SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Home games against perennial postseason participants Nevada and Valparaiso, and local rival San Jose State, along with an appearance in the GCI Great Alaska Shootout and a road contest vs. USC highlight the 2017-18 Santa Clara men's basketball nonconference schedule.
The Broncos, led by second-year head coach Herb Sendek, will play eight of their 12 nonconference games in the friendly confines of Leavey Center.
"We are excited to release our 2017 nonconference schedule," Sendek said. "We think that the schedule is competitively balanced, provides our fans with a number of compelling home games, and challenges our team away from Leavey."
Four of the team's nonconference games are part of the GCI Great Alaska Shootout. The Broncos play Cal Poly at home in a preliminary-round game on Nov. 18, before traveling to Alaska for a first-round tilt against Idaho on Nov. 22. The winner advances to the semifinals to face either CSU Bakersfield or host Alaska-Anchorage on Nov. 24. The consolation bracket begins on Nov. 23, and all eight teams will play on Nov. 25.
After opening the season on Nov. 10 at home vs. La Verne, the Broncos will get tested five days later in Leavey Center by Nevada, which advanced to the NCAAs last year and has appeared in the postseason 12 of the last 15 years.
The Broncos return from Alaska and have a three-game homestand, facing Northern Arizona (Nov. 30), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Dec. 2) and Portland State (Dec. 9) before playing their first road contest of the season.
Santa Clara will play at USC on Dec. 14, the beginning of a two-game series with the Pac-12 school. The Trojans and Broncos will meet at Leavey Center during 2018-19.
The Broncos will close out a two-game series with Valparaiso on Dec. 18, at home. Last season, the teams met at Valparaiso with the Broncos escaping with a thrilling 87-80 double overtime victory. The Crusaders have made seven consecutive trips to the postseason and won or shared the regular season Horizon League in five of the last six years.
The nonconference slate concludes Dec. 21 at home, with San Jose State, a game that will serve as the 51st annual Cable Car Classic. The event, first held in 1967 in San Francisco, before moving to the Santa Clara campus 10 years later, has seen different formats over the years.
Later this summer, the 18-game West Coast Conference schedule, along with nonconference game times, will be announced.
The Broncos will play one exhibition game, facing Saint Vincent College on Nov. 3 in Leavey Center.
The season-ticket renewal process begins on Thursday, Aug. 10, and continues through Monday, Sept. 18. Deposits ($50 per seat) are being accepted for new accounts and the seat selection procedure for those individuals is from Sept. 19-22. The remaining season-ticket packages go on sale Monday, Sept. 25. For questions, contact the Santa Clara Athletics ticket office weekdays at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu.
Nonconference Schedule Notes
• Herb Sendek will face two of his former assistants in Portland State head coach Barret Peery and Nevada head coach Eric Musselman. Perry spent 2016-17 as Santa Clara associate head coach and the 2014-15 campaign on the Arizona State staff. Musselman was an Arizona State assistant coach from 2012-14. There are currently 12 former Sendek assistant coaches, administrative assistants or graduate assistants serving as Division I head coach coaches.
• The GCI Great Alaska Shootout, the oldest regular-season college basketball tournament, features host Alaska-Anchorage, Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield, Central Michigan, College of Charleston, Idaho, and Sam Houston State, in addition to the Broncos. Santa Clara will be making its third trip to the tournament, which began in 1978. The Broncos played during 1983-84 and 1991-92 seasons, and have a 3-2 all-time record.
• La Verne is the only nonconference foe never to face the Broncos.
• Three teams – Northern Arizona, San Jose State and Valparaiso – were on the 2016-17 Santa Clara nonconference schedule. Santa Clara and San José State have met 34 of the last 35 years, including a stretch of 22 straight seasons.
• Nevada is the second-most common opponent with the teams having played 61 times (Santa Clara leads 34-27), the last meeting was in 2015-16. San Jose State and Santa Clara have met 109 times.
• The Broncos return three starters from last year's team that went 17-16, finishing tied for fourth in the West Coast Conference standings and reaching the WCC Tournament semifinals for the first time in six years.
• Santa Clara will look to replace guard Jared Brownridge and forward Nate Kratch, who each played in all 129 games the last four years. Brownridge ended his career No. 4 on the WCC career scoring list (2,313 points), second in 3-pointers made (385) and fifth in 3-pointers per game (2.98), and was a three-time first-team all-league pick. Kratch started the final three seasons, averaging 10.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in 2016-17. Junior guards KJ Feagin (14.6 ppg) and Matt Hauser (10.3 ppg) are the top-returning scorers off last year's squad. Feagin was a second-team 2016-17 All-WCC pick despite missing 13 games due to injury. Hauser boasted a 3.18-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, second in the league and No. 9 in the country. Other returners include senior center Emmanuel Ndumanya, who started the final 24 games and averaged 6.0 rebounds on the season, and senior forward Jarvis Pugh, who was fifth on the team in scoring (8.6 ppg) and third in rebounding (4.6 pg). Junior forward Henrik Jadersten and senior guard Kai Healy were also regulars in the rotation last season.
• There are five additions to the roster in the offseason. Matt Turner, Shaquille Walters and Josip Vrankic are all true freshmen who signed in November. Henry Caruso, who played the last four seasons at Princeton, was added as a graduate transfer in the spring. A transfer from Southeast Missouri, guard Tahj Eaddy was added to the roster in June, but will sit the 2017-18 season.
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