How the Broncos have continued to implement much needed improvement
The Santa Clara
October 5, 2017
As the new basketball season approaches, Santa Clara will look to build off a rather respectable preceding season (17-16, a big improvement over previous years). One of the highlights of last season was the final game when the Broncos lost to Gonzaga by a low spread of nine points. A loss might not seem like a highlight, but considering Santa Clara’s predicted 24-point loss, the team did better than expected against the eventual national champion runner-up. There’s a lot to be excited about, and nervous for, in regards to the future of Santa Clara basketball. With the departure of feature winger Jared Brownridge, Head Coach Herb Sendek will look to build on the rest of the core, as well as integrate some fresh new faces into the mix.
If Santa Clara can make an even better run in the WCC Playoffs this year, we will have made the first few steps to basketball relevancy on a national scale. Here’s a look at three new players who will try to do just that.
Henry Caruso (Sr., Princeton), a first-year player who spent the last four seasons at Princeton. Caruso earned a medical redshirt for 2016-17 season and signed with the Broncos in April as a graduate transfer for his final season of eligibility.
He played in 74 career games (43 starts), averaging 9.3 points and 4.1 rebounds on 51.7 percent shooting from the floor, including 42.1 percent from behind the three-point line. At Princeton he started in 65 of his final 66 appearances. One of his most noteworthy achievements is being a 2015-16 All-Ivy League performer.
Caruso (6-foot-4, 195 lbs.) looks to be a sharpshooter for the team and provide some length and size on defense. His veteran presence will bring leadership and experience to a squad with six listed underclassmen.
Matt Turner (Fr., Blair Academy) played for coach Joe Mantegna at Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J. He transferred from Trumbull High School (Conn.) to Blair after his sophomore year. While at Blair Academy, he started two years and averaged 14 points and four rebounds per game during his senior season. Turner received first team all-conference and all-state honors as a senior and helped his team win the Mid-Atlantic Prep League title in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Turner took his team to the Prep ‘A’ state final in the 2015-16 season.
He also played for the New York Lightning of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) under coach Dana Dingle during the spring and summer of 2016. On top of that, Turner was invited to the 2016 Victor Oladipo Skills Academy, held in Hyattsville, Md (Santa Clara Basketball). Turner (6-foot-3, 175 lbs.) will offer great athleticism and scoring at Santa Clara, and is sure to make an impact on the team right off the bat. The Bronco faithful will have a dynamic play-maker to watch for years to come.
Shaquille Walters (Fr., Lee Academy) was elected for the Great Britain U20 national team. He played the 2016-17 season at Lee Academy (Maine) where he averaged doubledigit points under coach Igor Vrzina. Walters graduated from the City of London Academy in the spring of 2016 where he played under coach Jackson Gibbons. While he was there, Walters earned 2015-16 Elite Academy Basketball League (EABL) East Player of the Year honors after leading City of London Academy to a 12-1 record while averaging 14.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals. Along with that, he was awarded MVP at the 2014-15 Basketball England National Schools U17 Championships after leading his team to the title game where he posted 21 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Walters then participated in the 2015 Luol Deng Top 50 Camp which features the top 50 players in England (Santa Clara Basketball).
He will look to be an all-around player for the team, and at 6-foot-6, 190 lbs., with great athleticism, he has all the tools to be just that. Versatility is always great for bench players and Walters will look to make an impact anywhere he can.
Contact Alex Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.