Bulldogs Make WCC Home Debut

Jan. 13, 2004

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 15 - San Francisco
Thurs., Jan. 15 - 7 p.m. PST
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: PAX (Spokane)
No. 16 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (12-2; 2-0 West Coast Conference)
G - 10 Blake Stepp, 6-4, 194, Sr., Eugene, OR
      (13.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 7.0 assists, 0.8 steals)
G -  20 Kyle Bankhead, 6-0, 195, Sr., Walla Walla, WA
      (6.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals)
C -  33 Cory Violette, 6-8, 265, Sr., Boise, ID
      (12.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.0 blocks)
F -  22 Erroll Knight, 6-6, 212, So., Seattle, WA
      (6.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -    1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 243, Jr., Le Robert, Martinique
      (16.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.1 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  117-31 (5th year - 15th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO DONS (10-7; 0-1 West Coast Conference) G - 5 Jason Gaines, 6-0, 175, So., Antioch, CA (4.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals) G - 2 Andre Hazel, 6-0, 190, Jr., Los Angeles, CA (8.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals) C - 0 James Bayless, 6-7, 235, Sr., Las Vegas, NV (13.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 44 Alvin Broussard Jr., 6-6, 220, Sr., Albuquerque, NM (7.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks) F - 3 Tyrone Riley, 6-7, 245, Jr., Los Angeles, CA (9.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Philip Mathews (UC Irvine, 1972) USF RECORD: 132-116 (9th year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 16 - Saint Mary's
Sat., Jan. 17 - 8 p.m.
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2
SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (9-6; 0-0 West Coast Conference)
G -  2 E.J. Rowland, 6-2, 190, Jr., Salinas, CA
      (11.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.7 assists, 1.7 steals)
G - 21 Tyler Herr, 6-5, 195, Sr., Gilbert, AZ
      (7.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks)
G - 32 Jonathan Sanders, 6-7, 215, Jr., Denver, CO
      (6.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -  14 Daniel Kickert, 6-10, 250, So., Melbourne, Australia
      (14.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks)
F -  50 Frederic Adjiwanou, 6-8, 230, Sr., Ambilly, France
      (9.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Randy Bennett (UC-San Diego, 1986)
SMC RECORD:  33-41 (3rd year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  Jan. 15 at Portland.

BULLDOGS START 2-0: Gonzaga University opened West Coast Conference play last week with a pair of road victories. The Bulldogs disposed of annual WCC nemesis Pepperdine University 87-70 and Loyola Marymount University 74-60. Gonzaga has now swept the opening weekend of WCC play for eight straight seasons.

BULLDOGS VS. DONS: Gonzaga University has won 10 straight games against the University of San Francisco, 16 of the last 18 and 14 straight in The Kennel. The last USF win in the series the Bulldogs lead 28-19 was 80-67 in the championship game of the 1997 West Coast Conference Tournament at Santa Clara University. The last time the Dons toppled the Bulldogs in The Kennel was 67-64 on Feb. 10, 1989.

ESPN PRESENCE: ESPN2 will make the first of four appearances in The Kennel with Saturday's game against Saint Mary's College. Tipoff is 8 p.m. Other ESPN2 games from The Kennel are Feb. 5 against Pepperdine University, Feb. 26 against the University of San Diego and Feb. 28 against Santa Clara University.

WOODEN AWARD: Gonzaga University has a pair of seniors who are John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 candidates for the prestigious Player of the Year honor. The Bulldogs Cory Violette, a two-time Preseason Top 50 nominees, and Blake Stepp carry the Bulldog banner. Dan Dickau became Gonzaga's inaugural Wooden Award Top Five All-American in 2002, and Casey Calvary was the first Wooden Award Top 10 All-American for the Bulldogs in 2001. Matt Santangelo was the first Wooden Award Top 30 finalist in 2000.

ZAGS WHEN RANKED: Gonzaga is 47-10 when nationally ranked, including a perfect 18-0 at home with this season's victories over the University of Idaho, Denver University, Washington State University and the University of Montana at The Kennel. The mark includes games against teams in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.

BALANCED ATTACK: Much has been written about Gonzaga University depth this season, and a quick look at the stats validates all the claims. Four Bulldogs are currently averaging double-figure scoring. Junior Ronny Turiaf leads the way with 16.2 ppg, followed by senior Blake Stepp (13.6), senior Cory Violette (12.9) and true freshman Adam Morrison (12.0).

DOUBLE-DIGIT FROSH: There's plenty of basketball yet to be played, but true freshman Adam Morrison is on pace to averaging in double digits. He's currently averaging 12.0 ppg. You don't have to dig too far back in the record book to find the last true freshman to average in double figures, current senior Blake Stepp turning the trick with his 10.3 ppg average in 2001.

THREE COULD HIT 1,000: At some point in the season Gonzaga University should have three active 1,000-point career scorers in the lineup. Blake Stepp has already hit the milestone and has 1,408 career points. He needs 19 points to tie Doug Spradley (1,427, 1986-89) and move into a tie for 10th. Cory Violette reached the milestone against Washington State University and has 1,084 career points to surpass Frank Walter (1,083, 1947-50) and into 20th. Stepp became the 25th Gonzaga player and Violette the 26th to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Ronny Turiaf is at 977 career points as he aims to become the 27th member of Gonzaga's 1,000-point club.

FOR THREE: Blake Stepp and Kyle Bankhead continue to climb on Gonzaga University's all-time 3-point list. Stepp is third with 244, trailing Matt Santangelo (252, 1996-00) for second. Bankhead has 146 treys for seventh. Richie Frahm, currently with the Seattle Sonics, is the career leader with 280 from 1996-00. Stepp also has 626 attempts for third all-time. Frahm is the leader with 662.

FROM THE LINE: Ronny Turiaf and Blake Stepp each moved into the Gonzaga University Top 10 for free throws made last season. Turiaf is now 5th with 387 following his 7-for-12 night last Saturday. He needs three more to surpass Doug Spradley (389, 1986-89). Stepp has 322 and moved ahead of Matt Santangelo (320, 1997-00) into sixth with his 2-for-2 night last Saturday. Turiaf and Stepp each tied Frank Burgess' single-game record of 16 free throws made in a game last season. Turiaf did its against Indiana University in the Maui Invitational when he went 16-for-18, then matched the mark again when he went 16-for-22 against the University of Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament First Round. Stepp went 16-for-20 against the University of Washington to get his piece of the record.

BLOCK IT: Ronny Turiaf continues to move up the blocked shots list at Gonzaga University, his three blocks Saturday giving him 105 as he has passed Tim Ruff (99, 1981-85) for second. Turiaf has 31 blocks this season. Casey Calvary (1998-01) is the all-time leader with 207.

REBOUNDS: Senior Cory Violette has moved into 5th in career rebounds with 732, becoming just the fifth player in Gonzaga history to reach the 700-rebound mark. He needs 26 rebounds to move ahead of Casey Calvary (757 from 1998-01) for fourth.

20 OR BUST: Gonzaga University is tied for 11th in consecutive 20-win seasons with six. The University of Arizona leads the way with 16, followed by the University of Kansas with 14 and the University of Kentucky with 13. Gonzaga is tied with the University of Connecticut, Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma and Syracuse University.

BULLDOGS AND THE KENNEL: The Kennel, home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs, has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country, the Bulldogs losing a 29-game home winning streak Dec. 31, 2002, that ranked third longest in the country. In the last 12 seasons the Bulldogs are 143-10 at home for a nifty 93.5 winning percentage. Gonzaga went 10-2 at home in 2003, the first time the Bulldogs lost two home games in a season since 1997. Gonzaga was 13-0 at home in 2002, winning by an average of 24.6 ppg. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. GU is 55-3 in The Kennel over the past five seasons. The 2000 squad was 10-1, and the 1999 Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel, winning by an average of 31.9 ppg. The Bulldogs also posted undefeated home campaigns in 1993 (13-0) and 1994 (14-0), and suffered just one home setback in 1996 and 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the country's second-longest active streak.

PASS THE ROCK: While Blake Stepp is known for his scoring, he has quietly snuck up on the all-time assists list at Gonzaga University. He passed the 500 plateau and now has 531 to rank third behind Matt Santangelo (668, 1997-000) and sure-bet NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton (554, 1981-84). Stepp is also fifth in career steals with 127, Stockton the leader with 262.

BULLDOGS SIGN THREE: Gonzaga University signed three players to letters-of-intent during the early November signing period. Josh Heytvelt, a 6-10 forward from Clarkston, Wash.; David Pendergraft, a 6-5 guard from Brewster, Wash., and Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, a 6-1 combination guard from Montreal, Canada, will join the Bulldogs in the fall. The signings were not unexpected as all three had made verbal commitments to attend Gonzaga, Pendergraft making his verbal following his sophomore season. Heytvelt is a two-time All-State 3A selection, averaged 20.1 ppg last year as a junior. Pendergraft averaged 24.5 ppg and 10.0 rpg last season as a junior, helping the Bears to a 28-0 record and Washington State Class A title. Altidor-Cespedes was rated as the third best two-guard at the ABCD camp in 2003 held in upstate New York. He was recruited by most of the Big East schools as well as Florida.

SINGLE DIGITS: Only Gonzaga University, the University of Florida and Duke University have lost less than 10 games in each of the past five seasons. Gonzaga has posted marks of 29-4, 26-7, 26-9 28-7 and 24-9, respectively, in that stretch. The last time Gonzaga hit double-digits in the "L" column was 1998 with a 20-10 campaign. Current head coach Mark Few has never had 10 or more losses in his four years as a head coach. Duke went 25-7 and Florida 25-8 last season.

THREE OR BUST: Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 345. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, when the Bulldogs went 0-for-5 at home against Portland.

ON THE BOARDS: After being out rebounded in three straight games, Gonzaga University has come back to out rebound its last five opponents by 10, 15, 21, 19 and 9 rebounds, respectively. The Bulldogs have a season high of +22 against the University of Washington.

ON THE AIR AND THE TUBE: All Gonzaga University games can be heard on 1510 KGA radio with Tom Hudson calling the action for a second straight season. In addition, Gonzaga will have 26 regular-season games televised either nationally, regionally or locally this season among ESPN, ESPN2, FOX Sports, CSTV, KHQ/PAX and KAYU-TV. For a complete listing of games check local listings or the Gonzaga web site at http://www.gozags.com.

ON THE INTERNET: Gonzaga University men's basketball can also be heard on the internet by subscribing to the College Sports Pass as offered by the Online College Sports Network (OCSN). More information can be obtained on the Gonzaga web site at http://www.gozags.com, clicking on men's basketball and going to the "Listen To Bulldog Games Live on the Internet" link under SIDELINES on the right side of the page. The subscription is $6.95/month and includes all audio broadcasts of any OCSN member school.

 

 

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