Santa Clara will move on to Utah for a 6 pm Pacific game at BYU on Sat., Jan. 31. The game in Provo will be televised live on BYUtv with Dave McCann and Blaine Fowler making the call. The game will also be broadcast live on KDOW 1220 AM and the Bronco website, SantaClaraBroncos.com, as part of the Bronco Radio Network. Anthony Passarelli is in his eighth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer.
SCU is 11-11 and 5-5 in the WCC. The Broncos had won four straight games, including the past three WCC games (vs. USF, LMU and Pepperdine), before they lost 69-64 at San Diego on Thursday. The Cougars are 16-7 and 6-4 in the WCC. Losing two in a row on the road in the WCC at Saint Mary's (82-77) and San Diego (77-74), BYU returned home on Thursday to beat USF 78-74.
BYU leads the all-time series with SCU 22-5. The Broncos have lost 11 straight games to the Cougars. The Broncos' last series win came on Dec. 2, 1972 when they defeated No. 12 BYU, 66-64, in Provo. The Broncos' last win vs. BYU in Santa Clara came almost 54 years ago and it was actually two wins on back-to-back days. The Broncos defeated BYU 64-53 on Dec. 8, 1961 and then 71-55 on Dec. 9, 1961.
BYU features four players averaging double figures: Tyler Haws (22.7), Anson Winder (14.3), Chase Fischer (13.5) and Kyle Collinsworth (12.5).
WCC's Top Scoring Back-Court Returns
The Broncos return the West Coast Conference's top-scoring back-court in Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge. Clark is averaging 16.3 ppg after scoring 16.9 ppg in 2013-14. Brownridge is averaging 14.3 ppg after leading the team with 17.2 ppg last year. Both have scored in double figures 18 times this year. Clark has led the team in scoring 12 times, Brownridge nine, Matt Hubbard twice and Nate Kratch once. Denzel Johnson and Jalen Richard both had a team-high 13 points at Portland to finish out the game scoring leaders.
Kratch leads the team with 4.8 rpg and .68 bpg. Clark leads the team with 3.9 apg, Denzel Johnson is tops in steals with 1.3 spg.
Brandon Clark (29) and Jared Brownridge (20) both scored 20+ vs. LMU on Jan. 22. Brownridge tied a season-high with six threes. Scoring 20+ together is nothing new for the duo of Brownridge and Clark, as they did it five times last season and have done it twice this year.
Clark has scored 20+ points in nine games this season. Starting 59 career games, Clark has scored double figures 64 times in his career, including 22 games with 20 or more points the past two years. His first two seasons he never scored more than 19. He has also scored 30 or more three times during his career, including a season-high 31 points vs. CSU-Fullerton on Nov. 14.
Brownridge has scored 20+ points 18 times in his career, including three straight games earlier this season (vs. Rider, at SJSU and vs. Washington State). The 2014 WCC Newcomer of the Year, Jared Brownridge has started every game he has played in the past two years (55 straight). He has scored double figures 44 times and has yet to be held scoreless. He scored 30+ three times last season but has yet to do it this season.
Two-Time Player of the Week
Hitting back-to-back game-clinching free throws last weekend, Brandon Clark was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Jan. 26. It is the second time this season he has been named the league's player of the week, collecting the honors on Nov. 17, 2014 as well.
An 83.7 percent free throw shooter during his four year Bronco career, Clark hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to ice the game vs. LMU on Jan. 22. He then added three free throws in the final 16 seconds of the Pepperdine victory on Jan. 24. Clark scored a WCC season-high 29 points vs. LMU and added 13 vs. Pepperdine.
In the two victories last weekend, Clark played 37.5 mpg, averaged 21.0 ppg, shot 45.2 percent from the field and 83.2 percent from the free throw line (10 of 12). He collected 2.5 rpg, 3.5 apg and 1.0 spg.
Clark was named the WCC Player of the Week on Nov. 17, 2014. He set a school record for points scored in a season opener with 31, including 15 of 16 from the line, in the Broncos' win vs. CSU Fullerton on Nov. 14. He had four career bests on the weekend as well. He was 15 of 16 from the free throw line vs. the Titans - marking a career best in makes and attempts. He is the only the seventh Bronco in school history to make 15+ free throws in a game. He scored 21 points vs. SDC on Nov. 15, collecting a career-high nine assists.
Go For a Walk?
Jared Brownridge works as an EyeBronco reporter for the SCU Media Relations office and hosts his own YouTube series: "Long Walks With Jared". With a couple cameras filming their conversation, Brownridge walks around the picturesque Mission campus chatting with his subject. He interviewed WCC Commissioner Lynn Holzman on Jan. 21 and that interview will be released on Mon., Feb. 2.
On the horizon, he is looking forward to interviewing former Bronco head coach Carroll Williams in mid-February. The Bronco head coach from 1970-92, Williams is the second-winningest coach in WCC history with 165 victories to his credit.
Brownridge has also Santa Clara University President, Father Michael Engh and two of his teammates: Dominic Romeo and Brandon Clark.
At No. 15 with 1,400 career points scored, Brandon Clark is just the sixth player in school history to score 1,400+ career points and dish out 370+ career assists (joining Kevin Foster, Brian Jones, Nash, Evan Roquemore and Kyle Bailey). Clark needs 138 points to move past No. 14 Bud Ogden (1,437, 1966-69). Clark was the 15th Bronco to score 1,400 career points at USD on Jan. 29 and the 20th Bronco in school history to score 1,300 points on Jan. 13. Clark joined the 1,000 career points scored list last season when he scored 18 points at Pepperdine on March 1, 2014. He was the seventh Bronco to score his 1,000th career under Bronco head coach Kerry Keating.
Shooting better than 85.0 percent this season from the line (102 of 120), Clark has shot 83.7 percent during his career (369 of 441) - good enough for No. 3 on the Bronco career list. The record is held by Steve Nash (86.1 percent, 1991-96) and Russ Vrankovich is No. 2 (85.8 percent, 1961-64). Clark is No. 10 on the career list with 123 games played; No. 10 with 151 threes made; No. 9 in threes attempted with 430; and No. 10 with 372 assists.
Jared Brownridge has made 5+ threes nine times in his career, including seven threes twice last year (vs. La Sierra, 12/14/13 and at Pepperdine, 3-1-14). He led the team with 95 three pointers a year ago and has already hit 60 this season, giving him 155 in his career - good enough for No. 9 on the Bronco career list. Brandon Clark is hot on his trail, hitting 151 career threes to jump into to the top 10 list as well.
Hitting a three in 51 of his 55 career games, Brownridge needs 11 triples to pass No. 8 Brian Jones (165, 1996-01). Brownridge's four career games with no 3s: 0-5 vs. San Diego 1-13-15; 0-6 at BYU 2-16-14; 0-1 vs. Gonzaga 1-29-14; and 0-3 vs. Sacred Heart 12-18-13.
A preseason All-WCC pick this season, he set seven SCU freshman season records and three game records last year. He has scored 882 career points and would be the 33rd Bronco in school history to score 1,000 plus with 118 more points. His 567 points scored last year shattered the SCU freshman record and placed him at No. 2 all-time in points scored for a Bay Area freshman (list includes SCU, Stanford, Cal, Saint Mary's, San Francisco and Pacific). He finished his freshman year with 24 points vs. Gonzaga in the WCC quarters, as the Broncos fell 77-75 on a last second layup by the Zags' David Stockton.
Hitting the books hard, Nate Kratch will graduate in June - finishing his undergraduate degree in Psychology in three years. Kratch will begin classwork on a Master's degree in the field of Psychology this fall as he will have two years of eligibility remaining after redshirting his first year. His career goals include working in the field of Psychology or fitness training.
Kratch came off the bench the first 12 games, but has started the last 10. He was a rebound and a point shy of his first career double-double at USD on Jan. 29 (9 and 9). He tied his career high with 11 boards vs. LMU on Jan. 22 and added 10 points and five boards vs. Pep on Jan. 24. He had career highs in both rebounds (11) and blocks (4) at Pacific on Dec. 27. He scored a career-high 15 points off the bench on Dec. 20 vs. Northeastern. His previous career high was 11 points at Cal Poly on Dec. 7, 2013. He was 7 of 10 from the free throw line, also career bests. He has hit a career-high five field goals twice this year (vs. San Diego and at Portland). He also played a career-high 33 minutes in Portland.
Kratch made his first three on his first attempt in his first game for the Broncos last year. Kratch comes from a very athletic family. His maternal grandmother, Dorsey Anderson Dinkla, played professional basketball for the Redheads and was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame in New York City at Madison Square Garden last year. She once scored 70 points in a high school game. His dad, Bob, played football at Iowa and went on to win a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants in 1991. His mother, Kristi, was a high jumper at Iowa and cleared a personal best of 5'11. His older brother, Colby, played tight end at Toledo University and is now a graduate assistant for the Rockets. His younger sister, MacKenzie, strives to be a Division I hockey player. His paternal grandfather played baseball at Long Island University and two Kratch Uncles played football at Cornell and Central College.
Starting every game this season, Denzel Johnson is the third-leading scorer on the team, averaging 8.2 ppg. He has scored double figures nine times this year, including a season-high 15 points vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 14. He has had at least one steal in 16 games this year, including a career-high four steals vs. Northeastern on Dec. 20, and leads the team with 28. He is No. 2 on the team with 675 minutes played, behind Jared Brownridge's 706 minutes played. Johnson played in his 100th career game on Jan. 3 vs. San Diego. He has made 33 starts during his four-year career. A versatile guard, he started 10 games his freshman year and then just one his junior year.
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 enjoys his time in front of the camera. Johnson is in his third year of working as an EyeBronco reporter for SCU Media Relations. He is in his second year of hosting Bronco Weekly Sports Wrap, a weekly YouTube show on Bronco Athletics.
Andrew Papenfus, recovering brain surgery in October to remove a tumor, began practicing with the team again on Jan. 7, 2015 and is hoping to play soon.
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. He couldn't move his right foot after surgery, but Papenfus quickly graduated from basic physical therapy.
Yannick: Sixth Year Efforts
The Broncos will be without the services of forward Yannick Atanga (6-8, 230) for the remainder of the year. He injured his knee in the opening half of the season opener vs. Cal State Fullerton and did not play vs. San Diego Christian. He did play 20 minutes at Utah State on Nov. 19. After the game his knee swelled and an MRI determined he had torn his ACL. Atanga had surgery to repair it on Dec. 16. It is expected he will apply for a sixth year. He will graduate in June with a double degree in French and political science with hopes of working on an MBA beginning this summer.
With a block at Utah State, Atanga sits at No. 5 all-time in SCU history with 94 career blocks. He passed former All-American Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80). After leading the WCC in rebounds in 2012-13, Atanga was second on the team in rebounds last year with 5.0 rpg and led the team with 30 blocks. He has collected 10+ boards in 11 career games. A native of Yaounde, Cameroon, Atanga spent time playing with the Cameroon National Team in China as part of a four-nation tournament in 2013. Sporting a 7-4 wing span, Atanga dreams of one day working for the United Nations as a peacekeeper in Africa.