In 1978, Sports Illustrated started an article about Duke's ACC championship by saying "Duke. Now there's a proud but forgotten name." You could almost, but not quite, say it about Santa Clara, because the Broncos have an impressive history: seven sweet sixteens, five elite eights and one Final Four.
They've made 11 tournaments all together, upset Arizona twice and produced Kurt Rambis and Steve Nash. You know, that's really an impressive history. It's not on the level of a Duke, UNC, Kansas or Kentucky, certainly, but only a few programs are at that level. Santa Clara is plenty good. That tourney record is better than most ACC schools.
And they play in the West Coast Conference, where you find such toughies as Gonzaga, St. Mary's and BYU as well as such long-time basketball schools as Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and San Francisco.
|Fan's Guides: Your ACC Lifeline All Season Long!|
|Gift Certificates Now Available!|
|Duke| State | UNC|
|âThe Fanâs Guide is the essential source for Duke basketball fans in 2012. It is packed with brilliant analysis and writing by the ACCâs most astute basketball writers. I have not enjoyed any reading as much this season.â Professor Walter Manley, II|
|âIf you love NCSU Athletics this is a must read, I will buy it every year, very thorough and precise.â Richard Mark Hunt|
|I was just glad to find a magazine about Duke basketball. I thoroughly enjoyed the magazine. It was well written and very informative. A must read for any diehard Duke fan.Camille H|
|"I get excited enough about basketball season as it is, but this Guide has been on my screen for weeks now and I'm more excited than ever. Not just about Duke, but the whole league. There are some truly unique and remarkable stats in this book, enough to make you just itch for the games to begin and see how the players do this year. I think my favorite article is the one on athletes and social media, though. I've read it three times already! Great photos, great writing, and lots of both. This is essential. " PlanBee|
|"If you haven't purchased the Fan's Guide yet, what are you waiting for? It contains marvelous old-school content in a new-school format." Jerry K.|
|"Thanks a lot! The guide looks fantastic! I am really excited to dig in." Rick W|
|"Wow, huge piece of work! Congratulations. You guys never fail to provide the best a fan could ask for." Bill C.|
|DBR Auctions! New T-Shirts! DBR Is On Twitter!(DBRTweetz)|
This year, the Broncs are off to a solid start with an 11-2 record to date. Their losses are both in overtime to Utah State and Santa Barbara. UCSB was a legimate upset, but Utah State is one of those Western schools that always seems to be a tough out.
Like a lot of their conference mates and some other Western schools who are below the PAC-12 level, Santa Clara has made a point of recruiting Canada and further abroad. This obviously led them to their greatest player ever, Nash, and to two Canadians on the current roster as well as one Cameroonian.
The Broncos return seven upperclassmen, five sophomores and just one freshman.
They're a bit taller than your average mid-major, with three guys over 6-9 and two 6-8 forwards.
Their best offensive threats are Kevin Foster (6-2 SR, 18.2 ppg), Mark Trasolini (6-9 240 lb. SR, 16.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg), and Evan Roquemore (6-3 JR, 13.8 ppg, 6.5 apg).
Raymond Cowels III (6-4 206 lb. SR) and Brandon Clark (6-0 SO) are the other two primary players.
Nine guys are getting double figure minutes, suggesting a deep and experienced rotation, although the top five in minutes are a bit undersized. But as we like to say, mismatches can go either way.
Foster has been in a slump lately, shooting just 8-38 over the last three games.
Santa Clara, by the way, has played the #1 team 11 different times, losing them all. Many were to USF and Bill Russell; others were to UCLA with (then) Lew Alcindor and also the Walton Gang; others were to USF with Bill Cartwright and UNC in Michael Jordan's debut season.
Obviously Duke is favored, but Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating is trying to build a program which is scared of no one. Road trips to places like Cameron is a good way to go about it.