The CBI tournament might not be as prominent as the NCAA Tournament, but it certainly has been rewarding to the Santa Clara Broncos. The CBI champions are not only bringing a big shiny trophy back to Santa Clara, California, the Broncos are bringing back the satisfaction of turning a program completely around.
Just last season, the Santa Clara basketball program appeared to be spiraling out of control. The Broncos were at the very bottom of the 2011-2012 WCC standings, and did not win a single conference game that entire year. On top of that, the Broncos leading scorer and star player, Kevin Foster, was suspended for the rest of the 2012 season after being arrested for a DUI on January 21st, 2012. This was quite the tailspin for a team that had only finished in the bottom half of the WCC only once prior to the 2011-2012 season.
Most programs would clean house after a season like this, but not Santa Clara. They soldiered on with the pieces that were currently in place and embraced them as integral parts of the program. This payed huge dividends in the following season.
This season, the Broncos finished 4th in the WCC Standings, and ended the season with 26 wins, which is one win short of the schools record for wins in a season. Kevin Foster, who’s return to the program was in question after his run-in with the law last winter, responded with another fabulous season; the senior averaged 19.3 points per game. Although Foster made some poor choices in his junior season, he did not let them effect him and continued to produce at a high level during his senior season. Athletic Director Dan Coonan deserves a ton of credit for sticking with Foster, as well as head coach Kerry Keating, for the 2013 season.
This is a program that was at rock bottom just a year ago. Now they are CBI Champions. Say what you want about the CBI, but what this team has accomplished this year has been spectacular, based on what had transpired just a short season ago. Once again, congratulations to the Santa Clara Broncos for becoming CBI champions.