By Connor Witt '13
Rising senior Kyle Perricone (KP) is a guard for the men's basketball team entering his final season with high expectations for himself and the team. The three-year walk-on has appeared in 13 games for the Broncos and was a member of the 2010-2011 CIT championship team. Perricone recently took the time to speak with www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) about his role as a walk-on and his goals for the upcoming season.
SCB - Both of your parents as well as your two older sisters attended SCU, did you always have your heart set on coming to SCU or did you explore playing basketball at other school?
KP - I did explore playing basketball elsewhere just to keep my options open, but I think I knew deep down that SCU was the place for me. My entire immediate family attended SCU, as well as many relatives, so I felt very familiar and comfortable with SCU from a young age.
SCB - How have you been able to balance playing a Division I sport with your studies in bioengineering?
KP - By not sleeping! At least sometimes that's how it feels. In all reality though, managing school and basketball has not been as difficult as you might expect. I realized quickly as a freshman that I had to really manage my time well, and over the years I've gotten very good at that. Also, I've learned to communicate extremely well with professors and coaches. Sometimes flexibility is required on both sides, but I've found that if I communicate early enough, both sides are usually willing to accommodate my busy schedule.
SCB - As a walk-on, do you feel that there are a certain set of expectations for you in particular?
KP - Absolutely. Being a walk-on really is not as easy as some might expect. You're basically expected to put in the same number of hours as the scholarship players (sometimes more with scout team), without the reward of playing in games, and that can be tough at times. Overall though, it has to come down to loving basketball. I couldn't imagine not being on the team.
SCB - How have you seen your leadership role on the team change since joining the team as a freshman?
KP - As a freshman walk-on, I was extremely unsure about my role on the team. There are times where you don't participate in practice, or in workouts, and it can be difficult to figure out how best to help out. Luckily I had great examples to look up to in Nate Mensah and Phil Bach, who were junior and sophomore walk-ons when I showed up. They helped me figure out that early on my role was just to work as hard as I possibly could whenever I got a chance to play. Over the years I've worked to become much more of a vocal leader. Since I've had three years to learn the system, I have a lot that I can share with the younger guys to make them better.
SCB - What are your individual and team goals for the upcoming season?
KP - Individually, I'm still working on becoming much more vocal. And as far as team goals, we have one: winning every single game that we play. If we focus on that, winning the WCC, and advancing to the national tournament will take care of themselves.