February 9, 2010

Men Host LMU, Pepperdine this Weekend

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Santa Clara hosts LMU on Thurs., Feb. 11 and then Pepperdine on Sat., Feb. 13. Both games are at 7 pm and will not be televised. Santa Clara is looking for its fifth win in six tries vs. the Lions, sweeping the last two season series before falling 81-70 on Jan. 16, 2010. With four Broncos in double figures that night, Marc Trasolini led SCU with 17 points. LMU had five players in double figures, including leading scorer Jarred DuBois, who scored 17. SCU had a nine-game winning streak in the LMU series between 1999-02.

Santa Clara is 10-16, including 2-7 in the WCC. Santa Clara won 59-43 at San Diego on Feb. 6 behind Robert Smith's 16 points off the bench.

LMU is 12-12 and 3-5 in the WCC, including 0-3 in league play on the road. The Lions have won two of the their last three, including a 77-61 victory over cross-town rival Pepperdine on Feb. 6. Drew Viney led LMU with 22 points and six rebounds.

Listen Here

The LMU 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 with the pre-game beginning at 6:45 pm. 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. Look Back to Last

Santa Clara defeated San Diego 59-43 on Feb. 6. It was the fewest amount of points a team has scored against the Broncos this year and the fewest since Santa Clara defeated Sacramento State 51-32 on Dec. 6, 2008. It was the fewest amount of points a WCC team has scored vs. Santa Clara since the Broncos defeated LMU 58-35 on Jan. 19, 2008. Both were under Coach Keating's watch.

San Diego had no players in double figures with the leading scorer, Roberto Mafra, scoring eight points off the bench. It was the first time since Santa Clara defeated USF 63-48 on March 4, 2000 that a single player didn't score in double figures for the opposition. The Dons had three players score eight points each as their leading scorers.

Bronco Basketball Presents "Vegas Night" Thursday, Feb 11, 7pm vs. LMU

As part of the evening's festivities surrounding the Santa Clara-Loyola Marymount men's basketball game, one lucky Bronco Basketball fan will win a trip for two to enjoy the glitz, glamour, and excitement of Las Vegas for the Zappos.com WCC Conference Basketball Tournament at the Orleans Arena, March 5-8, 2010. This spectacular prize is provided courtesy of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The trip, including airfare and lodging, will be awarded to a fan (age 21 & older) who wins the in-game contest based on costume dress-up or creative poster presented during the game. The contest theme will be Las Vegas and the Broncos participation in the Zappos.com WCC Conference Championships. Contestants will be judged based on originality, creativity, presentation, and attitude. Entrants will be expected to uphold standards of good taste & sportsmanship suitable for a fan-friendly audience. All adult fans are eligible to enter the contest. Instructions will be provided to fans entering the arena on game-night as to how they will formally present their costume/poster for judging.

The final judging is likely to involve audience participation in determining the winner so this is sure to be a highly entertaining fan-favorite promotion. Get out those Elvis jump suits and get ready to rock Las Vegas to win a trip to the Zappos.com WCC Conference Championships during the next Santa Clara Basketball home game vs. LMU.

Bronco Leaders

SCU has two active players averaging double figures: Marc Trasolini (13.8 ppg) and Robert Smith (12.5 ppg). Kevin Foster averaged 19.8 ppg in his first six games, but he is out for the season with a broken foot. In league play, Smith leads the team with 14.2 ppg and Trasolini has 13.0 ppg. Smith has scored in double figures 19 of the last 22 games and Trasolini has hit double figures 20 times this season, including hitting 18+ in seven games with two double-doubles (three career double-doubles).

Smith leads the team with 3.2 apg, including 3.4 apg in WCC play. He tied his career-high with six assists at LMU. Trasolini has 1.7 bpg; and swatted a career-high five blocks vs. No. 8 Gonzaga. Trasolini is averaging a team-leading 1.6 bpg in league play.

Trasolini averages a team-leading 6.2 rpg and Troy Payne is second with 5.7 rpg. Payne has 7+ rebounds in 12 games, including nine at Pepperdine and vs. New Hampshire and Fresno State; and he posted a career-high 15 vs. Menlo.

WCC Top 10

The Broncos are No. 2 in WCC overall statistics with 7.3 steals per game as of Feb. 7. They are No. 3 in blocked shots (4.0) and offensive rebounds per game (11.7).

Marc Trasolini is in the top 10 of six categories in overall WCC statistics. He is No. 2 with 1.7 bpg; No. 6 in shooting .527 from the field; No. 7 in free throw percentage at 80.2 percent; No. 8 with with 6.2 rpg and 2.1 orpg and and No. 10 with 13.8 ppg.

Also in overall WCC stats, Niyi Harrison is No. 9 with 2.0 orpg. Robert Smith is No. 9 with 3.2 apg and playing 32.1 mpg. Troy Payne is tied for No. 2 with 1.7 spg and No. 9 with 2.0 orpg.

In WCC-only statistics Santa Clara is No. 2 with 4.8 bpg and 7.0 spg. The Broncos are No. 3 in scoring defense at 67.1 ppg and rebounding defense at 33.0 rpg.

In WCC-only statistics, Payne, Trasolini, Harrison, Ben Dowdell and Smith are among the WCC leaders. Payne leads the WCC with 2.1 spg and is No. 10 in blocked shots with 0.9 bpg. Trasolini is No. 3 with 1.6 bpg and No. 5 in free throw percentage (83.9 percent) and No. 5 in field goal shooting, at 51.9 percent. Harrison is No. 4 with 1.3 bpg and No. 8 in shooting 50.0 percent from the field. Smith is No. 7 with 34.6 mpg, No. 9 with 3.4 apg and No. 10 with 14.2 ppg. Dowdell is No. 8 shooting 78.3 percent from the free throw line and No. 10 with 1.8 orpg.

Youth Served Again

SCU is the seventh-youngest team in the country and the youngest in the WCC at 1.87, according to statsheet.com. Of the just nine active players on scholarship this year, Santa Clara has zero seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen.

Portland has the oldest team in the WCC with an average of 3.61 and it is the third-most experienced team in the country. The average is figured on the sum of minutes each player plays is multiplied by their class year (Freshmen=1, Sophomore=2, Junior=3 and Senior=4) and is divided by the total team minutes.

Free Chances

Building a WCC All-Freshman team-type campaign this season, Robert Smith has hit 23 of his 30 free throws in WCC play (76.7 percent) after hitting 55 of 81 (67 percent) in non-conference play. Marc Trasolini, a member of the WCC All-Freshman team last year, has been a master at the free throw line during WCC play as well, hitting 83.9 percent of his chances (26 of 31 chances). He is hitting 80.2 percent of his chances overall (105 of 131). Trasolini was 67.2 percent free throw shooter as a freshman (43 of 64).

As of Feb. 9, Santa Clara is No. 23 in the country in free throws made and No. 24 nationally in free throws attempted, according to statsheet.com. Santa Clara is 424 of 611 from the line this season, knocking down almost 70 percent of its attempts. It is scoring better than 25 percent of its points from the free throw line this year. To hit the top 10 single season chart, Santa Clara would need at least 538 made (1980-81) and 770 attempts (2000-01).

Last season Santa Clara hit 434 of 613 free throws, making 71 percent of those, but free throws only accounted for 20 percent of the team's total points.

Shot Blockers

Marc Trasolini is working to follow in the footsteps of career blocks leader John Bryant. Trasolini currently has 1.7 bpg. His 45 blocks are better than percent of the Broncos 104 blocked shots this season.

The school record for blocks in a season was set by Bryant last season when he collected 84 swats. Trasolini tied John Bryant's freshman record with 37 blocks last season so has already topped his freshman total with at least seven games left. Trasolini's 82 career blocks put him at No. 5 already and he trails Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80) by 11 blocks.

Niyi Harrison is quietly blocking shots this season as well. He has 17 on the season which is currently No. 6 on the all-time freshman list, passing Nic Vanos' 15 in 1981-82. He needs three more to pass Sean Denison's 19 in 2003-04.

Last Year to This Year

There are some interesting comparisons after Santa Clara's first 26 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 20,286 (2009) to 29,933 (2010)

* Increased free throws made per game from 12.3 (2009) to 16.3 (2010)

* Increased free throws made total from 319 (2009) to 424 (2010)

* Increased free throws attempted total from 464 (2009) to 611 (2010)

* Increased free throw percentage from .688 (2009) to .694 (2010)

* Decreased turnovers per game from 16.5 (2009) to 15.3 (2010)

* Increased forced turnovers per game from 12.6 and 328 total (2009) to 14.8 (2010) and 385 total

* Increased steals per game from 6.0 (2009) to 7.3 (2010)

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 three players are in the top 10 of a number of categories. Ray Cowels is in the all-time Bronco freshman records in four categories. Robert Smith is in the top 10 of nine freshman categories and Niyi Harrison is in the top 10 of two categories. See page four of the game notes attached above for the complete set of SCU freshman records.

The four are also making themselves known in the WCC as evidenced by the freshman-only WCC stats with Harrison leading the WCC way as the top blocker among league freshman. See page four of the game notes attached above their top 10 rankings among WCC freshmen.

Starters

The Broncos used their 14th starting line-up of the season at San Diego after using the same line-up the previous six games. The USD line-up included Ray Cowels, Michael Santos, Troy Payne, Marc Trasolini and Ben Dowdell. They have had 10 different players start in a game this season. See chart on page six on the game notes attached above.

The Broncos have had 13 different players have seen action this season. Six of the 10 players have started at least 10 games overall. The only player who has started in all 26 games this season is Troy Payne. SCU has 13 players who have appeared in a game this season, but only six players have played in all 26 games. They are: Trasolini, Smith, Harrison, Cowels, Payne and Santos.

Traz

Marc Trasolini has seven games with 18+ points this season. 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 at New Hampshire on Jan. 4, 2009.

He hit a career-high three three's at both Houston Baptist and Rice in December; and then vs. Gonzaga he was a career-best 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. He is 16 of 43 from three-point land 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.

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. Gonzaga was the first time since the San Diego game that he didn't hit the free throw line. Trasolini has hit 105 of 131 free throws this season, including hitting 46 of 54 free throws in the last 11 games (85.1 percent). He has had no attempts four times this year: at SDSU, vs. USD, at LMU and vs. Gonzaga. On the season, he is hitting better than 80 percent at the line and better than 29 percent of Trasolini's points this year come from the charity stripe with Trasolini scoring a team-high 339 points this year. Last year 21 percent of his points came from free throws (43 of 64 made (67%); 201 points total scored).