January 24, 2009

Santa Clara hosts first-time meeting with Houston Baptist on Sunday at 2 pm

Jan. 24, 2009

Santa Clara hosts Houston Baptist on Sun., Jan. 25 at 2 pm. It will be the first-ever meeting with Huskies and the last non-conference game on the Broncos schedule this year. Santa Clara will then jump back into WCC play when it hosts LMU on Thurs., Jan. 29 at 7 pm and then Pepperdine at 7 pm on Sat., Jan. 31.

The Broncos are 8-13 and 1-4 in the WCC. Santa Clara put a six-game losing streak on the shelve on Friday night in defeating San Francisco 70-54. It was their seventh straight win over the Dons. The Broncos were led by James Rahon's career-high 21 points and career-high five assists. Kevin Foster had a career-high seven assists and John Bryant pulled down his 14th double-double of the year, scoring 18 points and adding 12 rebounds.

Huskies

Houston Baptist is 2-17 this season and 0-10 away from home. They are the most-experienced team SCU will play this year. In its last time out the Huskies lost 91-53 at Green Bay. USF is led by Ron Cottrell, 1988 graduate of Arkansas who is in his 18th year at the school. He has a career record of 376-200 and was the 2003 Basketball Times NAIA Coach of the Year.

Senior forward Gordon Watt averages 18.2 points per game and he leads the team with 8.6 rpg. He has been the team's top scorer 12 times and has led the way on the boards on 14 occasions. Watt has had just two games this season when he did not reach double-digits in scoring.

The Huskies are in the midst of a transition from NAIA Division I to NCAA Division I, playing a full D-I schedule this season. Last season, the first year of transition, HBU posted a record of 13-15. On July 10, HBU joined six other independent institutions in joining the Great West Conference. The Huskies will begin playing full conference schedule and competing for GWC championships in 2009-10.

The Huskies competed at the NCAA Division I level from 1973-1989 and compiled a record of 204-239. In 1984, HBU won the Trans-Atlantic Athletic Conference championship and made its only appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Listen up

The SCU-Houston Baptist game will be broadcast at 2 pm via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. The pregame show will begin at 1:30 pm. Anthony Passarelli is in his second season as the Santa Clara men's basketball play-by-play announcer after six seasons of handling those duties for SCU women's basketball.

In addition, head coach Kerry Keating can be heard on KDOW 1220 AM on Sunday evenings from 8:30 - 9 pm in his radio spotlight on The Sports Ramble. The Sports Ramble, hosted by Chetan Chaudhari, runs on KDOW 1220 AM from 8 - 10 pm on Sunday evenings. If you are out of the listening area Bronco fans, KDOW is streamed online live at www.1220kdow.com so go to their website and listen live!

Lots of Accounting

Santa Clara's opponent on Sunday, Houston Baptist, is the most experienced team in the NCAA according to statsheet.com with an averaged age per minute of 3.72 (1 is a freshman, 4 is a senior).

With the Broncos starting three freshmen the last few games it appears they are one of the younger teams nationally this season. True. According to Robbie Allen of STATSHEET.COM on Jan. 21, the Broncos have the 38th youngest team in the NCAA this year of the 342 Division I teams, which means 89% of the Division I teams have a more experienced roster than the Broncos. But, SCU isn't even the youngest team in the WCC this year. Santa Clara has an average age per minute of 2.15 years while LMU is No. 2 at 2.07 (No. 24 nationally) and Pepperdine is the WCC's youngest at 1.78 (No. 8 nationally).

On the flip side, also according to Allen's figures, the three oldest team's in the WCC: Saint Mary's with an average age per minute of 3.09 is No. 1, Gonzaga is No. 2 at 3.07 and San Diego is No. 3 at 2.73. Nationally, of the team's ranked by most experience, Saint Mary's is No. 40 (top 88%) and Gonzaga is No. 47 (top 86%).

Leaders

Bronco senior John Bryant is averaging a double-double this year and leads the team in points (17.1), rebounds (12.5), blocks (2.5) and shooting percentage (58.6%). He is ranked the No. 9 center nationally by Rivals.com and has collected 20+ points six times and has had 20+ rebounds in three games this season. He scored a season-high 33 points vs. UTEP and collected a career-high 22 rebounds vs. Stanford and at Portland. The 22 rebounds by Bryant vs. Stanford tied a Leavey Center record Kurt Rambis held for 31 years when he grabbed that same number vs. Saint Mary's on Feb. 5, 1977.

Two freshmen continue to hover around double-figures: Kevin Foster is averaging 13.0 ppg and James Rahon puts in 10.1 ppg starting the last fou games. Foster is the team's leading free-throw shooter at 80% and Rahon is the top three-point shooter at almost 40%.

Santa Clara hit a season-high 89 points vs. UTEP and it is shooting better than 45% from the field. The Broncos are out-rebounding their opponents by 3.8 rpg, but turning the ball over 3.7 more times than their opponents. In fact, in the latest NCAA stats (Jan. 21), Santa Clara is ranked No. 318 in the nation in turnover margin at -3-5.

Santa Clara had just 10 turnovers vs. Sacramento State, vs. Notre Dame de Namur and at Pacific, its lowest totals since the Broncos turned the ball over nine times vs. Saint Mary's on March 4, 2007.

Bryant has 14 double-doubles this season (vs. CSU East Bay, vs. UAB, at Georgia, at Montana, at San Jose State, vs. Sacramento State, at UNLV, vs. Stanford, vs. UTEP, at Harvard, vs. San Diego, at Gonzaga, at Portland and vs. USF). Bryant has 37 double-doubles in his career. He notched 15 double-doubles last season, five double-doubles in 2006-07 and had four double-doubles as a freshman during the 2005-06 season.

Moving UP!

John Bryant is working to become the first Bronco since Kurt Rambis to collect 1,000+ rebounds and just the third in school history. Dennis Awtrey holds the school record with 1,135 rebounds (1967-70) and Rambis is second with 1,037 rebounds (1976-80).

He is the only Bronco to ever score 1400 points, collect more than 900 rebounds and block more than 200 shots in his career.

Bryant is in a number of career top 10 lists. See below.

Blocks: No. 1 (214)

Rebounds: No. 3 (948)

Field Goal Percentage: No. 4 (57.2%)

Field Goals Made: No. 5 (575)

Games Started: Tied-No. 8 (94)

Personal Fouls: No. 8 (306)

Points Scored: No. 11 (1,430)

He is also on a single season record list as well:

Blocks: No. 4 (52)

All three: 20+ some

20+ is a popular number of points to score with the freshmen crew this year. Kevin Foster hit a career-best 24 vs. Belmont on Dec. 29, scoring on 8 of 17 shots (3 of 11 from three point land), collecting on 5 of 5 at the free throw line.

Foster turned it up a notch at Saint Mary's and scored 31 points, a career best. The last Bronco freshman to score at least 25 points: senior Calvin Johnson scored 25 vs. Cal Poly on Dec. 10, 2005 during his freshman campaign. He hit 9 of 14 shots in that game, including six three-pointers. Foster has scored 20+ points five times this season.

Marc Trasolini scored a career-best 24 points at New Hampshire, knocking down 7 of 8 shots and hitting a career-best 10 of 12 from the charity stripe. It was Trasolini's first double-double of the year.

On Jan.23, James Rahon topped the 20 mark for the first time in his career when he scored 21 points in the win over USF. Rahon hit 7 of 14 shots, including 4 of 7 from the three point line and 3 of 4 from the free throw line. He added a career-high five assists for good measure.