Santa Clara (10-9, 3-3) hosts San Diego (10-8, 1-4) on Thurs., Jan. 16 at 7 pm and then BYU on Sat., Jan. 18 at 7 pm. The San Diego game will be featured on SantaClaraBroncos.com as part of the Bronco Radio Network. Anthony Passarelli is in his seventh season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. The BYU game will be shown as the Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and also be shown live on TheW.tv.
The two teams will be playing on Thursday for the 75th time with SCU holding a 41-33 lead all-time. The Broncos swept the Toreros last season for the 10th time since USD joined the league in 1979-80. Last year SCU won the first meeting, 64-50, in San Diego on Jan. 26 and then won 61-52 on Valentine's Day at home. It will be the 39th game played between the schools in Santa Clara with SCU holding a 23-15 series lead. USD has won five of the last eight games at Leavey. Evan Roquemore has made 27 of 30 free throws (.900) in six career games against USD. Denzel Johnson scored 20 points at USD (2/4/12), his second-highest career point total.
On Jan. 9, SCU came from 13 down late in the first half to win 57-55 at Saint Mary's for the first time since their 63-57 victory on Feb. 3, 2007. In its next outing on Jan. 11, the Broncos saw Pacific win its first WCC game with an 80-68 victory. Brandon Clark led the Broncos with 20 points and Roquemore finished with 19.
Clark has scored 20+ 10 times this season. Prior to this year, Clark hadn't scored 20+ points in a college or high school game since he scored 29 in an AAU game in eighth grade. Clark has scored almost one-fourth of his points at the free throw line this year, hitting 83.7 percent (82 of 98).
MOST 20+ PT GAMES, SEASON
1.) 20 Kevin Foster ('12-'13)
2.) 16 Kevin Foster ('10-'11)
3.) 13 John Bryant ('08-'09)
13 John Bryant ('07-'08)
13 Travis Niesen ('05-'06)
6.) 11 Marc Trasolini ('12-'13)
11 Kevin Foster ('08-'09)
8.) 10 Brandon Clark ('13-'14)
10 Doron Perkins ('04-'05)
Jared Brownridge has led the Broncos in scoring eight times this year and has scored double-digits in 14 games. All-time leading scorer Kevin Foster scored 20+ points 11 times his freshman season and Brownridge has done it eight times already this year - second-best for a freshman since 1990-91.
Starting with Santa Clara, USD will play the next four WCC games on the road. They will start the season with seven of the first nine WCC games on the road and then finish the season with seven of its final nine games at home. Until they play at USF on Jan. 25, Santa Clara's league schedule alternates two on the road, two at home for the first four weeks (away two, home two, away two, home two). This season the Broncos never play more than two WCC games in a row on the road. It is the same at home with the exception of Feb. 15-22 when the Broncos host three straight WCC home games (USF, UOP, Saint Mary's).
The Broncos were 9-7 last season in league play, finishing fourth. With the five Bronco seniors graduating in June of 2013, they took with them a huge chuck: 13,455 minutes played, 6,188 points scored, 2,149 rebounds, 705 assists and 492 steals.
SCU's leading scorer, Brandon Clark, enters the San Diego game as the No. 2 scorer in WCC play with 20.7 ppg - second only behind BYU's Tyler Haws (22.8). He is No. 3 in the WCC in overall games (17.4). Clark has scored 20+ points in five of six WCC games this year. Clark scored a WCC career-high with 26 points vs. LMU on Jan. 4 (career high is 32 vs. North Dakota State on Nov. 29). Half of Clark's points vs. the Lions came at the free throw line, as the East Chicago, Ind. native went 13 of 14 from the free throw line. Clark's 13 free throws made are matched only by Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos' 13 made vs. Dayton on Nov. 25, 2013 as the top two WCC performances this year. Santa Clara's top three most-recent performances at the free throw line have all come vs. LMU. Kevin Foster was 13 of 13 at LMU on Jan. 29, 2011 in SCU's 79-72 victory. Marc Trasolini was 17 of 20 from the charity stripe on Feb. 24, 2011 in SCU's 94-88 double overtime victory vs. LMU.
Three Broncos average double figures: Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge and Evan Roquemore. Clark leads the team with 17.4 ppg and is second on the team with 3.63 apg. Prior to this season he hadn't scored 20 points in a single game and hadn't scored 20+ points since he scored 29 points in an AAU game in eighth grade. This season he has scored 20+ 10 times, including a career-high 32 points vs. North Dakota State on Nov. 29. Scoring 30 points vs. Sacred Heart on Dec. 18, he is the 13th Bronco in school history to have multiple 30+ point games in a single season. During a four-game span this season (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 82 of 98 free throws (83.7 percent). On Jan. 2 he didn't shoot a single free throw in the Pepperdine game for just the third time this season (vs. Bethesda and at CSU Bakersfield), but bounced back to hit a career-best 13 of 14 vs. LMU on Jan. 4.
Brownridge is second with 15.8 ppg as the top scoring freshman in the West Coast Conference. He has scored 20+ eight times this season already, including three times in WCC play. Brownridge leads the Broncos in threes made (54) and attempted (119), and is shooting 45.4 percent beyond the arc. He is averaging a team-leading 2.8 threes per game, which is No. 2 in the WCC behind GU's Kevin Pangos (3.0).
Roquemore scores 11.8 ppg and leads the team with 3.6 apg. Already the school record holder for a single season with assists (2012-13), he now owns the career school record for assists with 551. His 20 points and five three pointers were a season-high at Portland on Dec. 30.
Jerry Brown, a graduate transfer from Fresno State, leads the team with 6.2 rpg and is fourth with 8.0 ppg. He scored the Broncos lone double-double this year vs. SJSU (16 pts., 10 reb., Nov. 12, 2013). 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 year and started 12 straight contests until he came off the bench the past three games. He has scored 682 career points with 470 rebounds, including 143 points and 112 rebounds with the Broncos.
Santa Clara is 12th in the country with 148 three-pointers made and is No. 2 in the league with 7.8 threes per game. The Broncos are No. 17 nationally in three point attempts (386). After LMU (0-9) and Saint Mary's (4-16) went a combined 4 of 25 beyond the arc, the Broncos lead the league in three-point defense at 30.1 percent. It was just the third time in school history LMU hadn't scored a three-pointer. The Broncos are No. 17 nationally in turnovers and No. 1 in the league in turnover margin in overall games (+2.1).
Brandon Clark is the second-leading scorer in WCC play with 20.7 ppg and he is No. 20 nationally with 330 points scored this year. Jared Brownridge is close behind him at No. 4 with 18.2 ppg in league play. Brownridge is No. 13 nationally with 54 threes made and he is second in WCC play with 2.8 threes, sitting only behind Drew Barham (3.2). His 45.4 percentage beyond the arc puts him at 19th-best in the country. Clark is No. 2 in league play with 36.3 mpg and Brownridge is No. 4 with 35.0 mpg. Clark is the No. 3 scorer in all games and Brownridge is No. 7 - the top freshman.
Jared Brownridge has already hit 54 threes this season, which is five more than Steve Nash hit his entire rookie season (49). His 54 threes are second-most by a freshman in D-I this season. The 54 threes made put him at No. 4 on the Bronco freshman list. He needs four threes to pass Evan Roquemore at No. 3 (57, 2010-11) and six to pass No. 2 James Rahon (59, 2008-09). The freshman school record was set by Kevin Foster in 2008-09 when he crushed 85.
If the season finished today, Brownridge would break the freshman school record for points per game and three point field goal percentage. Those records belong to Kurt Rambis and Nash. Brownridge is averaging 15.8 ppg and Rambis averaged 15.3 (1973-77). He is scoring 45.4 percent of his threes and Nash averaged 40.8 percent (1992-93).
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. The seven threes by Brownridge broke the Bronco freshman record set by 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) later matched it. It is the most threes hit by a Bronco since WCC record holder Foster scored nine vs. Air Force on March 18, 2011.
Passing the Ball
Evan Roquemore enters the USD game with 551 career assists, a Bronco school record, and that total is No. 10 all-time on the WCC list. He needs four 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 1,500+ 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 121 of 122 career games. He was credited with no assists in SCU's 64-53 loss at Cal Poly on Dec. 7. 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). Jones only had one game his final three years without an assist (USF, 2000). Nash had 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.
Roquemore has a chance to break four more Bronco career records this year. Entering the USD game, he is tied for No. 2 in free throws made (450) and No. 2 in minutes played (3,904). He started his 100th career game vs. USF and played in his 122nd game at Pacific (T-8). 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 450 career free throws made, Roquemore needs to make 21 to break the school record set by Ken Sears (470, 1951-55). He is tied with all-time leading scorer Kevin Foster, who is No. 2 all-time (450, 2008-13).
The team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, Roquemore missed the first four games with a back injury. Roquemore sits at No. 12 with 1,504 career points. He needs 68 points to pass No. 11 Kyle Bailey (1,571, 2001-05) and with 83 points he will pass No. 10 Ken Sears (1,586 points, 1951-55). Last year's Bronco team was the first team in WCC history to feature four 1,000 point career scorers. Along with Roquemore, the team had Foster (No. 1, 2,423 points), Trasolini (No. 5, 1,699 points) and Cowels III (No. 26, 1,090 points). Brandon Clark will most likely be the next Bronco to reach 1,000 career points as he has 815. He would be the 31st Bronco with 1,000 plus points in his career and the seventh 1,000 point scorer under head coach Kerry Keating.