Santa Clara Travels Northwest For Play At Portland Thursday and At Gonzaga Saturday

note: Santa Clara's game tonight is on Tape Delay on Comcast Sports Plus at 10:30 pm.

 

Santa Clara-Portland Game Notes

Sam Scholl Scouts Portland

Something's gotta give between the Broncos and Pilots as the home team has won seven of the last eight meetings.  The Broncos are hoping it will happen for them when they open 2012 West Coast Conference play in Portland on Thurs., Jan. 5 at 8 pm in their 82nd career meeting with the Pilots. The Broncos are looking for their first win in Portland since they won 76-53 on Feb. 10, 2007.  The two teams have split the season series three of the last four seasons with Portland sweeping it in 2010 and Santa Clara sweeping it in 2006 and '07.  Santa Clara is 3-5 vs. Portland under head coach Kerry Keating in his first four seasons.

Santa Clara is 8-5 this season and looking for its first win on the road this year.  They are coming off a heartbreaking 64-62 loss in the 45th annual Cable Car Classic title game on Dec. 30 vs. Wagner.  The Broncos rallied from 15 down with five minutes left to tie it up in the final seconds before the Seahawks hit a miracle shot to win as the buzzer went off.

Portland is 3-11 this season and has dropped its last seven games, including its first WCC game of the year, 90-51, at Gonzaga on Dec. 28 to fall to 0-1 in the WCC.  

See and Hear 

The Portland game will be regionally broadcast on Comcast Sportsnet Plus.  Santa Clara will then travel to Spokane for a 5 pm meeting with the Zags on Sat., Jan. 7.  The Gonzaga game will be shown locally in the state of Washington on KHQ-TV (Seattle station).

The Portland game in the Chiles Center will also be broadcast via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com with the broadcast beginning at 7:45 p.m. on KDOW1220.  Anthony Passarelli is in his fifth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. Out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online at www.1220kdow.com.  

Last Times

The Broncos are finished with non-conference play this season and now turn all their attention to the WCC as it welcomes its newest member, BYU.  In its final non-conference game on Dec. 30, Santa Clara dropped a heartbreaker in the 45th Cable Car Classic title game, 64-62 to Wagner, thanks to an improbable acrobatic shot at the buzzer after coming back from 15 down in the final five minutes. Kevin Foster led all scorers with 20 points and Evan Roquemore added 17, including 14 in the second half.  Niyi Harrison scored 10 and added nine boards while Raymond Cowels III grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.

In the Broncos 75-55 victory over Eastern Michigan the day before, Foster led the Broncos with 25 points (6 of 10 from three point range). Harrison added a double-double, his third of his career, with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the Broncos. Harrison finished seven of nine from the free throw line. Brandon Clark, Yannick Atanga and Roquemore each added seven points while Roquemore dished out nine assists. 

The Broncos

Santa Clara, 8-5, is 6-1 at home this season, 2-1 in neutral site games and 0-3 on the road.  Its 6-0 home record to start the season was the best for Santa Clara since it started the 1988-89 season 7-0 on its home court.  Santa Clara is 7-1 when shooting better than the opposition from the field and 6-3 when shooting better beyond the three-point line.  

The Broncos have two players averaging double figures: Kevin Foster leads the team with 18.6 ppg and Evan Roquemore scores 14.5 ppg. Foster is No. 2 in the country with 3.8 threes per game and ranked No. 44 nationally in scoring. Foster, who has 297 threes made in his career, passed Blake Stepp (Gonzaga, 2000-04) in the Broncos' 75-55 victory over Eastern Michigan to move to No. 3 on the WCC all-time threes made list. He moved to No. 8 on the Bronco career points scored list with 1,613, passing No. 9 Kyle Bailey (1,571, 2001-05) and No. 8 Ken Sears (1951-55, 1,586). 

Roquemore dishes out a team-leading 5.9 apg and Niyi Harrison and Yannick Atanga are the leaders on the boards, pulling down 6.9 and 5.8 rpg, respectively.  Foster has scored in double figures every game this season and Roquemore has hit double figures in 11 of the last 13 games dating back to last season.  Harrison has had seven 7+ rebound games this season.  Harrison has three double-doubles this season, John McArthur has two and Roquemore has one (points and assists).  Raymond Cowels III, Harrison, McArthur and Roquemore have started all 13 games and Foster has started 12 of 13 this season.  Cowels III has 3+ threes in five of the last nine games, including a career-high six 3s vs. Villanova.

With the loss of All-WCC forward Marc Trasolini (torn ACL), Santa Clara might be the youngest team in the country with its 11 scholarship players this season totalling eight years of total court time (no seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen).  While the Broncos start three juniors and two sophomores, the next six players off the bench, including walk-on Jordan Akwenuke, are all freshmen. In addition to leadership, SCU is without its top three rebounders from last season (Trasolini and graduation of Ben Dowdell and Troy Payne).

SCU finished last season 24-14 and won the post-season CIT with All-WCC guard Foster collecting MVP honors.  Named to the 2011 pre-season All-WCC team this season for the third time after leading the country in threes (140) and the league in scoring (20.2 ppg) in 2010-11.

Player of the Month?

Kevin Foster is a nominee for the West Coast Conference Player of the Month in December.  Foster averaged 20.0 ppg, over two points higher than his career ppg. He finished with 32.9 mpg, up considerably from the 29.3 he averaged in November and nearly a minute more than what he averaged last season. He shot 44.4 percent from the field which was a significant increase from his November marks and also was an increase over his career shooting percentage of 38.9. He shot a blistering 46.8 percent from three point range. He added 3.14 apg while committing 2.57 topg and had 1.43 spg as well.

Last year Foster led the country in threes made, threes attempted and threes per game. He also led the league in scoring.

Add up These Numbers

Last season Kevin Foster tore through the WCC and Santa Clara record books with 140 threes made on 380 threes attempted.  His 3.68 threes per game led the nation and the 140 threes was good enough for No. 9 all-time in NCAA history.

This season he has hit 50 three-pointers and broke the career three-pointers made record set by Steve Nash (263, 119 games, 1992-96) vs. Oklahoma on Nov. 25. As a junior, he is No. 3 on the West Coast Conference career threes made list, passing Blake Stepp with 288 (2000-04) vs. Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29.  He needs 67 to break the WCC career record held by Jeff Fryer of LMU (363, 1987-90).

Foster's 297 threes made are also a Bay Area record and he hit the mark faster than Nash (took Foster 82 games to hit 263 threes and Nash set the record playing in 113 games).  Consider this: Foster averages 3.3 threes per game during his career and if he plays in 31 games both this season and next season (regular season plus one WCC tournament game), he could hit more than 458.  The NCAA record is 457 by J.J. Redick of Duke (457 in 139 games).

Foster is climbing up the Bronco career scoring list as well. At No. 8 with 1,613 points, he needs 124 to catch school record holder Kurt Rambis (1,736, 1976-80, No. 21 on the WCC list).  If he stays on pace with 18.6 ppg this season, Foster would break the school record vs. rival USF on Jan. 26 in the second half.  The WCC record is 2,490 by Hank Gathers (1987-90) when he averaged 28.0 ppg over his three year career with the Lions.  Foster would need to average 17.5 ppg if he played in all 31 games this season and next to catch the record.  Only six players have scored 2,000 points in West Coast Conference history.

Foster's met Rambis on a number of occasions.  His daughter Ali is a sophomore on the SCU volleyball team and Rambis had his jersey retired Foster's freshman year during the Cable Car Classic.  In Dallas last March for its CIT game at SMU, the team and coaches stopped by the Timberwolves hotel, in town to play the Mavs that night, to say hello to former Bronco and then-NBA head coach Kurt Rambis.  Rambis greeted each player and staff member with a big handshake and a smile.  When Coach Keating introduced Rambis to Foster, Foster smiled when Coach Keating said he was chasing his points scored career mark and Rambis remarked with a smile, "I hope you get it." 

Evan Roquemore 

Evan Roquemore has shot 80.0 percent or better at the free throw line in 8 of 13 games, including 8 of 8 vs. New Mexico and 8 of 9 vs. Villanova. Against Wagner in the Cable Car Classic Championship Roquemore converted a clutch four-point play, sinking a three while being fouled and nailing the free throw. Roquemore also has at least 4 assists in 11 of 13 games including a career-high 11 assists vs. UOP and 10 vs. Oklahoma. 

After being selected to the 76 Classic Five-Man All-Tournament team and leading the WCC in points and assists per game and free throw percentage, Roquemore was named the WCC Player of the Week on Nov. 28.  Nationally he was also named the Lou Henson Award Co-Player of the Week and the Jesuit Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week. 

The sophomore averaged 22.7 points and 8 assists per contest, shooting 52% from the floor.  His 24 total assists are a new 76 Classic tournament record. In addition to the assists, he shot 95.7 percent from the free throw line at the Classic, hitting 22 of 23 and is No. 9 in the country this season.  It is a first-time honor for the sophomore from Henderson, Nev.

Roquemore led the Broncos to victories over New Mexico and Villanova Thanksgiving weekend, and a third-place finish at the 76 Classic in Anaheim.  In the 79-76 overtime win over pre-tournament favorite New Mexico in the opener, Roquemore poured in 26 points.  Against Oklahoma, Roquemore posted a double-double with 27 points and 10 assists.  He poured in 15 points and dished out nine assists in the 65-64 comeback win over Villanova.  Santa Clara finished the final 2:56 minutes of the game on a 10-0 run to defeat the Wildcats with Roquemore hitting four clutch free throws with less than 10 seconds left to clinch the win over the Big East school. 

Kevin Foster 

Kevin Foster, the Broncos' most consistent scoring threat, has 15+ points in 10 of 13 games this season including 26 point performances vs. New Mexico and UOP. He is also lights out from behind the arc, having made 4+ threes in 8 of 13 games including six vs. UOP and Eastern Michigan.

John McArthur 

The team's starting center, John McArthur, has pulled down 6+ rebounds in 6 of 13 games including a career-best 12 boards at Houston Baptist. He has two career double-doubles this season (vs. San Jose State and at Houston Baptist). 

He has also shown uncommon accuracy at the free throw line for a post player, converting an outstanding 25 of 27 free throws (92.6%) including a breakout 11 for 11 game vs. San Jose State.  He is No. 1 in the league at the charity stripe.

Niyi Harrison 

In the wake of Mark Trasolini's season-ending ACL tear, Niyi Harrison has stepped up and filled the frontcourt void admirably. The 6-9 junior has started every game while grabbing 8+ rebounds in 8 of 13 contests including a career-high 13 vs. Eastern Michigan. He has also made significant growth offensively, scoring in double figures seven times including a 19 point game vs. New Mexico. 

He leads the team with three double-doubles in his career (one freshman year and two this season).

RCIII

Raymond Cowels III, one of four players to start every game this season, has had success from deep with five games of 3+ threes including six vs. Villanova. He has also shot 83.3 percent or better from the line in five games, proving to be a reliable free-throw shooter.

Highlights

* John McArthur scored his second double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in a career-high 38 minutes at Houston Baptist.

* Kevin Foster tied a season-best with 26 points and six threes in the overtime win vs. Pacific. He tied the game at 69 each with 21 seconds left on the clock to push it to overtime.

* Evan Roquemore collected his second career double-double vs. Pacific with a career-high 11 assists and 14 points.

* Two walk-ons hit their first threes of the season vs. Pacifica.  Junior Kyle Perricone now has three career threes after hitting two last season.  Freshman Nick Lamson scored his first career three vs. Pacifica.

* Raymond Cowels III has two+ threes in five of the last six games, including four vs. Pacifica on Dec. 13.   

* Brandon Clark collected a career-high five assists vs. Pacifica with three Broncos collecting five+ assists.  Roquemore added five assists and Foster scored six.

* Three Broncos scored in double figures at Washington State: Foster (16), Niyi Harrison (14) and Roquemore (12).

* Harrison recorded his second career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds vs. CSUN. Harrison's only other previous double-double came during his freshman year against Northeastern on Dec. 29, 2009 when he finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

* Scoring 20 points in the win over Cal State Northridge, Foster went four from nine from behind the arc while adding a career-high seven rebounds and season-high six assists. Foster has now scored 19+ points in 39 of 87 games in his career.

* Roquemore and Foster averaged 22.0 ppg and 17.8 ppg, respectively in the 76 Classic. 

* Roquemore collected his first career double-double with 27 points and 10 assists vs. Oklahoma. He hit a career-high seven threes and was a perfect six of six from the free throw line. It was the first time a Santa Clara guard has collected a double-double (points/assists) since Brody Angley had 24 points and 13 assists in SCU's 101-86 win vs. Pepperdine on Jan. 21, 2008.  Roquemore is the first Bronco to score 25+ points and collect 10+ assists since Steve Nash collected 28 points and 12 assists in Santa Clara's 91-79 victory over Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 15, 1996.  

* Foster broke Steve Nash's career three pointers made record with three threes vs. Oklahoma. 

* Harrison had a career high 19 points, playing a career-high 44 minutes vs. New Mexico

* Foster and Roquemore had 26 points a piece in the New Mexico win. Roquemore was a perfect 8 of 8 from the line. 

* McArthur collected his first career double-double vs. San Jose State with a career-best19 points (11 of 11 from the free throw line) and 10 rebounds.

* Harrison scored a career-high 18 points vs. San Jose State.

* Santa Clara made 14 threes vs. UC Merced. Led by Foster's five, Roquemore and Brandon Clark both chipped in four each.

Microwave Cooks Hot

In Santa Clara's 88-75 win over Air Force on March 18, 2010, Kevin Foster broke the school record with nine threes, tying a career-high with 36 points.  He also had a career-high 36 in Santa Clara's 85-71 win over Gonzaga on Jan. 20, 2011.  Foster shattered the WCC single season threes made record with 140 last season and grabbed the country's top spot in threes made per game as well with 3.68.  His 768 points last season were No. 6 on the WCC's single season points scored list as he finished as the leading scorer in a single season in the Bay Area as well.  He broke the school's single season mark for points scored, minutes played, threes made and threes attempted.  Foster was named first-team All-WCC and was named the WCC Player of the Month for February and March.  He was named the WCC Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.

Foster was nicknamed 'Microwave' by his father during his youth after the Detroit Piston's Vinnie Johnson.  Johnson earned the nickname 'the Microwave' from Celtics guard Danny Ainge for his ability to score many points in a short period of time, heating up the offense. Foster has scored 15+ points in 61 of 90 career games and he has scored 19+ in 42 career games.  Foster's 19+ games follow:  

Opponent/Date                    Pts. (3s)

1. vs. Arizona/Nov. 25, 2008 21 (5) 

2. vs. Belmont/Dec. 29, 2008 24 (3)

3. at Harvard/Jan. 2, 2009 20 (4)

4. at Saint Mary's/Jan. 9, 2009 31 (5)

5. at Portland/Jan. 17, 2009 20 (3)

6. vs. LMU/Jan. 29, 2009 20 (3)

7. vs. Saint Mary's/Feb. 7, 2009 26 (4)

8. at LMU/Feb. 14, 2009 26 (5)

9. at USF/Feb. 21, 2009 20 (2)

10. vs. Gonzaga/Feb. 26, 2009 20 (3)

11. vs. San Diego/March 7, 2009 21 (4)

12. at CSUB/Nov. 13, 2009 21 (3)

13. vs. Menlo/Nov. 19, 2009 19 (4)

14. at Pacific/Nov. 22, 2009 22 (5)

15. vs. Fresno State/Nov. 28, 2009 25 (5)

16. vs. CSU Bakersfield/Nov. 12, 2010 19 (4)

17. at So. California/Nov. 15, 2010 26 (4)

18. vs. Bethune-Cookman/Nov. 21, 2010 21 (6)

19. vs. N. Colorado/Nov. 23, 2010 19 (4)

20. vs. UC Santa Barbara/Dec. 4, 2010 25 (6)

21. at San Jose State/Dec. 10, 2010 26 (3)

22. vs. Washington St./Dec. 19, 2010 29 (4)

23. at CSU Northridge/Dec. 22, 2010 22 (2)

24. vs. Bethany/Jan. 3, 2011 19 (6)

25. vs. USF/Jan. 8, 2011 26 (8)

26. vs. Gonzaga/Jan. 20, 2011 36 (6)

27. vs. Portland/Jan. 22, 2011 19 (3)

28. vs. LMU/Jan. 29, 2011 28 (3)

29.vs. St. Mary's/Feb. 10, 2011 25 (4)

30. vs. San Diego/Feb. 12, 2011 21 (3)

31. at Gonzaga/Feb. 17, 2011 27 (8)

32. at Portland/Feb. 19, 2011 29 (7)

33. vs. Air Force/March 18, 2011 36 (9)

34. at USF/March 22, 2011 27 (3)

35. at SMU (March 25, 2011 35 (5)

36. vs. New Mexico (Nov. 24, 2011) 26 (5)

37. vs. Oklahoma (Nov. 25, 2011) 19 (3)

38. vs. Cal State Northridge (Dec. 3, 2011) 20 (4)

39. vs. Pacific (Dec. 17, 2011) 26 (6)

40. at Houston Baptist (Dec. 21, 2011) 19 (3)

41. vs. Eastern Michigan (Dec. 29, 2011) 25 (6)

42. vs. Wagner (Dec. 30, 2011) 20 (4)

 

Dandy Duo Will Play Again Next Year As Seniors

While senior Marc Trasolini is sidelined for the season with a torn ACL, he will return for his red-shirt senior year in 2012-13.  Last season Trasolini and Kevin Foster combined for a number of firsts.  Foster was the first WCC sophomore ever and the 28th player in school history to score 1,000 career points on Jan. 20.  Trasolini was the 29th player to score 1,000 career points on Feb. 26. Foster is currently at No. 8 with 1613 career points and Trasolini is at No. 24 with 1,096 points. Foster and Trasolini were the first duo to both hit 1,000 career points in the same year since then-seniors Jens Gordon and Mitch Burley did it in 1988-89.  Gordon scored 522 points to finish his career with 1,356 and Burley scored 377 to finish with 1,258 career points.  

Last season the Foster (766) - Trasolini (472) duo combined for 1,238 points as the No. 1 SCU Single Season Scoring Duo. They were just the seventh pair to hit 1,000 points in a season.  Foster was in the top five already, scoring 486 points his freshman year with WCC Player of the Year John Bryant scoring 596 (No. 4 with 1,082 points).