January 28, 2009

Santa Clara hosts LMU, Pepperdine this week

Jan. 28, 2009

After defeating Houston Baptist 85-59 on Sunday, Santa Clara jumps 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 9-13 and 1-4 in the WCC. The Broncos have won two in a row with their 70-54 win over San Francisco on Jan. 23 and then their 85-59 victory over Houston Baptist on Jan. 25. It was their seventh straight win over the Dons. John Bryant was named WCC Player of the Week after he averaged 19 points, 16.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks last week.

Against LMU, SCU had a nine-game winning streak in the series between 1999-02. The two split the season series last season with each winning in the other's gym and LMU swept the season series in 2006-07, winning two games by a total of four points.

Head Coach Bill Bayno, who had been serving a leave of absence since Nov. 24, officially resigned from the position, Athletics Director Dr. William Husak announced Jan. 12. Husak also announced that Max Good, who has been the acting head coach during Bayno's leave, has agreed to a multiple-year deal to be the head coach of the Lions. Good is 1-16 thus far and 242-240 in his 15th season as a head coach. The Lions are 1-20 and 0-5 in the WCC this season. LMU is 0-11 on the road this year. They are led by Vernon Teel (14.3 ppg), Kevin Young (7.0 rpg) and Jarred DuBois (2.9 apg).

Listen up

The SCU-LMU game will be broadcast at 7 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 6:30 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!

Like Numbers?

Ken Pomeroy of KenPom.com breaks down all kinds of numbers on his website. For example: Santa Clara is No. 20 in the country in block percentage at 14.2 per game.

Pomeroy breaks it down a lot further. Individually, John Bryant is ranked No. 1 nationally in defensive rebounding percentage (35.6%) and No. 4 in offensive rebounding percentage (17.5%). He tops the WCC in both.

Bryant is ranked No. 4 in the country in percentage of shots taken (36.8%) and is No. 1 in the WCC. Bryant is No. 1 in the WCC in block percentage (9.93%) and No. 26 nationally.

Want more on Bryant? KenPom.com also breaks down Offensive Ratings as well. It's a measure of personal offensive efficiency developed by Dean Oliver. Bryant is No. 15 nationally. Among WCC players, Bryant is No. 1 at 29.6 in at least 28% of possessions and at least 24% of possessions (113.3). He is No. 3 in the WCC in at least 20% of possessions. In all possessions, Bryant is No. 8.

Bryant Named WCC POW ... Again!

Named the WCC Player of the Week Jan. 26, John Bryant averaged 19 points, 16.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks last week. On Jan. 23, vs. USF, Bryant collected his 14th double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Bryant then scored 20 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in the Broncos' win over Houston Baptist on Jan. 25. The 21-rebound performance was Bryant's fourth 20+ rebound game of the season, the most in the country, and it marked the fourth time he's had at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game. Bryant now leads the nation in overall rebounds with 284, eight more than Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, who is second with 276 (as of Jan. 26). The double-double was the San Pablo, Calif. native's WCC-leading 15th of the season, ranking him second in the nation behind Griffin's 16.

"I am really happy for John and for our team this past week. We had some of the best practices of the year last week and it showed in the games we played," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "For John to get Player of the Week in a conference as strong as the WCC is a real compliment to the type of player he is with two teams in the top 25. He has worked hard to put himself in this position and his efforts on and off the court as a leader are also appreciated."

Young Guns

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, 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). Both SCU and LMU are slated to start three freshmen and two seniors on Thursday night.

On the flip side, also according to Allen's figures, the three oldest 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

John Bryant is averaging a double-double this year and leads the team in points (17.2), rebounds (12.9), blocks (2.6) and shooting percentage (59.1%). He is ranked the No. 9 center nationally by Rivals.com. He has had four 20+points/20+ rebound games and has collected 20+ points seven times. 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.

Bryant has 15 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, vs. USF and vs. Houston Baptist). Bryant has 38 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.

Two freshmen continue to hover around double-figures: Kevin Foster is averaging 13.1 ppg and James Rahon puts in 10.8 ppg starting the last four games. Foster is the team's leading free-throw shooter at 79% and Rahon is the top three-point shooter at 41%.

Show No Fear

The freshmen are some of the top youngsters in the WCC. Marc Trasolini leads the WCC in all games in field goal percentage (62.5%) and blocked shots (1.47). In WCC games he leads freshmen in the league in field goal percentage (64.7%). Kevin Foster leads the WCC freshmen in assists per game in WCC games at 3.2. See the chart on the right for all Bronco freshmen rankings.

Kevin Foster, James Rahon and Trasolini are all on pace to break a few Santa Clara freshmen records this season. See page 7 for complete list of records.

Foster is on pace to break Kurt Rambis' freshman scoring record of 414 points as Foster has scored 274 points. Foster is in the hunt for a few other records (the record is in parenthesis): he tied the three pointers made on Sunday (51); and has 140 three pointers attempted (145), 28 steals (49) and 13.1 scoring average (15.3).

James Rahon is also climbing the freshmen record charts. Rahon is in the top 10 for scoring average at 10.8 (15.3), has 187 field goals attempted (317), 41 three pointers made (51), 100 three points attempted (145) and 41.7% from the three point line (40.8%).

Finally, Trasolini is on pace to break the blocks freshman record set by John Bryant in 2006. Trasolini has 28 and Bryant blocked 37 his freshman campaign.

NCAA Lists

In NCAA statistics released on Jan. 25, the Broncos are No. 33 in blocked shots per game. John Bryant is ranked nationally in three categories: No. 3 in RPG, No. 18 in blocked shots and No. 23 in field goal percentage.

Only ONE Bryant!

John Bryant is the only Bronco to ever score 1,400 points, collect more than 900 rebounds and block more than 200 shots in his career. 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). Bryant has 969 career rebounds and needs just 167 to break Awtrey's school record. He is No. 9 on the all-time scoring list with 1,450 points. He needs 288 points to break Kurt Rambis' school record from 1976-80.

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

BlocksNo. 1(219)
Rebounds No. 3 (969)
Field Goal Percentage No. 4 (57.3%)
Field Goals Made No. 5 (582)
Games Started No. 8 (95)
Personal Fouls No. 8 (307)
Points Scored No. 9 (1,450)
He is also on a single season record list as well:
Blocks No. 4 (56)

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 then 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 UNH, 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. Not to be out-done on Jan. 25 Rahon scored a career-high 25 points, hitting 6 of 12, including 5 of 9 from the three-point line and 8 of 8 from the free throw line.