Santa Clara (5-0) continues its six game home-stand this week when the Broncos host Utah State (3-1) on Wed., Nov. 28 at 7 pm and then Big West Conference member UC Santa Barbara (2-3) on Sat., Dec. 1 at 7 pm. It will wrap up the home-stand with a 7 pm game vs. Pacific Union (0-3) on Sat., Dec. 8.
Winners of their first five games of the season, the Broncos are off to their best start in 44 years. The last time Santa Clara was 5-0 dates back to the 1968-69 season when the squad claimed 21 straight victories to open the season. Under head coach Dick Garibaldi, the Broncos finished with a 27-2 record that season, claimed the WCC title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to eventual NCAA champion UCLA. They finished the season ranked third in the AP Poll.
WAC member Utah State enters the SCU game at 3-1, fresh off a 65-56 victory over in-state rival Weber State on Nov. 24. The Aggies are hitting the road for the first time this year and Santa Clara is the first of two straight West Coast Conference games for them. After visiting the Bay Area, they will travel to BYU on Dec. 5. Their lone home loss was to another WCC foe, Saint Mary's, on Nov. 15 (67-58).
Utah State leads the all-time series with the Broncos 4-3. In the two teams' last meeting on Nov. 29, 2007, Utah State won 71-65 in Logan, Utah. The Broncos lead the series 2-0 in Santa Clara, having posted a W in the last meeting with a 77-75 overtime victory on Dec. 23, 2007.
Look and Listen
The Utah State game on Wednesday will be broadcast live (audio and video streaming) on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com and also live on KDOW 1220 AM with the broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. Pacific. Anthony Passarelli is in his sixth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. Out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online at www.1220kdow.com.
That Was Then, This Is Now ...
Santa Clara was 8-22 and 0-16 in the WCC last season. It lost 18 straight dating back to its 75-55 win over Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29, 2011. The losing streak started with a last-second miracle shot by Wagner on Dec. 30, 2011 as the Broncos fell 64-62 in the 45th annual Cable Car Classic Championship game. It was the longest losing streak in school history and it was also the first team to go winless in league play. The last team to lose each of its WCC regular season games: Saint Mary's went 0-14 in 2001. The year before the Broncos finished 24-14 and won the CIT post-season Tournament by winning their final three games on the road.
The Broncos are one of 33 Division I teams in 2012-13 to have an undefeated record through games of Nov. 25. Santa Clara leads all of Division I with a 2.31 assist-turnover ratio and is one of just two schools to average more than two assists for each turnover (Pittsburgh 2.25). The Broncos have dished out assists on 64.2% of their field goals and rank fourth nationally with 19.4 assists per game. SCU had a season-high 27 assists against Simpson on Nov. 10 and tallied 25 in the 89-74 win over Eastern Washington on Nov. 23. The Broncos have kept their turnovers in single digits in three of five games with a season-low two against Simpson on Nov. 10.
Thanks to a 106 point output against Simpson College in their season opener and a team season field goal percentage over 50, Santa Clara ranks seventh nationally in points per game at 85.8 (thru games of 11/25). The Broncos have shot 50% or better from the field in four of five games and have converted 50.3% of their shots on the season. Their point total in a 106-66 win over Simpson on Nov. 10 tied for the 13th highest in SCU history and was the first 100-point game since scoring 101 against Pepperdine on Jan. 21, 2008.
Seniors Marc Trasolini, Raymond Cowels III and Kevin Foster, along with junior Evan Roquemore have started all five games for SCU this season and have combined for 282 starts in their Santa Clara careers. The remaining eight players on the roster who have logged minutes this season, have a total of 54 career starts. Senior Niyi Harrison, who hasn't played this season due to a back injury, has 44 career starts. Foster has 92 starts during his career and will tie Michael Norman (1980-84) for 10th all-time with his next start. If he starts every game for the rest of the calendar year, Foster will become just the sixth Bronco to make 100 career starts when the team plays at Duke on Dec. 29.
Known more for his offensive prowess after leading the country in threes in 2011, Kevin Foster has shown a new dimension to his game early this season. The senior leads the country in steals with an average of 4.2 per game and has at least three in each contest. Foster established a career-best with seven steals in a win at St. Louis on Nov. 14, also matching a school record for the second-most in a game. Foster has totaled 21 steals in five games and is the only Bronco in double figures. He had a season-best total 61 steals during the 2010-11 season.
After converting just 51.9% (14 of 27) of their free throw attempts in a season opening win vs. Simpson College, the Broncos have been deadly from the line in their last four games. Santa Clara has shot a blistering 82.7% (67 of 81) since their first game jitters starting with a 9 of 10 effort in a win at St. Louis on Nov. 14. The Broncos made (25) and attempted (31) season-highs from the free throw line in a win over USC Upstate on Nov. 20. Santa Clara's top three scorers (Kevin Foster 87.5%, Marc Trasolini 88.5% and Evan Roquemore 88.9%) are all shooting better than 87% from the line for the season. Trasolini shot almost 91 percent last week in the three home games as part of the CBE Classic (20 of 22).
Led by Kevin Foster's 30 points, seven steals and five assists, Santa Clara was victorious at Saint Louis Nov. 14, winning 74-62, in its first game of the Edward Jones CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Saint Louis was ranked No. 24 in Sports Illustrated's preseason ranking.
Foster broke Kurt Rambis' career points scored record at 16:01 in the second half and now sits at No. 1 all-time for the Broncos with 1,794 points. The WCC Player of the Year in 1980, Rambis scored 1,735 points from 1976-80.
Foster has scored in double figures in four of five games this season totaling 103 points. Foster has moved into 18th place on the West Coast Conference career chart with 1,794 points. It is unlikely he will catch LMU's Hank Gathers (1987-90) for the league's top spot (2,490), but Foster could crack the top five and at his current pace for an entire season take the No. 2 overall spot, currently held by LMU's Terrell Lowery (2,201).
Foster has shot better than 50% from the field in three of Santa Clara's five games this season and made exactly half of his field goal attempts in one other. The Broncos have won 11 straight games when the senior makes more than half his shots and the team is 14-2 all-time when Foster tops the 50% mark.
Foster scored a team season-high 30 points in a 74-62 win at St. Louis on Nov. 14, the fifth game of 30 or more points in his career and the first time he's reached that total since scoring 35 points at SMU on March 25, 2011. The Broncos have won the last four games in which Foster scores 30 or more and are 4-1 in the five games when he reaches that plateau.
At Saint Louis Foster was 10 of 18, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc. He also collected seven steals and five assists in 35 minutes. His seven steals were tied for second-best in school history in a single game with two other players and the most since Deron Perkins had 10 steals at San Diego on Feb. 24, 2005.
Did Coach Keating think one thing stood out in the Saint Louis win? "It's something that can't be seen. It's something we have been working on. The coaches, the staff and the entire team have been working on. Staying in the vision, not getting too far ahead of ourselves. Playing one possession at a time. Everybody executing their role to the best of their ability. It was a great way for us to start this tournament."
Marc Trasolini also nodded his cap towards Kevin Foster's play in the Midwest. "For most of the game we let Kevin go off. He was hot and we kept going to him. It was working," said Trasolini. "We played tough D and got a lot of rebounds. Our defense was as good as it's been in a long time. They are a really good team and we held them to 62 points and forced 17 turnovers."
Dishes Done by E-Rock
Evan Roquemore leads the team with 30 assists through 5 games (6.0 apg) and moved into the Broncos top 10 with 327 for his career. E-Rock posted a season-high 9 assists in a win over Eastern Washington on Nov. 23 to move past Melvin Chinn (320) into 9th place on the career chart and has dished out five or more in each of the last four games. Roquemore had four assists playing a season-low 21 minutes in a 106-66 win over Simpson in the season opener. The Henderson, Nev. native has raised his assist per game average in each of his three seasons going from 3.7 in 2010-11 to 5.3 last season to his current 6.0 apg average.
First Time This Year
Santa Clara defeated Simpson 106-66 in its first home game of the year on Nov. 10. Santa Clara scored 106 points, its first time over the century mark since it scored 101 points in a 101-86 victory over Pepperdine on Jan. 21, 2008.
Against Simpson, the Broncos had four players in double figures including Kevin Foster (27), Robert Garrett (14), Marc Trasolini (13) and Raymond Cowels III (12). It was the first time it had four in double figures since it played at BYU on Jan. 14, 2012. The Broncos have had four or more score double figures in two games this season.
It scored 14 threes for the second time under Coach Keating. The last time it scored 14 threes was against UC Merced on Nov. 11, 2011. The school record is 15 threes vs. Gonzaga on March 5, 2001.
It also had just two turnovers. But believe it or not, it wasn't its best effort under Coach Keating or in school history. Turning the ball over just once in the final seconds to shatter the school record for the fewest turnovers in a game, Santa Clara fell 74-72 to Portland on Feb. 29, 2012 in the first round of the WCC Tournament. The previous school record was three turnovers by SCU in a 77-62 victory vs. No. 19 Alabama on Dec. 28, 1996 .
The Broncos collected 27 assists - the most since it collected 25 vs. USF in an 87-55 win on Feb. 25, 2008. It was the seventh-most assists in school history with the school record being 35 assists vs. LMU on Jan. 31, 1975.
Foster Named WCC POW, On Cusp Of History
Kevin Foster, named to the 2012 Preseason All-WCC in late October, was named the WCC Player of the Week in the opening week of the college basketball season. Foster opened the 2012-13 season in impressive fashion, scoring 27 points and dishing out nine assists with four rebounds and two steals with no turnovers in a Bronco victory over Simpson University -- a team playing its fifth game of the season. Foster sank seven three pointers, and was 9-of-17 shooting overall in 24 minutes of action vs. Simpson.
Tras Talking; Senior CLASS Nominee
Marc Trasolini earned CBE Hall of Fame Tournament MVP honors after putting on a shooting display. Trasolini shot 61.5% from the field (24 of 39) and averaged 24 ppg in the three games. Against Utah Valley on Nov. 21, Trasolini made 10 of 12 field goals, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range, and converted 7 of 8 free throws for a season-high 29 points. It was his highest point total since netting a career-best 31 against LMU on Feb. 24, 2011. With 25 points against Eastern Washington on Nov. 23, Trasolini became the 22nd Bronco to eclipse the 1,200 point plateau (1,206)
Setting the bar high both on the court as a fifth-year co-captain and off the court academically, graduating Cum Laude last March with a 3.62 grade point average in Finance, Trasolini is one of 30 candidates nationally for the Senior CLASS Award, one of the most prestigious awards in college basketball.
"Looking at the list of 30 candidates, I feel blessed to be included in such a prestigious group of young men," said Trasolini. "My parents always taught me to be as well-rounded as possible. This award really captures that idea. While sitting out last year with an injury was extremely tough for me, there have been many opportunities that have come out of it, whether it's graduate school or getting an additional year of personal and physical maturity at Santa Clara. I feel like I am in a great position and I am ready to have a terrific final year with my four fellow seniors."
Trasolini also praised Bronco head coach Kerry Keating and his staff for standing by him in the last 14 months. "I am very grateful to have had the support of Coach Keating throughout the past year," added Trasolini. "When I was injured last year and throughout my rehab, he really instilled the confidence in me to believe and come back even stronger this season. I am ready to have the best year this school has seen in a long time."
Trasolini is in his third quarter of work on his MBA in Santa Clara's Leavey School of Business.
Trasolini is returning for his fifth season on the court after sitting out last season after tearing his ACL in Sept., 2011 on the team's foreign tour to Canada. Trasolini averaged 12.8 ppg, 0.9 bpg and 6.1 rpg in 26.4 mpg during his junior year (2010-11), helping lead the team to the post-season CIT title. Trasolini is No. 24 on the all-time points scored list with 1,113 points and is No. 4 with 124 career blocks.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
After becoming just the third player in West Coast conference history to make over 300 3-point shots in a career, Kevin Foster has his sights set on the league's all-time record. Foster currently has 326 career made 3's, good for third place in WCC history. He is just 10 behind Portland's Jared Stohl for the second spot. LMU's Jeff Fryer (1987-90) holds the WCC mark with 363 career made 3-pointers. Foster has made at least one 3-point shot in 94 of his 100 games played and has made five or more in a game 23 times. He topped Steve Nash's school record of 263 threes (1992-96) early last season.
In Santa Clara's 88-75 win over Air Force on March 18, 2010, Kevin Foster broke the school record with nine threes, tying a career-high with 36 points. He also had a career-high 36 in Santa Clara's 85-71 win over Gonzaga on Jan. 20, 2011. Foster shattered the WCC single season threes made record with 140 in 2010-11 and grabbed the country's top spot in threes made per game as well with 3.68. His 768 points that season were No. 6 on the WCC's single season points scored list as he finished as the leading scorer in a single season in the Bay Area as well. He broke the school's single season mark for points scored, minutes played, threes made and threes attempted. Foster was named first-team All-WCC and was named the WCC Player of the Month for February and March. He was named the WCC Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
Foster was nicknamed 'Microwave' by his father during his youth after the Detroit Piston's Vinnie Johnson. Johnson earned the nickname 'the Microwave' from Celtics guard Danny Ainge for his ability to score many points in a short period of time, heating up the offense. Foster has scored 15+ points in 67 of 100 career games and he has scored 19+ in 47 career games. Foster's 19+ games follow:
Opponent/Date Pts. (3s)
1. vs. Arizona/Nov. 25, 2008 21 (5)
2. vs. Belmont/Dec. 29, 2008 24 (3)
3. at Harvard/Jan. 2, 2009 20 (4)
4. at Saint Mary's/Jan. 9, 2009 31 (5)
5. at Portland/Jan. 17, 2009 20 (3)
6. vs. LMU/Jan. 29, 2009 20 (3)
7. vs. Saint Mary's/Feb. 7, 2009 26 (4)
8. at LMU/Feb. 14, 2009 26 (5)
9. at USF/Feb. 21, 2009 20 (2)
10. vs. Gonzaga/Feb. 26, 2009 20 (3)
11. vs. San Diego/March 7, 2009 21 (4)
12. at CSUB/Nov. 13, 2009 21 (3)
13. vs. Menlo/Nov. 19, 2009 19 (4)
14. at Pacific/Nov. 22, 2009 22 (5)
15. vs. Fresno State/Nov. 28, 2009 25 (5)
16. vs. CSU Bakersfield/Nov. 12, 2010 19 (4)
17. at So. California/Nov. 15, 2010 26 (4)
18. vs. Bethune-Cookman/Nov. 21, 2010 21 (6)
19. vs. N. Colorado/Nov. 23, 2010 19 (4)
20. vs. UC Santa Barbara/Dec. 4, 2010 25 (6)
21. at San Jose State/Dec. 10, 2010 26 (3)
22. vs. Washington St./Dec. 19, 2010 29 (4)
23. at CSU Northridge/Dec. 22, 2010 22 (2)
24. vs. Bethany/Jan. 3, 2011 19 (6)
25. vs. USF/Jan. 8, 2011 26 (8)
26. vs. Gonzaga/Jan. 20, 2011 36 (6)
27. vs. Portland/Jan. 22, 2011 19 (3)
28. vs. LMU/Jan. 29, 2011 28 (3)
29.vs. St. Mary's/Feb. 10, 2011 25 (4)
30. vs. San Diego/Feb. 12, 2011 21 (3)
31. at Gonzaga/Feb. 17, 2011 27 (8)
32. at Portland/Feb. 19, 2011 29 (7)
33. vs. Air Force/March 18, 2011 36 (9)
34. at USF/March 22, 2011 27 (3)
35. at SMU (March 25, 2011 35 (5)
36. vs. New Mexico (Nov. 24, 2011) 26 (5)
37. vs. Oklahoma (Nov. 25, 2011) 19 (3)
38. vs. Cal State Northridge (Dec. 3, 2011) 20 (4)
39. vs. Pacific (Dec. 17, 2011) 26 (6)
40. at Houston Baptist (Dec. 21, 2011) 19 (3)
41. vs. Eastern Michigan (Dec. 29, 2011) 25 (6)
42. vs. Wagner (Dec. 30, 2011) 20 (4)
43. at BYU (Jan. 14, 2012) 22 (4)
44. vs. Saint Mary's (Jan. 21, 2012) 22 (5)
45. vs. Simpson (Nov. 10, 2012) 27 (7)
46. at Saint Louis (Nov. 14, 2012) 30 (2)
47. vs. Utah Valley (Nov. 21, 2012) 21 (1)