November 25, 2008

Broncos to play Arizona Tonight in Athens

Nov. 25, 2008

Playing in the Dick Sporting Good NIT Season Tip-Off Consolation Bracket, the Santa Clara basketball team, 1-3, will play the University of Arizona, 2-1, in Athens, Ga., on Tues. Nov. 25 at 2:45 pm (Pacific). Santa Clara fell on Monday night to Georgia 54-48. Arizona defeated Mississippi Valley State in the first game of the night 86-52.

The Santa Clara-Arizona game will be broadcast on a tape delay basis at 5 pm on KDOW-AM 1220. The game can be found on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com at 2:45 pm. The game will not be on TV.

Anthony Passarelli is in his second season as the Santa Clara men's basketball play-by-play announcer after six seasons of handling those duties for SCU women's basketball.

* The Broncos are 91-171 vs. the Pac-10, including 4-4 vs. Arizona. The last time the Broncos played a Pac-10 team: SCU lost 74-48 at Stanford on Dec. 19, 2007. The Cardinal will visit the Broncos on Dec. 23 for an ESPNU televised game prior to the holidays.

** The Broncos last played in the NIT Preseason Tournament in 1993. They lost to No. 6 California 81-74 on Nov. 17 at San Jose Arena in San Jose, Calif. The season before Santa Clara had advanced to the 1993 NCAA Tournament second round with a 64-61 win over Arizona before falling 68-57 to Temple.

*** Second year head coach Kerry Keating is 6-4 in his career in November and 1-1 on Tuesdays.

Bronco senior John Bryant is averaging a double-double this year with 18.3 ppg and 11.5 rpg. He has 27 double-doubles in his career, including three this season (vs. CSU East Bay, vs. UAB and at Georgia).

Bryant leads the team with 11.5 rpg with Ben Dowdell averaging 4.3 rpg as the second-best. Marc Trasolini lead the Broncos with 2.0 bpg and Bryant blocks 1.75 per game. Leading the shooters is Bryant's 65% from the field and Kevin Foster knocking down 32% from beyond the arc.

Santa Clara will be playing Arizona for the ninth time with both teams winning four times each. The two first played in 1936, with the Broncos getting away with a 45-25 victory on Dec. 28, 1936; and the last match-up the Wildcats won 89-63 on Dec. 18, 1993. The Broncos had defeated the Wildcats earlier that year in the 1993 NCAA Tournament First Round in Salt Lake City, 64-61.

The Wildcats were picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 this year. The Wildcats return three starters and eight letterwinners from a team that finished at 19-15 last year, including 8-10 in the Pac-10 Conference. The Wildcats bowed out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats have been through quite a bit in the last month. Veteran college assistant Russ Pennell assumed the role of interim head coach at Arizona on Oct. 24, 2008, in the wake of Lute Olson's retirement a day earlier. He will oversee all aspects of the program during the 2008-09 season. Pennell returned to college basketball on May 5, 2008, when he joined the Wildcat staff, ending a two-year stint as the head of the Arizona Premier League in the Phoenix area. He also provided color commentary for the Arizona State University radio network during the 2007-08 season. Most recently, Pennell served as an assistant coach for Arizona State for eight seasons from 1998-2006.