SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In closer to a more normal setting than last year, Santa Clara men's basketball opened preseason practice on Sept. 22.
Under the direction of sixth-year head coach Herb Sendek and his staff, the Broncos are integrating six returners with six newcomers.
Santa Clara, which was 12-8 playing an abbreviated schedule in 2020-21, is fortunate to have its top three scorers back in the fold.
Josip Vrankic, taking advantage of a fifth season, averaged a team-best 15.2 points per game and hauled in a team-high 8.2 rebounds. He started all 20 games last season on his way to first-team All-West Coast Conference accolades.
Last season, the Broncos endured a number of stops and starts due to the COVID-19 pandemic and even spent six weeks training and playing at the Santa Cruz Warriors facility, located roughly 45 minutes from campus.
The team was able to practice and train this summer on campus, utilizing the state-of-the-art Schott Athletic Excellence Center.
"Our veterans are tremendous," Sendek said. "They welcomed the new guys, they buddy coached, they helped them along the way."
The newcomers include two transfers and four freshmen.
PJ Pipes, a guard, is the most experienced of the group. He is a graduate transfer from Green Bay where he averaged 14.5 points a season ago.
Parker Braun, an agile big man, spent the last two seasons at Missouri, playing in 44 games. He is eligible to play this season.
'The new guys have hit the floor running," Sendek said. "They are vey coachable and eager to learn about our system and culture."
The Bronocos open the season on Nov. 9 at home against Cal State Fullerton.
Santa Clara will play 10 of its 15 nonconference games in Leavey Center.
Season ticket packagesand single-game options are avaialble. For questions, contact the Santa Clara Athletics ticket office at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu.