October 13th... A Special Time of Year

Oct. 1, 2001

October 13th.

It's basketball's equivalent of baseball's spring training where every team (except perhaps Saint Mary's) can see itself cutting down the nets in San Diego for a trip to "The Big Dance." The crack or ping of the bat is replaced by the echo of a bouncing ball. The smell of the grass becomes the eye-catching glossy hardwood at Leavey.

"It's an exciting time," says Dick Davey, about to begin his 10th season (Yes, Arizona was THAT long ago). "We haven't really done anything basketball-wise in six months and we're ready to go back to work. It's an intriguing time with four new players to see if they are going to be as good as we thought they would be."

How good will the Broncos be?

That depends on how the team addresses the biggest question marks: rebounding and defense. In Brian Jones, the Broncos had the best on-ball defender in the conference and was the 2nd leading rebounder to Jamie Holmes, who hauled in 7.5 rebounds a game. Replacing two first-team all league guys will be tougher than sneaking a fastball past Barry Bonds.

Kyle Bailey asked Davey if number 11 (previously worn by Steve Nash) was retired. When DD said no, Bailey said maybe the school could retire the number when he was through. If the reports on his workouts are accurate, Bailey will continue the great lineage of point guards at Santa Clara.

In Bailey, Steve Ross, and Justin Holbrook, the Broncos have the best perimeter shooting this side of Spokane. If Ross commits himself on the defensive end, he is a legitimate 1st-teamer. Holbrook will start at the four and create problems by pulling his man away from the basket.

The defense will be anchored by seniors Brian Vaka and David Emslie. Vaka brings an energy and passion that is contagious among teammates. He'll need to look for his shot more but will not have the pressure to be a big-time scorer with the others in the lineup. Emslie must continue to get stronger, avoid bad fouls and bring it every night. I've been touting Emmer the last 2 years and it's his time.

The schedule features three teams from the Pac-10 (Cal, Washington and Stanford), Fresno State and a trip to Ohio State and Wright State. As usual, Steve Seandel has put together a tough schedule designed to get the group ready for WCC play. An outsider may say that a difficult schedule could demoralize a team in its embryonic stage. But they turned it around last year after suffering the worst back-to-back losses in school history and still came within a possession of a trip to the promised land.

Next time, I'll break down the reserves, but keep this in mind: In the last five years, the Broncos have either lost to the team that made the NCAA's on the final possession or fell in the conference title game. As a famous fire-walking motivational speaker stresses: "The outcome is not enough, you must enjoy the journey along the way."

It all starts October 13th. Get ready for the ride.

WCC Sweepstakes Winner Chosen
February 28, 2002 WCC Sweepstakes Winner Chosen
WCC Tournament Memories
February 28, 2002 WCC Tournament Memories
2002 WCC Basketball Tournament
February 25, 2002 2002 WCC Basketball Tournament
Men's Hoops Downs LMU, 67-59
February 22, 2002 Men's Hoops Downs LMU, 67-59
Ruff Riders In Action
February 13, 2002 Ruff Riders In Action
Men's Basketball Alumni Game
February 11, 2002 Men's Basketball Alumni Game
Nash Has Made His Point
February 10, 2002 Nash Has Made His Point
Big Game, But Not a Must
February 4, 2002 Big Game, But Not a Must
Fantastic Freshman
February 1, 2002 Fantastic Freshman
March Madness Is Approaching
January 31, 2002 March Madness Is Approaching
Men's Basketball
January 28, 2002 Men's Basketball
Run-N-Gun Bronco Basketball
January 23, 2002 Run-N-Gun Bronco Basketball
Gonzaga 83, Santa Clara 81
January 11, 2002 Gonzaga 83, Santa Clara 81
Burn Baby Burn
January 8, 2002 Burn Baby Burn
UMBC 50, Detroit 47
December 29, 2001 UMBC 50, Detroit 47
UCSB 86, Detroit 59
December 29, 2001 UCSB 86, Detroit 59
Santa Clara 61, UCSB 59
December 29, 2001 Santa Clara 61, UCSB 59
Have Faith Bronco Fans!
December 29, 2001 Have Faith Bronco Fans!
Santa Clara 59, UMBC 58
December 28, 2001 Santa Clara 59, UMBC 58
Buckeyes Too Much For Broncos
December 12, 2001 Buckeyes Too Much For Broncos
Men's Hoops Travels to Ohio
December 11, 2001 Men's Hoops Travels to Ohio
Where Are They Now?
November 12, 2001 Where Are They Now?
A View From Behind The Mic
October 1, 2001 A View From Behind The Mic
The Man Behind the Mike
October 1, 2001 The Man Behind the Mike