April 14, 2009
Santa Clara senior John Bryant's Portsmouth Inviational Tournament team, the Portsmouth Partnership, finished third in the P.I.T. this past weekend in Portsmouth, Va. In addition to his work at the P.I.T., Bryant was named the Bay Area Player of the Year by the Oakland Tribune last week.
In three games played at the P.I.T., a senior's invitation-only tournament, Bryant averaged 10.3 ppg, 6 rpg, 2 bpg, 1 spg and 1 apg. He received five stitches above his left eye after being on the wrong end of an Garret Siler (7'0, 291lb. center from Augusta State) elbow in the first-game victory over Tidewater Sealants on Thursday early in the second half.
Bryant's teammate, DeMarre Carroll, was named the MVP of the Tournament.
"I had a lot of really cool guys on my team," said Bryant, after a Tuesday morning shooting workout with Bronco assistant coach James Ware. "It was a really good experience, playing at Portsmouth. I am happy I was invited to play and thought my team should have won the championship. But, it's time to get back at it and get back in the gym."
On Friday, Bryant's team fell 80-78 to the Sales Systems, LTD team. Bryant scored 12 points with seven rebounds, two blocks, a steal and an assist in 27 minutes.
In Saturday's third place game, the Portsmouth Partnership crushed Cherry, Bekaert and Holland, 92-74. Bryant scored 12 points, collecting 9 points and two blocks in 22 minutes of play. Carroll led all scorers with 20 points and 16 rebounds.
"The other team didn't play a lot of defense," said Bryant of the victory on Saturday.
On being named the Oakland Tribune's Bay Area Player of the Year, Jeff Faraudo of the Tribune wrote the following last week:
John Bryant, Santa Clara. The 6-foot-11 senior from Pinole Valley High dropped 30 pounds in the offseason and responded with one of the greatest performances in years by a Bay Area big man. The West Coast Conference Player of the Year averaged 18.1 points, 14.2 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and shot 59.6 percent from the field.
His rebounding numbers are off the charts in recent Bay Area history. He ranked second nationally behind Blake Griffin, the consensus national player of the year, and his 467 total rebounds are the most by a local player in 39 seasons. Bryant finished his career ranked third in Bay Area history with 1,152 rebounds and second with 246 blocks.
For only the second time in 11 seasons, our five-man team includes three players from the Bay Area's non-Pac-10 teams. And for the first time since 1992-93, no Stanford player makes the cut.
Consider that former Cal star Leon Powe had one 20-point, 20-rebound game in his college career. Bryant had six of them this season. He had eight games with 20 rebounds or more, including a 27-rebound gusher vs. San Diego that was the most by a local player in 35 years.
At 16-17, the Broncos didn't achieve the same success as Cal or Saint Mary's, but Bryant's individual performance simply was too extraordinary to overlook.