Bulldogs Open WCC Campaign At Home Saturday

Jan. 9, 2009

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 14 - University of Portland
Saturday, January 10 - 5 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane);
101.1 FM Rock `N' Roll's Greatest Hits (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listing)
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (9-4; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (9.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.9 assists, 1.2 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, So., Bainbridge, WA
       (10.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (14.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.9 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Daye, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (13.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 2.2 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  245-64 (10th year - 20th at GU) CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND PILOTS (9-6; 0-0 West Coast) G - 15 Nik Raivio, 6-4, 200,k Jr., Vancouver, WA (16.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.2 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks) G - 44 T. J. Campbell, 5-9, 190, Jr., Phoenix, AZ (10.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 5.1 assists, 1.3 steals) C - 12 Robin Smeulders, 6-10, 240, Jr., Braunschweig, Germany (12.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks) C - 3 Ethan Niedermeyer, 6-6, 200, Jr., Lafayette, CA (6.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals) F - 43 Luke Sikma, 6-8, 230, So., Bellevue, WA (6.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.9 blocks) HEAD COACH: Eric Reveno (Stanford, 1989) UP RECORD: 27-51 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 15 - Santa Clara University
Thursday, January 15 - 6 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane);
101.1 FM Rock `N' Roll's Greatest Hits (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listing)
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY BRONCOS (7-9; 0-0 West Coast)
G -    5 Perry Petty, 6-0, 175, Jr., Milwaukee, WI
      (8.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.7 assists, 1.6 steals)
G -  21 Kevin Foster, 6-2, 210, Fr., Katy, TX
      (12.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks)
G - 14 Michael Santos, 6-5, 195, So., Occidental, CA
       (3.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.8 assists, 0.3 steals)
C -   54 John Bryant, 6-11, 275, Sr., San Pablo, CA
      (17.9 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 1.4 assists, 0.4 steals, 2.5 blocks)
F -   10 Ben Dowdell, 6-7, 215, So., North Nowra, N.S.W. Australia
       (3.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Kerry Keating (Seton Hall, 1993)
SCU RECORD:  22-26 (2nd year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  1/9 at Saint Mary's; 1/11 vs. San Diego.
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

Gonzaga University returns home to start West Coast Conference play this weekend when the University of Portland visits the McCarthey Athletic Center for a 5 p.m. contest Saturday. It's the first of three straight games to open WCC play for the Bulldogs, who will entertain Santa Clara University next Thursday and the University of San Francisco next Saturday. Gonzaga will play back-to-back home games in the McCarthey Athletic Center for the first time since the season openers. Gonzaga opened the regular season Nov. 15 against Montana State University-Billings and played the University of Idaho Nov. 18. Since then the Bulldogs have played two home games - Dec. 18 against Texas Southern University and Dec. 23 against Portland State University, but the Zags played the University of Connecticut in Seattle in between.

Matt Bouldin tied a career high with 26 points to help Gonzaga upset No. 15 Tennessee 89-79 in overtime on Wednesday, snapping the Volunteers' 37-game home winning streak which was third in the country. With 26 seconds left, Tyler Smith hit a layup for Tennessee to tie the game at 73. Bouldin missed a shot at the other end of the floor, and Wayne Chism came up with the ball in the ensuing scramble, but couldn't get it to the Vols' end of the floor before time expired. It was all Gonzaga in the extra period as Austin Daye hit a 3-pointer and four free throws to help the Zags grab their second win over the Vols for the season. Gonzaga won 83-74 on Nov. 30 in the Old Spice Classic championship in Orlando, Fla. Daye had 20 points, and Josh Heytvelt added 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

With last Wednesday's game at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Gonzaga University has traveled 19,115 miles since Nov. 26 The Bulldogs have been in Florida, Indiana, Arizona, Utah and Tennessee in that stretch, and played in-state games in Pullman and Seattle. Gonzaga has one non-conference game remaining when it hosts the University of Memphis at the Spokane Veteran's Memorial Arena Feb. 7 for College Dame Day on ESPN. The morning portion of the show will be televised from the McCarthey Atheltic Center, with the 6 p.m. game to be aired from the Spokane Arena. College Game Day also visited Spokane Feb. 11, 2006, when the Bulldogs hosted Stanford University in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga won that contest 80-76.

Gonzaga University finds itself out of the Top 25 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls this week. Gonzaga was ranked 16th by AP and 17th by USA Today/ESPN last week. Gonzaga opened the season 10th in AP and 11th in USA Today/ESPN and had risen to as high as fourth in both polls this season.

The series between Gonzaga University and the University of Portland has been a one-sided affair favoring the Bulldogs in recent years. Gonzaga holds an 81-65 all-time lead in the series, but since joining the West Coast Conference for the 1979-80 season the Bulldogs have a commanding 47-15 advantage. Gonzaga has won 22 of the last 23 meetings since suffering a 72-68 loss at the old Kennel in 2003 to snap a 14-game Gonzaga winning streak in the series and halt the Bulldogs streak of West Coast Conference home wins at 21. Gonzaga has won the last 10 meetings, including 79-41 at home and 73-51 at Portland last season.

While the University of Portland hasn't tasted victory in the McCarthey Athletic Center yet, the Pilots were the last West Coast Conference team to be victorious in the Martin Centre. Portland gained a 72-68 victory Feb. 19, 2003.

Gonzaga University has won 13 straight West Coast Conference home openers. Santa Clara University was the last team to take a WCC home opener from the Bulldogs, turning the trick Jan. 19, 1995, by a 73-68 count in overtime. Gonzaga, obviously, has never lost a WCC home opener in the McCarthey Athletic Center in the previous four seasons. Gonzaga boasts a 27-1 regular-season record against WCC teams in the new facility, and is 29-1 counting two wins in the WCC Tournament hosted by the Bulldogs in 2006.

Matt Bouldin matched his career high with 26 points in Gonzaga University's 89-79 overtime victory Wednesday at the University of Tennessee. Bouldin set the career high Jan. 31, 2007, at home against the University of Utah.

Senior Josh Heytvelt scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds at the University of Tennessee for his second straight double-double and the seventh of his career. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds New Year's Eve at the University of Utah for his first double-double this season.

There's no place like home, and the McCarthey Athletic Center has become quite the home for the Bulldogs since it opened for the 2004-05 season. Gonzaga is 55-3 in the new facility, winning its first 38 games in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Santa Clara University halted the streak with an 84-73 victory Feb. 12, 2007. That loss also snapped a 50-game home winning streak for the Bulldogs, at the time the longest streak in the nation, as Gonzaga left the old Kennel with 12 straight home victories. Gonzaga's other losses were last season to Washington State University and this year's setback to Portland State University.

Head coach Mark Few picked up his 225th career victory Jan. 19, 2008, against the University of San Diego. With 244 victories, Few is third on the all-time Gonzaga victories chart behind Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) and Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 seasons). Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 113-13, moving ahead of Fitzgerald (112-88) on the all-time wins list. Carroll Williams, Santa Clara University (165-137) and Dick Davey, SCU (122-88) hold the top two spots.

Gonzaga University senior Jeremy Pargo is on the 2009 John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 list, and he and teammate Josh Heytvelt have been named to the Naismith Trophy watch list as well. Pargo is eligible for the John R. Wooden All-American Team and Player of the Year Trophy, and he and Heytvelt are also in line for the Naismith Trophy as present by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. Pargo, a native of Chicago, Ill., was also nominated for the Wooden Award a year ago, while Heytvelt was also a Naismith candidate last season. Pargo becomes the eighth Bulldog selected as a Wooden candidate. Adam Morrison was a 2006 John R. Wooden Top Five All-America selection, Dan Dickau was so honored in 2002 as Gonzaga's inaugural Wooden Award Top Five honoree, and Blake Stepp (2004) and Casey Calvary (2001) were named Wooden Award Top 10 All-Americans. Heytvelt, who hails from nearby Clarkston, Wash., becomes Gonzaga's first two-time Naismith nominee. Adam Morrison is the only other Bulldog to be nominated for the award in 2006. "Both players are very deserving of these nominations," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "They have worked hard on and off the court to elevate their games to the national stage. They are as good as any player in the country at their respective positions."

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few added two players to the Bulldog fold to letters-of-intent. Sam Dower, a 6-9, 220-pound left-handed senior center/forward from Osseo, Minn., High School and 6-5, 185-pound wing Mangisto "Manny" Arop will join GU next season. Dower averaged 22 ppg and 10 rpg per game in the month of July and 18 ppg and 9 rpg for this past AAU season, according to head coach Marquise Watts of Net Gain Sports, Dower's AAU club. Net Gain Sports won the Twin Cities Summer Classic, won the adidas 64 Gold Division in Las Vegas and went 3-2 in round-robin play in the Duel in the Desert in Phoenix, according to Watts. "He can score for a big guy. He's a lefty so that makes it harder to defend because most people aren't used to seeing a lefthander," Few said. "He can make a difference and is a unique post player. He had a good spring and a great summer." Watts said Dower has worked hard to improve his game. "Every day over the last two years he's gotten better. I don't think he's begun to scratch the surface. His inside-outside game, he can shoot the three and on the block he's a lefty with a great hook shot," Watts said. "He's athletic, he's working on putting on weight and he will fit in real well at Gonzaga." Dower didn't make the varsity team at Osseo until midway through his sophomore year. He averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg then blossomed last season to average 13.4 ppg and 5.9 rpg. Last season he scored in double figures 23 times and had double-digit rebounds six times. The Orioles went 28-1, their lone setback 60-59 in the Region finals. He scored a career-high 23 points at Coon Rapids and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds at Orono. He had several scholarship offers, among them the University of Minnesota, Marquette University and the University of Iowa. Arop, born in the Sudan, currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he plays with Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) which is basically Canada's Junior National Team. His first name is pronounced Man-GEESE-toe, his last name pronounced "rop" (the "a" is silent) but he goes simply by Manny. He recently set a single-game scoring NEDA scoring record with 42 points, and this past summer played for Canada in the FIBA Americas Championship in Formosa, Argentina. He averaged 17.0 ppg to rank second, 10.2 rpg to rank third, shot 52.8 percent from the field on 23-for-58 and 87.5 percent from the line on 14-of-15 in the five tournament games as Canada placed fifth. He had 21 points and 9 rebounds against the U.S. in the tourney. "Manny is a high energy player with a great competitive streak," Few said. "His skill level is something to be excited about. He has a great opportunity to be effective for us at both ends of the court." His mother and four brothers left Sudan when he was 9-years-old and lived in Kenya prior to re-locating to Regina, Saskatchewan. Arop then spent a year in Edmonton, Alberta, before joining Basketball Canada's NEDA program, which is a year-round junior development camp.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few and wife Marcy gave birth to son Colt Walker Norman Few on New Year's Day, the couple's fourth child joining Austin James (A.J.), Joe and Julia.

If you remember how the top three finished in the West Coast Conference men's basketball regular-season chase a year ago then you won't see anything out of the ordinary to start the 2009 campaign. Gonzaga University edged Saint Mary's College and the University of San Diego in the 2009 WCC men's basketball pre-season poll as selected by the league coaches. The Bulldogs received five of the eight first-place votes - coaches couldn't vote for their teams - and garnered 46 points. The Gaels had a pair of first-place votes and 44 points and USD received the other first-place nod and 39 points. Gonzaga, SMC and USD all advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Rounding out this year's poll is Santa Clara University (30) in fourth, the University of San Francisco (23) picked fifth, followed by the University of Portland (22) in sixth, Loyola Marymount University (12) in seventh and Pepperdine University (11) in eighth.

Gonzaga University sophomore Robert Sacre continues to recover from a broken right foot suffered Dec. 5 in practice, the same foot he had a pin inserted in earlier this fall to help heal a non-displaced stress fracture. The newest fracture is in front of the previous stress fracture. At this point surgery is not being contemplated as recent x-rays indicate the latest fracture is healing. It is still unknown how long the Vancouver, British Columbia, native will be sidelined.

Gonzaga University has been out rebounded in each of the last four games, the University of Connecticut holding a +10 advantage, Portland State University a +9 margin, the University of Utah a +6 edge and the University of Tennessee at a +4 clip. Until this current stretch, the only other time Gonzaga had been out rebounded this season was in the first meeting with Tennessee when the Volunteers recorded a monstrous +24 advantage (50-26) in Gonzaga's 83-74 victory in the title game of the Old Spice Classic. The last time Gonzaga was out rebounded in four straight games was the 2007 season when the University of Washington (+2), the University of Georgia (+6), Duke University (+1) and the University of Nevada (+4) all held the upper hand.

Gonzaga University senior Jeremy Pargo became the 30th member of the 1,000-point club for the Bulldogs against Portland State University and has also surpassed the 500-assists plateau. The native of Chicago now has 1,024 career points to move past Jeff Condill for 29th on the Gonzaga list. John Rillie is 28th with 1,038, Jarrod Davis 27th with 1,054 and Bryce McPhee 26th with 1,060. Pargo's 511 career assists make him the fourth member of the 500 club behind Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554). Pargo's 139 career steals are tied for fifth with Geoff Goss.

Junior Will Foster gave Gonzaga University a big boost off the bench at the University of Tennessee. He played eight minutes, made his only field goal attempt, grabbed four rebounds and had a blocked shot. He came in after Josh Heytvelt picked up his third foul with 17:47 to play and the Bulldogs trailing 47-41. Foster's basket increased the Bulldogs lead to 54-51 with 13:49 to play. The four rebounds were one shy of his career high.

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few juggled his starting lineup for the first time this season when he inserted sophomore guard Steven Gray into the starting five at the University of Tennessee in place of Micah Downs. Gray scored 14 points for the second straight game, grabbed a rebound, dished out a career-high six assists and had a steal in his 41 minutes of action. Gray was a starter in 19 of his 23 appearances a year ago.

Austin Daye broke out of a mild shooting slump at the University of Tennessee, going 6-for-13 from the field including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Daye was 9-for-29 from the field over the previous two outings and over the previous four games was just 4-for-11 from long range.

Austin Daye and Josh Heytvelt continue to climb the career blocked shots chart. Daye, just a sophomore, has 82 blocks to overtake Mark Spink (80) for sixth, while Heytvelt has 77 to tie 2008 graduate Abdullahi Kuso for eighth. Daye, who needs four blocks to surpass Cory Violette for fifth and five to move ahead of Zach Gourde into fourth, has a team-high 28 blocks this season for 2.2 blocks/game.

 

 

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