Men's Basketball Travels To Northwest To Open WCC Play on Saturday On ESPNU
Finishing off non-conference play with a 3-1 record as part of the 13th annual Continental Tires Las Vegas Classic, Santa Clara travels to Spokane to play at No. 24 Gonzaga in a 5 pm nationally-televised ESPNU game on Sat., Dec. 28. The Broncos will then play at Portland on Mon., Dec. 30 at 3 pm on W.TV. It is the earliest the Broncos have ever opened conference play.
Santa Clara is 7-6 this season, including 1-3 on the road. SCU's 3-1 record the last four games, as part of the Las Vegas Classic, included a 75-62 victory vs. Radford, a 70-61 win over Sacred Heart, a 92-71 loss vs. UNLV and a 66-65 victory vs. South Florida. Jared Brownridge scored the Broncos final five points of the game, including a pair of free throws with 10.8 seconds left to help secure the victory vs. South Florida on Dec. 23.
Robert Garrett is listed as probable and has only played one minutes since he suffered an ankle injury during the La Sierra game on Dec. 14.
Gonzaga is 10-2 this season, including 6-0 at home. Last year's No. 1 team in the country entering the NCAA Tournament, the Zags are ranked No. 24 after a 72-62 loss vs. Kansas State on Dec. 21. The Zags have won six straight vs. Santa Clara at The Kennel and have outscored the Broncos by an average of 87.2 to 56.0 during that stretch. Santa Clara's last win in Spokane was an 84-73 decision on Feb. 12, 2007.
Portland is 8-4 entering its WCC home opener vs. San Francisco.
ESPNU, KLIV 1590 AM
The Gonzaga-Santa Clara game will be televised nationally on ESPNU with Roxy Bernstein and Miles Simon making the call. It will also be broadcast live on KLIV 1590 AM in the Bay Area. Anthony Passarelli is in his seventh season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer.
The Broncos have three players averaging double figures: Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge and Evan Roquemore. Clark leads the team with 15.8 ppg, which is No. 9 in the WCC. He is second on the team with 3.62 apg. During a four-game span this season from Nov. 12 - 29, Clark scored 21+ points in each game; and he was the fourth Bronco player since 2007-08 to accomplish this feat. Leading the team at the free throw line, he has helped his scoring average by making 54 of 64 free throws (84.4 percent).
Brownridge is second with 14.7 ppg as the top-scoring freshman in the West Coast Conference. Brownridge, who averages a team-leading 31.7 mpg, leads the Broncos in threes made (37) and attempted (83). He is averaging 2.8 threes per game, which is No. 2 in the WCC and he broke Steve Nash's freshman school record vs. La Sierra when he knocked down seven threes. He is already No. 10 on the Bronco freshman list with 37 makes. The school record was set by Kevin Foster in 2008-09 when he crushed 85.
Evan Roquemore scores 11.3 ppg and leads the team with 3.9 apg. Already the school record holder for a single season with assists (2012-13), he now owns the career school record for assists with 532.
Jerry Brown, a graduate transfer from Fresno State, leads the team with 6.8 rpg and is fourth with 9.3 ppg. Brown is working on a Master's in Communication as he redshirted his sophomore year at Fresno. He came off the bench the first four games this season and has started the last nine contests. He has scored 660 career points with 447 rebounds, including 121 points and 88 rebounds with the Broncos during the first 13 games.
2013: In a Nutshell
After spending a hard week during finals, Santa Clara got the rust off its game on Dec. 14 with a 97-61 over La Sierra and then defeated Radford 74-62 on Dec. 16. Santa Clara won its third game in five days on Dec. 18 with a 70-61 victory over Sacred Heart. The Broncos went 1-1 in Las Vegas with a 92-71 loss to UNLV on Dec. 21 and then finished up its final non-conference slate with a 66-65 win over South Florida on Dec. 22.
Before the Bronco's 60-42 win at Bakersfield on Dec. 5 and their 64-53 loss at Cal Poly on Dec. 7, Santa Clara lost 91-85 in the 47th annual Cable Car Classic to North Dakota State, the eventual champion, on Nov. 29. The next night, Santa Clara's comeback story wasn't finished successfully vs. Rice. Taking the lead with 6.7 second left, after being down by as many as 12 in the second half, Santa Clara couldn't stop a slashing Keith Washington from driving to the basket for a bucket and lost 67-66. Brandon Clark was named to the Cable Car Classic All-Tournament team after scoring 47 points in two games. The Broncos started the year by defeating Bethesda on Nov. 8, 84-39, and then defeated cross-town rival San Jose State, 89-77, on Nov. 12. They dropped an 86-73 game at Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17 and fell 84-69 at Notre Dame on Nov. 22.
Looking Over A Legend's Shoulder
Evan Roquemore enters the Gonzaga game with 532 career assists, a Bronco school record, and that total is No. 10 all-time on the WCC list. He needs 23 assists to pass former Zag John Stockton at No. 9 on the WCC list (554, 1980-84). Roquemore broke the Bronco career assists record vs. Radford on Dec. 16 with a dandy dish to Jared Brownridge in the first half, topping Brian Jones (517, 1996-2001). Last season Roquemore set the single season assists record with 196, topping John Woolery (190, 1993-94).
Roquemore is just the third player in school history to score 1,400+ points and collect 500+ assists. The other two were Brian Jones (1,722 points, 517 assists, 1996-01) and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash (1,689 points, 510 assists, 1992-96). Nash was named the WCC Player of the Year in 1995 and '96 and Jones was a three-time All-WCC First Team honoree.
Roquemore has scored an assist in 115 of 116 career games. Looking back, Jones missed an assist in just three games (Dec. 21, 1996 at Pacific, Jan. 22, 1997 at USF; and March 4, 2000 vs. USF). He only had one game his final three years without an assist (USF, 2000). Nash collected eight games his freshman year with no assists, but the final three years of his career he had at least one assist in every game he played in during his Bronco career.
Averaging 59.3 percent from the free throw line during a four-game stretch (Nov. 30 - Dec. 14), including a season-low 54.9 percent at CSU Bakersfield, the Broncos have improved considerably at the line since. They are averaging 80.1 percent from the line the last four games, including a season-best 85.0 percent in the South Florida win on Dec. 23 (17 of 20). In their one-point win over South Florida, the Broncos were helped by USF's own poor shooting from the line. The Bulls shot 55.1 percent from the field (27 of 49), but just 37.5 percent from the free throw line (9 of 24). Jalen Richard made a career high seven of eight vs. USF, grabbing a career-high seven rebounds as well.
Of those with at least 30 attempts, Jerry Brown is Santa Clara's top field goal shooter at 57.5 percent. Right behind him is point guard Jalen Richard, who shoots at a 56.3 percent clip. Julian Clarke, Jared Brownridge and Brandon Clark are proving to be Santa Clara's best options from the three point line. Clarke is 8 of 17 (47.0 percent), Brownridge is 37 of 83 (44.6 percent) and Clark has hit 24 of 62 (38.7 percent).
More To Come
Already the school record holder in both career and single season assists, Evan Roquemore has a chance to break four more Bronco career records this year. Entering the Gonzaga game, he is No. 3 in free throws made and No. 4 in minutes played. He started his 100th career game vs. South Florida and is on pace to break that record and also the games played record (116). The games started career record was set last year by Kevin Foster (125) along with the minutes played record (4,212). The games played record was broken last year by Raymond Cowels III and Marc Trasolini (137).
With 436 career free throws made, Roquemore needs to make 35 free throws to break the school record of 470 set by Ken Sears in 1951-55.
The team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, Roquemore missed the first four games with a back injury. Roquemore sits at No. 14 with 1,429 career points. He needs to score 158 points to pass No. 10 Ken Sears (1,586 points, 1951-55) and nine points to pass No. 13 Bud Odgen (1,437, 1966-69).
Last year's Bronco team was the first team in West Coast Conference history to feature four 1,000 point career scorers. Along with Roquemore, the team had seniors Kevin Foster (No. 1, 2,423 points), Marc Trasolini (No. 5, 1,699 points) and Raymond Cowels III (No. 26, 1,090 points).
Yannick Atanga is climbing up some records charts himself as he is No. 6 with 76 career blocks. He needs 18 blocks to pass No. 5 Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80). Robert Garrett is No. 8 with 68 career blocks. Atanga has 14 blocks this year to lead the team. Jerry Brown is second on the team with 12 blocks and Nate Kratch follows behind with 10, including four vs. Cal Poly.
After leading the league in rebounds last year, Atanga is No. 2 on the team in rebounds this year and has collected 10+ boards in 11 career games.
Atanga, a native of Yaounde, Cameroon, spent time playing this past summer with the Cameroon National Team in China as part of a four-nation tournament. Playing basketball since he was 12 years old and now sporting a 7'4 wing span, Atanga dreams one day of working for the United Nations as a peacekeeper in Africa.
Jared Brownridge has started all 13 games this season and seems to be picking up were Kevin Foster left off last season at the two spot. Brownridge has scored 20+ points in five games in his 13-game college career thus far, including seven games with 3+ threes made and nine double figure games. Much of his scoring has been beyond the arc as Brownridge has collected 5+ threes three times. Foster accomplished this feat three times in his 33-game rookie season (5 vs. Arizona, Nov. 25, 2008; at Saint Mary's, Jan. 9, 2009; and at LMU, Feb. 14, 2009). All told, Foster scored seven threes twice, eight threes twice and nine threes once (the school record for a single game).
In its last game on Dec. 23 vs. South Florida, Santa Clara went on a 13-3 run as Brownridge hit a three with 53.8 seconds left to give SCU a one-point lead and then iced it with a pair of free throws with 10.8 ticks left to lead the Broncos to a 66-65 victory.
Brownridge collected seven three pointers on a night where he shot 8 of 15 from the field with a game-high seven assists in the win vs. La Sierra on Dec. 14 (7 of 14 from three). The seven threes by Brownridge broke the Bronco freshman record set by Steve Nash back in 1993 (6 vs. CS Stanislaus, 1-5-93). Brandon Rohe (6, vs. Mississippi State Valley, 12-27-02) and Calvin Johnson (6, vs. Cal Poly, 12-10-05). It is the most threes hit by a Bronco since WCC record holder Foster scored nine vs. Air Force on March 18, 2011.
J This, J That
The Broncos team this year features six players whose first name starts with a "J". The six are: John (McArthur), Julian (Clarke), Jerry (Brown), Jared (Brownridge), Jarvis (Pugh) and Jalen (Richard). The Broncos also have two Clarke/Clark's: Julian Clarke and Brandon Clark. They also have a Brown (Jerry) and a Brownridge (Jared). The Broncos roster showcases four players from California. They also have one player each from the following states: Minnesota, Texas, Indiana, Arizona, Colorado and Illinois. The Broncos also feature players from Canada (Julian Clarke), Cameroon (Yannick Atanga) and Nigeria (Emmanuel Ndumanya).
Two Weeks Better
John McArthur had been sidelined for almost two weeks and missed four games with an injury suffered in practice on Dec. 4. He bounced off the bench vs. Sacred Heart on Dec. 16 at 10:01 in the first half and immediately gave the Broncos the shot in the arm they needed. McArthur finished the game by tying a career-high with 12 rebounds (12 at Houston Baptist, Dec. 21, 2011). McArthur added seven points, three assists, a block and a steal. The three assists also tied a career-high (3, at Pepperdine, Jan. 28, 2012). He came off the bench vs. UNLV and then started the South Florida game, collecting nine points and four boards.