Scouting Report: Santa Clara

Gonzaga opens West Coast Conference against Santa Clara, and the Zags expect a physical game from the Broncos, bordering on dirty. But that's life on the road in the WCC. We scout Santa Clara for you.


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SANTA CLARA SCOUTING REPORT

LAST SEASON: Santa Clara went 16-16 overall last season, and 6-8 in the WCC. They finished 5th in the conference.

HEAD COACH: Santa Clara is fronted by 13 year head coach Dick Davey, who took over at SCU in the fall of 1992 after serving 15 years as an assistant to Bronco coaching legend Carroll Williams.

THIS SEASON: The Broncos are 7-8 thus far this season, with wins over Duquesne, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina, Stanford, San Jose State, Montana, Chico State, and losses to New Mexico, Pacific, Cal Poly, UC Irvine, Arizona State, Central Connecticut, Yale and BYU.

The Broncos came into this season with a team rich in experience and high hopes after nearly knocking off Gonzaga in last year's WCC tournament semi-finals. However, the Broncos season thus far has almost mirrored their season last year. On some nights they can beat the likes of North Carolina and Stanford; on other nights they can lose to Cal Poly. One thing the Broncos always seem to do is bring their "A" game versus Gonzaga. They are a physically tough bunch with an experienced backcourt that has given Gonzaga problems in the past.

PROJECTED STARTERS:

PG – #5 Brody Angley (5-11, Fr.) = Angley was a multi-sport athlete in high school who averaged 18 PPG and 7 APG his senior year at Enterprise High School in Redding, California. He made all state his junior year. He is very strong and tough, and performed quite well against North Carolina earlier this year (8 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists). So far this year he is averaging 6.8 PPG, 3.3 APG, 3.5 RPG and is shooting the 3 ball at a 42% clip. Like many freshman point guards, Angley can play out of control at times and push for plays when none are available, but he is progressing well.

G - #11 Kyle Bailey (6-2, Sr.) = It seems like Bailey has been a Bronco for ten years! A tough-minded player who has overcome several injuries while at SCU, Bailey is the Broncos best clutch performer, and his physicality on the perimeter has given GU problems in the past. He had a great 19 point performance in Spokane last season. He has improved on defense, and is without question SCU's leader. He is averaging 11.7 PPG, 4.5 APG, 4.8 RPG, but has been really struggling from the 3 point line of late (27%).

G - #30 Doron Perkins (6-2, Sr.) = Perkins is SCU's finest athlete, its best perimeter defender, and is the Broncos leading scorer this year (15.4 PPG). He's also been a real nemesis for Gonzaga, as was evidenced in his terrific 25 point performance versus GU in the WCC tournament semi-final contest last season. He also scored 19 and 11 in last season's two regular season games. Perkins is explosive off the dribble, a terrific rebounder (6.2 RPG leads the team), but like Bailey, has been struggling big time with his 3 point shot (31%).

F = #41 Travis Niesen (6-7, Jr.) = Niesen, in addition to being one of the most physical players in the WCC, has also emerged as one of its most skilled big men. Possessing a tremendous left handed hook that is hard to defend, Niesen is 2nd on the team in scoring (14.7 PPG), and is shooting 48% from the floor. He is also averaging 4.2 RPG.

C = #15 Sean Denison (6-11, So.) = Denison has been starting of late for the Broncos – probably due to Davey's desire to bring some height to a starting lineup with undersized players. Denison played with the Canadian Junior National Team over the summer. He isn't much of a scorer at this point, and is only averaging 12.3 MPG. But his physical size gives SCU some options they might not have otherwise.

KEY RESERVES:

Ethan Rohde (#40, 6-5, Sr.) is SCU's top bench player, and without question, one of the WCC's best perimeter shooters. He is shooting 3 balls at a 46% clip so far, and is also averaging 8.1 PPG overall. Jordan Legge (#43, 6-8, Sr.) has good rebounding instincts and has a nice shooting touch. Tristan Parham (#34, 6-8, Jr.) is a much heralded junior college transfer with outstanding athleticism and shot blocking abilities. He is averaging 6.5 PPG and 5 RPG despite playing only 19 minutes a game. Look for Davey to play him more minutes than usual in this game to combat GU's frontcourt play. Scott Borchart (#31, 6-8, Jr.) is another big who provides toughness in the paint. Scott Dougherty (#12, 6-4, So.) provides depth at the wing slot, and has a reputation for being a good perimeter shooter. Mitch Henke (#21, 6-7, Fr.) is a freshman who is adjusting to being more of a perimeter player after being mostly a post player in high school.


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