January 31, 2009

Broncos Host Pepperdine Saturday at 7 pm

Jan. 31, 2009

Winning the last three games in a row, Santa Clara will close out its four-game homestand when it hosts Pepperdine at 7 pm on Sat., Jan. 31 before traveling to San Diego on Thurs., Feb. 5 for a COMCAST-televised game. Santa Clara will then return home next Sat., Feb. 7 to host Saint Mary's in a COMCAST-televised game at 8 pm.

SCU has won five of the last six games played at the Leavey Center vs. Pepperdine. Santa Clara broke the 100-point barrier against Pepperdine on Jan. 21,2008, the first time the Broncos had reached 100 points since 1993.

The Broncos are 10-13 and 2-4 in the WCC. The Broncos have won three in a row with their 70-54 win over San Francisco on Jan. 23, a 85-59 victory over Houston Baptist on Jan. 25 and an 82-56 win over LMU on Jan. 29. It was Santa Clara's 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 vs. USF and Houston Baptist.

The Waves are 5-17 and 2-4 in the WCC this season. Pepperdine was 0-8 on the road this year until they defeated USF 69-67 on Jan. 29. They are led by Keion Bell (12.3 ppg) and Mychel Thompson (10.8 ppg). Taylor Darby grabs a team-leading 7.0 rpg.

Listen up

The SCU-Pepperdine 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 as of Jan. 25. For example: Santa Clara is No. 20 in the country in block percentage.

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

Bryant is ranked No. 4 in the country in percentage of shots taken and is No. 1 in the WCC. Bryant is No. 1 in the WCC in block percentage and No. 26 nationally. 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.

Bryant Named Naismith Trophy Top 50 Finalist

Leading the country with 306 total rebounds this season, Santa Clara senior center John Bryant has been tabbed as one of the Top 50 Finalists for the Naismith Trophy. The two-week voting to name the top 30 Finalists will begin on Mon., Feb. 2. The Naismith Trophy, presented by AT&T, will be awarded at the 2009 NCAA Men's Final Four in Detroit, Mich.

On the national level, Bryant is No. 2 with 13.3 rpg, No. 12 with 2.7 bpg and No. 20 in field goal percentage (59.3%). He is averaging a double-double with 17.0 ppg and 13.3 rpg in 29.2 mpg.

Bryant is the only Bronco in school history to score 1,400+ points, gather 900+ rebounds and block 200+ shots. On the Santa Clara career list: Bryant is No. 1 in career blocks (224), No. 3 in career rebounds (991) and No. 9 in career points (1,462).

Bryant is just nine boards shy of 1,000 career rebounds. The 6' 11, 275 San Pablo, CA native is looking to become just the third player in school history and the 14th in WCC history to reach the rebounding milestone. Bryant would be the 10th player in Bay Area history to reach 1,000 career rebounds, and the first since Stanford's Tim Young accomplished the feat in 1999. Bryant needs 47 rebounds to pass No. 2 Kurt Rambis (1,037 from 1976-80) and 145 rebounds to break the school record set by Dennis Awtrey (1,135 from 1967-70).

On the career points list, Bryant needs 275 points to break Kurt Rambis' school record (1,736 point from 1976-80).

Bryant has 16 double-doubles this season and is No. 2 nationally behind Oklahoma's Nate Griffin, who has 17 (as of Jan. 30). Bryant's 16 double-doubles this year: 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, vs. Houston Baptist and LMU. Bryant has 39 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.

He was the WCC Player of the Week after averaging 18 rpg, 17 ppg and 4.5 bpg on Dec. 8; and again on Jan. 26 after averaging 19 ppg, 16.5 rpg and 3.5 rpg for the week.

He has twice tied his career-high with 22 rebounds at the Leavey Center, also the facility record set by Kurt Rambis vs. Saint Mary's in a 90-73 SCU win on Feb. 5, 1977. He has seven games with 20+ rebounds. Bryant has three games this year with 20+ points and 20+ rebounds. Those games were:

At San Jose State (12/3/08): 20 points, 21 rebounds

Vs. Stanford (12/23/08): 27 points, 22 rebounds

Vs. Houston Baptist (1/25/09): 20 points, 21 rebounds

In an article that appeared on SI.COM Jan. 30, writer John Gasaway lists him as one of the stars of his All-Underrated Team. Gasaway says of Bryant:

Meet the best defensive rebounder in the country, better than Blake Griffin or DeJuan Blair. When he's on the floor, Bryant gets to 35 percent of opponents' misses. He's also a very good shot-blocker. That's enough to merit consideration for my team right there, but Bryant's also a load for opponents on offense, hitting 59 percent of his twos and dominating the offensive glass. While Bryant might be All-Underrated nationally, he's no secret in the WCC and faces constant double- and even triple-teams, making his production all the more impressive.

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%).

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 and blocked shots. In WCC games he leads freshmen in the league in field goal percentage. Kevin Foster leads all games in scoring and James Rahon leads all games and WCC games in three-point percentage.

Trashing Them

In the LMU game Kevin Foster broke the freshman school record for three pointers attempted (146) and three pointers made (54). The previous records were 51 three pointers made and 145 three pointers attempted by Brandon Rohe in 2002-03.

Look for James Rahon to also break the freshman record for threes made as he has 46 already this season (record was 51) and could break the freshman school record as he is shooting 43.4% from beyond the arc. The top three point percentage was set by Steve Nash in 1992-93 when he shot 40.8% from the three point line.

Maybe even more impressive for Foster and Rahon to be breaking the three point line records: the three point line was moved out from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches this season.

Marc Trasolini is climbing up the rebounding and blocks freshman school record charts as well.

25

James Rahon has scored a career-high 25 points each of the last two games and 20+ each of the last three games. To tally 25 vs. Houston Baptist he was 6 of 12 from the field, including 5 of 9 from the arc. He was 8 of 8 from the free throw line. To tally 25 vs. LMU he was 8 of 12 from the field, including 5 of 6 from the three-point line. Rahon was 4 of 6 from the charity stripe, missing his last free throw attempt which would have given him a career-high 26 points. Rahon has made 14 three pointers in the last three games.

26

Santa Clara has beaten its last three opponents by 26 points each. The Broncos defeated USF 70-54, Houston Baptist 85-59 and LMU 82-56. The Broncos are 4-0 this year when they score 80+ points and 6-1 under Coach Keating in the last two years.

Team Highs

Santa Clara collected 11 blocks vs. LMU, a two-year high under Keating.

Santa Clara hit a season-high 89 points vs. UTEP and the Broncos are shooting better than 46% from the field. The Broncos are out-rebounding their opponents by 4.3 rpg, but turning the ball over 3.6 more times than their opponents. In the latest NCAA stats (Jan. 30), Santa Clara is ranked No. 318 in the nation in turnover margin.

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.

The Broncos collected 48 rebounds vs. Houston Baptist, a high under head coach Kerry Keating; and the most since the Broncos grabbed 49 rebounds vs. Holy Names on Nov. 14, 2006.

Santa Clara held two straight home opponents to 14 points in the first half this year. Sacramento State scored 14 in the first half and went on to score 18 points in the second half to finish 51-32 losers to Santa Clara on Dec. 6. NDNU scored 14 points in the first half vs. Santa Clara and fell 67-47 to the Broncos on Dec. 13.

The 14 points in the first half were the fewest a team has scored vs. the Broncos since Stanford scored 12 points in the first half of a 62-46 loss to SCU, at Stanford, on Dec. 16, 2006.

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 six times this season, including 20 points vs. LMU.

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.

Rahon did it again on Jan. 29 vs. LMU, scoring 25 points for the second straight game, including hitting 5 three pointers.

Only ONE Bryant!

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). Bryant has 991 career rebounds and needs just 143 to break Awtrey's school record. He is No. 9 on the all-time scoring list with 1,462 points. He needs 276 points to break Kurt Rambis' school record from 1976-80.

In single season records, he has already passed his own rebound total at No. 9, set last year when he grabbed 298 on the year.

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

Blocks No. 1 (224)

Rebounds No. 3 (991)

Field Goal Percentage No. 5 (57.4%)

Field Goals Made No. 5 (587)

Games Started No. T-6 (96)

Personal Fouls No. 8 (311)

Points Scored No. 9 (1,462)

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

Blocks No. 3 (62)

Rebounds No. 9 (306)

Field Goal Percentage No. 10 (59.4%)