November 12, 2009

Men's Basketball opens season with first-ever meeting at CSUB

Nov. 12, 2009

Santa Clara will open the 2009-10 season on the road at CSU Bakersfield on Fri., Nov. 13 at 7 pm. It is the first meeting between the two schools. Santa Clara is 1-1 in season openers under third-year head coach Kerry Keating. It is the first time since 2003 that the Broncos have opened the regular season in a true road game. The Broncos return home for their regular season home opener vs. Menlo on Mon., Nov. 16.

Santa Clara, which features no seniors and nine underclassmen, is led by Kevin Foster, a preseason All-WCC honoree by the league's coaches. SCU returns three starters and seven letterwinners.

Santa Clara was 16-17 under Keating last year. Santa Clara posted a 7-7 record in the WCC, finishing in fourth place. The Broncos advanced to the WCC Tournament semi-finals before falling to eventual champion and then-No. 14 Gonzaga.

CSU Bakersfield was 8-21 under fourth-year head coach Keith Brown in 2008-09 The Roadrunners return seven letterwinners and all five starters. CSUB is in its fourth year of transition to Division I and are not NCAA Tournament eligible until 2011.

Listen up

The SCU-CSU Bakersfield game will be broadcast at 7 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 6:45 pm. Anthony Passarelli is in his third season as the Santa Clara men's basketball play-by-play announcer after six seasons of handling those duties for SCU women's basketball.

Live video of the game can be found for free at GoRunners.com.

Prior to

The men's basketball team began the season with strong defense on Nov. 6, carried out by the momentum of winning the tip-off. It was almost all uphill from there for Santa Clara in its only exhibition game this season as it defeated Notre Dame de Namur 101-45.

Santa Clara shot 56 percent from the field while the Argonauts could only muster 17.4 percent from the field, including 18.2 percent from beyond the arc. But Santa Clara shot just 38.9 percent from the free-throw line (7-18).

Santa Clara was led by Kevin Foster and Marc Trasolini, who scored 25 and 17 points, respectively. The leading rebounders of the game were Niyi Harrison and Trasolini, both with nine rebounds apiece. Also adding double-figures were Harrison (14) and Robert Smith (13). Smith also added eight assists and three steals.

Bronco Tour

After playing in nine different states and 15 different cities in 2008-09, Santa Clara will play in just four states this season with 27 of its 31 regular season games in the Golden State. They will travel out of state to play just four games: two in Houston: at Houston Baptist (Dec. 14) and at Rice (Dec. 16); and at Gonzaga (Feb. 25) and at Portland (Feb. 27).

The WCC Tournament will be played in Las Vegas, Nev. for the second straight year.

Santa Clara will play six games vs. 2009 post-season teams: at San Diego State on Nov. 19 (NIT Semi-Finals), vs. UNLV on Dec. 5 (NIT), vs. Saint Mary's on Jan. 10 and at Saint Mary's on Feb. 4 (NIT second round); and vs. Gonzaga on Jan. 28 and at Gonzaga on Feb. 25 (NCAA Sweet 16).

West Coast Classic

Santa Clara will host the West Coast Classic in late November and early December. The Classic represents five different Division I conferences including the West Coast (Santa Clara), the Mountain West (San Diego State), Big Sky (Northern Arizona), Big West (Pacific) and WAC (Fresno State).

The West Coast Classic is considered one of the first of its kind because each school gets to host two home games. Santa Clara will host two games in the exempt event this season and can host an event like this once every five years.

"The opportunity to schedule up to 31 games in a season is difficult and by utilizing what is available to us by way of a multi-team event hopefully will provide all the schools that are involved more access to their own fan base," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "We are glad we could make this come about and look forward to competing with the teams involved."

WCC Honorees Return

Both Kevin Foster and Marc Trasolini were both named to the 2009 All-WCC Freshman team last year. In addition Foster was named the WCC Newcomer of the Year and to the All-WCC Honorable Mention team. Later Foster was named to the Freshman All-American team.

Foster scored 20+ 11 times and Trasolini crossed the 20 point line once. Trasolini had the duo's lone double-double on the season, a 24-point, 10 rebound game at New Hampshire.

Foster Shatters Numerous Records

Ben Dowdell broke Kurt Bailey's single season freshman minutes played record with 890 minutes, topping Bailey's 842-minute effort in 2000-01. Dowdell held the record for less than a season, as Kevin Foster broke the record three minutes into the Portland game and finished last season by playing exactly 1,000 minutes during his rookie campaign.

Foster topped two-time NBA MVP and former Bronco Steve Nash's single season record for three pointers made with 85 in 2008-09. Nash's record was 84 in 1995.

Foster broke Kurt Rambis' freshman school record for points scored on Sat., Feb. 21 at USF. The record stood for 32 years and Rambis' jersey was retired in Dec., 2008 officially with a ceremony. Rambis, the 1980 WCC Player of the Year who went on to star with the Los Angles Lakers, is the career points leader with 1,736 points and was No. 2 in career rebounds (1,037) until John Bryant passed him late last season.

Foster finished the year with 486 points in his rookie campaign, topping Rambis' 414 points (1976-77). In addition at the USF game, Foster broke the freshman field goals attempted record set by Rambis the same season. Foster finished with 396 to Rambis' 317.

Earlier in the season Foster broke the freshman school record for three pointers attempted and three pointers made. He made 85 and the old record was 51 by Brandon Rohe (2002-03). He has attempted 232 three pointers and the previous record was 145, also by Rohe. Foster leads WCC rookies with 14.7 ppg in all games and with 16.5 ppg in WCC games.

Foster is No. 3 on the SCU rookie list in steals (41 this season, record is 49), No. 3 in free throws made (73, record is 98) and No. 5 in assists (has 80, record is 119). '

Shooter Who Can Block

Marc Trasolini tied John Bryant's SCU freshman record for blocks with 37 at USF and finished the year with 37. Trasolini shattered both the SCU individual single-season record and SCU freshman record as he shot 68.1% from the field. Trasolini averaged 6.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 1.2 bpg.

This past summer he played on the U-19 Canadian Team that finished seventh at the World U-19 Championships in New Zealand after posting an 82-74 win over France. He averaged 7 ppg, 4.8 rpg and shot 51.3% during the tournament. It is the third straight summer Trasolini has played with the Canadian National team - winning a broncos medal with the U-18 team in the summer of 2008 at the FIBA Amercas Tournament in Argentina when he was the third-leading scorer.

Highs

The Broncos knocked down 12 three-pointers vs. Pepperdine on Jan. 31, 2009 - its second-straight time to hit 12 three-pointers in a home game vs. Pepperdine. It was a season-high for the Broncos, and also ties a two-year high under Coach Keating.

Santa Clara collected 11 blocks vs. LMU, a two-year high under Keating. Santa Clara hit a season-high 89 points vs. UTEP.

Santa Clara had just 10 turnovers vs. Sacramento State, vs. Notre Dame de Namur, at Pacific and vs. Gonzaga, its lowest totals since the Broncos turned the ball over nine times vs. Saint Mary's on March 4, 2007.

The Broncos collected 48 rebounds vs. Houston Baptist, a high under head coach Kerry Keating; and the most since the Broncos grabbed 49 rebounds vs. Holy Names on Nov. 14, 2006.

SCU held two straight home opponents to 14 points in the first half last year. Sac State scored 14 in the first half and went on to score 18 points in the second half to finish 51-32 losers to SCU on Dec. 6, 2008. NDNU scored 14 points in the first half vs. Santa Clara and fell 67-47 to the Broncos on Dec. 13. The 14 points in the first half were the fewest a team has scored vs. SCU since Stanford scored 12 points in the first half of a 62-46 loss to SCU, at Stanford, on Dec. 16, 2006.