Santa Clara (9-13, 1-4) returns home on Thurs., Jan. 28 to host No. 8/13 Gonzaga (16-3, 5-0). The game will be televised-nationally on ESPN2 with Terry Gannon and Steve Bardo making the call. Santa Clara will host Portland on Sat., Jan. 30 at 7 pm. The game with the Pilots is just one of three Bronco league games not televised this year. Portland enters Thursday's game at USF with a 12-7 record, including 3-2 in the league. Gonzaga is currently in first place, Portland is in third place behind Saint Mary's and Santa Clara sits in a three-way tie for sixth.
In its only action last week, Santa Clara won 66-65 at San Francisco on Jan. 23 behind Marc Trasolini's career-best 26 points. Trasolini was 10 of 14 from the field; and knocked down all five free throw attempts as well. It was Santa Clara's eighth win in nine tries vs. the Dons.
No. 8/13 Gonzaga, who has won eight straight games and was No. 10/15 last week, defeated Pepperdine 91-84 on Jan. 21 and LMU 85-69 on Jan. 23. Matt Bouldin was named the WCC POW after last week's performance when he scored a career-high 32 points vs. Pepperdine.
Santa Clara's last win over a team ranked in the top 25 came against a major heavy-weight. The Broncos defeated then-No. 4 North Carolina, 77-66, on Nov. 19, 2004 in the Oakland Coliseum as part of the Pete Newell Challenge. North Carolina won its fourth national title later that season with a 75-70 win in the championship game over Illinois and finished 33-4.
RED CROSS DONATIONS TO BE COLLECTED THIS WEEKEND
After the Santa Clara University women's basketball program, in conjunction with the University of San Francisco women's basketball team, collected $4,200 last Saturday for the Red Cross Haiti Relief Fun, Santa Clara will work again this weekend to raise money to help the victims of Haiti's devastating earthquake.
Donations will be accepted at the Leavey Center during the Gonzaga-Santa Clara men's basketball game Thurs., Jan. 28 and then also at the Portland game on Sat., Jan. 28. Checks can also be made out to Red Cross and mailed directly to the SCU Men's Basketball Office/Haiti Relief Effort: The Leavey Center, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA, 95053.
"We will have a few collection cans around the building including one at merchandise and one at the BBF table at the main entrance. Cash is preferred, but checks to American Red Cross work as well," said SCU senior associate athletics director Jon Clough.
All money collected will be donated to the American Red Cross and designated for the Haiti Relief and Development Fund.
The Gonzaga game will be broadcast via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Anthony Passarelli is in his third season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer.
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, hosted by Chetan Chaudhari. If you are out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online live at www.1220kdow.com.
Jesuit Basketball Spotlight
The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight pilot project is a nationwide effort to identify basketball games between Jesuit schools during the upcoming 2009-2010 season, and, through those games, bring greater positive awareness to Jesuit education and mission. SCU, USF, Gonzaga and LMU are all Jesuit schools and its athletic departments are all working with this project. This project was developed by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) in response to member institutions wanting to spread the word of Jesuit higher education through the more than 90 basketball games in which Jesuit institutions play each other (men and women) this season.
For more information, please see their website: http://www.ajcunet.edu/jesuitbasketball.
A little look in
Santa Clara has lost six straight vs. the Zags after snapping their 50-game home winning streak with a 84-73 victory on Feb. 12, 2007 behind Scott Dougherty's 23 points. It was the nation's longest home-winning streak.
Santa Clara has two active players averaging double figures: Marc Trasolini (14.2 ppg) and Robert Smith (12.0 ppg). Kevin Foster averaged 19.8 ppg in his first six games, but he is out indefinitely with a broken foot. In league play, Trasolini leads the team with 14.0 ppg, Smith has 13.2 ppg and Ray Cowels puts up 10.0 ppg. Smith has scored in double figures 14 of the last 17 games and Trasolini has hit double figures 17 times this season, including hitting 20+ in five games with two double-doubles.
Smith leads the team with 3.1 apg, including 3.4 apg in WCC play. He tied his career-high with six assists at LMU. Trasolini swats 1.7 bpg.
They are led on the boards by Trasolini, who averages 6.5 rpg, and Troy Payne, who pulls down 6.0 rpg. Payne has 7+ rebounds in 11 games, including nine at Pepperdine and vs. New Hampshire and Fresno State; and he posted a career-high 15 vs. Menlo.
Santa Clara's 273 offensive rebounds rank No. 34 in the country, according to shatsheet.com. Santa Clara has collected 13 more offensive rebounds than its opponents this year (273 to 260), but have pulled down nine fewer defensive rebounds (497 to 506).
The Broncos are in the top two of WCC overall statistics in offensive rebounds per game (12.4) and steals per game (7.0). They are No. 3 in the league in blocked shots (3.7).
Marc Trasolini is in the top 10 of six categories. He is No. 2 with 1.6 bpg; No. 6 with 2.4 orpg and shooting .530 from the field; No. 7 with 6.5 rpg; No. 9 with 14.2 ppg and No. 10 with 4.1 drpg. Troy Payne is No. 5 with 1.5 spg and No. 9 with 2.2 orpg. Robert Smith is No. 10, playing 31.7 mpg.
There are some interesting comparisons after Santa Clara's first 21 games last year and then this year. The following are a few of the positives for the Bronco men's basketball team:
* Increased Attendance from 16,271 (2009) to 22,908 (2010)
* Increased points per game from 64.1 (2009) to 65.9 (2010)
* Increased free throws made per game from 12.0 (2009) to 17.0 (2010)
* Increased free throw percentage form .683 (2009) to .696 (2010)
* Decreased turnovers per game from 16.3 (2009) to 15.6 (2010)
* Increased forced turnovers per game from 12.8 and 281 total (2009) to 14.9 (2010) and 328 total
* Increased steals per game from 5.8 (2009) to 7.0 (2010)
Green and Gold
Marc Trasolini had a career-night at San Francisco on Jan. 23 when he scored 26 points after going 10 of 15 from the field, hitting a three pointer and all five free throw attempts.
But Trasolini's success vs. the Dons shouldn't come as a surprise. Last season he was 11 of 12 in two games vs. USF. He also hit 7 of 10 free throw attempts and grabbed 12 rebounds. All told in three games vs. USF, Trasolini is averaging 17 ppg and is shooting almost 78 percent. He also averages 4.7 rpg and 1.7 bpg.
Robert Smith has hit 15 of his 18 free throws in WCC play (83 percent) after hitting 55 of 81 (67 percent) in non-conference play.
As of Jan. 25, Santa Clara is No. 13 in the country in free throws made and No. 10 nationally in free throws attempted, according to statsheet.com. Santa Clara is 375 of 539 from the line this season, knocking down almost 70 percent of its attempts. It is scoring almost 26 percent of its points from the free throw line this year. All told last season Santa Clara hit 434 of 613 free throws, making almost 71 percent of those, but free throws only accounted for 20 percent of the team's total points.
Santa Clara is on pace to hit 509 of 733 free throws with at least 10 games remaining. It would be the most since Santa Clara hit 514 of 714 attempts in 2004-05. To hit the top 10 single season chart, Santa Clara would need at least 538 made (1980-81) and 770 attempts (2000-01).
Marc Trasolini had a career-night at San Francisco on Jan. 23. He was 10 of 15 from the field, both career highs. His 26 points were also a career high. Trasolini has scored 20+ five times this season, including 22 vs. Harvard. He has scored 20+ six times in his two-year career. Trasolini's previous career-best was 24 points last year at New Hampshire on Jan. 4, 2009.
This season he hit a career-high three three's at both Houston Baptist and Rice. He is 11 of 33 from beyond the arc after not attempting a single three his freshman campaign. Earlier this season, Bronco head coach Kerry Keating said he would like to see Trasolini shoot 10 three pointers a game because he has that much confidence in his shooting ability.
In Trasolini's his first 17 games he scored no fewer than seven points (vs. SJSU). His 0-0 line from the free throw line vs. San Diego was the first time since the San Diego State game that he didn't hit the free throw line. Trasolini has hit 91 of 114 free throws this season, including hitting 36 of 41 free throws in the last eight games. He has had no attempts three times this year: at San Diego State, vs. USD and at LMU. On the season, he is hitting almost 80 percent at the line. Almost 29 percent of Trasolini's points this year come from the charity stripe. Last year 21 percent of his points came from free throws (43 of 64 made (67%); 201 points total scored). Trasolini is also working to follow in the footsteps of career blocks leader John Bryant. Trasolini tied his season-high with three blocks vs. Harvard and currently has 1.7 bpg. His 36 blocks are almost half of the team's total, as the Broncos have blocked 82 shots this season. Trasolini tied John Bryant's freshman record with 37 blocks last season so he is already on pace to top his freshman total with at least 10 games left. The school record for blocks in a season was set by Bryant last season when he collected 84 swats. Trasolini's two blocks at USF moved him up to No. 9 in the school's top 10 for a seasonl and he is now tied with Brendan Graves (1995-96). With his single block at Pepperdine, he moved past Kurt Rambis (1979-80) and Graves (1994-95).
3 in Bronco Freshman Records List
Kerry Keating and his freshmen have literally re-written the Bronco record books the last three years as Keating and his staff's recruiting efforts have more than paid off in building the Bronco base.
In Keating's first year then-freshman Ben Dowdell broke the freshman school record with 890 minutes played. He also finished in the top 10 of four other categories. Last season the Bronco freshmen broke or tied seven records. Kevin Foster shattered five on his own, including breaking Kurt Rambis' 32-year old record with 486 points scored. He also broke Steve Nash's single season record, set when Nash was a senior, with 85 three-pointers, which was also a freshman record. In addition, Marc Trasolini broke or tied three of his own, including the single season record for field goal percentage along with the freshman record, hitting 68.1 percent.
And this year it's much of the same as two players in the top 10 of a number of categories; and a third player is right on the cusp. Ray Cowels is in the all-time Bronco freshman records in four categories. Cowels' 33 three pointers made are No. 7 on the all-time list with at least 10 games to go. The school record was set by Kevin Foster when he hit 85. Cowels is in the top 10 of three-pointers made with 109 attempts and that puts him at No. 6. That record is also held by Foster, who attempted 232 shots beyond the arc last season. If the season ended today, Cowels would finish at No. 8 in free throw percentage, making 76.9 percent of his attempts this season (30-39).
Robert Smith is in the top 10 of six Bronco freshman categories. Smith is No. 10 in three pointers made with 22 and his tally is tied with Brody Angley (2004-05). Smith's 89 three point attempts are No. 7 on the list. Smith's 70 free throws made are No. 5 and he is No. 4 with 99 free throws att, His 68 assists are No. 7 on the list. His 249 field goal attempts are No. 8 on the Bronco list. If the season ended today, Smith's 12.0 ppg would be good enough for No. 6 all-time on the Bronco freshman list.
Niyi Harrison has 106 rebounds and needs eight more to jump into the top 10 for Bronco freshman.