SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball ran its winning streak to three games with Wednesday's victory over Denver in the Cable Car Classic opener and now continues play in the tournament with a meeting against Southeast Missouri on Friday.
The Broncos (6-1) are serving as host to six games over a four-day stretch. The tournament, in its 52nd season, concludes Saturday.
Tahj Eaddy led five players in double figures with 19 points and Josip Vrankic had a double-double (13 points/10 rebounds) to lead Santa Clara to an 81-64 victory over Denver (2-4). Cal State Fullerton followed by defeating Southeast Missouri, 64-57.
• Five players are averaging at least 8.0 points led by Guglielmo Caruso (13.6 ppg), Tahj Eaddy (10.3) and Trey Wertz (10.1). Caruso (5.9 pg) and Mitchell (5.6) rank first and second on the team in rebounding, and Vrankic is tops in assists (3.7 pg).
• With a roster that features eight returning scholarship players and five newcomers, Santa Clara is playing 13 of its 15 nonconference games at home where it is 6-0 this season.
• The Broncos return their top five scorers in Tahj Eaddy (15.0 points per game), Josip Vrankic (13.7), Trey Wertz (12.2), Keshawn Justice (9.7) and Guglielmo Caruso (6.4) from last year's team that went 16-15, including 8-8 in the WCC. Eaddy, who ranked third in the WCC in 3-pointers made (2.5 pg) and ninth in assists (3.2 pg), was a second-team all-conference pick. Vrankic earned an honorable mention nod after ranking 10th in the league in rebounding, eighth in field-goal percentage (52.0) and 10th in blocked shots (0.9 pg). Wertz led all WCC freshmen in both scoring and assists (4.7 pg). He set the Santa Clara freshman assist record (146) on his way to a spot on the WCC All-Freshman team.
• The roster, which returns 87 percent of the point production, 74 percent of the rebounds and 88 percent of the assists from 2018-19, features no seniors and only three juniors in Eaddy, Vrankic and DJ Mitchell, who transferred from Wake Forest prior to last season. Juan Ducasse, who served a redshirt season due to a knee injury, is also eligible this year. The newcomers are guards David Thompson, Giordan Williams, Jalen Williams and Miguel Tomley, and center Jaden Bediako. Thompson is a junior-college transfer and the other four are true freshmen.
• Justice and Caruso were also among the most productive freshmen in the WCC last season. Justice was third on the conference's freshman scoring list and finished seventh on the school's freshman list for 3-point percentage (38.5) and tied for fourth in 3-pointers made (57). Caruso, who shot 52 percent from the field, tied for seventh in the WCC in blocked shots (1.0 pg). He also closed the season with a flourish, averaging 10.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in the last nine outings. Ezekiel Richards, another freshman in 2018-19, played in 29 games with five starts. He was first on the team in shooting from the floor at 53.1 percent.
|Video||Santa Clara-SE Missouri | Fullerton-Denver (None)|
|Radio/Audio||Audio Stream | Tunein|
|Live Stats||Santa Clara-SE Missouri | Fullerton-Denver|
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Southeast Missouri|
YEAR FOUR UNDER SENDEK...
The Broncos are heading into the their 113th year, including fourth 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. Having led the Broncos to winning records in two of his three seasons, he is in his 26th season as a collegiate head coach with stops at Arizona State, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio).
• Cal State Fullerton: The teams have met three times with the Broncos leading 2-1. They split games in 2013-14 and the following year. The Titans won 86-73 at home on Nov. 16, 2013. The Broncos won at home 89-72 on Nov. 14, 2014. Santa Clara defeated Cal State Fullerton, 79-65, on Dec. 2, 1994 in the Coors Light Classic in Fresno.
• Denver: The teams have split four games, including two in the Cable Car Classic. They met for the first time on Dec. 27, 1951, with the Pioneers winning 65-59 at home. Santa Clara claimed a 74-65 overtime victory on Dec. 28, 2007. The Pioneers won 55-33 on Nov. 14, 2015 in the Cable Car Classic and then lost Wednesday's matchup.
• Southeast Missouri: First meeting
• Santa Clara is off to its best start since 1997-98 when it began 7-1.
• The Broncos have won 12 of their last 13 nonconference home games. The lone loss in that stretch was to Idaho State last season.
• Southeast Missouri is the only opponent this season that has never faced Santa Clara. Junior guard Tahj Eaddy spent the 2016-17 season with the Redhawks before transferring to Santa Clara prior to 2017-18.
• Santa Clara had its three-game winning streak against the Pac-12 snapped with an 82-64 loss to Stanford (Nov. 16). The Broncos down Washington State (Nov. 12) and knocked off the Cougars and USC last year. The longest stretch of wins against the Pac-12 is five in a row between Dec. 12, 1994 (88-83 win vs. Oregon) and Dec. 6, 1997 (68-55 win vs. Oregon State).
• Santa Clara has had at least four players score in double figures in five games this season and won each one. The Broncos went 11-2 last season when at least four players hit double-figure scoring.
BY THE NUMBERS
0...Number of seniors on the roster
1...Guglielmo Caruso leads the WCC in field-goal percentage (71.7).
1...Santa Clara is allowing opponents to shoot 38.4 percent from the floor, which is tops in the WCC.
1...The Broncos lead the WCC with 8.1 steals per game.
2...Santa Clara is shooting 79.6 percent from the free-throw line which ranks second in the WCC.
3...Guglielmo Caruso has three blocks in each of the last two games.
4...Number of returning starters - Tahj Eaddy, Trey Wertz, Josip Vrankic and Guglielmo Caruso
7...Josip Vrankic has a career-best seven assists in each of the last two games.
9...Number of underclassmen (four sophomores and five freshmen) on the roster.
40...Josip Vrankic's 40 straight starts lead the team.
40...The Broncos held five of their seven opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the floor.
70...The Broncos were 10-3 last season when scoring at least 70 points. They are 6-0 this year.
Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (analyst) call the action during the season on radio and through WCC Network at home. All Broncos home games and West Coast Conference contests (not on an ESPN platform, CBS Sports Network or BYUtv) will also be streamed through WCC Network (local blackout restrictions apply for games broadcast over the air). As in the past two seasons, a number of games can also be heard on either KDOW-AM 1220 or KTRB-AM 860. For the Cable Car Classic matchup with Southeast Missouri, Kevin Danna replaces Anthony Passarelli on play-by-play.
There are a number of ticket options for 2019-20, which features 21 homes, including 13 during the nonconference portion of the slate. In addition to season tickets, single-game and game-plan packages are on sale. Single-game tickets for the Cable Car Classic (one entry per day) are available by clicking here. For questions, contact the Santa Clara Athletics ticket office at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu.
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, the team leader of sales and service, at (408) 554-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Parking is $10 in the main campus parking structure, which is located on Palm Drive through the main campus entrance (500 El Camino Drive). The Leavey Center parking lot, located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, is reserved for season-ticket holders. Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.