November 11, 2010

Men's Basketball Opens Season vs. CSU Bakersfield Friday

Game Notes

As part of a doubleheader with the women's team, the Santa Clara men's basketball team opens its 2010-11 season with a 6 pm game on Fri., Nov. 12 vs. CSU Bakersfield.  The women will open their season with an 8:15 pm game vs. Fresno State.

Santa Clara is 3-0 in season opener's under Bronco head coach Kerry Keating.  Santa Clara was 11-21 last season and CSU Bakersfield was 7-22.  The Roadrunners become NCAA Division I Championship eligible for the first time this season.  

Its the second-ever meeting with the Roadrunners.  Santa Clara won last year's opening night meeting in Bakersfield 84-81 on Nov. 13, 2009.  The Broncos were one of just 16 teams nationally to win on the road that night, opening night of the 2009-10 season.

Prior to its season opener vs. CSUB, Santa Clara won 95-59 in exhibition play Fri., Nov. 5 vs. CSU Maritime.  It was CSU Maritime's fourth straight game on the road to start the season.  Santa Clara shot 49.3 percent from the field, including 37.5 percent from the three-point line.  Santa Clara had 53 rebounds, three blocks and six steals.  CSU Maritime shot 30.9 percent from the field including 27.8 percent from the three-point line.  CSUM had 26 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.  Santa Clara had 16 turnovers to CSUM's own 15.

Individually, Marc Trasolini led the Bronco team with 21 points and nine rebounds.  Other Broncos in double figures included Kevin Foster (14 points, 5 assists), Julian Clarke (13, 4 of 6 from 3 point) and Ben Dowell (10 points, 6 rebounds).  Robert Smith had six assists and six points.  Troy Payne had six points and eight rebounds.  Niyi Harrison added six rebounds and Chris Cunningham was 4 of 6 from the free throw line, scoring six points.  Evan Roquemore scored seven points with four assists.

The CSUB men's basketball team defeated NCAA Division II foe Cal State East Bay 83–71 in an exhibition game played in the Icardo Center on Nov. 4.  Senior guard Donavan Bragg (Inglewood/Serra HS) led all scorers with 25 points for CSUB. Newcomer Rashad Savage (Philadelphia, Pa./Odessa JC) chipped in 19 points and eight rebounds in his first appearance as a Roadrunner. Sophomore guard Stephon Carter (Garces HS), the team leader in assists and steals as a freshman, posted game–highs of five assists and five steals to go along with and 18–point night.

Listen Here
The CSU Bakersfield game will be broadcast via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access on the web at with the broadcast beginning at 6 pm. Anthony Passarelli is in his fourth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. 

Coach Kerry Keating can be heard on KDOW 1220 AM on Sunday evenings from 9:10-9:20 pm in his radio spotlight on The Sports Ramble, hosted by Chetan Chaudhari. If you are out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online live at

Bronco By the Numbers

0: Last year's Bronco team had zero seniors. This year's squad features four seniors: Ben Dowdell, Michael Santos, Troy Payne and Nate Mensah.

1: Santa Clara features one-redshirt on this year's squad and it's a dandy.  Sophomore-redshirt Kevin Foster broke his foot early last season and after undergoing surgery, he was redshirted. He was leading the WCC with 19.8 ppg and went down in the final minutes of Santa Clara's in the 79-68 win at 2010 NCAA Tournament team, UC Santa Barbara.  The 2009 WCC Newcomer of the Year, Foster shattered Steve Nash's single season record by making 85 threes as a freshman in 2008-09.

4: Santa Clara's roster includes four walk-ons, one in each class: Nate Mensah (senior), Phillip Bach (junior), Kyle Perricone (sophomore) and Beau Gamble (freshman).

5: Santa Clara's roster features five players who were born in a foreign country. Yannick Atanga was born in Cameroon, Phillip Bach was born in France, Ben Dowdell was born in Australia and Julian Clarke and Marc Trasolini were both born in Canada.  In addition, Niyi Harrison (Nigeria) and Nate Mensah (Ghana) have at least one parent born in a foreign country.

18: Santa Clara is playing a school-high 18 home games this year for the second straight season.

19: Not attempting a single three pointer his freshman year, 2010 Academic All-American All-District honoree Marc Trasolini was 19 of 54 from beyond the arc last season (35%).

439: Headlining the list of returnees of 12 returnees is junior forward Marc Trasolini. He led the team with 13.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 1.6 bpg.  Trasolini's 50 blocks last season have him on pace to top John Bryant's career record 246 blocks during his career from 2006-09.  Bryant's 246 blocks are No. 2 in WCC career history.

1,049: Robert Smith played in a Bronco freshman-record 1,049 minutes last season. His tally was good for No. 4 on the Broncos single season list as well.  He finished in 11 of the top 10 categories in the Bronco freshman records.

Youth was Served
Santa Clara averaged 64.0 ppg last season with no seniors.  Almost 75 percent of Santa Clara's points last season, including those from sophomore Kevin Foster, came from its underclassmen.  The top four active scorers were all underclassmen and if you throw in Foster, it was the top five.  SCU grabbed 34.1 rpg this year.  More than 61 percent are coming from underclassman with Trasolini leading the way with 6.1 rpg.

Last year the Santa Clara youth was discussed with the Broncos featuring the seventh-youngest team in the country (  Of the nine active players on scholarship last year, Santa Clara had zero seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen.  It was the youngest team in the league.

It was only fourth time in 61 years (starting line-ups were kept beginning in 1949-50) that Santa Clara does not have a senior starter.  The last time there wasn't a senior starter: it was Steve Nash's junior year (1994-95).  Nash, a two-time WCC Player of the Year, has gone on to win two NBA MVP awards.  He played in his seventh NBA All-Star game on Feb. 14 as a starter.  He also won the 2010 NBA Skills competition for the second time in his career. On Feb. 12, he became the first NBA player to ever light the Olympic Flame, hoisting the flame at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Using the same Bronco line-up 13 of the last 14 games, if counting seniors as a four, juniors as a three, etc. -- with the current starters, it was the second-youngest starting line-up Santa Clara has had in 33 years.  That line-up in 1976-77 included a freshman named Kurt Rambis, who went on to be the WCC Player of the Year and a multi-time NBA champion with the Lakers.  He is currently the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.  It was the fourth time in 33 years the starting line-up has scored a 12 or younger.  The 2009-10 Bronco line-up included Michael Santos (3), Ben Dowdell (3), Troy Payne (3), Marc Trasolini (2) and Robert Smith (1). 

Santa Clara's top two scorers last season, Marc Trasolini (439) and Robert Smith (387) combined to score 826 points.  They finished No. 19 on Santa Clara's top 20 tandems list.

Marc Trasolini is working to follow in the footsteps of career blocks leader John Bryant.  It's conceivable he could go after Bryant's career record if Trasolini stays on an improving pace his junior and senior years.  Bryant's career record is 246 over his four years.

The school record for blocks in a season was set by Bryant last season when he collected 84 swats.  Trasolini tied John Bryant's freshman record with 37 blocks last season so has already topped his freshman total with at least three games left.  Trasolini's 86 career blocks put him at No. 5 and he trails No. 4 Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80) by seven blocks.