may even divulge such secrets as how Brandon Rohe coined his nickname "Dr. Beaver," why Danny Pariseau's lucky number is #9, or why Jonathan Gunderson can rarely be found in his Swig Hall dorm room. With my introduction out of the way its time for this week's topic: super seniors!

It seems more and more college students are coming to the realization that these may very well be the greatest years of a young person's life. As a result, an increasing amount of these students put academics on cruise control, setting a pace that will see them graduate after about five years. I can tell you first hand that the men's basketball team is doing our part to follow this trend. This season's team boasts five fifth year seniors, a statistic relatively unheard of in college basketball. With the exception of BYU, we may have the oldest basketball team in the country. We are destined for success with all the experience and collective wisdom that we possess. Without further ado, allow me to introduce each of the elders:

Tristan Parham-
Yes, its true....Tristan is almost as old as he looks. He is actually only a shade younger than the thirty five year old appearance he keeps up. The gray hairs, scruffy beard, and busted knees give Tristan the appearance of being the oldest and wisest member of the team. But don't let the appearance fool you; there is still enough juice in Tristan's legs to dunk on anyone at anytime. I know, I've personally be "posterized" on several occasions.

Brandon "Dr. Beaver" Rohe-
Like Tristan, the Beav also keeps up his elderly appearance. But don't blame Brandon for always looking scruffy, after all you'd get tired of shaving too if you'd been doing it since you were nine years old. If you happen to run into Brandon off the court he will undoubtedly be sporting Cincinnati Bengal's gear to support his boy Carson and will probably proceed to tell you that "freedom isn't free" (he is very patriotic). If you attend Santa Clara University and do not know Brandon Rohe or his alter ego Dr. Beaver, you don't get out enough and need to do a better job of living the college dream!!!

Danny Pariseau-
Often mistaken for a member of the SCU cross-country team, Danny is actually twice as old as he looks. If Danny appears to have his own distinct style, it's because the majority of his wardrobe consists of hand-me-downs from his father's college days (it's a good thing Lacoste came back into style DP). You may not know it, but Danny is desperately trying to put together a garage rock band. He is talented with the guitar but his efforts are useless because he continually tries to recruit Joey Kaempf and myself, both of whom have zero musical talent. He is currently working on an album titled "My Hungarian Queen."

Joe Kaempf-
Joey prides himself on being that guy that does not look like a college basketball player. Every time a visitor or new recruit comes to play pick-up with the team they will always point a finger at Joe and say, "I'll guard him." I'll spare you all the details but generally Baby J proceeds to hit four 3's in a row and make the new guy look like that guy who does not belong. When you see him around, ask Joe to tell you his favorite joke - "not so fast private Abernathy!"

Scott Dougherty-
I'll spare you the boring details about myself. Thanks for checking in on the SCU men's basketball team. I promise that next week's blog won't be so extensive.

Scott Dougherty (editing and big vocab words courtesy of Dylan Knee)