Meet Basketball's Troy Payne!

Sept. 29, 2009

Bronco men's basketball forward Troy Panye (TP), a 6' 6, 220lb. junior transfer from Citrus College, averaged 10 PPG, 10.3 RBG, 2 APG, and 3.1 SPG last season. He was named to the all-state junior college team and honored as the conference MVP after his team won the league title for the second straight year and advanced to the Sweet 16.

Below Payne talks about why he chose Santa Clara, who he would compare his game to and even stands in for Dick Vitale, analyzing his game and the style of play the Broncos will play this year. Enjoy this very entertaining and enlightening look at one of the newest Broncos - Troy Payne.

Meet Troy Payne!

SCU: Welcome to Santa Clara. You are from Los Angeles and attended Citrus College prior to coming to Santa Clara. What made you chose Santa Clara?

TP: Just a good feeling. It had a good feeling. The coaches made me feel like it was a good place for me. It is very family-oriented and team-oriented and they took a lot of pride in that. The way the season will look next year, without Big John, it's going to be a more up-tempo pace. At Citrus we played a more up-tempo offense and pressure defense, so a lot of things that they do here are similar to what they do at Citrus and that drew me as well.

SCU: What is your favorite part about being in college?

TP: Just freedom. I live a different life. I am out here on my own, and I am becoming a man. This is where I feel like I will grow up into a man because I have a lot of responsibilities, and that's just a part of life that I need to be prepared for.

SCU: What's your major?

TP: Communication with a minor in International Business.

SCU: How big of a family do you come from?

TP: I'm the baby. I have an older brother, 23, that I'm close with. I have five brothers and one sister. Growing up I didn't have everything, but I worked for it. I am blessed to have the opportunity here at Santa Clara to play basketball for a scholarship. I'm trying to take advantage of it.

SCU: Have you been able to enjoy Santa Clara's campus since you've been here?

TP: I went to a couple men's and women's soccer games. That was a different experience for me. Watching it on TV is pretty boring, but when you are there in person, you can see the effort they put into the game and that it's not as easy as it looks. I would encourage all of our fans to come out to a lot of Bronco events this year.

SCU: What should Dick Vitale's scouting report be on you?

TP: Make sure you box Troy Payne out because he's aggressive going after those rebounds (big smile). He never takes a play off, attacks the basket very well, is very athletic and can shoot the open shot. He does a lot of the dirty work on the team, so make sure you know when he's out on the court.

SCU: Again standing in Dick Vitale's shoes, how would he describe your team's style of play this year? What will a fan notice is different from last year?

TP: The Santa Clara Broncos are a different team this year. Last year, they ran the offense more through the post because of the 6' 11" Big John Bryant, who averaged a double-double every game. This year, they are much younger and faster and more athletic. Last year they averaged 60 points a game, but this year they are going to average 80 to 90 points per game. If you want to stop Santa Clara you have to have good transition defense to stop them and pressure the ball more.

SCU: Good analysis. Which NBA player would you compare your game to?

TP: Ron Artest or Trevor Ariza because they both play hard defense. Myself, I tend to play real hard. Play hard and try to get steals. Last year I averaged about three steals a game. I was probably top five in the state in steals.

SCU: When you are going after a steal, do you try to anticipate what the offensive player is going to do, or do you just go for the ball?

TP: Everything is about anticipation as well as the player because it might be a bad ball handler, and I'll pressure him more. Sometimes they will give me the ball, but sometimes it's a point guard and I will have to anticipate what they are going to do, or I might be in the passing lane and I have to react to the ball. My instincts are very good so that's how I get the steals most of the time.

SCU: What did you work on this summer while at Santa Clara for summer school?

TP: It was a good challenge for me to get to know Santa Clara a little more, and I'm really glad I took the summer school classes. The summer I mostly worked on my shooting and my ball handling, just being more cautious when dribbling in the open court. A lot of times in open gym I get the rebound and go and try to create for others or if I can't create for myself, I put a lot of work in shooting on the gun, the new shooting machine. I've also been working on getting stronger. Coach Joe is here pushing us to get stronger, and I've been getting a lot of work in with him.

SCU: Is there anything that you are doing in the weight room that you are doing differently to get stronger?

TP: Probably more ankle mobility because I need to increase my ankles' strength, which would be good on the court for my balance.

SCU: So even though you are new on this team, you are kind of a `Papa Bear' because you have 10 underclassmen on the team. Do they look up to you?

TP: I feel like I can be a leader and will be a leader because of my spirit and the fact that I have a lot of winning under my belt. My two years at Citrus we won 62 games. I know what it takes to win. It's a lot of hard work. On the court, I have a better feel for it then some people on the team, like the freshmen. If I see something they need to improve on, I let them know right away. We are all really positive and excited to be here.

SCU: Are you a lead by example type of guy and a vocal leader?

TP: I lead by example. In the weight room I go hard all the time. I have won every conditioning drill here. Numbers don't lie. I try my best so I can help them play harder and follow me. But I want us to all work hard.

SCU: What are a couple of things you would like to do this year? Do you have any personal goals?

TP: I really haven't thought about it too much. I really want to win. I come from a winning background that I want to bring with me to Santa Clara. I feel like we have a good team and we can be good, but it's going to take time. I think our coaches will get us well prepared for that. I try to watch a lot of film so that I can be prepared.