January 13, 2012

Santa Clara Travels to BYU for First-Ever WCC Match-up on ESPNU at 5 pm Saturday

Santa Clara - BYU Game Notes

The Broncos, who play three of their first four WCC contests on the road, travel to Provo, Utah on Sat., Jan. 14 for a 5 pm contest (Pacific) with BYU on ESPNU.  The game will be called by Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham who also called Santa Clara's 65-64 win over Villanova earlier this season.  

The Broncos, facing the Cougars for the first time in the WCC, are 5-15 vs. BYU all-time (see game notes for complete breakdown).  Santa Clara is 2-9 in Provo, 2-5 at home and 1-1 on a neutral court.  Santa Clara's last win in Provo was Dec. 1, 1972 when an unranked Bronco team won 66-64 in at No. 12 BYU.  BYU moved to No. 6 the next week.  Two weeks later the Broncos were ranked No. 20 for a week.

Santa Clara is 8-8 and 0-3 in the WCC this season after falling 84-74 at Portland Jan. 5, 82-60; at No. 25 Gonzaga on Jan. 7; and 75-62 to San Diego on Thursday.  In its first year in the WCC, BYU is 14-4 and 3-1 in the league.  They have been off since the Cougars 81-56 home win over USF on Jan. 7.  Playing in the 22,500-seat Marriott Center, they are 9-1 at home this year, falling only to No. 6/7 Baylor 86-83 on Dec. 17.  Baylor is still undefeated at 15-0.

See and Hear 

The BYU game can be seen on ESPNU nationally with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham making the call.  The game will also be broadcast via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com with the broadcast beginning at 4:45 p.m. on KDOW1220.  Anthony Passarelli is in his fifth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. Out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online at www.1220kdow.com.  

The Broncos

Santa Clara is 8-8 and 0-3 in the WCC.  The Broncos are 6-2 at home this season, 2-1 in neutral site games and 0-5 on the road.  Its 6-0 home record to start the season was the best for Santa Clara since it started the 1988-89 season 7-0 on its home court.  

The Broncos have a couple players averaging double figures: Kevin Foster leads team with 17.3 ppg and Evan Roquemore scores 14.3 ppg.  

Four Broncos average double figures in conference play with Roquemore leading the team with 13.3 ppg, Foster averages 11.3, Niyi Harrison 11.0 and Brandon Clark 10.0..

Foster is No. 5 in the country with 3.4 threes per game and ranked No. 69 nationally in scoring. Foster, who has 302 threes made in his career and broke Steve Nash's career threes record on Nov. 25 vs. Oklahoma, passed Blake Stepp (Gonzaga, 2000-04) in the Broncos' 75-55 victory over Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29 to move to No. 3 on the WCC all-time threes made list. He is No. 7 on the Bronco career points scored list with 1,647, passing No. 7 Londale Theus (1,643, 1976-80) on Jan. 12 vs. San Diego.  Foster, the 2009 WCC Newcomer of the Year, needs to score 21 points to pass former teammate and 2009 WCC Player of the Year John Byrant, who scored 1,667 points from 2005-09.  Bryant finished his career at No. 1 in rebounds (1,152) and blocked shots (246).  Bryant, who has played in Europe since he graduated, was recently named to the league All-Star team off the German team he plays for which sports a 14-2 record.

Roquemore dishes out a team-leading 5.6 apg, which is ranked No. 33 nationally, and Niyi Harrison and Yannick Atanga are the leaders on the boards, pulling down 6.4 and 4.7 rpg, respectively.

Harrison has eight 7+ rebound games this year, pulling down eight rebounds with 12 points vs. San Diego.  He has three double-doubles in his career, John McArthur has two and Roquemore has one (points and assists).  

Raymond Cowels III has 3+ threes in seven of the last 12 games, including a career-high six 3s vs. Villanova.

Cowels III, McArthur and Roquemore have started all 16 games, Harrison has started 15 of 16 and Foster 14 of 16 this season. Foster didn't start vs. San Diego because of a missed class. Two freshmen have also started this year: Clark started his first career game vs. San Diego and Denzel Johnson started his lone career game vs. Pacifica.

The Broncos are No. 10 nationally in threes made per game with 8.8 threes per game.  They have shot more than 100 more threes than their opponents this season.  SCU has shot 388 and the opponents have shot 281.  In return, the Broncos have made 43 more than their opponents (141 to 93 made).

With the loss of All-WCC forward Marc Trasolini (torn ACL), Santa Clara is one of the  youngest teams in the country with its 11 scholarship players this season totalling eight years of total court time (no seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen).  While the Broncos start three juniors and two sophomores, the next six players off the bench, including walk-on Jordan Akwenuke, are all freshmen. In addition to leadership, SCU is without its top three rebounders from last season (Trasolini and graduation of Ben Dowdell and Troy Payne).

Looking back, SCU finished last season 24-14 and won the post-season CIT with All-WCC guard Foster collecting MVP honors.  Named to the 2011 pre-season All-WCC team this season for the third time after leading the country in threes (140) and the league in scoring (20.2 ppg) last year. 

Dishes

Evan Roquemore is averaging 5.56 apg, including 4.0 apg in league play.  Roquemore is No. 2 in the league and No. 33 nationally in apg.  He has collected 7+ assists in six games this season and 4+ assists in 12 of 16 games.  Last season he broke the Bronco freshman assist record with 139, topping Brian Jones who scored 119 assists in 1996-97.  Roquemore is shooting 83.5 percent from the free throw line this season after breaking the freshman records for free throws made (159) and attempted (193) last season, coming .001 from tying Steve Nash's record for free throw percentage. Nash was 82.5 percent from the free throw line in 1992-93 and Roquemore was 82.4 percent (159 of 193) last season.

 

Three-less Not Often

Kevin Foster has been a shooting machine on the Mission Campus.  He has hit double figures in 68 of the last 72 games (94.4 percent).  All told, he has hit double figures in 80 of 93 career games (86.0 percent).  He has hit at least one three in 87 of 93 career games.  Foster has hit a three in 44 of his 45 career home games.  The one game he didn't hit a three in: his freshman year he was 0-5 from beyond the arc vs. San Diego on Jan. 11, 2008.

Foster, the Broncos' most consistent scoring threat, has 15+ points in 10 of 16 games this season including 26-point performances vs. New Mexico and Pacific. He is also lights out from behind the arc, having made 4+ threes in half of the games including six vs. UOP and Eastern Michigan.

Foster was a strong nominee for the West Coast Conference Player of the Month in December.  Foster averaged 20.0 ppg, over two points higher than his career ppg. He finished with 32.9 mpg, up considerably from the 29.3 he averaged in November and nearly a minute more than what he averaged last season. He shot 44.4 percent from the field which was a significant increase from his November marks and also was an increase over his career shooting percentage of 38.9. He shot a blistering 46.8 percent from three point range. He added 3.14 apg while committing 2.57 topg and had 1.43 spg as well.

Last year Foster led the country in threes made, threes attempted and threes per game. He also led the league in scoring. 

At Gonzaga

Santa Clara fell 82-60 at No. 25 Gonzaga on Jan. 7 with Raymond Cowels III leading the charge with 13 points.  Kevin Foster scored just nine points with no threes at Gonzaga which is pretty amazing considering his Santa Clara career. It was the first time he went without double figures since Jan. 27, 2011 at Pepperdine when he scored eight. It was the first time without a three since Feb. 5, 2011 at USF.  

At Portland

Niyi Harrison tied a career-high with 19 points off the bench at Portland on Jan. 7.  He was 7 of 8 from the free throw line, tying a career-high with free throws made.

Brandon Clark came off the bench to dump in a career-high 16 points in Portland.  He was 5 of 8 from the field (both career highs) and 5 of 6 from the free throw line (both career highs).  He also tied his career high with five assists vs. the Pilots and played one less minute than his career high vs. Wagner on Dec. 30, 2011.

45th Annual Cable Car Classic

In its final non-conference game on Dec. 30, Santa Clara dropped a heartbreaker in the 45th Cable Car Classic title game, 64-62 to Wagner, thanks to an improbable acrobatic shot at the buzzer after coming back from 15 down in the final five minutes. Kevin Foster led all scorers with 20 points and Evan Roquemore added 17, including 14 in the second half.  Niyi Harrison scored 10 and added nine boards while Raymond Cowels III grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.

In the Broncos 75-55 victory over Eastern Michigan the day before, Foster led the Broncos with 25 points (6 of 10 from three point range). Harrison added a double-double, his third of his career, with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the Broncos. Harrison finished seven of nine from the free throw line. Brandon Clark, Yannick Atanga and Roquemore each added seven points while Roquemore dished out nine assists.

Adding It Up

Last season Kevin Foster tore through the WCC and Santa Clara record books with 140 threes made on 380 threes attempted.  His 3.68 threes per game led the nation and the 140 threes was good enough for No. 9 all-time in NCAA history.

This season he has hit 55 three-pointers and broke the career three-pointers made record set by Steve Nash (263, 119 games, 1992-96) vs. Oklahoma on Nov. 25. As a junior, he is No. 3 on the West Coast Conference career threes made list with 302, passing Blake Stepp with 288 (2000-04) vs. Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29.  He needs 62 to break the WCC career record held by Jeff Fryer of LMU (363, 1987-90).

Foster's 302 threes made are also a Bay Area record and he hit the mark faster than Nash (took Foster 82 games to hit 263 threes and Nash set the record playing in 113 games).  Consider this: Foster averages 3.3 threes per game during his career and if he plays in 31 games both this season and next season (regular season plus one WCC tournament game), he could challenge the NCAA record set by J.J. Redick of Duke (457 in 139 games).

Foster is climbing up the Bronco career scoring list as well. At No. 7 with 1,647 points, he needs 102 to catch school record holder Kurt Rambis (1,736, 1976-80, No. 21 on the WCC list).  If he stays on pace with 17.3 ppg this season, Foster would break the school record at Pepperdine on Jan. 26 in the first  half.  The WCC record is 2,490 by Hank Gathers (1987-90) when he averaged 28.0 ppg over his three year career with the Lions.  Foster would need to average 17.9 ppg if he played in all 31 games this season and next to catch the record.  Only six players have scored 2,000 points in West Coast Conference history.

Foster's met Rambis on a number of occasions.  His daughter Ali is a sophomore on the SCU volleyball team and Rambis had his jersey retired Foster's freshman year during the Cable Car Classic.  In Dallas last March for its CIT game at SMU, the team and coaches stopped by the Timberwolves hotel, in town to play the Mavs that night, to say hello to former Bronco and then-NBA head coach Kurt Rambis.  Rambis greeted each player and staff member with a big handshake and a smile.  When Coach Keating introduced Rambis to Foster, Foster smiled when Coach Keating said he was chasing his points scored career mark and Rambis remarked with a smile, "I hope you get it." 

Charity and Dishes 

Evan Roquemore has shot 80.0 percent or better at the free throw line in 9 of 15 games (didn't go to free throw line at Gonzaga), including 8 of 8 vs. New Mexico, 8 of 9 vs. Villanova and 11 of 12 vs. San Diego. Against Wagner in the Cable Car Classic Championship Roquemore converted a clutch four-point play, sinking a three while being fouled and nailing the free throw. Roquemore also has at least 4 assists in 12 of 16 games including a career-high 11 assists vs. UOP and 10 vs. Oklahoma. 

After being selected to the 76 Classic Five-Man All-Tournament team and leading the WCC in points and assists per game and free throw percentage, Roquemore was named the WCC Player of the Week on Nov. 28.  Nationally he was also named the Lou Henson Award Co-Player of the Week and the Jesuit Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week. 

At the 76 Classic, the sophomore averaged 22.7 points and 8 assists per contest, shooting 52% from the floor.  His 24 total assists are a new 76 Classic tournament record. In addition to the assists, he shot 95.7 percent from the free throw line at the Classic, hitting 22 of 23. It is a first-time honor for the sophomore from Henderson, Nev.

Roquemore led the Broncos to victories over New Mexico and Villanova Thanksgiving weekend, and a third-place finish at the 76 Classic in Anaheim.  In the 79-76 overtime win over pre-tournament favorite New Mexico in the opener, Roquemore poured in 26 points.  Against Oklahoma, Roquemore posted a double-double with 27 points and 10 assists.  He poured in 15 points and dished out nine assists in the 65-64 comeback win over Villanova.  Santa Clara finished the final 2:56 minutes of the game on a 10-0 run to defeat the Wildcats with Roquemore hitting four clutch free throws with less than 10 seconds left to clinch the win over the Big East school.

Sophomore Big 

The team's starting center, John McArthur, has pulled down 6+ rebounds in 6 of 16 games including a career-best 12 boards at Houston Baptist. He has two career double-doubles this season (vs. San Jose State and at Houston Baptist). 

Niyi Harrison 

In the wake of Mark Trasolini's season-ending ACL tear, Niyi Harrison has stepped up and filled the frontcourt void admirably. The 6-9 junior has started every game with the exception of Portland while grabbing 8+ rebounds in 9 of 16 contests including a career-high 13 vs. Eastern Michigan. He has also made significant growth offensively, scoring in double figures nine times including a 19 points game vs. New Mexico and at Portland.

He leads the team with three double-doubles in his career (one freshman year and two this season).

RCIII

Raymond Cowels III has had success from deep with six games of 3+ threes including six vs. Villanova.  He has three+ threes in seven of 16 games this year. He has also shot 83.3 percent or better from the line in five games, proving to be a reliable free-throw shooter.

 

Home Sweet Home on ESPN Network

Santa Clara will play at least eight games televised on the ESPN network during the regular season, with five ESPN games during West Coast Conference play.  Its ESPN games in the WCC include: at BYU (ESPNU, Jan. 14), vs. Portland (Feb. 2, ESPNU), at USF (Feb. 9, ESPNU), vs. Gonzaga (Feb. 16, ESPN2) and vs. BYU (Feb. 18, ESPNU).

In addition to five league games on the ESPN network, Santa Clara was 2-1 on the ESPN network at the 76 Classic.  It defeated New Mexico and Villanova on ESPNU and fell to Oklahoma on ESPN2.

Dandy Duo Will Play Again Next Year As Seniors

While senior Marc Trasolini is sidelined for the season with a torn ACL, he will return for his red-shirt senior year in 2012-13.  Last season Trasolini and Kevin Foster combined for a number of firsts.  Foster was the first WCC sophomore ever and the 28th player in school history to score 1,000 career points on Jan. 20.  Trasolini was the 29th player to score 1,000 career points on Feb. 26. Foster is currently at No. 8 with 1613 career points and Trasolini is at No. 24 with 1,096 points. Foster and Trasolini were the first duo to both hit 1,000 career points in the same year since then-seniors Jens Gordon and Mitch Burley did it in 1988-89.  Gordon scored 522 points to finish his career with 1,356 and Burley scored 377 to finish with 1,258 career points.  

Last season the Foster (766) - Trasolini (472) duo combined for 1,238 points as the No. 1 SCU Single Season Scoring Duo. They were just the seventh pair to hit 1,000 points in a season.  Foster was in the top five already, scoring 486 points his freshman year with WCC Player of the Year John Bryant scoring 596 (No. 4 with 1,082 points). 

How 'Bout Them Apples?

Santa Clara was 24-14 in 2010-11, winning the CollegeInsider.com Tournament by winning its final three games on the road (at USF, at SMU, at Iona).  The 24 wins were second best in school history with the 1968-69 team winning 27 games.

Santa Clara scored a school record 2,810 points in 2010-11, setting eight school records all told. They made a school record 273 threes and attempted 777. The previous records were 224 in 2003-04 and 662 attempts in 2003-04. 

Santa Clara made a school record 719 free throws and attempted 990. The school records were 606 made in 1968-69 and 858 attempted in 1968-69.

The Broncos broke the school record with 275 steals. The school record was 232 in 2009-10.  Other school records included 2,112 field goal attempts (topped 1,974 in 1969-70) and 787 personal fouls (topped 695 from 1986-87).