Bulldogs Return Home To Open WCC Play

Jan. 5, 2007

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 16 - Loyola Marymount
Sat., Jan. 6 - 1 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KAYU-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listings)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, So., Chicago, IL
       (12.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 177, Sr., Vancouver, WA
       (19.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals)
G -  15 Matt Bouldin, 6-4, 215, Fr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (8.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.7 assists, 0.7 steals)
F -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 238, So., Clarkston, WA
       (15.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.3 blocks)
F -  31 Abdullahi Kuso, 6-9, 228, Jr., Kaduna, Nigeria
      (5.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.3 assists, 1.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  197-47 (8th year - 18th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY LIONS (8-8; 0-0 West Coast) G - 4 Adoyah Miller, 6-5, 205, Sr., Verona, Italy (9.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks) G - 15 Damian Martin, 6-2, 200, Jr., Gloucester, NSW, Australia (4.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.5 assists, 1.8 steals) G - 23 Jon Ziri, 6-2, 200, Jr., Tempe, AZ (5.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steals) F - 14 Matthew Knight, 6-8, 240, Sr., Burnie, Australia (5.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.6 blocks) F - 50 Mason Maynard, 6-9, 220, Fr., Glendale, AZ (2.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.5 assists) HEAD COACH: Rodney Tention (San Francisco, 1988) LMU RECORD: 20-26 (2nd year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 17 - Pepperdine
Mon., Jan. 8 - 9 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
G -   5 Marvin Lea, 6-3, 180, Sr., Riverside, CA
      (17.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.4 assists, 2.0 steals)
G -  23 Chase Griffin, 6-2, 180, Sr., Sammamish, WA
      (15.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 assists, 1.9 steals)
G -    3 Greg Barlow, 6-3, 194, Sr., Las Vegas, NV
      (8.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.1 assists, 0.8 steals)
G -  34 Tyler Carr, 6-3, 195, Jr., Thousand Oaks, CA
      (0.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -   14 Willie Galick, 6-7, 230, So., Nanaimo, British Columbia
      (5.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.8 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Vance Walberg (CS Bakersfield, 1978)
PU RECORD:  4-12 (1st year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  1/6 at Portland.

Home, sweet home. After playing six of its last seven games away from the McCarthey Athletic Center, Gonzaga University returns home to open West Coast Conference play Saturday at 1 p.m. against Loyola Marymount University. It will be the first home game for the Bulldogs since Dec. 9 when they defeated the University of Washington 97-77. The win over the then 8th-ranked Huskies ran Gonzaga's record to 9-2, but the Bulldogs have since dropped four straight games for the first time since the 1997 season. The Bulldogs haven't lost four straight games since dropping the final four of the 1997 season when Few was still an assistant to then head coach Dan Fitzgerald. The Bulldogs lost regular-season outings to the University of San Diego, Saint Mary's College and Santa Clara University, then lost to USD in its West Coast Conference Tournament opener played at Loyola Marymount University.

Gonzaga University will be glad to return to the McCarthey Athletic Center after the schedule they have endured the past six weeks. With the trip earlier this week to the University of Virginia, it marked the eighth time in the last 11 games the Bulldogs had played away from home. And to the road they've taken plenty thus far this season. The Bulldogs logged 15,865 air miles since Nov. 21. The NCAA doesn't keep such a statistic, but the Bulldogs have to be among the leaders for frequent flyer miles.

Recent history might be on the side of Gonzaga University when the Bulldogs open West Coast Conference play Saturday by hosting Loyola Marymount University. The Bulldogs have won 11 straight WCC home openers and 13 of the last 14. The last time Gonzaga lost a WCC home opener was Jan. 19, 1995, when Santa Clara University turned the trick 73-68. The Bulldogs were the defending WCC regular-season champions heading into the season, began the year 0-6 in WCC play but went on to finish 7-7 in league and win the WCC Tournament for their first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

While Gonzaga University has been tough in West Coast Conference home openers in recent years, the Bulldogs also bring a string of 10 straight wins in overall WCC openers into Saturday's fray with Loyola Marymount University. Gonzaga head coach Mark Few is 7-0 in WCC openers. The last time Gonzaga dropped the WCC opener was Jan. 12, 1996, at Santa Clara University 72-61.

Although there weren't many positives in Wednesday's 108-87 setback at the University of Virginia, Gonzaga University did manage to out rebound the Cavaliers 38-36, snapping a streak of four straight games where the Bulldogs had been out rebounded. Gonzaga went the first 10 games of the season without being out rebounded - the University of North Carolina getting a stalemate with 42 rebounds.

The 108 points the Bulldogs surrendered Wednesday at the University of Virginia marked the first time a team had scored 100 points against Gonzaga University in regulation since Loyola Marymount registered a 121-84 win in the opening round of the 1990 West Coast Conference Tournament played at LMU. The Bulldogs had surrendered more than 100 points in three overtime games since - a 106-98 loss at the University of San Francisco on Jan. 14, 1995, a 110-104 win at Washington State University on Dec. 7, 2002, and a 109-106 triple overtime win over Michigan State University on Nov. 22, 2005, at the EA Sports Maui Invitational semifinals, a game many longtime observes regard as the best game in the history of the Maui Invitational.

Gonzaga University extended its home winning streak to 45 games Dec. 9 with a 97-77 win over the University of Washington. That streak is the longest current streak in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs are 33-0 in the 3-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center and won their final 12 home games next door in The Kennel. Since beginning the streak Feb. 22, 2003, with a 69-60 win over Tulsa University, the Bulldogs have also played - and won - six games at the downtown Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. That gives the Bulldogs a 51-game winning streak in the city of Spokane. The last time the Bulldogs lost in Spokane was Feb. 19, 2003, to the University of Portland 72-68 in The Kennel.

Gonzaga University's current 4-game losing streak is the first in Mark Few's eight seasons as head coach, and is the first 4-game setback for the Bulldogs since the final four games of the1997 season when Few was still an assistant to then head coach Dan Fitzgerald. The Bulldogs lost regular-season outings to the University of San Diego, Saint Mary's College and Santa Clara University, then lost to USD in its West Coast Conference Tournament opener. Gonzaga has not dropped five straight since the 1995 season when the Bulldogs began WCC play 0-6.

Derek Raivio became the 29th member of Gonzaga University's 1,000-point club earlier this season and now has 1,131 career points to rank 21st. His 26 points at the University of Virginia moved him ahead of Jack Curran (1,121 from 1947-50) and Dan Dickau (1,125 from 2001-02). The senior from Vancouver, Wash., is averaging 10.5 ppg in his career. Raivio's 207 career 3-pointers and 475 attempts rank fifth on the Gonzaga University charts. His 128 career steals are sixth and his 299 career assists tie him with Dan Dickau (2001-02) for eighth.

Don't think Gonzaga University had a tough stretch of games? The last seven opponents the Bulldogs have faced - the University of Texas, Washington State University, the University of Washington, the University of Georgia, Duke University, the University of Nevada and the University of Virginia - had a combined record of 75-18 through games of Friday. Four of the seven teams - Texas, Washington, Duke and Nevada - were ranked at the time the Bulldogs played them, and two others - WSU and Georgia - were either also receiving votes in the two major polls or have since received votes in the polls. Throw into the mix the Bulldogs played current No. 2 University of North Carolina (13-1) and current No. 13 Butler University (13-1), and Gonzaga's six ranked opponents are a combined 71-11.

The injured list continues to decrease for Gonzaga University. Transfer David Burgess made his first appearance of the season Wednesday at the University of Virginia, playing seven minutes. He was eligible at the end of finals but has been fighting an ACL sprain that sidelined him a couple of weeks longer. Freshman Theo Davis has been given the green light to practice and is available for duty, and transfer Micah Downs is hopeful to be ready to play next weekend when the Bulldogs go on the road to face Santa Clara University and Saint Mary's College.

With his 2-for-2 night at the University of Virginia, Derek Raivio has made 39 straight free throws since missing his final attempt against the University of North Carolina. He shares the Gonzaga University record of 41 straight with Geoff Goss.

Gonzaga University is averaging 17.0 turnovers/game in its six losses this season. In their nine wins the Bulldogs have averaged just 12.9 turnovers/game. For the season Gonzaga is averaging 14.5 turnovers/game. The Bulldogs are allowing 20.2 points off turnovers in the six losses, including a season-high 30 points off turnovers by the University of Georgia. Gonzaga had just 10 turnovers in the loss to Duke University that led to just six Duke points, the lowest points off turnovers in the six setbacks.

Gonzaga University head men's basketball coach Mark Few announced the signing of four players to national letters-of-intent to join the Bulldogs next fall. Scheduled to join the Bulldogs next season are freshmen Austin Daye, Woodbridge High in Irvine, Calif.; Steven Gray, Bainbridge High, Bainbridge, Wash., and Robert Sacre (pronounced sack-rEE), Handsworth Secondary School, North Vancouver, British Columbia, and junior college transfer Ira Brown, Phoenix, Ariz., College who hails from Conroe, Texas. Daye, a 6-10, 190-pound wing, was ranked as the 32nd-best player nationally and as the ninth best small forward by one scouting service in the Class of 2007. He was named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West first team as the seventh-leading vote getter and was named to the Hot 100 players for 2007 as selected by Sports Illustrated. Daye averaged 16 ppg, 9 rpg and 3.4 blocks/game as a junior for coach John Halagan. Gray, a 6-4, 190-pound guard, was ranked as the 52nd best player and the 13th best shooting guard in the Class of 2007. He was also named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West second team. He averaged 24.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4 assists and 2.5 steals last season for coach Scott Orness. Sacre, a 7-0, 255-pound post, was rated as the 100th best player in the Class of '07 and the seventh best center. He averaged 25 ppg, 12 rpg and 4 blocks/game for Handsworth Secondary School and coach Randy Storey last season, earning MVP of the British Columbia Provincial Tournament. Brown, a 6-4, 235-pound forward, was ranked as the 42nd best junior college player in the country after averaging 17 ppg, 10 rpg and shooting 60 percent from the field for Phoenix College and Coach Matt Gordon. A late bloomer to the collegiate game, Brown graduated from Willis High in Texas in May of 2001 and pursued a professional baseball career. He was drafted in the eight round of the 2001 Major League Draft by the Kansas City Royals and played four seasons of minor league baseball, including the 2002 season with the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League. He attended Phoenix College last season, averaging 17.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, shooting 57.6 percent from the field (253-for-439) and blocking 59 shots. "This is the first time we've ever had a class nationally ranked," Few said of the recruiting class ranked 11th best in the nation by one scouting service. "We got some offense, we got some size and we got some athleticism. This is a talented group."

Gonzaga is tied for eighth for the longest active NCAA Tournament Appearances Streak. The Bulldogs made their eighth straight appearance in 2006, joining Wisconsin, Texas and Florida. Arizona extended its streak to 22 with last spring's selection, followed by Kansas (17), Kentucky (15), Duke (11) and Michigan State (9). Streaks that ended in 2006 were Cincinnati (14), Stanford (11) and Oklahoma State (8).

Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 439. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV held the all-time streak of 601 entering the current season.



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