WCC's Top Two Scorer's Meet Up When SCU Hosts BYU Saturday
Santa Clara (10-10, 3-4) hosts BYU (12-7, 4-2) on Sat., Jan. 18 at 7 pm. The BYU game will be shown as the Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and also be shown live on TheW.tv with Glen Kuiper and Dan Belluomini making the call. The game will also be broadcast live on KLIV 1590 AM and SantaClaraBroncos.com as part of the Bronco Radio Network. Anthony Passarelli is in his seventh season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer.
Santa Clara is 5-19 vs. BYU all-time and has lost eight straight games to the Cougars. The Broncos' last series win came on Dec. 2, 1972 when they defeated the No. 15 Cougars, 66-64, in Provo. BYU also owns a 7-2 record in games played in Santa Clara winning seven straight contests. The Broncos haven't beaten BYU on its home court in over 52 years. They posted wins on consecutive days in the first two meetings in Santa Clara, 64-53, on Dec. 8, 1961 and the next day with a 71-55 victory.
The Santa Clara - BYU game will feature the league's top two scorers. Tyler Haws is scoring 21.5 ppg in league play for BYU, while Brandon Clark enters the game with 20.7 ppg. Haws leads the WCC in overall play with 22.6 ppg and Clark is No. 3 with 17.6 ppg. Clark has scored 20+ points in six of seven WCC games this year. Prior to this year, Clark hadn't scored 20+ points in a game since eighth grade AAU when he scored 29.
Haws is fifth at BYU with 40 career 20 point games and is tied for seventh with seven career 30-point games. He has scored in double figures in all 17 games played this season. He scored 15 points in BYU's 83-75 win at USF on Jan. 16.
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.
The Broncos are coming off a 69-66 loss to San Diego at home on Jan. 16. Brandon Clark scored 21 points. It was his 11th time scoring 20+ 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 84.3 percent (86 of 102). He is No. 20 nationally in total points scored this season with 351.
Jared Brownridge is No. 15 nationally in three-point field goal percentage (45.6) and that makes him No. 2 among freshmen nationally. His 2.9 threes per game are good enough for fourth-best among freshmen across the country. He has led the Broncos in scoring eight times this year and has scored double-digits in 15 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.
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.
Three Broncos average double figures: Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge and Evan Roquemore. Clark leads the team with 17.6 ppg and 3.55 apg. This season he has scored 20+ 11 times, including a career-high 32 points vs. North Dakota State on Nov. 29; and he has scored 20+ in six of seven WCC games this season. 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.
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 Brandon Clark ('13-'14)
11 Marc Trasolini ('12-'13)
11 Kevin Foster ('08-'09)
9. 10 Doron Perkins ('04-'05)
Brownridge is second with 16.0 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; and just barely missed 20 vs. USD on Jan. 16 (19 points). Brownridge leads the Broncos in threes made (57) and attempted (125), and he is shooting 45.6 percent beyond the arc. He is averaging a team-leading 2.9 threes per game which is right up there with GU's Kevin Pangos (2.9).
Roquemore is third with 11.6 ppg and is second on the team with 3.53 apg. Already the school record holder for a single season with assists (2012-13), he now owns the career school record for assists with 553. 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 6.1 rpg and is fourth with 8.2 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 four games. He has scored 693 career points with 474 rebounds, including 154 points and 116 rebounds with the Broncos.
Jared Brownridge has already hit 57 threes this season, which is eight more than Steve Nash hit his entire rookie season (49). The 57 threes tie him at No. 3 with Evan Roquemore (2010-11) on the freshman records list. He needs three more 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 16.0 ppg and Rambis averaged 15.3 (1973-77). He is scoring 45.6 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.
Jared Brownridge has started all 20 games this season and he has scored 18+ points in 10 games thus far, including 12 games with 3+ threes made and 15 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 the final non-conference game vs. South Florida on Dec. 23, 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. He also scored eight straight Bronco points late in the second half of the Portland win on Dec. 30 to help seal the victory and scored the game-winning three with 1.2 seconds left on the clock at Saint Mary's on Jan. 9.
In his first three collegiate basketball games, Brownridge was in elite company at SCU. Only three players since the 1999-2000 season have scored more points in the first three games of the season and Brownridge is the only first-year player among them. In his junior year John Bryant collected 75 points in three games at the outset of the 2007-08 season and Travis Niesen tallied 68 points during the first three games of his 2005-06 senior campaign. Foster went for 65 in the first three games last season. Foster also scored 62 points in 2009 but it took him four team games after he missed the third contest of the season.
Passing the Ball
Evan Roquemore enters the BYU game with 553 career assists, a Bronco school record, and that total is No. 10 all-time on the WCC list. He needs three 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 year 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 collected an assist in 122 of 123 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 BYU game, he is No. 2 in free throws made (454) and No. 2 in minutes played (3,940). He started his 100th career game vs. USF and played in his 123rd game vs. San Diego (No. 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 454 career free throws made, Roquemore needs to make 17 to break the school record set by Ken Sears (470, 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. 12 with 1,514 career points. He needs 58 points to pass No. 11 Kyle Bailey (1,571, 2001-05) and with 73 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 836. 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.
Yannick Atanga is No. 6 with 82 career blocks. He needs 12 blocks to pass No. 5 Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80). Atanga has 20 blocks this year to lead the team, including at least a single block in 15 of 20 games.
After leading the league in rebounds last year, Atanga is No. 2 on the team in rebounds this year with 4.9 rpg and has collected 10+ boards in 11 career games. A native of Yaounde, Cameroon, Atanga 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.
Robert Garrett is No. 7 all-time with 73 career blocks as he has 12 blocks this season. He passed Brendan Groves (70, 1994-96) when he scored three blocks vs. Pepperdine. Jerry Brown is second on the team with 16 blocks and Nate Kratch is No. 4 with 13.