February 12, 2010

Santa Clara hosts Pepperdine Saturday

Santa Clara hosts Pepperdine on Sat., Feb. 13 at 7 pm and the game will not be televised. it is just one of three WCC games not televised this year.

Santa Clara is 10-17, including 2-8 in the WCC. Santa Clara fell 73-67 to LMU on Thursday night. The Broncos had two players score double-doubles in Marc Trasolini and Troy Payne; and Robert Smith led all scorers with 21 points.

Pepperdine is 7-18 and 3-6 in the WCC. The Waves have lost six straight after winning three straight. The Waves fell 77-47 on Thursday night at USF. They were led by Keion Bell's 13 points and Corbin Moore's 10 rebounds. The Dons were 22 of 26 from the free throw line and the Waves hit 5 of 11.

Santa Clara leads the all-time series 65-54 and the Broncos lead the series 38-19 in Santa Clara. Santa Clara and Pepperdine have split the series the last seven years. The home team won six of those meetings. Last season SCU won at home 64-52 on Jan. 31 behind John Bryant's 19 points and 17 rebounds. Pepperdine returned the favor by winning in Malibu, 66-60, on Feb. 12 with Bryant posting 25 points and 12 rebounds. Of the 60 points scored last year by Santa Clara at Pepperdine, only nine of those points are active on the Bronco roster.

Pepperdine won the team's last meeting in Malibu 61-60 on Jan. 14, 2010. The Broncos were paced by two freshmen in double figures: Robert Smith led the team with 15 and Ray Cowels chipped in 12. Troy Payne led the Broncos with eight rebounds and two steals.

Listen Here
The Pepperdine 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.

Bronco Leaders
SCU has two active players averaging double figures: Marc Trasolini (13.9 ppg) and Robert Smith (12.9 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 14.9 ppg and Trasolini has 13.3 ppg. Smith has scored in double figures 20 of the last 23 games and Trasolini has hit double figures 21 times this season, including hitting 17+ in 10 games with three double-doubles (four career double-doubles).

Smith leads the team with 3.1 apg, including 3.3 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 1.5 bpg in league play.

Trasolini averages a team-leading 6.3 rpg and Troy Payne is second with 5.9 rpg. Payne has 7+ rebounds in 13 games this season, including a career-high vs. Menlo, 10 vs. LMU, nine at Pepperdine and vs. New Hampshire and Fresno State.

Look Back to Last

While Robert Smith led the charge with 21 points vs. LMU on Feb. 11, both Marc Trasolini and Troy Payne picked up double-doubles. Trasolini scored 16 points with 10 rebounds. Payne scored 12 with 10 boards. It was Payne's first career double-double as a Bronco. Santa Clara's double-double watch this year includes: Trasolini (3/4 career), Payne (1) and Niyi Harrison (1).

Trasolini and Payne teamed up for another 'not for a long time' moment. It was the first time since the first round of the Cable Car Classic on Dec. 28, 2005 that two Broncos picked up a double-double in the same game. In Santa Clara's 63-61 victory over UC Riverside that night, Travis Niesen scored a game-high 23 points with 14 rebounds and John Bryant scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds. The Broncos went on to win the Cable Car Classic the next night with a 77-68 victory over Bucknell.

Look Back to Second-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.

WCC Top 10
The Broncos are No. 2 in WCC overall statistics with 7.2 steals per game as of Feb. 11. They are No. 4 in blocked shots (4.0) and offensive rebounds per game (11.9).

Marc Trasolini is in the top 10 of six categories in overall WCC statistics. He is No. 2 with 1.7 bpg; No. 5 in shooting .525 from the field; No. 8 with 6.3 rpg and 2.1 orpg; and No. 9 with 13.9 ppg and in free throw percentage at 79.1 percent.

Also in overall WCC stats, Troy Payne is No. 9 with 2.1 orpg and Niyi Harrison is No. 10 with 2.0 orpg. Robert Smith is No. 9 with 3.1 apg and No. 8 playing 32.3 mpg. Payne No. 4 with 1.6 spg.

In WCC-only statistics Santa Clara is No. 2 with 4.7 bpg. The Broncos are No. 3 in scoring defense at 67.7 ppg, with 6.8 spg and free throw percentage (68.3 percent).

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 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 14.9 ppg. Dowdell is No. 8 shooting 78.3 percent from the free throw line and No. 10 with 1.8 orpg.

'The Traz Tid-Bits!'
Because the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics can't come to Santa Clara, Marc Trasolini, a Vancouver native, is bringing them to the Broncos! Every day or so during the Winter Olympics, Trasolini will post an insider's look at the Winter Games on video, from Santa Clara. He will also answer questions from the fans.

"I wish I could be here, but we are in the middle of basketball season," said Trasolini. "This will be a lot of fun! I know my teammates will give me a hard time, but Canada will show everyone in this Olympics!"

Here is his report from Friday:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo0XmP5AjO0

If you have questions about the Winter Olympics or Trasolini, email them to Trasolini at scuathleticbroncos@yahoo.com and Trasolini will try to answer them daily!

Shot Blockers
Marc Trasolini is working to follow in the footsteps of career blocks leader John Bryant. Trasolini currently has 1.7 bpg. His 46 blocks are almost 43 percent of the Broncos 108 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 five games left. Trasolini's 84 career blocks put him at No. 5 and he trails Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80) by 10 blocks.

Niyi Harrison is quietly blocking shots this season as well. He has 19 on the season which is currently tied for No. 5 on the all-time freshman list with Sean Denison's 19 in 2003-04.

Free Chances
Building a WCC All-Freshman team-type campaign this season, Robert Smith has hit 23 of his 31 free throws in WCC play (74.2 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 almost 80 percent of his chances (31 of 39 chances). He is hitting better than 79 percent of his chances overall (110 of 139). Trasolini was 67.2 percent free throw shooter as a freshman (43 of 64).

As of Feb. 12, Santa Clara is No. 21 in the country in free throws made and No. 18 nationally in free throws attempted, according to statsheet.com. Santa Clara is 441 of 635 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.

On Track
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 Kurt Rambis' 32-year old record with 486 points. 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 two columns on the left on page four of the game notes for the SCU freshmen.

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 the chart on page four of the game notes for their top 10 rankings.