SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball will look to continue its solid play, but three straight road games await.
The Broncos (10-7, 2-1), who have won seven of the last eight, including all six at home, will play their third game outside of California in a 15-day span when they face BYU (10-8, 2-1) on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. Pacific from Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
Tahj Eaddy engineered a thrilling 67-64 win over Pepperdine on Thursday by posting a game-high 28 points, including 24 in the second half. He had the game-winning free throws with 1.9 seconds left and Josip Vrankic added a double-double with a career-high tying 22 points and 11 rebounds.
BYU is 8-1 at home this season with the lone loss coming against Houston, which heading into this week was one of only three remaining undefeated teams in the nation.
The Broncos play at Saint Mary's and Pacific next week.
• Tahj Eaddy (17.0 ppg) is first among four Santa Clara players scoring in double figures. Josip Vrankic is averaging 13.4 points and 5.8 rebounds (second on the team) per game. Vrankic also ranks fourth in the WCC in blocked shots (1.3 pg). Trey Wertz (11.4) ranks first on the league freshman scoring list and fourth overall in assists (5.1 pg). Keshawn Justice, another freshman, is scoring at a 10.5 point-per-game clip. Josh Martin is the leading rebounder at 9.4 per contest (No. 2 in the WCC) and is the second-most efficient 3-point shooter (44.4 percent) in the league.
• After a 1-5 start, the Broncos have gone 9-2 with a roster that receives 75.4 percent (918 of 1,217 points) of its offensive production from first-year players. They are shooting 48.3 percent from the floor in the last 11 games after hitting only 41.2 in the first six. Field-goal percentage defense is also down in that stetch (44.1 to 41.1), but the biggest improvement is at the 3-point line where the opposition is being held to 28.2 percent in the most recent 11 contests, compared to 34.9 in the opening six. The Broncos rank third in the WCC in 3-point FG defense (29.1 percent) and are among the best in the nation in limiting long-range attempts. They are No. 14 in percentage (30.4) of 3-point attempts to total field goal attempts, according to KenPom.com.
• Injuries have plagued the Broncos and shrunk the rotation to eight players. Five players have missed games this season, including three currently on the shelf. Two-time All-WCC guard KJ Feagin (foot) and Juan Ducasse (knee) are out for the season. Fallou Ndoye (foot) is out of action indefinitely,
• Santa Clara's recent six-game winning streak (Dec. 9-Jan. 3) was its longest in six years. The Broncos won six in a row from Dec. 8-22, 2013.
• The win over Washington State on Dec. 29, gave the Broncos a pair of victories over Pac-12 Conference schools in the same season for the first time since 1997-98. Santa Clara also snapped a streak of 11 straight road/neutral site losses to Pac-12/Pac-10 schools. The last victory occurred at Stanford (62-46) on Dec. 16, 2006.
• Eaddy ranks second in the WCC in scoring (22.7 ppg) during league games ... Eaddy has hit 42 of his last 47 (89.4 percent) from the free-throw line, including 4 of 5 in the final 19 seconds of Thursday's Pepperdine game and all 12 attempts in last week's win over San Diego.
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | BYU|
YEAR THREE UNDER SENDEK...
The Broncos are in their 112th year of existence, including third under Herb Sendek, who has been successful in each of his three previous head-coaching stops. With a resume that includes 18 postseason appearances and three conference coach of the year awards, Sendek, was one of the three youngest coaches with 400 or more career victories. He is in his 25th season as a collegiate head coach with stops at Arizona State, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio).
• Guard KJ Feagin, and forwards Henrik Jadersten and Josip Vrankic were the only returning rotational players this season. Feagin, a three-year starter, is a two-time All-West Coast Conference selection who averaged 17.5 points per game (fifth in the league) and 4.0 assists pg (ninth in the league) in 2017-18. Jadersten, a senior, appeared in 84 games his first three years and Vrankic was one of the more productive freshmen in the WCC during 2017-18. Vrankic was third on the team in both scoring (10.4 ppg) and rebounding (4.6 pg).
• Sophomore guard Tahj Eaddy is eligible this season after sitting out 2017-18. He transferred from Southeast Missouri last summer.
• There are eight additions to the 2018-19 squad, including five true freshmen in Guglielmo Caruso (Naples, Italy), Juan Ducasse (Montevideo, Uruguay), Keshawn Justice (Madison, Wisconsin), Zeke Richards (Oak Park, California) and Trey Wertz (Charlotte, North Carolina). Fallou Ndoye, DJ Mitchell and Josh Martin are transfers. Ndoye (CSU Bakersfield) and Martin (Cal Poly) are graduate transfers. Mitchell played the last two seasons at Wake Forest and will sit out 2018-19.
THE BYU SERIES...
In a series that began in 1951, BYU leads 30-6. The Cougars have won the last two, but had their 14-game winning streak in the series snapped in 2016-17. Jared Brownridge (25) points, Nate Kratch (16) and KJ Feagin (16) combined for 57 points in a 76-68 home win for the Broncos who nailed 14 3-pointers. BYU owns a 15-1 series lead since joining the WCC for the 2011-12 season. Prior to 2016-17, the last victory for Broncos was a 66-64 win in Provo, Utah, on Dec. 2, 1972, though the teams only met once (Dec. 30, 1986 in the Cable Car Classic) in a 38-year span.
Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (analyst) call the action during on radio and through TheW.tv at home. All Broncos home games and West Coast Conference contests (not on an ESPN platform or BYUtv) will also be streamed through TheW.tv (local blackout restrictions apply for games broadcast over the air). This season at least 25 games will air on either KDOW-AM 1220 or KTRB-AM 860. The remainder can be heard on Livestream.com. The BYU game can be heard on KDOW-AM 1220. Click here to view broadcast outlets for the season.
FAN EXPERIENCE PACKAGES
Group-ticket options and Fan Experience Packages are available through the Santa Clara ticket office, which is open weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Contact Jesse Moreno, one of our sales and service consultants, at (408) 554-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.