Santa Clara Travels To Notre Dame Friday; Returns Home Nov. 29 and 30 to Host the 47th Annual Cable Car Classic
The Broncos will finish a two-game road swing at University of Notre Dame on Fri., Nov. 22 at 6 pm Pacific. The game will be shown on ESPN3 on the internet. Both Santa Clara and Notre Dame come in with a 2-1 record in the early going, dropping their last game. Santa Clara lost 86-73 at Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 16 despite 23 points from Brandon Clark for the second straight game and 21 points by Jared Brownridge. Then-No. 21 Notre Dame lost at home to in-state opponent Indiana State 83-70 on Nov. 17.
The Broncos are fresh off a 26-12 campaign last season that saw them win their second post-season title in three years, the CBI at George Mason on April 5 (80-77). It's hard to imagine any team in the country entering this season with more production lost than the Broncos. With the five seniors graduating in June of 2013, they took with them 13,455 minutes played, 6,188 points scored, 2,149 rebounds, 705 assists and 492 steals.
Kerry Keating, entering his seventh season with the Broncos, brought in seven newcomers this season, including Jerry Brown, a graduate transfer from Fresno State. Santa's Clara's roster is thick with diaper dandies, including freshman-redshirt Nate Kratch and four true freshmen: Jared Brownridge, Jalen Richard, Jarvis Pugh and Emmanual Ndumanya. Both Brownridge and Richard have started all three games to open the season.
Evan Roquemore, the current team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, is yet to play this season due to a back injury. He is listed as day-to-day and probably for the UND game. Roquemore sits at No. 19 with 1,316 career points. He is also No. 4 with 493 career assists. Last year's Bronco team was the first team in West Coast Conference history to feature four 1,000 point career scores. Along with Roquemore, the team had seniors Kevin Foster (No. 1, 2,423 points), Marc Trasolini (No. 5, 1,699 points) and Raymond Cowels III (No. 26, 1,090 points).
The Santa Clara - Notre Dame game will be shown on ESPN3 on the internet. Click here to find it. Mike Couzens and Darrin Horn will make the call. The game will be broadcast live on SantaClaraBroncos.com with the call beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific. Anthony Passarelli is in his sixth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. He will be joined on the road for the first time by former Bronco John Stege.
SCU will return home over Thanksgiving to host the 47th Annual Cable Car Classic. The Cable Car Classic, being played for the first time over Thanksgiving, will include North Dakota State, Rider and Rice. It is the longest running holiday in the country. In 31 of the Classic's 46 years, the Classic has featured a team that would receive an NCAA bid a few months later. Santa Clara won the Cable Car Classic title last year with a 69-45 victory over Wagner, the previous year's champion. Senior Marc Trasolini was named the MVP.
Santa Clara will host North Dakota State at 8:15 pm on Nov. 29 and Rider and Rice will play the first game at 6 pm. The losers will advance to the consolation game at 6 pm on Nov. 30 and the winners will play in the championship on Nov. 30 at 8:15 pm.
The Broncos have won seven straight and nine of their last 10 games played at Leavey Center. They are 2-0 this season at home, including an 84-39 victory over Bethesda on Nov. 8 and an 89-77 win vs. San Jose State on Nov. 12.
Baby, Oh Baby!
First-year Bronco assistant coach Kyle Schwan and his wife Kayla welcomed their first baby, a boy, in the Bay Area on Wednesday afternoon so the Broncos will be without Schwan this weekend. He is the seventh baby born to the Bronco basketball coaching staff in the past seven years. Kerry Keating has two sons, Sam School has two daughters and Jesse Pruitt has a daughter. Former assistant Dustin Kerns, now the Associate Head Coach at Wofford, also welcomed a daughter while with SCU.
Santa Clara brings a 2-1 record on the road after defeating Bethesda on Nov. 8, 84-39, and then cross-town rival San Jose State, 89-77, on Nov. 12. They dropped an 86-73 game at Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17.
A duo of newcomers young and old lead the Broncos on the scoreboard. Rookie Jared Brownridge leads the team with 20.3 ppg and junior Brandon Clark chips in 15.3 ppg. After going scoreless his first game, Clark has put up a new career high in back-to-back games, scoring 23 points.
Yannick Atanga has picked up where he left off last year on the boards and leads the team with 8.0 rpg. Atanga had the 11th double-digit rebound game of his career vs. San Jose State. He led the league in rebounds last season.
Brown scored his third career double-double and his first for the Broncos with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over San Jose State. Marc Trasolini was the last Bronco to record a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds vs. Portland on Jan. 31, 2013.
The Broncos started the 2013-14 season with a bang. SCU came away with a 45-point victory over Bethesda on Nov. 8 to open the year. Santa Clara was led by rookie Brownridge, who scored 25 points, including five threes with six assists. Brownridge was just one three made shy of tying the school record for freshmen set by Steve Nash in 1993. Jalen Richard chipped in 15, Jerry Brown 13 and Julian Clarke 11.
Notre Dame is 2-1 this season. Opening the season at No. 21, Notre Dame fell out of the rankings Monday when it lost 83-70 to Indiana State at home. It was head coach Mike Brey's first home loss in November in his 14 years as head coach. Eric Atkins scored 18 for Notre Dame with Jerian Grant adding 17 and Pat Connaughton 16. The Irish shot just 37 percent with 16 turnovers.
The Fighting Irish will play their inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013-14. They had played in the Big East Conference since 1995. They were 25-10 in 2012-13. They fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Iowa State (76-58) after falling to eventual NCAA champion Louisville in the semi-finals of the league tournament (69-57).
It's Been A While ...
Santa Clara is 0-1 vs. Notre Dame. The two team's only other meeting was an 85-83 victory for the No. 15 Fighting Irish in South Bend on Dec. 31, 1970. It was the ninth game for Carroll Williams in his first season as the SCU head coach. Williams headed up the Broncos for 22 years and he retired in 1992 with a 344-274 record.
Through his first three collegiate basketball games, freshman and Chicago-land native Jared Brownridge is in elite company at Santa Clara. Only three players since the 1999-2000 season have scored more points in the first three games of the season and Brownridge is the only first-year player among them. John Bryant was in his junior year when he collected 75 points in three games at the outset of the 2007-08 season and Travis Niesen tallied 68 points during the first three games of his 2005-06 senior campaign. Career points leader Kevin Foster went for 65 in the first three games last season. Foster also scored 62 points in 2009 but it took him four team games after he missed the third contest of the season. It's early, but Brownridge is on pace to score nearly 650 points which would shatter Foster's single-season freshman points record of 486 set in 2008-09.
Brownridge hit five threes in his first game against Bethesda (5-10) and then matched that effort at Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17 (5-9). The Bronco freshman threes record in a game was first established by two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash in 1993 (vs. CS Stanislaus). It has since been matched by Brandon Rohe (vs. Mississippi State Valley, Dec. 27, 2002) and Calvin Johnson (vs. Cal Poly, Dec. 10, 2005). Looking back, career threes school record holder Kevin Foster made five threes three times his freshman year (5 vs. Arizona, Nov. 25, 2008; at Saint Mary's, Jan. 9, 2009; and at LMU, Feb. 14, 2009).
J This, J That
The Broncos team this year features six players whose first name starts with a "J". The six are: John (McArthur), Julian (Clarke), Jerry (Brown), Jared (Brownridge), Jarvis (Pugh) and Jalen (Richard).
The Broncos also have two Clarke/Clark's. Julian Clarke and Brandon Clark. Santa Clara's only player from Indiana is Clark. He hails from East Chicago, Ind. and attended Merrillville High School. He was named third-team All-State as a senior and the 2011 Northwest Indiana Most Valuable Player. As a senior, he averaged 15 ppg, 6 apg and 2 spg and led team to DAC Conference championship in 2011.
The Broncos roster showcases four players from California. They also have one player each from the following states: Minnesota, Texas, Indiana, Arizona, Colorado and Illinois. The Broncos also feature players from Canada (Julian Clarke), Cameroon (Yannick Atanga) and Nigeria (Emmanuel Ndumanya).
Bronco athletic director Dan Coonan is a 1984 graduate of Notre Dame. He lived in Carroll Hall during his time in South Bend.
Santa Clara has two expected redshirts this year: Emmanuel Ndumanya and Jarvis Pugh.
With 13,455 minutes played, 6,188 points scored, 2,149 rebounds, 705 assists and 492 steals gone from last season, Santa Clara is looking to a talented trio of freshmen to help with the scoring this season. True freshmen Jared Brownridge (20.3 ppg, 3.7 apg) and Jalen Richard (7.7 ppg, 2.7 apg) have both started all three games. Freshman-redshirt Nate Kratch is one of the first players off the bench and he is averaging 2.7 ppg and 2.7 rpg.
Family Has Skills
Freshman-redshirt Nate Kratch comes from an athletic family! His dad, Bob, played football at Iowa and later won a Super Bowl ring with the NY Giants in 1991. His mother Kristi was a high jumper at Iowa and cleared a personal best of 5'11. His older brother Colby played tight end at Toledo University and is now a graduate assistant for the Rockets. His younger sister MacKenzie, 18, strives to be a Division I hockey player next year.
The athleticism doesn't end there for Kratch. His maternal grandmother played professional basketball for the Redheads and was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame in New York City at Madison Square Garden last year. She once scored 70 points in a high school game, something she has reminded Nate of a few times during his high school career. And finally, his paternal grandfather played baseball at Long Island University and two Kratch Uncles played football at Cornell and Central College
West Coast Conference Ballin'
As of Nov. 20, the West Coast Conference is tied for second among Division I conferences in most unbeaten teams with seven and is one of two conferences with four 4-0 teams (Big Ten has nine). The WCC has a higher percentage of unbeaten member institutions (70%) than the Big Ten (58.3), Pac-12 (58.3%) and Atlantic-10 (53.8). Nineteen teams nationally have a 4-0 record, and four of those teams call the WCC home (21%)
The WCC is 30-5 (85.7%) overall entering Wednesday. Only the Big Ten (90%) and the Pac-12 (86.5%) boast stronger winning percentages Six West Coast Conference teams – Santa Clara, BYU, Gonzaga, San Francisco, LMU and Portland – are averaging 80 points per game or more.
In the latest GSR reports, overall WCC men's basketball GSR is 88% and half of our conference (i.e. five programs) recorded 100% GSR's.