No Place Like Home

Nov. 18, 2005

To describe Gonzaga University's McCarthey Athletic Center you could steal a few lines from the movie "The Wizard of Oz", in that there is no place like home and opposing teams quickly realize they are not in Kansas or any other comfortable place anymore.

Opened for basketball action in November 2004, the McCarthey Athletic Center, The Kennel or K2, as many fans have come to call the 6,000-seat arena continues to provide the Gonzaga Bulldogs one of the best home-court advantages in the nation.

In fact, Gonzaga is undefeated in its new digs, that's undefeated on both sides of the ball with the men posting a 13-0 record last season and the women going 14-0. Gonzaga was also one of just two schools to go undefeated at home in men's and women's action last season, the other being the University of North Carolina.

The Bulldog men enter the 2006 season carrying the nation's longest active home court winning streak at 26 games while the women's 14 game home court winning streak ranks 14th longest in the nation.

"I could not think of a better place to finish my playing career than here at the McCarthey Athletic Center," stated women's senior guard Juliann Laney. "This arena is one of the best in the country and it now gives us that one extra tool to become one of the nation's elite programs."

Gonzaga men's head coach Mark Few made the same statement when the Bulldogs dedicated the new arena in October, 2005, and issued a challenge to the Zag faithful with his parting comment.

"Now it's up to you," Few said to the fans, "to continue to make this the toughest place in the country to play."

The Gonzaga crowd led in large part by the student-run Kennel Club, have accepted Few's challenge and continue to make Gonzaga's home court one of the toughest home court advantages in the country.

In addition to winning 100 percent of its games at home last season, Gonzaga also continued to play before some of the best crowds in the country. The GU men have sold out season tickets for the next five seasons and led the WCC again with 6,000 fans per game.

The crowd following has also carried over to the women's program, with the women leading the WCC in attendance including a record crowd of 5,825 for a win over the University of Portland in the regular-season finale.

Now as Gonzaga enters year two in the McCarthey Athletic Center expectations continue to run high for both programs as the men will host 13 home regular-season games highlighted by non-conference appearances by Atlantic Coast Conference member the University of Virginia, Saint Joseph's University and Stanford University for a national broadcast by ESPN Game Day.

The women will also have a full slate of games with 11 regular-season games including all seven league games broadcast on television.

Gonzaga was also awarded the 2006 West Coast Conference Tournament for the first time in the existence of the event. The event will take place March 2-6 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Tickets for the men's tournament are already sold out while all session tickets for the women's event are still on sale through the Gonzaga Ticket Office.

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE

Longest men's basketball home court winning streaks entering the 2006 basketball season.

1. GONZAGA 25
2. Southern Illinois 24
3. Washington 22
4. Illinois 21
5. Niagara 17
5. Utah 17
7. Wake Forest 16
7. Winthrop 16
9. North Carolina 15
10. Vermont 14

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