September 13, 2011

All-American James Case Sets Sight on Final Four

The Bronco's most consistent offensive force in 2010 was junior All-American James Case, who led the team with 59 goals on the year while shooting a blazing 49.1% from the field.  The speedy driver also collected 22 assists and 26 steals while being named a second team All-WWPA selection. www.santaclarabroncos.com talked with the rising senior about his emergence into an offensive force, the keys for a successful follow-up season and his favorite memories from home.

By: Vince Menon

SCB: After a strong junior year how did you keep yourself in shape during the offseason? Did the team train together or as individuals?

JC: We train year round as a team. I also was trying out for the World University games throughout the winter and spring which was a great experience for me to play with the best college players in the country. The whole team was here this summer as we competed as a club team in the American Water Polo League and it really helped us with our chemistry after losing a great senior class.

SCB: The team finished with a 19-15 record and a historic win to tie for a program-best finish of third place in the 2010 Men's Water Polo Association Championships. What will be the key to building on last season's success? Have you set any team goals for the season?

JC: The key for us is to have some of the younger players step up and fill the roles of our hard working big men last year in Stephen Hobbs and Mitch Klipa. Two things we are really working on to take the next step is our consistency and continuing to raise our overall awareness in the pool.  Our ultimate goal is to win our conference and obtain a bid to the Final Four.

SCB: You upped your scoring significantly, jumping from 30 goals as a sophomore to 59 goals last season. How were able to improve so dramatically in this aspect of your game?

JC: Last year I really needed to step up with the graduation of some great shooters and I was able to do so by taking what made them successful and incorporating that into my game. Going into practice every day with a specific thing to work on has really focused me on never getting complacent with my game and contributed greatly to my success last year.

SCB: As a key offensive player you started in all 34 games. How were you able to keep yourself healthy and prepared for competition? What did your pre-game and post-game routine consist of and what role did it play in allowing you to compete?

JC: Our training staff at Santa Clara is really amazing and we are grateful to have people that are always making sure we are getting the treatment we need to be able to compete every day.

SCB: What has been the highlight of your Santa Clara water polo career so far?

JC: Beating Pepperdine last year was a really sweet win. It always feels great to beat a team that thinks that they are so much better than you. I can't wait to play them again this year at home, they're going to give us everything they've got and it's going to be a great battle.

SCB: Finally, talk about your hometown of Greenwich, Conn. versus life on the Mission Campus. What do you miss about home, enjoy about Santa Clara and how are the two different?

JC: I love it here in California with all the nice people and the great weather, but at the same time I'm torn about where I want to live after graduation. I miss my friends and family, the delicious Italian delis, as well as the best city in the world, New York City.