August 4, 2010

Senior Troy Payne Ready for his Final Season

Story Written by Student Assistant Carolyn Linck '11

Last season on Senior Night only the team manager was recognized for the Bronco basketball team.  This year, however, the Broncos will have four seniors providing the team with valuable leadership on and off the court.  One senior, Troy Payne, is looking forward to his final season of Santa Clara basketball and is ready to make the most of it.

"I have high expectations for this next year," said Payne, the 6'6 forward from Los Angeles, California.  "With a year under our belts, almost everyone coming back, Kevin returning from injury and the new additions, I don't see any reason why we won't contend for the WCC Championship.  We're trying to get to the NCAA tournament."

Knowing this could be his final season after playing organized basketball for 13 years, Payne is especially focused and determined.

"I'm trying to set the right example this year for my teammates and just focus on school and basketball.  Knowing this could be my last year I want to be as detail orientated as I can and produce as much as possible."

Payne feels it is up to him and fellow seniors Ben Dowdell, Nate Mensah and Michael Santos to set the tone for the rest of the team.

"We've talked about it – me and the other seniors.  We just need to lead by example in the gym and in the weight room, going hard all the time to make sure the other guys do too.  If the other guys see us slacking they might think it's ok and slack off too.  That's why we have to play our hardest at all times.  That's the only way we're going to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the WCC Championship."

Payne believes that having seniors to lead, a deeper bench and a team that has played together will be the biggest differences between last season and the 2010-11 campaign.

"Last year was a learning experience.  When we went on the court we didn't really know what to expect, but now we've played together and have a feel for each other.  That's going to make a huge difference in the games."

In addition, Payne feels integrating the freshmen and helping them adjust to collegiate life and basketball will be crucial for the Broncos.

"Everyone has to help out the freshmen, on and off the court. In pick up games I try to let them know right away not to do certain things, not to make bad habits.  And off the court we'll hang out too. We need to bond."

Payne knows he has lofty goals for the upcoming season, but he feels they are completely attainable.

"We have the pieces we need here to win. It's just a matter of staying focused and working hard everyday." 

Come support Payne and the rest of the Bronco basketball team next season, opening November 12 in the Leavey Center against CSU Bakersfield, as they look to contend for the WCC Championship.