December 22, 2008

Bronco Basketball Hosts Stanford Tuesday in Nationally Televised Contest on ESPNU

Dec. 22, 2008

Just prior to the holiday break, Santa Clara will host Stanford in its 78th meeting on the hardwoods Tues., Dec. 23 at 8 pm in an ESPNU nationally televised contest at the Leavey Center. The ESPNU telecast will feature Steve Physioc (play by play) and Krista Blunk (analyst).

Santa Clara, 5-6, fell at Pacific 63-57 on Sat., Dec. 20 behind the 17 points and eight rebounds of senior center John Bryant. Junior transfer Decensae White stepped in to start his first-ever game as a Bronco for the injured sophomore Ben Dowdell and scored 10 points, adding eight rebounds.

The Cardinal are flying high under first-year head coach Johnny Dawkins at 7-0, including a 5-0 record at home. They are the lone unbeaten team in the Pac-10 and only one of 10 unbeaten's left in Division I this season. Stanford played twice last week, posting wins over Northern Arizona (Dec. 17, 66-57) and Northwestern (Dec. 20, 65-59). In the game vs. the Wildcats Stanford forced 19 turnovers and placed four players in double-figure scoring for the fifth game this year.

Dawkins took over when Trent Johnson took the head coaching job at LSU in April. Dawkins played at Duke from 1983-86 and then for nine years in the NBA; and was an assistant at Duke for 11 years, including the associate head coach the past nine years.

LISTEN!

The SCU-SU game will be broadcast live at 8 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 7:30 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.

Series

Stanford leads the series vs. Santa Clara 51-26 and it is Stanford's first visit to Santa Clara in more than four years. The Broncos have won two of the last three games vs. the Cardinal, including an 86-76 win on Nov. 28, 2004 at Santa Clara and then a 62-46 victory on Dec. 16, 2006 in Palo Alto. The 16-point margin in 2006 was the second-largest margin of victory ever by Santa Clara in a game on the road against Stanford as the Cardinal shot 28 percent from the field in the game. Stanford won 74-48 in Palo Alto on Dec. 19, 2007.

Santa Clara's largest wins over Stanford were by 22 points each. SCU won 42-20 on Feb. 2, 1940 and 67-45 on Dec. 16, 1957. Stanford's largest win over the Broncos, by 35, was a 82-47 Cardinal win on Dec. 15, 1990.

Second-year Bronco head coach Kerry Keating, who spent four seasons at UCLA prior to taking the SCU head coaching job in April, 2007, was 3-3 while with the Bruins vs. Stanford with UCLA advancing to two Final Fours during that span.

Their Bench

The Stanford game will also feature the return of former Bronco head coach Dick Davey to the Leavey Center. Davey is in his first season as an associate head coach for Stanford. Davey led the Broncos from 1992-2007, posting a 251-190 record. He directed the Broncos to three NCAA Tournament appearances, three WCC regular season championships and a WCC Tournament title in 1993. Davey's 251 career victories rank second in the school record books behind coaching legend Carroll Williams.

Who's got Next?

After a few days off for the holidays, the Broncos remain at home for the Cable Car Classic Dec. 29 and 30 when they take on Belmont in the first day of competition, Mon., Dec. 29, at 6 pm. All-time leading scorer Kurt Rambis' jersey will be retired at half-time of the Belmont game with Rambis, his family and a number of former teammates and staff on hand for the very special day!

James Madison will play UTEP in the 8 pm game on Mon,. Dec. 29 with the winners playing in the championship at 8 pm on Tues., Dec. 30 and the losers playing in the consolation game at 6 pm the same night.

Day-to-Day

Starting seven of the first eight games, freshman point guard Troy Alexander sat out the NDNU and UNLV game after suffering a left shoulder sprain in the Sac State game and is listed as day to day after attempting to play at Pacific without success.

Freshman forward Marc Trasolini did not play the last three games as he is nursing a sore back and is listed day to day.

Sophomore forward Ben Dowdell, who set the freshman record last season for minutes played, dislocated his pointer finger on the left hand during the first half of the UNLV game and is listed day to day after not playing at Pacific.

Stanford

Stanford, 7-0, has played two games on the road this year and won both: at Yale (Nov. 14, 75-67) and at Colorado State (Dec. 14, 74-63). The Cardinal are led by Anthony Goods (19.1 ppg), Lawrence Hill (14.1 ppg) and Josh Owens (13.1 ppg). Hill hauls in the top number in rebounds with 6.1 rpg.

Stanford returns three starters and seven lettermen from a team that went 28-8 last year and finished second in the Pac-10 at 13-5. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 with wins over Cornell (77-53) and No. 24 Marquette (82-81, OT) before falling to No. 7 Texas (82-62).

Leading the way

Bronco senior John Bryant is averaging a double-double this year and leads the team in points (17.7) and rebounds (11.9). Bryant leads the Broncos with 2.4 bpg and shoots 62% from the field. He has 31 double-doubles in his career, including seven this season (vs. CSU East Bay, vs. UAB, at Georgia, at Montana, at San Jose State, vs. Sacramento State and at UNLV). He is ranked the No. 7 center nationally by Rivals.com.

Junior transfer Decensae White is averaging 10 ppg in his first two games. Two freshmen continue to hover around double-figures: Kevin Foster is averaging 11.0 ppg and James Rahon puts in 10.1 ppg off the bench. Rahon is shooting a team-leading 43% from the three-point line and Foster is the team's leading free-throw shooter at 90% (17 of 19).

SCU is scoring 61.4 ppg to the opponents 57.8; and shooting almost 46% from the field and 34% from the three-point line. The Broncos are out-rebounding their opponents by 4.1 rpg, but turning the ball over 15.2 times a game to their opponents own 13.4 turnovers per game. Santa Clara had just 10 turnovers vs. Sacramento State, vs. Notre Dame de Namur and at Pacific, its lowest totals since the Broncos turned the ball over nine times vs. Saint Mary's on March 4, 2007.

One of 2!

John Bryant and the late Nick Vanos are the only two Broncos to score at least 1200 points, collect 800+ rebounds and block more than 150 shots in their careers.

Bryant has 1,266 career points (No. 16), 816 rebounds (No. 5) and 188 career blocks (No. 1).

During his career from 1981-85, Vanos scored 1,399 points (No. 11), collected 876 rebounds (No. 3) and blocked 159 shots (No. 2). Vanos was first-team All-WCC in 1984 and '85.

Bryant is working to become the first Bronco since Kurt Rambis to collect 1,000+ rebounds and just the third in school history. Dennis Awtrey holds the school record with 1,135 rebounds (1967-70) and Rambis is second with 1,037 rebounds (1976-80).

NCAA Lists

Santa Clara is ranked No. 24 nationally by the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing just 57.8 ppg. In addition, the Broncos are ranked No. 24 nationally in free throw percentage, hitting 75% at the charity stripe.

John Bryant is ranked nationally by the NCAA in five categories. He is No. 4 in rebounds per game (11.9), No. 17 in field goal percentage (61.7%), No. 34 in blocked shots (2.4 bpg), No. 54 in free throw percentage (86.0%) and No. 92 in points per game (17.7).

WCC Lists

Santa Clara is ranked No. 1 in the West Coast Conference in scoring defense (57.8) and rebounding defense (28.0). In addition, the Broncos are No. 2 in the WCC in free throw percentage (75 %); and No. 3 in rebounding margin (+4.1) and blocked shots (4.7).

Individually, John Bryant is No. 1 in rebounds (11.9) and No. 3 in scoring (17.7). He is No. 2 in field goal percentage (62%), blocked shots (2.4), offensive rebounds (4.1) and defensive rebounds (4.8). He is also No. 3 in free throw percentage (86%).

Kevin Foster is No. 4 in three-pointers made at 2.18 pg. James Rahon quickly follows at No. 5 with 1.91 pg and is No. 4 in three point percentage at 42.9%. Perry Petty is No. 7 in steals (1.44)

10, 45

Santa Clara had only turned the ball over 10 times in three of the last four games (vs. Sacramento State, vs. Notre Dame de Namur and at Pacific). All three were the fewest times the Broncos have turned the ball over under second-year head coach Kerry Keating.

In addition, the 45 rebounds Santa Clara collected at San Jose State in its 59-56 win were also a high under Keating's leadership.

Big John

Already the school record holder in blocks (188), John Bryant is inching closer to Dennis Awtrey's school record of 1,135 rebounds. At No. 5 on the career list, Bryant has 816 career rebounds and needs 36 to move to No. 4 and pass Ron Reis (851, 1988-92). He recently became the sixth player to collect 800+ rebounds in school history.

He is No. 17 in career points at 1,266, passing No. 17 (Mitch Burley) and No. 18 (Frank Sobero) in the game at Pacific. He needs 14 points to move to No. 16 and he needs to score 471 points to pass career school-record holder Kurt Rambis who scored 1,736 point during his Bronco career.

Bryant was named to the 2008 pre-season COLLEGEHOOPS.NET Mid-Major All-America second team. Bryant led the West Coast Conference in rebounds and blocks and was second in scoring as a junior; and was named to the preseason All-WCC team after picking up first team honors last year.

Don't foul these brothers

Freshman Kevin Foster is the team's second-leading scorer in the early going this season, averaging 11.1 ppg and shooting 40.4%. Foster has hit double figures five times this season, including five of the last seven games with a career-high 21 points vs. Arizona. He also pulls down 1.8 rpg with 1.6 apg.

His brother Rodney is the senior point guard at Rice University (Dallas, Texas) and he is working hard this season to match Kevin's numbers. Rodney is the team's second-leading scorer with 11.0 ppg, shooting almost 40%, and gathers 3.3 rpg. He has baby brother on the assists as he dishes out 4.1 apg for the Owls, who are 4-5 this year. The two would be able to play a tight game of H-O-R-S-E. Kevin is shooting a team-leading 90% (17-19) from the free throw line, while Rodney leads his team at 92.9% (26-28) from the charity stripe.