Note: On Wednesday night, don't miss another edition of WCC Live - the weekly talk show that chronicles the West Coast Conference with live guests, contests, and more. The hour-long show airs live every Wednesday from 8-9 p.m. PT, and can also be heard on-demand or downloaded free of charge to an mp3 player. This week on WCC Live, don't miss conversations with WCC Player of the Week Santa Clara guard Kevin Foster, San Francisco forward Perris Blackwell, Gonzaga beat writer Jim Meehan from the Spokesman-Review, and Gonzaga guard/forward Katelan Redmon. WCC Live can be heard by visiting http://blogtalkradio.com/wccsports. Fans can e-mail their questions for guests to email@example.com; via Twitter; or on Facebook.
Santa Clara (12-9, 3-2 WCC) travels to Los Angeles this week to play Pepperdine (8-14, 2-3 WCC) at 7:30 pm on Thurs., Jan. 27 on PrimeTicket and LMU (8-11, 1-4 WCC) on Sat., Jan. 29 at 5 pm on FSN. The Pepperdine game will be called Paul Sunderland and Michael Cage. Santa Clara is coming off a home sweep last weekend of Gonzaga and Portland. Pepperdine is fresh of its 78-75 home victory over rival LMU on Jan. 22. Santa Clara is 3-0 on Thursday's this season.
The team's are meeting for the 121st time. SCU leads the all-time Pepperdine series 66-54 and the Waves lead the series 35-20 in Malibu. Santa Clara and Pepperdine have split the season series each of the last eight years. The home team won seven of those meetings with Santa Clara's last win at Pepperdine coming on Jan. 22, 2005 (83-71). Last season Pepperdine won 81-70 in Malibu on Jan. 14, 2010 and Santa Clara returned the favor in Santa Clara on Feb. 13, 2010 when the Broncos won 62-54.
The Pepperdine game will be broadcast via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com with the broadcast beginning at 7:15 pm. Anthony Passarelli is in his fourth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. Coach Kerry Keating can be heard on KDOW 1220 AM on Sunday evenings from 9:10-9:20 pm in his radio spotlight on The Sports Ramble with an interview conducted by Passarelli. Out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online live at www.1220kdow.com.
Broncos vs. Waves
The Broncos are scoring 73.6 ppg while giving up 71.3 ppg. They are rebounding 35.2 to their opponents 31.1 and shooting 43.5 percent, including 34.9 percent beyond the arc.
Pepperdine is averaging 69.0 ppg while giving up 73.9 ppg. The Waves are shooting 42.0 percent from the field, including 33.2 from beyond the three-point line. Pepperdine is grabbing 35.7 boards and giving up 33.4. They are averaging 13.7 turnovers per game compared to Santa Clara's own 14.8 turnovers per game.
SCU has three players in double figures: Kevin Foster (19.3), Marc Trasolini (12.0) and Evan Roquemore (10.6). Foster leads the WCC and is second nationally this week in threes made; and he has dished a team-leading 3.8 apg and 1.5 spg. His 19.3 ppg are second-best in the WCC and No. 35 nationally. Scoring double figures in 20 of 21 games this season, Foster scored just nine vs. Rice but hit the game-winning three. Trasolini leads the team with 5.9 rpg and 1.0 bpg. Trasolini collected his fifth career double-double vs. CSU Bakersfield and had a season-high three blocks three times, scoring a season-high 22 vs. Fordham.
Pepperdine has three players averaging double figures: Keion Bell (19.5 ppg), Mychel Thompson (12.5 ppg) and Lorne Jackson (11.5 ppg). Thompson leads with 5.6 rpg and 1.0 bpg. Jackson averages a team-leading 1.4 spg. Bell dishes out a team-leading 2.6 apg.
Santa Clara had five starters plus a bench player score double figures in its 99-79 win at CSU Northridge on Dec. 22, 2010. Then the Broncos had all five starters score in double figures in its 85-71 win vs. Gonzaga on Jan. 20. It is the first time Santa Clara has had two games in a season with all five starters scoring double figures since 2007. Five starters scored double-figures in Santa Clara's 77-55 win over Pepperdine. In the two teams second match-up that season, all five Bronco starters finished with double figures, but the Waves got the best of the Broncos in an 89-82 overtime win Feb. 27, 2007.
Foster WCC Player of the Week Second Time This Season
After putting up a league-best 36 points in the 85-71 victory over Gonzaga on Jan. 20 and then scoring his 1000th career point two days later in the 72-59 win over Portland on Jan. 22, Kevin Foster was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week Monday. It is the second time he has been named Player of the Week this season (Dec. 6 was the other). Leading the country with 74 threes made this season, Foster is No. 1 in scoring in WCC games (22.2 ppg) and No. 2 overall (19.3 ppg). On the week, he averaged 53.6 percent from the floor, including 45.0 percent from the three-point line and 84.2 percent from the free throw line. Foster was also named the NetScouts.com WCC Player of the Week Monday.
In the 14-point win over Gonzaga, its worst loss to a WCC opponent in the regular season since 1999, Foster scored a career-high 36 points, hitting six three-pointers. His 36 points were the sixth-best in school history at home. He was also 8 of 10 from the free throw line, adding five assists and two steals. With his parents in the stands, Foster scored his 1,001th career point on a three at 1:36 in the first half vs. Portland. He was 8 of 9 from the free throw line, tying a season-high with three steals.
Foster is the 28th player Bronco to score 1,000 career points, but the first Bronco sophomore in school history. Junior Marc Trasolini is edging closer to 1,000 points himself as he has scored 892 points in his Bronco career and would be the 29th player in school history, and the third under Keating. Foster and Trasolini would be the first duo to both hit 1,000 career points in the same season since then-seniors Jens Gordon and Mitch Burley did it in 1988-89. Gordon scored 522 points that season to finish his career with 1,356 and Burley scored 377 to finish with 1,258 career points.
Foster has scored 19+ 12 times this season and has hit double-figures in 20 of the Broncos 21 games this year. In that lone game he scored nine points, but hit the game-winning three vs. Rice. Foster has scored 15+ points in 37 of 60 career games and he has scored 19+ in 27 career games.
There are some interesting comparisons after Santa Clara's first 21 games last season and the first 21 games this year. Santa Clara is 12-9 and 3-2 in the WCC this season and was 8-13 and 0-4 in the WCC last season. See the following positives on this season:
* Increased points per game from 65.9 to 73.6
* Increased field goal percentage from .409 to .435
* Increased free throw percentage from .695 to .721 and free throws made per game from 17.5 to 18.7
* Increased three-pointers from 4.8 to 7.3
* Decreased opponent's three-pointers from 6.9 to 6.0
* Decreased turnovers per game from 15.8 to 14.8
* Increased assists per game from 10.7 to 13.4
* Increased rebounds per game from 35.2 to 35.4
* Increased steals per game from 6.9 to 7.2
* Increased home attendance average per game from 1,870 to 1, 909
0 (Roquemore) - Named the 20th best freshmen this season by BasketballProspectus.com. 10 of the last 16 games he has hit double figures, including 13 vs. Gonzaga. Dished out a career-high eight assists at Saint Mary's and scored a career-high 18 points vs. Northern Colorado.
01 (Payne) - After starting 40 straight games, gave up his starting role for 11 games before earning it back prior to the Zags game. Backed up Gonzaga game, where he scored a season-high 11 points, with nine points and nine rebounds vs. Portland. Has had 10 games this season with 6+ rebounds. Last season in his first 21 games that had happened six times.
03 (Cunningham) - Although he hasn't played in the past five games due to a sore back, Cunningham started the previous eight games and he is shooting a career-best 61.9 percent this season. It is the seventh-best shooting percentage for a season in Bronco history.
04 (Perricone) - Has played in two games this season and hit his first career field goal in the first game (Houston Baptist) and his first career three in the second game (Bethany).
10 (Dowdell) - Tied a career-high with 22 points in the win over Portland. Previous career-high came his freshman year vs. Niagara on Dec. 29, 2007. Shot season-best 7 of 10 from the field, making 8 of 10 free throws. Has 10 games this season with 5+ rebounds. After 21 games this season more of everything, including ppg (7.7 this year as compared to 6.5 last year), rpg (4.2 to 4.8 this year), asp and spg.
13 (Santos) - Gave SCU 16 good minutes off the bench in the Gonzaga game and followed it up with 20 strong minutes in Portland win. Coach Keating was happy to see him healthy after suffering with a sprained hand for a couple weeks and said he had an excellent week of practice. Had season-high six rebounds and career-high four assists vs. Bethany.
14 (Gamble) - Hit his first career points with two three-pointers in four minutes vs. Bethany. He put up four shots and grabbed two rebounds during that span as well.
15 (Trasolini) - Has hit double figures 11 of the last 13 games. Has 47 career double-figure games and 25 15+ point games. His five career double-doubles rank No. 1 on the team this year. Was the only player in the WCC to be named to the CoSIDA Academic All-American All-District team. Sports a 3.51 GPA in Business.
21 (Foster) - Scored his 1,001th career point with a three at 1:36 in the first half in the Portland win; finished with 19 points on the game and 1,011 points in his career. First sophomore in school history and 28th player overall to score 1,000+ career points. Scored a career-high 36 points in the Gonzaga win - the sixth-best ever by a Bronco in a home game. First player in school history to hit six plus threes in three games in a season. He has now done it five times this year.
22 (Mensah) - Fourth-year walk-on hit his first career free throws and first career three-pointers in the four games he has played in this year. Has already been accepted to the Law Schools at Santa Clara University and American University; and is waiting to hear back from Cornell, Georgetown, George Washington and Howard.
24 (Clarke) - Has only played in three games early due to a foot injury.
25 (McArthur) - After being named the Bay Area Player of the Year out of famed De La Salle last year, he has played 8.7 mpg where he has collected 3+ rebounds in six games, playing double-digit minutes six times including a career-high 19 vs. Houston Baptist and 16 important minutes in the Gonzaga win.
31 (Harrison) - Playing just seven minutes vs. Fordham, he has played an average of 14.2 mpg the last six games where he has scored 4.2 ppg and grabbed 2.7 rpg, swatting a season-high two blocks vs. USF.
33 (Bach) - Carrying a 3.48 grade point average in Marketing, he has come off the bench in three games this season, including a season-high 12 minutes vs. Bethany where he dished out a career-best four assists.
42 (Cowels) - Starting in nine games this season and 20 throughout his two-year career, Cowels hit a season-high four threes vs. Northern Colorado and was 6 of 6 from the free throw line vs. Washington State. He scored a career-high 24 points vs. NCAA Tournament-bound Wofford last season, hitting five threes.
36! and before that: 8!
Kevin Foster's career-best prior to the Gonzaga game was the 31 he scored as a freshman at Saint Mary's (Jan. 9, 2009) and his season-best was the 29 he scored in overtime vs. Washington State on Dec. 19, 2010. Foster dropped a new career-high on the Zags with 36 (11 of 20 and 6 of 14 from 3; 8 of 10 FT). The 36 points are the sixth-most ever for a Bronco at home and the most a player has scored vs. Gonzaga since Keion Bell scored 37 points on Jan. 21, 2010.
Foster crushed eight threes on Jan. 8 vs. USF. Foster's eight threes tied the school record set by Steve Nash (8 at Gonzaga on Jan. 19, 1995) and Mitch Burley (8 vs. Nevada-Reno, Dec. 14, 1988). Foster attempted 20 threes in the USF game, shooting 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. The attempts mark shattered Burley's school record set back in 1988 (17) and Nash's in 1995 (17). The 20 attempts also shattered the WCC record set by Jeff Fryer of LMU vs. Santa Clara on Feb. 24, 1989 when he attempted 18. It was also the Leavey Center record.
Then-junior Dan Dickau of Gonzaga holds the Leavey Center record. He was nine of 13 from beyond the arc vs. SCU on Feb. 22, 2001. He scored 39 points that day (11 of 18 from the field and 8 of 8 from the free throw line). But SCU won the war that day, coming away with an 84-71 victory as Steve Ross hit 10 of 14 free throws to score 22 for the Broncos.
Foster owns the Santa Clara school record for threes in a season with the 85 he hit his freshman year, snatching the record from Steve Nash, who hit 84 his senior year. Foster already has 74 threes this season with at least 10 games to play.
Marc Trasolini has 14 games in double figures this season, including three with 19+. He has scored 15+ 26 times in his three-year career. Trasolini's 26 points at USF last season are still his career high. After not attempting a single three his freshman campaign, Trasolini was 19 of 54 last season and is shooting 33.9 percent this year, hitting 19 of 56. He has hit a career-high three threes in five games this season. Bronco head coach Kerry Keating said he would like to see Trasolini shoot 10 three pointers a game because he has that much confidence in his shooting.
Trasolini has hit 49 of 67 free throws this season (73.1 percent), but has hit 36 of 43 free throws in the last 11 games (83.7 percent). He hasn't been hitting the free throw line as often this season. Last year of his 439 total points, 122 came from the free throw line (27.7 percent). This season of his 252 points scored, 19.4 percent are coming from the free throw line (49 made). His freshman year 21 percent of his points came from free throws (43 of 64 made (67%); 201 points total scored).
He is also getting it done in the classroom. The only player from the WCC on the Academic All-American All-District team last year, Trasolini sports a 3.511 GPA in Business.
Freshman Evan Roquemore has made really good after being inserted into the starting line-up 11 games ago. He is averaging 11.1 ppg as a starter with 3.6 rpg and 4.9 apg. Overall this season he is third on the team with 10.6 ppg, picks up 3.2 rpg and is second on the team with 3.9 apg. Roquemore is third on the team this season at the free throw line, shooting 82.7 percent (81 of 98). He had a career-high eight assists at SMC and a career-high in points vs. UNC.
He has been perfect at the free throw line in seven games this year: 6 of 6 vs. Rice, 10 of 10 vs. Northern Colorado, 6 of 6 at San Jose State, 7 of 7 vs. Washington State, 6 of 6 at CSU Northridge, 1 of 1 at Saint Mary's and 8 of 8 vs. Gonzaga.
Frees and Threes
SCU made its first 30 free throws in a row vs. Washington State on Dec. 19 and finished the game with 33 makes in 36 attempts. It was the most free throws attempted since it attempted 45 vs. Menlo on Nov. 16, 2009. It was the most free throws made since it made 35 vs. Portland on Jan. 7, 2006. The Broncos followed up about 10 days later with a 30 of 40 showing in their win over Fordham.
Santa Clara has hit the free throw line at least 30+ 10 times this year, making 23+ seven times. Last year up to this point it had attempted 30+ 8 times, but only made 23+ five times.
Santa Clara hit 12 three-pointers twice this season in back-to-back games vs. Bethany and USF. It is the most under head coach Kerry Keating. The 37 threes attempted vs. USF were the most they had attempted as a team since it set the school record with 45 attempts at San Diego on Feb. 5, 2004 in a 74-69 victory.