Feb. 10, 2009
On a six-game winning streak, including five straight in the West Coast Conference, Santa Clara travels to Los Angeles this week to play at Pepperdine on Thurs., Feb. 12 at 7:30 pm and then at Loyola Marymount on Sat., Feb. 14 at 7:30 pm on FSN PT. Santa Clara is looking to sweep the season series vs. Pepperdine for the first time since 1984. In 1984 SCU won 77-63 at home on Jan. 19 and then 62-56 on March 3 at Pepperdine. The Broncos last win at Pepperdine: an 83-71 win in Malibu on Jan. 22, 2005.
Santa Clara defeated Pepperdine 64-52 on Jan. 31 in the two team's last meeting. John Bryant scored 12 points and tied the Leavey Center record with 22 rebounds. In addition, James Rahon scored a career-high 25 points, Kevin Foster scored 20 and Marc Trasolini added 11. SCU has won six of the last seven games played at the Leavey Center vs. Pepperdine.
The Broncos, 13-13 and 5-4 in the WCC, defeated Saint Mary's by 18 points, 70-52, on Feb. 7 in a sold-out Leavey Center. John Bryant scored 21 points and collected 15 rebounds. Kevin Foster was 9 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 5 from the three point line, scoring 26 points. In the game prior to the Saint Mary's win, SCU won at San Diego, 64-62, in overtime on Feb. 5. John Bryant led all scorers with his fourth 20/20 game of the year when he scored 23 points, including 11 of 13 from the free throw line, and grabbed 20 rebounds.
The Broncos are led by one of the leading WCC Player of the Year candidates, John Bryant, who averages a double-double with 17.5 ppg and 13.8 rpg.
Freshmen Kevin Foster, James Rahon and Marc Trasolini continue to make quick work of the SCU freshmen records with all three climbing up the top 10 lists of a number of categories (see page 7). Foster is second on the team with 14.0 ppg and Rahon is No 3 with 11.3 ppg. Trasolini is No. 2 on the team with 4.5 rpg and 1.4 bpg.
The Waves are 6-18 and 3-5 in the WCC this season. They are led by Keion Bell (12.4 ppg) and Mychel Thompson (10.3 ppg). Taylor Darby grabs a team-leading 7.0 rpg. They have won two of their last three games in the WCC. The Waves won 69-67 at USF on Jan. 29 and 58-43 win at LMU on Feb. 7. Sandwiched between the two wins was a 64-52 loss at Santa Clara on Jan. 31.
Santa Clara has won six straight dating back to its 70-54 vs. USF on Jan. 23. The streak includes five straight in the WCC. Previous highs:
Last time SCU won six straight: Santa Clara won six straight from Jan. 29 , 2007 - Feb. 17, 2007. It was also the last time it won six straight in the WCC.
Last time SCU won seven straight: Santa Clara won nine straight from Jan. 27, 1995 - Feb. 24, 1995. The nine-game winning streak featured eight straight wins in the WCC. It was the same year the Broncos won the WCC and played in the NCAA Tournament, falling 75-67 in the first round on March 17 to Mississippi State in Boise, Idaho.
70s Yes, 40s No
Santa Clara is 0-1 this year when scoring less than 50 points and 0-4 in Kerry Keating's two seasons. On the flip side, when Santa Clara scores 70-79 points, it is 3-0 this season and 7-0 in the last two years under Keating.
On the road
Nine of Santa Clara's 11 losses on the road this season were lost by a combined 33 points, averaging 3.6 more points for the opposition.
The Broncos lost by one at Saint Mary's (63-62) and at Portland (53-52); three vs. UAB (64-61) and vs. Arizona (69-66); by four vs. Florida Atlantic (65-61) and at New Hampshire (58-54); by five at Harvard (73-68); and by six at Georgia (64-48) and at Pacific (63-57).
Their three wins on the road were by a total of eight points: a 71-68 win at Montana, a 59-56 win at San Jose State and a 64-62 overtime win at San Diego.
Two games were a bit different. Santa Clara lost 95-53 at Gonzaga on Jan. 15, its worst loss ever in WCC play. Santa Clara gave up 78 points in its 78-66 loss at UNLV on Dec. 17. The Runnin' Rebels scored a season-high 42 points in the first half, but were out-scored by the Broncos 38-36 in the second half.
Bryant Named WCC Player of the Week
Picking up a huge milestone's in his career individually and adding to the Broncos' six-game winning streak with wins at San Diego and vs. Saint Mary's, Santa Clara senior center John Bryant has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks on Feb. 9.
Bryant averaged 17.5 rpg, 22.0 ppg and 2.5 bpg in 38.5 mpg last week in wins at San Diego (OT) and the 18-point win vs. Saint Mary's. It is the third time this season he has been selected as the Player of the Week in the WCC. Bryant 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 scored his 1500th point in the San Diego win and passed Kurt Rambis at No. 2 in career rebounds in Saint Mary's win (1,043 career rebounds). Moving to No. 2 in rebounds vs. Saint Mary's, he now needs 93 rebounds to break the school record set by Dennis Awtrey (1,135 from 1967-70).
He is averaging a double-double this season with 17.5 ppg and 13.8 rpg in 30.2 mpg, knocking down 60.3% of his shots with 2.6 bpg
Bryant leads the country in total rebounds (358). He is No. 2 nationally with 19 double-doubles and is No. 2 nationally in rpg. He is No. 5 with 42 career double-doubles of active Division I players. On the national level, Bryant is ranked in the top 14 of three categories (Feb. 9). Bryant is No. 2 in rpg; No. 13 in bpg; No. 14 in field goal percentage; and No. 93 in ppg.
Bryant has 358 rebounds this season, topping his total of 298 rebounds from last year already. This season he is leading the WCC in field goal percentage, rebounds, defensive rebounds, offensive rebounds and blocked shots this season; and he is No. 3 in scoring.
John Bryant is the only Bronco in school history to score 1,500+ points, gather 1,000+ rebounds and block 200+ shots.
Bryant is on a number of career top 10 lists at Santa Clara:
Blocks No. 1 (231)
Rebounds No. 2 (1043)
Field Goals Made No. 5 (608)
Field Goal Percentage No. 5 (57.7%)
Games Started T No. 5 (99)
Games Played T No. 7 (117)
Personal Fouls No. 8 (316)
Points Scored No. 9 (1,525)
He is also on a single season record list as well:
Blocks No. 2 (69)
(he holds the school blocks record with 76 (2007-08)
Rebounds No. 4 (358)
Field Goal Percentage No. 9 (60.3%)
Show No Fear
The Bronco freshmen are proving to be 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 and is No. 2 in blocked shots.
John Bryant grabbed his 1,000th career rebound in the second half vs. Pepperdine, a defensive rebound at 11:58. With that rebound, he became the third Bronco in school history to reach that milestone and the 14th in WCC history. Bryant is 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 passed No. 2 Kurt Rambis (1,037 from 1976-80) in the Saint Mary's win and is No. 2 with 1,043 career rebounds. He needs 93 rebounds to break the school record set by Dennis Awtrey (1,135 from 1967-70). Playing the regular season out (five games) and at least one WCC Tournament game, Bryant will have to average 15.3 rpg to break the school record.
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 six games with 20+ rebounds. Bryant has four games this year with 20+ points and 20+ rebounds.
Show No Fear 2
With Santa Clara and Saint Mary's as long-time rivals, freshman Kevin Foster must be a Bronco-fan favorite early. In his first trip to Moraga on Jan. 9 he scored a career-high 31 points. He was 11 of 19 from the field, including 5 of 9 from three point land. He also tracked down three steals and dished three assists.
In their second meeting, suffering from food poisoning for 24 hours prior, including spending game day in a hospital bed with an IV, Foster torched the nets again on Feb. 7 vs. Saint Mary's. Foster was 6 of 6 from the field, including a perfect 3 of 3 from beyond the arc in the first half, scoring 18 points. He finished the night with a second-best career effort of 26 points, on 9 of 12 from the field (4 of 5 from three point land).
After the game Foster said on playing through food poisoning: "The first part of the game was really tough. I couldn't really breath, so it made things hard. The trainers helped me out a lot, they were giving me a lot of water at timeouts. I was worried that I might not be able to play, but this was a game that I really wanted to play in. I played through it and we got the win."
On his success against SMC: "I try to treat every team the same and play the same way. I go out and play my own game and let things come to me through the game. My shot were falling tonight, so that helped me get going in the first half."
Their Blake, Our Bryant
Both John Bryant and Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, a 6-10, 251lb. sophomore forward for the No. 2 Sooners, continue to have monster seasons. Bryant has 19 double-doubles this season and is No. 2 nationally behind Griffin, who has 20 (as of Feb. 9).
Bryant has 42 double-doubles in his career, which is No. 5 of active players this season. Bryant's 19 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, vs. LMU, vs. Pepperdine, at USD and vs. Saint Mary's. 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.
James Rahon has scored a career-high 25 points twice this season and 20+ three times in the last six 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, who had hit at least one three pointer in the seven straight games, including a career-high five twice, was 0-2 from beyond the arc at San Diego on Feb. 5. Rahon got back on track vs. Saint Mary's when he hit 1 of 2 attempts.
In its current winning streak, Santa Clara defeated three straight opponents by 26 points exactly. 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.
With the Broncos starting three freshmen the last few games it appears they are one of the younger teams nationally this season. According to Robbie Allen of STATSHEET.COM (Feb. 9), the Broncos have the 36th youngest team in the NCAA this year of the 342 Division I teams, which means 90% of the Division I teams have a more experienced starting five 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 2.16 years while LMU is No. 2 at 2.08 (No. 25 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 in the WCC: Saint Mary's with an average age per minute of 3.04 is No. 1, Gonzaga is No. 2 at 3.07 and San Diego is No. 3 at 2.72. Nationally, of the team's ranked by most experience, SMC is No. 38 and GU is No. 49.
Playing 12 2008 post-season teams, the schedule includes 11 vs. NCAA Tournament teams. Santa Clara will host five home games vs. 2008 NCAA Tournament participants: Stanford (L, 77-69), Belmont (W, 83-80), San Diego (L, 55-50), St. Mary's (W, 70-52) and Gonzaga (Feb. 26).
SCU will be on the road to play six other 2008 NCAA Tourney participants: at Georgia (L, 54-48), vs. Arizona (L, 69-66), at UNLV (L, 78-66), at Saint Mary's (L, 63-62), at Gonzaga (L, 95-53) and at San Diego (W, 64-62 (ot). UAB (L 64-61) advanced to the second round of the NIT last season.
In the LMU game Kevin Foster broke the school record for three pointers attempted and three pointers made. The previous records were 51 three pointers made and 145 three pointers attempted by Brandon Rohe in 2002-03. Foster has already racked up 65 makes on 167 attempts.
Look for Rahon to also break the freshman record for threes made as he has 50 this season (record was 51) and could break the freshman school record as he is shooting 42.4% 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 records: the three point line was moved out from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches this season.
Trasolini is climbing up the rebounding and blocks freshmen school record charts as well. He needs seven more blocks this season to break the school record for a freshman. The record was set in 2006 when John Bryant blocked 37 shots his rookie campaign. Bryant is now the all-time blocks leader for the Broncos with 231 denies. Trasolini has 104 rebounds this season and needs 10 more to hit the top 10 for a freshman.