Nov. 21, 2007
Santa Clara heads to Sacramento over Thanksgiving Weekend to play Sacramento State on Sunday, Nov. 25. The Broncos' fourth straight road game will tip off at 2 p.m. PT at the Hornets Nest. SCU is in the midst of seven straight games on the road. Sacramento State is the third team that the Broncos play this year for the first time in program history. SCU had never played Cal State Monterey Bay or Simpson prior to playing them on Nov. 9 and 13, respectively.
The Broncos picked up an impressive 72-57 road win over the University of Utah on Nov. 19 in Salt Lake City. Calvin Johnson scored 21 points to lead the way and John Bryant, despite being limited to 14 minutes due to foul trouble, scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds. A 21-4 run over 10 minutes in the second half put the game away for SCU. Senior Brody Angley had 11 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals in the win. The Broncos are now 2-1 on their seven-game road stretch.
Head Coach Kerry Keating
Santa Clara University named Kerry Keating head coach on April 6, 2007. In his first season on the Mission Campus, Keating, 36, comes to SCU with a long coaching backgroud at a number of top programs. Most recently, Keating helped UCLA reach back-to-back Final Fours as an assistant coach on Ben Howland's staff in Westwood. He has also served as an assistant at Tennessee, Tulsa, Appalachian State, Seton Hall, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. He is off to a 3-1 start in his career.
SCU vs. Sacramento State
Series Record: First Meeting.
Big Sky Opponents
Sacramento State is the first of three Big Sky conference opponents for the Broncos in 2007-08. SCU plays Sacramento State, Eastern Washington (Nov. 29) and Montana (Dec. 17). Last season, SCU defeated Eastern Washington 91-68 and in 2005-06, SCU lost to Montana 67-56. Both games were at the Leavey Center.
Shooting the Three
Santa Clara shot 7-for-14 on 3-pointers against Nevada on Nov. 17, the team's best performance of the season beyond the arc. The Broncos followed that with a 9-for-19 performance against Utah on Nov. 19. SCU is now shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc this year.
Angley In Top 10
Senior point guard Brody Angley had 119 assists last season, giving him 342 career assists coming into this season. With 16 assists in the first four games he has now passed Harold Keeling (1981-85) for seventh all-time with 358 career assists. John Woolery (1990-94) is sixth on the list with 422.
Angley More Top 10s
Brody Angley also finds himself in the Top 10 all-time in steals at SCU with 131. He is ninth all-time, one behind Lacoby Phillips (1988-92). Along with steals, Angley should find himself in the Top 10 all-time in games started as well. The Redding, Calif. native now has 84 starts, two shy of Londale Theus (1976-80), who is in 10th all-time with 86 games started. Angley has an opportunity to end his career second all-time if he starts 28 games this season. The all-time leader is Brian Jones (1996-01) with 116 starts. Kurt Rambis (1976-80) is second with 107.
Bryant Moving Up
Center John Bryant blocked 49 shots last season, surpassing his 37 from the 2005-06 season. Bryant's 49 blocks are the third highest single season total in school history. He surpassed Jens Gordon (1987-88), who had 48. After seven blocks in the first four games, Bryant now has 93 career blocks, tying him for third all-time in blocks in SCU history. He is tied with Kurt Rambis (1976-80). Next on the list is Jens Gordon (1985-89) with 133.
Bryant A Force
John Bryant continues to dominate inside for Santa Clara in 2007-08. Despite slow starts in the past two games, Bryant has had huge second halves for the Broncos. He scored 14 points in the second half against Nevada on Nov. 17 to finish with 20 for the game. After missing all but 90 seconds of the first half at Utah on Nov. 19, Bryant scored 17 points in just 13 minutes in the second half for SCU. He is now averaging 23.0 points per game this season.
Johnson Starts Strong
Junior Calvin Johnson has gotten off to a great start in his first two games this season. After missing the games against Cal State Monterey Bay and Simpson with a back injury, Johnson scored 14 points in his debut against Nevada and 21 against Utah. At 17.5 points per game, he is now second on the team in scoring. All nine of his field goals have been three-pointers and he is shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc in the two games (9-for-18). He led the team in scoring against Utah.
First Half/Second Half
In the first three games of the season Santa Clara had outscored its opponents 98-67, but in the second half of the first three games, the Broncos were dead even with their opponents at 104 points apiece. SCU turned that around against Utah on Nov. 19. After leading 29-27 at the half, the Broncos outscored the Runnin' Utes 43-30 in the second half to win by 15. After allowing Utah to hit 59 percent of its shots in the first half, Utah hit just 39 percent in the second half. Conversely, SCU shot 59 percent from the field in the second half after shooting 39 percent in the first half.
Santa Clara was tied with Utah 41-41 at the 12:20 mark of the second half after a basket by the Utes. Following that basket, SCU went on a 21-4 run that lasted until 2:24 when Utah's Johnnie Bryant hit a three-pointer. During that stretch, SCU held the Utes without a field goal from 10:46 until 2:24, a stretch of 10:22. Also, Utah did not score from the 8:50 mark until 2:24.
Mbanugo Coming Up Big
Santa Clara's starting center, John Bryant, picked up his second foul of the game at the 18:33 mark of the first half at Utah and he did not play again the rest of the half. With big men, Josh Higgins and Andrew Zimmermann out with injuries, senior Okey Mbanugo was the only big man available to Kerry Keating. The 6-9 Mbanugo was forced to guard Utah's 7-1 center, Luke Nevill. Mbanugo did more than hold his own, playing a career high 24 minutes, while scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds. He also played solid defense on Nevill, helping make him shoot 2-for-10 in the game and 0-for-6 in the second half. Mbanugo appeared in 15 games last season, but scored only eight points and grabbed 14 rebounds. He already has 16 points and 13 rebounds in four games this year.
Santa Clara committed 21 turnovers against Nevada on Nov. 17 in losing 67-54. Nevada scored 26 points on those turnovers, while SCU scored only 13 points off turnovers. Against Utah, the Broncos cut their turnovers down to 11 and scored 15 points off 13 Utah turnovers.
Santa Clara is in the middle of a stretch of seven games away from home. The Broncos have not had a road stretch this long since the 1996-97 season when the team also played seven in a row away from home. This year, SCU plays Simpson, Nevada, Utah, Sacramento State, Eastern Washington, Utah State and San Jose State during the road trip. In 1996-97, the Broncos faced San Jose State, Fairfield and New Orleans at the MetLife Classic in San Francisco, Eastern Illinois and Indiana at the Indiana Classic in Bloomington, Ind., and finished up with games at Eastern Washington and Pacific. The 1996-97 Broncos went 4-3 on that trip.
Santa Clara got only five points from the bench in its loss to Nevada. However, the bench responded vs. Utah on Nov. 19. Led by Cedric Latimer's career high eight points and Okey Mbanugo's six, the Broncos got 16 points from their bench.
SCU had 12 steals through three games coming into the Nov. 19 game at Utah. Against the Utes, SCU had a season high nine steals, led by Angley's four thefts.
On the Boards
Santa Clara has held the rebounding edge in all four of its games this season. Overall, the Broncos have outrebounded opponents 138-102 for a +9.0 margin.
Bryant Another Career High
Junior center John Bryant has gotten out to a great start this season. He tied his career high with 26 points in the Broncos' season-opening win over Cal State Monterey Bay. Against Simpson on Nov. 13, he went for 29 points to set a new career high. The Broncos center also pulled down 14 rebounds and had four blocks against CSUMB. It was Bryant's first double-double this year after posting five in 2006-07.
Stuffing the Stat Sheet
Freshman Ben Dowdell has displayed a great all-around game in the Broncos' first four contests. Through three games, he is averaging a team-leading 4.0 assists per game, while also grabbing 4.8 rebounds and scoring 3.3 points per game. He also has two steals and one block so far this year and has started his first four collegiate games. At 6-7, he also spent time guarding Utah's 7-1 center, Luke Nevill, on Nov. 19.
Santa Clara has been hit by the injury bug during the early part of the season, as a number of players have missed practice time and games due to injuries. Right now, the team has three players dealing with injuries. Senior Josh Higgins has a left knee injury that will keep him out of the lineup for another 2-3 weeks. Freshman Andrew Zimmermann has been battling a back problem and has also been out for SCU. He has been practicing lightly and is questionable for the game at Sacramento State. Freshman Scott Thompson is still recovering from an appendectomy and is unavailable for the Broncos.