February 3, 2011

Santa Clara Travels to USF for WCC Second-Place Showdown

Santa Clara Game Notes

Santa Clara (15-9, 5-2 WCC), ranked No. 21 this week in the national CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll (click here for poll), continues life on the road with its third straight WCC game away from the Leavey Center when it travels to San Francisco to face the Dons Sat., Feb. 5 at 7 pm.  The USF game will be televised on Comcast and called by Jim Kozimor and John Lambert.  USF got the best of the Broncos on Jan. 8 in Santa Clara, winning 74-67.

Santa Clara returns home on Thurs., Feb. 10 to host Saint Mary's at 8 pm (ESPNU) and then Sat., Feb. 12 when it hosts San Diego at 5:30 pm (Comcast). Click here to buy tickets for these two important home games today!

Santa Clara defeated UC Santa Cruz, 85-60, on Feb 1.  Last weekend Santa Clara swept the LA schools for the first time since 2005 and swept them with a win first at Pepperdine (71-59) and then another at LMU (79-72) for the first time since 1977.  USF won at LMU (61-60) but dropped for a six-point loss at Pepperdine (94-88).

It's the 207th meeting between the two teams dating back to Jan. 22, 1909 when Santa Clara won 19-11.  SCU leads the all-time series 108-98 and the Dons lead the series 50-43 in San Francicso. Santa Clara has only played Saint Mary's more times than the Dons and sport a 131-77 record vs. the Gaels. Santa Clara has won eight of the last 11 games against USF, dating back to Feb., 2006.  USF has won two of the last four contests with overtime wins, but prior to that Santa Clara won seven straight.

The Broncos knocked USF out of the West Coast Conference Tournament four times in the 21st century: 2000, '04, '05 and '08.  The last WCC Tournament meeting with the Dons: Santa Clara won 51-50 on March 8, 2008 after two John Bryant free throws with three seconds left helped the Broncos advance to the WCC semi-finals.

The USF game will be broadcast via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com with the broadcast beginning at 6:45 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 with an interview conducted by Passarelli.  Out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online live at www.1220kdow.com.

Broncos at Dons
The Broncos are scoring 74.2 ppg while giving up 70.3 ppg. They are rebounding 35.4 to their opponent's 31.1 and shooting 44.1 percent, including 35.7 percent beyond the arc. 

SCU has three players in double figures: Kevin Foster (19.2), Marc Trasolini (12.4) and Evan Roquemore (10.8).  Foster leads the WCC in ppg and threes per game; and is third nationally in threes made per game (Feb. 1).  He leads the country in threes made and threes attempted. He has also dished a team-leading 3.9 apg with 1.8 spg.  His 21.0 ppg in WCC play leads the WCC (Feb. 1). Scoring double figures in 22 of 24 games this season, Foster scored just nine vs. Rice but hit the game-winning three and then hit eight at Pepperdine.  Trasolini leads the team with 5.9 rpg and 1.1 bpg.  Trasolini collected his fifth career double-double vs. CSU Bakersfield and had a season-high three blocks three times, scoring a season-high 22 vs. Fordham.  He missed the UC Santa Cruz game with a sprained ankle.

USF is averaging 68.4 ppg while giving up 69.9 ppg.  The Dons are shooting 44.1 percent from the field, including 35.3 from beyond the three-point line. USF is grabbing 37.8 boards and giving up 34.5.  They are averaging 15.2 turnovers per game compared to Santa Clara's own 15.0 turnovers per game.  USF has three players averaging double figures: Michael Williams (15.4 ppg), Rashad Green (11.1 ppg) and Perris Blackwell (10.5 ppg).  Blackwell leads the team with 7.1 rpg.  Cody Doolin is tops with 3.1 apg and Moustapha Diarra scores a team-leading 0.6 bpg. 

Trasolini Named to Capital One Academic All-District Team for Second Straight Year
Marc Trasolini has been honored as a Capital One Academic All-District First Team member for the second straight year.  Trasolini is the only player from the West Coast Conference and Pac-10 Conference to receive this honor two straight season in District 8. Trasolini will now advance to the voting for national Academic All-American honors.  Trasolini is one of just four players nationally on the first team to score 12.4+ppg and 5.9+ rpg with a 3.51+ GPA (stats as of Feb. 3, 2011).  Those four include (alphabetically): Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame (Gr.): 14.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 3.72 GPA (Finance/MBA); Matt Howard of Butler (Sr.): 17.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg and 3.77 GPA (Finance); Marc Trasolini of Santa Clara (Jr.): 12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 3.51 GPA (Finance); and Tyler Zeller of North Carolina (Jr.): 14.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 3.56 GPA (Business Administration).

Trasolini, a Finance major in the prestigious Leavey School of Business, has posted a 3.5 or better GPA five of his seven quarters at SCU. 

13 of 13, 83
Kevin Foster was 13 of 13 from the free throw line at LMU on Jan. 29, finishing with 28 points. His 13 of 13 performance was the best 100.0 percent mark for a Bronco since Steve Nash hit 21 of 21 vs. Saint Mary's in a 75-71 Bronco win on Jan. 7, 1995.  It was the most free throws hit by a Bronco since Nash hit 17 of 18 vs. Maryland on March 15, 1996.  Foster is the sixth Bronco to hit 13 free throws in a game.

Foster has hit 83 threes this season.  He is just one south of the old record Steve Nash held for 14 years (set in 1995) when he hit 84.  Foster broke Nash's single season record as a freshman in 2009 with 85.  Foster is one-two in threes attempted on the Bronco single season list.  His freshman year he attempted 232, which is the single season school record, and he has attempted 215 this year.

To enter the top 10 of the West Coast Conference single season list for makes Foster will need to hit 98 this season.  There are four WCC players that have hit 98 in a season: Jared Stohl of Portland (2010), Ross DeRogatis of USD (2007), Blake Stepp of Gonzaga (2003) and Casey Frandsen of Portland (2002). The WCC single season record is 126 by Jeff Fryer of LMU in 1989. He is also No. 2 on the list with 141 in 1990. 

Foster is the 28th player Bronco to score 1,000 career points, but the first Bronco sophomore in school history.    His 1065 points are No. 25 on the list already.  Junior Marc Trasolini is edging closer to 1,000 points himself as he has scored 924 points in his Bronco career and would be the 29th player in school history, and the third under Keating. Foster and Trasolini would be the first duo to both hit 1,000 career points in the same season since then-seniors Jens Gordon and Mitch Burley did it in 1988-89.  Gordon scored 522 points that season to finish his career with 1,356 and Burley scored 377 to finish with 1,258 career points.

Hard to Pick One
Troy Payne, Marc Trasolini and Evan Roquemore also put up impressive numbers for the Broncos in its first LA weekend-sweep of Pepperdine and LMU since 2005.

Payne averaged 10.0 ppg, 4.5 spg, 6.0 spg in the two wins at Pepperdine and LMU.  He grabbed a career-high six steals two straight games at Pepperdine and LMU.  It was the third time in WCC play this season he has accomplished the feat (at USD was the other game).  The 12 rebounds at LMU were a career-high. Payne has snatched 6+ rebounds in nine of the last 10 games.

Trasolini, named the WCC's NetScoutsBasketball.com International Player of the Week, shot an astounding 81.3 percent from the field, including 66.7 percent from beyond the arc.  He was 13 of 16 from the field and 6 of 7 from the free throw line, collecting 5.5 rpg and 1.0 bpg.  Trasolini is shooting almost 87 percent from the free throw line in the last 12 games.

Roquemore hit a number of key threes on the weekend, with a career-high three at LMU, averaging 14.5 ppg and 4.0 apg in the two games.  

Freshman Finery
Evan Roquemore needs eight more free throws made to break the Bronco freshman school record. Roquemore is 91 of 111 from the charity stripe in his rookie campaign.  The school record for free throws made is 98 by then-freshman Brian Jones (1996-97) and Jones owns the freshman record for free throws  attempted as well with 142.  Roquemore needs 32 attempts to break that record and is currently No. 4 on the list.  Steve Nash owns the freshman school record for free throw percentage, shooting 82.5 percent in 1992-93. Roquemore is currently tied with Kevin Foster for a team-high 82.0 percent.  

Roquemore has made good after being inserted into the starting line-up 16 games ago.  Averaging 10.8 ppg, 3.8 apg and 3.3 rpg, he had a career-high eight assists at SMC and a career-high in points vs. Northern Colorado.  He has been perfect at the free throw line in eight games this year: 6 of 6 vs. Rice, 10 of 10 vs. Northern Colorado, 6 of 6 at San Jose State, 7 of 7 vs. Washington State, 6 of 6 at CSU Northridge, 1 of 1 at Saint Mary's, 8 of 8 vs. Gonzaga and 2 of 2 at LMU. 

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!
Ben Dowdell, acknowledging earlier this season that his senior year "will be the one that defines my Bronco career", has posted double figure scoring in eight games this season, including four of the last five.  He tied his career-high with 22 points vs. Portland on Jan. 22.  He last scored 22 vs. Niagara on Dec. 29, 2007.  The total vs. the Pilots topped his previous career-high in WCC play from his freshman year (21 vs. Dons on Feb. 25, 2008).  Starting all 24 games this year, Dowdell is averaging 7.8 ppg and 4.6 rpg. Last year at this same point he was averaging 6.3 ppg and 3.9 rpg.

Dowdell has posted double figures 22 times in his career: eight times this year, five times his junior year and nine times his rookie campaign.

He has played in 114 career games with 84 career starts.  He needs to play in three more games to vault into the Broncos' career games played top 10 list.  Sitting at No. 8 with 117 games played are Mitch Henke (2004-08), Brian Jones (1996-01) and Travis Niesen (2002-06).  Dan Weiss (1984-88) is No. 7 with 119 and Jens Gordon is No. 6 with 120 (1985-87).  Santa Clara has at least eight games left and if he plays in each game, he will be tied with Brody Angley (2004-08) and Mitch Burley (1985-89) with 122 games played at No. 3 all-time.  

Likes Green
Marc Trasolini scored 26 points in his first game vs. the Dons last season, followed that up with 17 in the second contest last season and recently scored 11 vs. USF on Jan. 8, 2011.  Trasolini's success vs. the Dons shouldn't come as a surprise. His freshman year he was 11 of 12 in two games vs. USF.  He also hit 7 of 10 free throw attempts and grabbed 12 rebounds.  All told in five games against USF, Trasolini is averaging 15.8 ppg and is shooting almost 70 percent (32 of 46 from the field).  Against USF he also averages 75.0 percent from the free throw line (12 of 16), 5.4 rpg and 1.4 bpg.  Trasolini's 26 points at USF last season are still his career high.  

Trasolini has 16 games in double figures this season, including three with 19+.  He has scored 15+ 27 times in his three-year career.  After not attempting a single three his freshman campaign, Trasolini was 19 of 54 last season and is shooting 35.6 percent this year, hitting 21 of 59.  He has hit a career-high three threes in five games this season.  Bronco head coach Kerry Keating said he would like to see Trasolini shoot 10 threes a game because he has that much confidence in his shooting.

Trasolini has hit 55-74 free throws this season (74.3 percent), but has hit 42 of 50 free throws in the last 13 games (84.0 percent).  But he hasn't been hitting the free throw line as often this season. Last year of his 439 total points, 122 came from the free throw line (27.7 percent). This season of his 286 points scored, 19.2 percent are coming from the free throw line (55 made).  His freshman year 21 percent of his points came from free throws (43 of 64 made (67%); 201 points total scored).

Trasolini has 111 career blocks, passing then-No. 4 Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80) earlier this season.  No. 3 on the career list: Jens Gordon (1985-89) with 133.  

There are some interesting comparisons after Santa Clara's first 24 games last season and the first 24 games this year.  Santa Clara is 15-9 and 5-2 in the WCC this season and was 9-15 and 1-6 in the WCC last season.  See the following positives on this season:

* Increased points per game from 65.9 to 74.2 

* Increased scoring margin from -5.3 to +3.9 

* Increased FG made from 526 to 578 

* Increased FG percentage from .411 to .441 

* Increased 3 pt FG made from 114 to 175 

* Increased 3 pt FG made per game from 4.8 to 7.3 

* Increased 3 pt FG percentage from .296 to .357 

* Decreased opponent 3 pt FG made per game from 6.8 to 5.7 

* Increased free throws made from 400 to 450 and attempts from 575 to 621 

* Increased free throws made per game from 16.7 to 18.8 

* Increased rebounds per game from 34.3 to 35.4 

* Increased rebounding margin from -0.5 to +4.3 

* Decreased opponent rebounds per game from 34.8 to 31.1 

* Increased assists per game from 10.5 to 13.6 

* Decreased opponent assists per game from 14.0 to 11.9 

Say Something Nice About Each of Us
0 (Roquemore) - Named the 20th best freshmen this season by BasketballProspectus.com recently.  Needs eight more free throws made and 29 assists to break the Bronco freshman school records.  10 of the last 17 games he has hit double figures, including 13 vs. Gonzaga and 14 at Pepperdine.  Dished out a career-high eight assists at Saint Mary's and scored a career-high 18 points vs. Northern Colorado.

01 (Payne) - WCC Defender of the Year candidate.  After starting 40 straight games, gave up his starting role for 11 games before earning it back prior to the Zags game.  Backed it up in Gonzaga game when he scored a then-season-high 11 points and then nine points and nine rebounds vs. Portland.  He tied a career-high with six steals at Pepperdine, also tying a season-high with 11 points; and followed that up with 8 rebounds and 11 points at LMU.  Has had 12 games this season with 6+ rebounds.  Last season in his first 24 games that had happened six times.

03 (Cunningham) - Although he hasn't played in the past seven games due to a sore back, Cunningham started the previous eight games and he is shooting a career-best 61.9 percent this season.  It is the seventh-best shooting percentage for a season in Bronco history.

04 (Perricone) - Has played in three games this season and hit his first career field goal in the first game (Houston Baptist) and a three-pointer in two games:  Bethany and UCSC.

10 (Dowdell) - Tied a career-high with 22 points in the win over Portland.  Previous career-high came his freshman year vs. Niagara on Dec. 29, 2007.  Shot season-best 7 of 10 from the field, making 8 of 10 free throws.  Has 11 games this season with 5+ rebounds and hit double-figures in four of the last five games.  

13 (Santos) - Gave SCU 16 good minutes off the bench in the Gonzaga game and followed it up with 20 strong minutes in Portland win. Coach Keating was happy to see him healthy after suffering with a sprained hand for a couple weeks and said he had an excellent week of practice.  Had season-high six rebounds and career-high four assists vs. Bethany.

14 (Gamble) - Hit his first career points with two three-pointers in four minutes vs. Bethany. He put up four shots and grabbed two rebounds during that span as well.  Hit two free throws in career-high six minutes vs. UC Santa Cruz.

15 (Trasolini) - Has hit double figures 11 of the last 13 games.  76 points from a career 1,000 points (would be 29th player in school history). Has 49 career double-figure games and 27 15+ point games. His five career double-doubles rank No. 1 on the team this year. Is the only player in the WCC to be named to the Capital One Academic All-District team the past two years.  Sports a 3.51 GPA in Finance. 

21 (Foster) - Scored his 1,001th career point with a three at 1:36 in the first half in the Portland win; finished game with 19 points. Now has 1,065 which is quickly No. 25.  First sophomore in school history and 28th player overall to score 1,000+ career points.  Scored a career-high 36 points in the Gonzaga win - the sixth-best ever by a Bronco in a home game.  First player in school history to hit six plus threes in three games in a season. He has now done it six times this year!  

22 (Mensah) - Fourth-year walk-on hit his first career free throws and first career three-pointers in the five games he has played in this year. Has already been accepted to the Law Schools at Santa Clara University and American University; and is waiting to hear back from Cornell, Georgetown, George Washington and Howard. 

24 (Clarke) - Has only played in three games early due to a foot injury.

25 (McArthur) - His 11 rebounds vs. Santa Cruz were the most for a Bronco freshman since John Bryant snagged 13 vs. Portland on Jan. 7, 2006.  After being named the Bay Area Player of the Year out of famed De La Salle last year, he has played 9.4 mpg where he has collected 3+ rebounds in seven games, playing double-digit minutes eight times including 19 vs. Houston Baptist, 16 important minutes in the Gonzaga win and 25 vs. UC Santa Cruz.

31 (Harrison) - Scored a season-high 12 points at Pepperdine, his first time in double figures this season after hitting double figures nine times last season.  

33 (Bach) - Carrying a 3.48 grade point average in Marketing, he has come off the bench in four games this season, including 12 minutes vs. Bethany where he dished out a career-best four assists. Scored career-high 9 points in career-high 14 minutes vs. UC Santa Cruz.

42 (Cowels) - Starting in nine games this season and 20 throughout his two-year career, Cowels hit a season-high four threes vs. Northern Colorado and was 6 of 6 from the free throw line vs. Washington State.  He scored a career-high 24 points vs. NCAA Tournament-bound Wofford last season, hitting five threes.

44 (Atanga) - The Yaounde, Cameroon native is being red-shirted this season.