Busy Home Week for Men's Basketball Begins Thursday, San Franscisco Visits Leavey Center

Ruff Riders
Ruff Riders

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After an off day on Saturday, Santa Clara men's basketball returns to West Coast Conference action on Thursday with a home matchup against San Francisco.

Tipoff between the Broncos and rival Dons is set for 6 p.m. in Leavey Center.

Santa Clara (18-7, 5-5) lost on the road to Pepperdine, 91-77, on Thursday behind 23 points from Colbey Ross and 16 points and nine rebounds by Kameron Edwards. Jaden Bediako had a career-high 19 points and nine rebounds and Tahj Eaddy came off the bench to score 18 for the Broncos.

The Dons (16-10, 5-6), who are 5-5 on the road, come in having dropped their last three, including a 90-76 loss at BYU on Saturday.

Santa Clara, which plays four of its last six regular-season games in Leavey Center, including Saturday afternoon's tilt against LMU, has lost its last two at home after winning 17 in a row.

• With a victory over Pacific on Jan. 18, Santa Clara matched its win total from last season. The 16-4 start was the best since 1994-95 when the mark was the same. The 14-2 opening to the season was the best since beginning a school-record 21-0 in 1968-69 on the way to a 27-2 mark and a trip to the NCAAs. The Broncos won at least 14 of 16 to begin a season for only fourth time in school history: 14-2 in 1930-31 and 15-1 in 1946-47.
• Seven players are averaging at least 7.0 points, including four in double digits led by Trey Wertz (12.3 ppg), Josip Vrankic (12.0), Guglielmo Caruso (11.6) and DJ Mitchell (10.2). Keshawn Justice is averaging 9.0 points, Tahj Eaddy 8.6 and Jalen Williams 7.4. Caruso, who has been out of the lineup, leads in rebounding (5.5 pg). Vrankic is second at 5.4 and Mitchell third (5.3). Wertz is averaging a team-high 4.0 assists per game and Vrankic is second with 3.1.


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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).

• Injuries are starting to take a toll and Guglielmo Caruso is the newest addition with a lower right leg injury. He was injured against Alcorn State (Dec. 29) and ruled out indefinitely. Ezekiel Richards (ankle), who played in 10 games as a reserve, and Miguel Tomley (knee), who has not seen action, have been ruled out for the season.
Josip Vrankic has hit double-figure scoring in seven of the last eight games and averaged 17.1 points on 53.7 percent shooting (44 of 82) from the field and 6.6 rebounds in that span.
• Over the last 12 contests, Trey Wertz is averaging 14.3 points on 62-for-113 shooting from the field (54.9 percent), including 26 of 51 on 3-pointers (51.0 percent).
Jaden Bediako has taken over for Caruso in the starting lineup. During the last seven games, Bediako has averaged 9.1 points and 7.0 rebounds in 21.0 minutes.
• After scoring in single digits in the previous six games, Tahj Eaddy has averaged 12.7 points on 50.0 percent shooting (27 of 54) from the field, including 12 of 26 on 3-pointers (46.2 percent) in the last six. Eaddy also a 2.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in that stretch.

The series began in 1908 and the Broncos hold a 116-110 lead. The 226 meetings are the second-most against any Santa Clara opponent (227 vs. Saint Mary's). The teams have split the last four meetings with San Francisco claiming an 80-61 victory on Jan. 9. They have also split the last eight meetings in Leavey Center.

0...Number of seniors on the roster
2...Santa Clara ranks second in the WCC in field-goal percentage defense (41.4).
2...Trey Wertz ranks second in the WCC among guards in shooting percentage (50.0).
3...Santa Clara ranks third in the WCC in assists at 16.1 per game.
4...Number of returning starters - Tahj Eaddy, Trey Wertz, Josip Vrankic and Guglielmo Caruso
7...Trey Wertz ranks seventh in the WCC in 3-point shooting percentage (43.7).
9...Number of underclassmen (four sophomores and five freshmen) scholarship players on the roster.
9...The Broncos have connected on at least 50 percent from the field in nine games this season. They did it seven times all last season.
35...Josip Vrankic became the 35th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points by scoring 20 vs. San Diego (Jan. 25).
58...Josip Vrankic's 58 straight starts lead the team.

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, nearly all games can also be heard on either KDOW-AM 1220 or KTRB-AM 860. In addition, every game this year can also be heard on the Tunein app. Thursday's game can be heard exclusively through Tunein. Click here for the complete list of 2019-20 radio broadcast outlets.

There are a number of ticket options for 2019-20, which has four home games remaining. Single-game and game-plan packages are on sale. For questions, contact the Santa Clara Athletics ticket office at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. The ticket office and doors to Leavey Center open at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

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 jpmoreno@scu.edu 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 is reserved for season-ticket holders. Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.

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