Oct. 16, 2009
PHOTO DAY GALLERY
The Santa Clara men's basketball team will hold its first official 2009-10 practice later this afternoon and then host a Midnight Madness Rally at 8 pm this evening. The free event is open to the public and everyone will receive a cool eco-friendly cup that changes color when cold liquid is poured in it. There are a lot of fun and games planned during the event, which will feature both teams and a lot of games and prizes.
Santa Clara features six new faces this year and has a list of nine underclassmen, including no seniors on the roster.
Earlier this afternoon SantaClaraBroncos.com sat down during a quick study hall break to visit with two of the new faces, Robert Smith of Perris, Calif. and Raymond Cowels of Minneapolis, Minn.
Smith said he couldn't wait to get on the court later today and is `a little nervous' to begin his first `official' college practice. "I am anxious to see how the coaches will react now that it's go time - it's really time to play basketball. With me being young, a freshman, and the point guard, there are a lot of expectations and a lot of stuff I need to know. I am looking forward to it all.
Smith said the team is looking forward to its first practice, which includes the Midnight Madness Rally. "There is a lot of excitement. I feel good because I've made it to this point and then I am nervous at the same time because it's not high school anymore. We have so many good players on this team - everyone has the same skills - so I will have to work hard every practice. But I can't wait to get out there!"
Cowels said he had `first-game' jitters this morning and was both excited and anxious for practice to start. "I feel like we are a talented team. I am ready to learn some new concepts and skills in the game and take it to the next level. We have a lot of new faces and being here early helped. We have good team chemistry and are working to build a winning atmosphere. It feels like my team from high school - we didn't lose a game - and it feels like that, but better."
Smith, like the rest of his teammates, believes coming to Santa Clara in July, going to summer school and working out with head strength and conditioning coach Joe Siara helped them all bond. "It helped a lot to come in early this summer. I feel like I have matured a lot being here and put on some muscle to be able to bang with the big guys."
"With us, it's doing the little things right, because we have the talent," said Smith. "I am ready to see how much better we are going to get and how much we will grow as a team in the next couple weeks."
Cowels said he keeps looking at the clock, excited for it to be 5:30 pm. "I'm excited to see how everybody else plays in practice. It's going to be another learning experience for our team."