Feb. 25, 2009
In its final two home games of the year, Santa Clara will host No. 17/17 Gonzaga on Thurs., Feb. 26 on ESPN2. Then it will host Senior Day Sat., Feb. 28 at 3 pm vs. Portland when it will honor its two seniors John Bryant and Calvin Johnson. The Gonzaga game will be called by Bob Wischusen and Adrian Branch in the ESPN2 nationally-televised game.
The Broncos are 14-15 and 6-6 in the WCC. They have won seven of their last nine games. Santa Clara has lost 12 games this year by two or less possessions. Feb. 21 SCU fell in OT at USF, losing 67-66 on a free throw with .06 seconds left on the clock by USF's Kwame Vaughn. John Bryant picked up his 22nd double-double of the year with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Kevin Foster led all scorers with 20 points, including a perfect 6 of 6 from the free throw line and with that, broke Kurt Rambis' freshman record for points scored and field goal attempts.
Santa Clara is led by WCC Player of the Year candidate, John Bryant, who averages a double-double with 18.0 ppg and 13.7 rpg. Bryant, who leads the nation in total rebounds and with 13.7 rpg, is currently tied with Oklahoma's Blake Griffin as the national-leader with 22 doubles-doubles this season.
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 and on pace to break at least five freshman records (see page 3). Foster is second on the team with 14.4 ppg and Rahon is No 3 with 10.8 ppg. Trasolini is No. 2 on the team with 4.5 rpg and 1.4 bpg.
The SCU-Gonzaga game will be broadcast at 8 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 7:30 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.
Gonzaga, 21-5 and 12-0 in the WCC, has already clinched the WCC regular season title. The Zags defeated LMU 91-54 on Feb. 19 and then Pepperdine 92-58 on Feb. 21. They were led by Steven Gray's 23 points vs. LMU and then Josh Heytvelt's 28 points vs. Pepperdine.
Gonzaga is led by Mark Few, who is 257-65 in his 10th year with the Gonzaga. The balanced offense is led by three players scoring in double figures: Josh Heytvelt (15.0 ppg), Matt Bouldin (13.3 ppg), Austin Daye (13.1 ppg). Daye (7.1 rpg) and Heytvelt (6.8 rpg) are the top two rebounders and Jeremy Pargo leads the team with 5.2 apg.
Gonzaga is 10-1 at home this year with its only loss a 77-70 beating by Portland State on Dec. 23. The Zags are 7-1 on the road with its lone loss coming at Utah on Dec. 31 (66-65). Gonzaga is 4-3 record on a neutral court including a 88-83 overtime loss to then-No. 2 UCONN and a 68-50 loss to then-No. 14/15 Memphis.
Gonzaga has recorded a 12th-straight 20-win season. The Bulldogs hit the plateau for the 16th time in the last 18 years. Gonzaga head coach Mark Few has been a part of all 16 20-win seasons, including all 10 of his years as head coach.
John Bryant has 46 double-doubles in his career and is No. 2 of active players behind Washington's Jon Brockman, who has 54 career double-doubles. Bryant's 22 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 San Diego, vs. Saint Mary's, at Pepperdine, at LMU and at USF. If counting, he has had a double-double in every WCC game this season.
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.
John Bryant is the only Bronco in school history to score 1,500+ points, gather 1,000+ rebounds and block 200+ shots. He needs 53 rebounds to top Dennis Awtrey's career school record 1,135 rebounds (1967-70); He needs two rebounds to be the eighth Bay Area player (see chart to the left) to grab 400 rebounds in a a season. He needs 12 rebounds to break Awtrey's single season record for rebounds with 409 (1969-70).
Bryant is on a number of career top 10 lists at Santa Clara:
Blocks No. 1 (236)
Rebounds No. 2 (1083)
Field Goals Made No. 5 (632)
Field Goal Percentage No. 5 (58.0%)
Games Started No. 5 (102)
Games Played T No. 5 (120)
Personal Fouls No. 8 (325)
Points Scored No. 7 (1,593)
He is also on a number of single season record lists as well:
Blocks No. 2 (74)
(he holds the school blocks record with 76 (2007-08)
Rebounds No. 2 (398)
Field Goal Percentage No. 7 (61.0%)
Points No. 16 (521)
13x: 20+ some
20+ is a popular number of points to score three of Santa Clara's freshman have hit that number 13 times this season. Kevin Foster has scored 20+ nine times, James Rahon 20+ three times and Marc Trasolini crossing the 20 point line once. Kevin Foster hit a then-career-best 24 vs. Belmont on Dec. 29, scoring 8 of 17 shots, 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 was 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's 20+ games include 20 points vs. LMU, 26 in his second game vs. Saint Mary's, later 26 at LMU and 20 at USF.
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.
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 22 double-doubles this season and is tied now nationally with Griffin who missed the Kansas game on Monday due to a concussion.
Bryant leads the country in total rebounds (398) and has already topped his total of 298 rebounds from last year. 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.
According to NCAA stats, Bryant is No. 1 nationally in rebounds per game, No. 15 in blocks nationally, No. 15 in field goal percentage and No. 74 in points per game.
Bryant was been named the WCC 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 was 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.
John Bryant grabbed his 1,000th career rebound in the second half vs. Pepperdine, a defensive rebound at 11:58 on the clock. 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 1,083 career rebounds. He needs 53 rebounds to break the school record set by Dennis Awtrey (1,135 from 1967-70). Playing the regular season out (two games) and at least one WCC Tournament game, Bryant will have to average 17.6 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.
On the road
Eleven of SCU's 13 losses on the road this season were lost by a combined 40 points, averaging 3.6 more points for the opposition. The Broncos lost by one at Saint Mary's (63-62), at Portland (53-52) and at USF (67-66 in ot); three vs. UAB (64-61) and vs. Arizona (69-66); by four vs. Florida Atlantic (65-61) and at UNH (58-54); by five at Harvard (73-68); and by six at Georgia (64-48), at Pacific (63-57) and at Pepperdine (66-60).
Their four wins on the road were by a total of 13 points: a 71-68 win at Montana, a 59-56 win at San Jose State, a 64-62 overtime win at USD and a 69-64 win at LMU.
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.