Santa Clara, 2-2, will continue its six-game road trip with its third and final stop in Orlando. Fla. The Broncos will play Tennessee, 1-1, in the first round of the Orlando Classic on Thanksgiving Day. The game on Thurs., Nov. 27 will be played at 9 am game (Pacific) and will be shown on ESPN2 with Dave O'Brien and Sean Farnham making the call. The audio broadcast can also be heard on the SCU website, SantaClaraBroncos.com, with Anthony Passarelli in his eighth year as the Voice of the Broncos. He will be joined on this trip by former Bronco center John Stege.
The Broncos are led by eighth-year head coach Kerry Keating. The Broncos won 14 games last season. They won the CIT title in 2011 and the CBI title in 2013. Prior to coming to Santa Clara, he was on the staff of UCLA for four years, including back-to-back Final Four seasons (2006, '07). While with the Bruins, he is credited with recruiting Kevin Love, Darren Collison and Russell Westbrook. Known as being tech-savvy, Malcolm Lee committed to Keating and the Bruins via Instant Messenger. Prior to working at UCLA, Keating was an assistant under head coach Buzz Peterson at Tennessee for two years.
Tennessee head coach Donnie Tyndall is in his first year at Tennessee after serving as the head coach at Southern Mississippi and Morehead State, his alma mater Tennessee's first two games saw eight players make their debuts as Volunteers. Tennessee leads the nation with 28.0 fouls per game and is seventh nationally with 18.0 orpg. UT's opponents have scored 40 percent of their points on 3-pointers so far this season.
Last Time, Only Time
Tennessee leads the series record vs. 1-0. They defeated SCU, 80-76, on Dec. 29, 1973 as part of the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. Bronco color analyst John Stege was a member of that Bronco team and logged a few minutes at the end of the game guarding Ernie Grunfeld. "I remember how precise the Volunteers were in pregame warm-ups in their bright orange. They had a lot of confidence and I knew we were in trouble," Stege recalled.
Brownridge and Clark Lead The Bronco Back-Court
The Broncos return the West Coast Conference's top-scoring back-court, Jared Brownridge (17.2 ppg, 2013-14; 12.0 ppg 2014-15) and Brandon Clark (16.9 ppg, 2013-14; 17.5 ppg 2014-15). Brownridge led the team with 95 three pointers a season ago and he has hit 10 in the early going this season. His 567 points last year scored shattered the SCU freshman record and placed him at No. 2 all-time in points scored for a Bay Area freshman (that list includes SCU, Stanford, Cal, Saint Mary's, San Francisco and Pacific).
Brownridge finished his freshman year with 24 points vs. Gonzaga in the WCC quarterfinals, as the Broncos fell 77-75 on a last second layup by the Zags' David Stockton. It was his 14th game with 20+ points, which put him at No. 3 on SCU's single season list for 20+ points a game.
Clark, the team's top free throw shooter, had his streak of 25 straight games in double figures snapped at Utah State when he scored nine. It dated back to Dec. 13, 2013. It was the longest streak for a Bronco since Travis Niesen scored double figures in 22 straight games (Feb. 5, 2005-Jan. 21, 2006).
Last season Clark collected 13 games of 20+ points. He did not have a single 20+ game his first two years. Clark hit 86.8 percent of his free throws (145-167) and finished No. 14 on the single season points list with 557. He also became the 32nd Bronco in school history to score 1,000 career points.
Santa Clara also welcomes back senior starters Denzel Johnson (4.2 ppg) and Yannick Atanga (3.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg). Johnson is averaging 9.8 ppg this season and Atanga is pulling down 5.5 rpg. Atanga did not play vs. San Diego Christian, but did he did play at Utah State, scoring five points with seven rebounds before he fouled out late in the second half. The SDC game was the first time in his 104 game career that he missed a game. He sat out the Michigan State game and after the game, Bronco head coach Kerry Keating announced he may miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
After playing at No. 20 Michigan State on Monday, SCU travels to Orlando, Fla. to take on Tennessee in its opening game of the Orlando Classic on Nov. 27. The tournament will take place at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex Nov. 27-30. Last season, Tennessee posted 24 wins and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
Based on their results against Tennessee, the Broncos will match up with either Kansas or Rhode Island the next day. If the Broncos match up against No. 5 Kansas, they will play their third 2014 NCAA tournament participant within the same week. SCU will also play on Sunday and that match-up will be determined through the first two games.
Santa Clara will host the 48th annual Cable Car Classic from Dec. 17-23. The Classic begins on Dec. 17 with Northeastern and Cal Poly. The Broncos play Northeastern on Dec. 20 and close with the 2014 Big West tournament champions and NCAA tournament participants, Cal Poly, on Dec. 23.
Brandon Clark is No. 26 on the all-time points scored list with 1,111. With 10 more points, he moves to No. 25, passing Scott Lamson (1,120, 1981-85). He needs 170 points to move to No. 20, passing Ralph Ogden (1,280, 1967-70).
Clark is tied for No. 3 all-time in free throw percentage. He has made 291 of his 348 free throws attempted, good for 83.6 percent. The school record is held by Steve Nash (86.1 percent, 1991-96).
The Broncos welcome four true freshmen to their team: forward Matt Hubbard from Colville, Wash., guard Stephen Edwards from Muskogee, Okla., forward Evan Wardlow from Lake View Terrace, Calif., and guard Kai Healy from Sydney, Australia. In addition, the Broncos have two redshirt freshmen, forward Jarvis Pugh from Murphy, Texas and center Emmanuel Ndumanya from Anambra, Nigeria. In the offseason, the team also added forward Dominic Romeo, a graduate student who played a year of football at Notre Dame University. Ndumanya has been out the past two games with left foot injury and he will not play this weekend.
The Broncos were expecting to redshirt Healy this season, but announced prior to the Michigan State game he would not play and he scored four points with three boards in 19 minutes at Michigan State. He was born in Indianapolis, Ind. and moved to Australia prior to his fourth birthday and has lived there with his family since then. His father is a Notre Dame graduate and his mother is a University of Indiana graduate.
It's a Boy?
Denzel Johnson and Academy Award winner Denzel Washington share a similar story on their first names. While pregnant with Johnson, the doctor told his parents he was going to be a girl and were thrown two pink baby showers for a girl. When Johnson was born, they were surprised to find out he was a boy and had no name! After a lot of conversation, they chose the name Denzel, after Denzel Washington.
Fast forward to years later, when Johnson's father, C.J., met Denzel Washington. When Johnson told him why they named his son after Washington, the actor laughed. Washington's parents were also told he was going to be a girl and when he was born, they had no name for him. After debating, his parents named him after the doctor who delivered him.
Like his namesake, Johnson also enjoys his time in front of the camera. Johnson is in his third year of working as an EyeBronco reporter for the SCU Media Relations office. He is in his second year of hosting Bronco Weekly Sports Wrap, a weekly YouTube show on Bronco Athletics (youtube.com/EyeBronco).
Senior Andrew Papenfus is recovering from brain surgery in early Oct. Papenfus suffered a seizure in mid-June at Santa Clara during a Bronco Basketball camp drill. Tests revealed he had a golf ball sized tumor in the left side of his brain. He was given the choice to wait to have the surgery and play this season or have the surgery immediately. Because they couldn't guarantee it wouldn't grow, up-regulate, Papenfus decided to have brain surgery as soon as the surgeon could get it on the schedule. "Why take the risk," said Papenfus.
The five hour surgery was done at UCSF in San Francisco by Dr. Mitch Berger and his team. He has shocked doctors with how fast he has been able to recover. He was only in the hospital for four days. Papenfus has already graduated from basic physical therapy (he couldn't move his right foot after surgery) and is working on sports rehabilitation. His hope is that he will be able to play this season and is shooting for a West Coast Conference debut. He travels with the team to help him continue to rehab.
"I have been extremely thankful for all the support I have received from everyone in the Santa Clara community," an upbeat Papenfus said. "I hope to be an inspiration to people that some of the hardest obstacles can be overcome with a positive attitude, strong faith and great community support."