The Broncos, who played three of their first four WCC contests on the road, host No. 23/24 Saint Mary's on Sat., Jan. 21 at 8 pm in a COMCAST California broadcast. The regionally televised game will be called by Dave Benz and Stan Morrison. After having Thursday off, Santa Clara begins an eight day stretch on Saturday with four games: SMC on Sat., Jan. 21 at 8 pm; vs. LMU on Mon., Jan. 23 at 7 pm; vs. USF at 8 pm on Thurs., Jan. 26; and then at Pepperdine on Sat., Jan. 28.
The two long-time Bay Area rivals are playing for the 211th time in school history. Santa Clara leads the all-time series 131-79, including 62-24 at home. The 211 meetings are the most the Broncos have faced a team in 105 years of Bronco basketball. Saint Mary's won its first meeting with the Broncos 21-18 on Feb. 26, 1910. Saint Mary's won both games during the regular season last year (at 84-59 on Jan. 15; vs. 65-59 on Feb. 10) and then defeated the Broncos 71-64 in the semi-finals of the WCC Tournament on March 6. Saint Mary's swept the season series in 2010 on the way to winning the WCC title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. The two teams won on their home floors to split the series in 2008-09.
Santa Clara is 8-9 and 0-4 in the WCC this season after falling 84-74 at Portland Jan. 5; 82-60 at No. 25 Gonzaga on Jan. 7; 75-62 vs. San Diego on Jan. 12 and then 95-78 at BYU on Jan. 14.
Saint Mary's, 17-2 and 6-0 in the WCC and ranked in the top 25 this season for the first time, are No. 23 in the USA Today/ESPN poll and No. 24 in the AP poll. The Gaels host Pepperdine on Thursday night before traveling to the Mission Campus on Saturday. The Gaels early-season WCC results include home-win whippings of BYU (98-82, Dec. 29) and then-No. 21/23 Gonzaga (83-62, Jan. 12).
See and Hear
The Saint Mary's game will be televised on COMCAST California with Dave Benz and Stan Morrison making the call. The game 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 KDOW 1220AM. 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.
Santa Clara is 8-9 and 0-4 in the WCC. The Broncos are 6-2 at home this season, 2-1 in neutral site games and 0-6 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.
The Broncos have three players averaging double figures: Kevin Foster leads team with 17.5 ppg, Evan Roquemore scores 14.1 ppg and Niyi Harrison 10.2 ppg. Foster is just 68 points scored from breaking Kurt Rambis' school record for career points scored with 1,736 from 1976-80.
Foster Climbs Up the Bronco Career Points Scored List
1. Kurt Rambis (1976-80) 1,736
2. Harold Keeling (1981-85) 1,731
3. Brian Jones (1996-01) 1,722
4. Steve Nash (1992-96) 1,689
5. Dennis Awtrey (1967-70) 1,675
6. Kevin Foster (2008-) 1,669
Roquemore leads the team with 5.4 apg, good for 38th nationally. Harrison leads the team with 6.2 rpg.
Four Broncos average double figures in conference play with Foster leading with 14.0 ppg, Roquemore with 12.8 ppg, Harrison with 12.8 and Raymond Cowels III 10.8 ppg. Harrison is the leading rebounder in league play with 4.3 rpg and Roquemore leads the team with 3.8 apg.
Foster is No. 3 in the country with 3.5 threes per game and ranked No. 63 nationally in scoring. Foster, who has 306 threes made in his career and broke Steve Nash's career threes record on Nov. 25 vs. Oklahoma, passed Blake Stepp (Gonzaga, 2000-04) in the Broncos' 75-55 victory over Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29 to move to No. 3 on the WCC all-time threes made list. He is No. 6 on the Bronco career points scored list with 1,669, passing No. 6 John Bryant, the 2009 WCC Player of the Year, on Jan. 14 when he scored 22 points at BYU. Foster, the 2009 WCC Newcomer of the Year, needs to score seven points to pass Dennis Awtrey, who scored 1,675 points from 1967-70.
Harrison has eight 7+ rebound games this year, pulling down eight rebounds with 12 points vs. San Diego. He has three double-doubles in his career, John McArthur has two and Roquemore has one (points and assists).
Raymond Cowels III has 3+ threes in eight of the last 13 games, including a career-high six 3s vs. Villanova.
Cowels III, McArthur and Roquemore have started all 17 games, Harrison has started 16 of 17 and Foster 15 of 17 this season. Foster didn't start vs. San Diego because of a missed class. Two freshmen have also started this year: Clark started his first career game vs. San Diego and Denzel Johnson started his lone career game vs. Pacifica.
The Broncos are No. 11 nationally in threes made per game with 8.8 threes per game. They have shot 115 more threes than their opponents this season. SCU has shot 413 and the opponents have shot 298. In return, the Broncos have made 45 more than their opponents (150 to 105 made). Of the 982 shots attempted by the Broncos this year, 42.5 % have come beyond the arc. The opponents are shooting 32.3 percent beyond the arc.
With the loss of All-WCC forward Marc Trasolini (torn ACL), Santa Clara is one of the youngest teams 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).
Looking back, SCU finished last season 24-14 and won the post-season CIT with All-WCC guard Foster collecting MVP honors.
Evan Roquemore is averaging 5.41 apg, including 3.75 apg in league play. Roquemore is No. 38 nationally in apg. He has collected 7+ assists in six games this season and 4+ assists in 12 of 17 games. Last season he broke the Bronco freshman assist record with 139, topping Brian Jones who scored 119 assists in 1996-97. Roquemore is shooting 83.3 percent from the free throw line this season after breaking the freshman records for free throws made (159) and attempted (193) last season, coming .001 from tying Steve Nash's record for free throw percentage. Nash was 82.5 percent from the free throw line in 1992-93 and Roquemore was 82.4 percent (159 of 193) last season.
Three-less Not Often
Kevin Foster has been a shooting machine on the Mission Campus. He has hit double figures in 69 of the last 73 games (94.5 percent). All told, he has hit double figures in 81 of 94 career games (86.1 percent). He has hit at least one three in 88 of 94 career games (93.6 percent). Foster has hit a three in 44 of his 45 career home games. The one game he didn't hit a three in: his freshman year he was 0-5 from beyond the arc vs. San Diego on Jan. 11, 2008.
The Broncos' most consistent scoring threat, has 15+ points in 11 of 17 games this season including 26-point performances vs. New Mexico (Nov. 24) and Pacific (Dec. 17). He is also lights out from behind the arc, having made 4+ threes in half of the games including six vs. UOP and Eastern Michigan and four at BYU.
Foster was a strong nominee for the December WCC POM. 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.
Santa Clara dropped a pair of WCC games last week. It fell 75-62 vs. San Diego on Jan. 12 and then 95-78 in its first trip to Provo to meet up with the newest member of the West Coast Conference, BYU. Four Broncos scored in double figures in Provo, including Kevin Foster, who scored 22 to pass 2009 WCC Player of the Year John Bryant at No. 6 on the career points scored list (1,667 from 2005-09). Niyi Harrison was one off his career high as he scored 18 in the Marriott Center. Raymond Cowels III hit four threes in eight tries for 14 points and Evan Roqemore added 11.
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 with the exception of Portland while grabbing 8+ rebounds in 9 of 17 contests including a career-high 13 vs. Eastern Michigan. He has also made significant growth offensively, scoring in double figures 10 times including a 19 point game vs. New Mexico and at Portland.
He leads the team with three double-doubles in his career (one freshman year and two this season).
The team's starting center, John McArthur, has pulled down 6+ rebounds in 6 of 16 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).
True freshman Robert Garrett and freshman-redshirt Yannick Atanga have both come off the bench to play inside as well. Atanga is the team's second-leading rebounder with 5.4 rpg. Garrett has averaged 6.7 mpg in 15 games with 1.1 ppg and 1.3 rpg.
Adding It Up
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 59 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 with 306, passing Blake Stepp with 288 (2000-04) vs. Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29. He needs 58 to break the WCC career record held by Jeff Fryer of LMU (363, 1987-90) and 31 to move past Jared Stohl at No. 2 (336, 2007-11).
Foster's 306 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 challenge the NCAA record set by J.J. Redick of Duke (457 in 139 games).
Foster is climbing up the Bronco career scoring list as well. At No. 6 with 1,669 points, he needs 68 points to catch school record holder Kurt Rambis (1,736, 1976-80, No. 21 on the WCC list). If he stays on pace with 17.5 ppg this season, Foster would break the school record vs. USF on Jan. 24 in the second half or at Pepperdine on Jan. 26 in the first 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 17.9 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."
Charity and Dishes
Evan Roquemore has shot 80.0 percent or better at the free throw line in 10 of 16 games (didn't go to free throw line at Gonzaga), including 8 of 8 vs. New Mexico, 8 of 9 vs. Villanova and 11 of 12 vs. San Diego. 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 four assists in 12 of 17 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.
At the 76 Classic, the sophomore averaged 22.7 points and eight 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. 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.
Raymond Cowels III has had success from deep with seven 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.
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 62 of 94 career games and he has scored 19+ in 43 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)
43. at BYU (Jan. 14, 2012) 22 (4)