Dec. 2, 2008
Playing the last five straight games on the road, the Bronco schedule again pits Santa Clara away, this time at cross-town rival San Jose State on Wed., Dec. 3 before it returns to the Leavey Center to play Sacramento State on Sat., Dec. 6 at 7 pm. The six-game road streak is the longest the Broncos have played since they played seven straight on the road to begin the 2007-08 season, posting a 5-2 record.
Santa Clara, 2-4, won 71-68 at Montana on Sun., Nov. 30 behind senior John Bryant's 28th career double-double when he scored 20 points and added 13 rebounds. Starting his first college game, freshman Kevin Foster posted 17 points and three rebounds. Freshman James Rahon added 12 points off the bench.
Playing in the NIT Season Tip-off Tournament, the Broncos played two games in Arizona two weeks ago (lost to UAB and Florida Atlantic) and two games at Georgia early last week (lost at Georgia and to Arizona) before moving on to win at Montana.
San Jose State is 2-2 and hasn't played since the Spartans lost 47-46 at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. on Mon., Nov. 24.
Santa Clara leads the series against SJSU, 70-28. The two split the series last season with both winning on the other's floor. SCU won 73-63 at San Jose State on Dec. 8, 2007 and then the Broncos lost 62-59 at home on Jan. 7, 2008. San Jose State hasn't won two straight over the Broncos since it won 74-67 on Dec. 22, 1984 and then 58-55 on Dec. 19, 1985.
SJSU is playing four West Coast Conference teams this season for the first time since 1998-99, playing at San Diego (Dec. 8), vs. USF (Dec. 22) and at Saint Mary's (Dec. 27) later this month.
The Santa Clara-San Jose State game will be broadcast live at 7 pm on Wed., Dec. 3 via the Bronco Radio Network, which consists of KDOW-AM 1220 and Broncos All-Access on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. The pregame show will begin at 6:30 pm. 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.
vs. San Jose State
The Spartans, 2-2, are led by head coach George Nessman and he is 26-71 in his four years at San Jose State. They were picked fourth in the WAC Coaches poll in October. Nessman is 1-3 vs. Santa Clara during his career.
San Jose State returns all five starters from a team that went 13-19 last year and finished eighth in the Western Athletic Conference at 4-14.
Senior Tim Pierce leads the way with 15.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Junior Chris Oakes is also averaging double figures with 10.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg and 2.5 bpg; and he has six career double-doubles.
More than just the City's Braggin' Rights
Santa Clara will play six teams from California this year before it starts WCC play on Jan. 9 at Saint Mary's. Those six include games vs. CSU East Bay (W, 68-40), at San Jose State (Dec. 3), vs. Sacramento State (Dec. 6), vs. Notre Dame de Namur (Dec. 13), at Pacific (Dec. 20) and vs. Stanford (Dec. 23).
The Broncos are 1-0 this season vs. California with their 68-40 win over CSU East Bay Fri., Nov. 14.
Kerry Keating was 4-3 vs. non-conference California teams last year and if you throw WCC teams into that mix, Keating finished 10-8 vs. the state of California in 2007-08.
Playing 12 2008 post-season tournament teams, including 11 vs. NCAA Tournament teams, Santa Clara will also host the 42nd annual Cable Car Classic - the longest running annual university tournament in the late December. The Cable Car Classic, Mon, Dec. 29 and Tues., Dec. 30, will include 2008 NCAA Tournament team Belmont, James Madison and UTEP.
Santa Clara will host five home games vs. 2008 NCAA Tournament participants: Stanford (Dec. 23), Belmont (Dec. 29), San Diego (Jan. 11), St. Mary's (Feb. 7) and Gonzaga (Feb. 26). SCU will be on the road to play six other 2008 NCAA Tourney participants: at Georgia (Nov. 24, L, 54-48), vs. Arizona (Nov. 25, L, 69-66), at UNLV (Dec. 17), at St. Mary's (Jan. 9), at Gonzaga (Jan. 15) and at San Diego (Feb. 5). UAB (Nov. 17, L 64-61) advanced to the second round of the NIT last season.
Leading the way
Bronco senior John Bryant is averaging a double-double this year with 19.5 ppg and 11.2 rpg. He has 28 double-doubles in his career, including four this season (vs. CSU East Bay, vs. UAB, at Georgia and at Montana). Freshman Kevin Foster is averaging 10.7 ppg after scoring 21 points vs. Arizona and then 17 at Montana the last two games. Freshman James Rahon puts in 9.8 ppg off the bench.
Bryant leads the team with 11.2 rpg with sophomore Ben Dowdell averaging 3.5 rpg as the second-best. Bryant leads the Broncos with 2.0 bpg. Leading the shooters is Bryant's 64% from the field with Foster knocking down 42% from beyond the arc.
SCU is scoring 62.5 ppg to the opponents 60.2; and shooting almost 48% from the field and an improved 38% from the three-point line. The Broncos are outrebounding their opponents by 5.3 rpg, but turning the ball over 16.3 times a game to their opponents own 13.2 turnovers per game.
New The Broncos have eight newcomers this season with four true freshman playing considerable time. Seven of the eight have appeared in the first six games with junior Decensae White expected to begin play after the Fall Quarter due to NCAA transfer rules. White transferred from Texas Tech last December after playing two seasons for the Red Raiders under then-coach Bobby Knight.
The seven newcomers are contributing: Troy Alexander (has started five of six games); James Rahon (averaging 9.8 ppg off the bench); Kevin Foster (averaging 19 points the past two games); junior college transfer Perry Petty (scored a career-high 17 points vs. UAB); Marc Trasolini (averages 3.5 rpg and 1.5 bpg); Scott Thompson (was sidelined during the preseason and first three games with a sprained ankle); and walk-on Phillip Bach.
Not one of the newcomers, but sophomore Michael Santos played just 32 minutes in nine games last season as a walk-on, scoring just six points. He has been put on scholarship this year. After the Montana game, head coach Kerry Keating called Santos 'the glue that holds the team together'.
The following are a few of the newest Broncos' contributions (with Santos included).
MPG new: 64% of the minutes (played 733 of 1200 possible minutes)
PPG new: 66% of the points (four of the top five scorers)
RPG new: 48% of the rebounds
BSPG new: 50% of the blocks
APG new: 70% of the assists
* John Bryant reached 1,000 points in his junior season for the Broncos with 18 points on Feb. 23 vs. San Diego. He was the 27th player in school history to accomplish the feat. He hit the 1,000-point barrier with a put back against San Diego for his last basket of the game. He is currently in 29th place all-time with 1,188 points. He needs 159 points to pass Marlon Garnett at No. 15 (1,346 points from 1993-97).
* Bryant has 752 rebounds, good for No. 6 on the career list, after pulling down 298 rebounds in 2007-08. He needs 63 more rebounds to move past Jens Gordon at No. 5 (814, 1985-89).
* He already holds the school record with 174 career blocked shots and set the single-season record last season with 76 blocked shots.
* Bryant notched 15 double-doubles last season and currently has 28 career double-doubles.
* He had nine double-doubles in 14 conference games in 2008. He earned them against Saint Mary's (2), Loyola Marymount (2), at San Diego, San Francisco (2), vs. Portland and at Pepperdine, but just missed a double-double vs. Pepperdine with 14 points and nine rebounds. Bryant averaged a double-double in conference games with 18.1 ppg and 10.3 rpg.
* Had double doubles against Cal State MB (Nov. 9), Sacramento State (Nov. 25), San Jose State (Dec. 8), Montana (Dec. 17) and Denver (Dec. 28). He also picked up a double-double in the first round of the 2008 WCC Tournament, collecting 25 points with a personal-best 17 rebounds in the 51-50 win over USF. Bryant had five double-doubles in 2006-07 and four double-doubles as a freshman during the 2005-06 season.