Gonzaga Seeks Bay Area Sweep

Jan. 14, 2007

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 19 - Saint Mary's
Mon., Jan. 15 - 9 p.m. PST
McKeon Pavilion - Moraga, CA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (12-6; 3-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, So., Chicago, IL
       (11.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.4 assists, 1.3 steals)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 177, Sr., Vancouver, WA
       (19.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.3 assists, 1.6 steals)
G -    4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 182, Jr., Montreal, Quebec
       (4.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals)
F -  32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 223, Sr., Spokane, WA
       (9.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals)
F -  31 Abdullahi Kuso, 6-9, 228, Jr., Kaduna, Nigeria
      (5.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.3 assists, 1.2 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  200-47 (8th year - 18th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (9-9; 1-1 West Coast) G - 2 Wayne Hunter, 6-4, 205, So., Sacramento, CA (8.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.6 steals) G - 24 Todd Golden, 6-2, 180, Jr., Phoenix, AZ (5.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.6 assists, 0.7 steals) C - 33 Blake Sholberg, 7-1, 260, Sr., Vacaville, CA (2.1 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.6 blocks) F - 20 Diamon Simpson, 6-7, 235, So., Hayward, CA (13.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 2.0 blocks) F - 23 Brett Collins, 6-5, 225, Sr., Phoenix, CA (11.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.7 assists, 1.2 steals) HEAD COACH: Randy Bennett (UC San Diego, 1986) SMC RECORD: 94-77 (6th year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 20 - Portland
Mon., Jan. 22 - 9 p.m. PST
Chiles Center - Portland, OR
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND PILOTS (6-13; 2-1 West Coast)
G -  1 Darren Cooper, 6-3, 180, Sr., Portland, OR
      (13.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals)
G -   5 Taishi Ito, 6-0, 170, Fr., Mie, Japan
      (5.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.0 assists, 0.7 steals)
C -   2 Kevin Field, 6-11, 265, Sr., Tacoma, WA
      (5.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.7 assists)
F -  34 Sherrard Watson, 6-6, 180, Jr., Portland, OR
      (8.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks)
F -   44 Jamie Jones, 6-7, 215, So., El Segundo, CA
      (10.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.2 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Eric Reveno (Stanford, 1989)
UP RECORD:  6-13 (1st year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  1/15 vs. Santa Clara.

Gonzaga University will seek a sweep of its Bay Area swing Monday when the Bulldogs head to Moraga, Calif., to meet Saint Mary's College. Gonzaga remained one of only two remaining undefeated teams in just the second weekend of West Coast Conference play, the 3-0 Bulldogs taking a 77-69 victory at Santa Clara University on Saturday. The University of San Francisco ran its record to 2-0 with an overtime road victory against Loyola Marymount University on Saturday. Saint Mary's, 1-1 in the WCC, handed the University of Portland its first WCC seback in three outings with a 73-57 win on Saturday. Monday's game will be an ESPN Big Monday broadcast at 9 p.m. PST.

Last Saturday was a milestone victory for Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few who earned his 200th career victory in his 8-year tenure as head coach. It was his 200th victory in his 247th game, ranking him third on the "Fastest To 200 Wins" list in NCAA Division I history. Clair Bee, who coached Rider University and Long Island University, heads the list with 231 games while former Long Beach State University and UNLV head coach Jerry Tarkanian reached 200 wins in 234 games. Few is tied for 15th on the "Fastest To 100 Wins" list, achieving that milestone is his 126th game. Few is also 92-9 in West Coast Conference play, having coached his 100th WCC game last Monday against Pepperdine University.

Senior guard Derek Raivio saw his consecutive free throws made streak of 44 snapped on Saturday when he missed his first attempt of the night. It didn't take him long to start a new streak however, nailing his next six attempts. Raivio set the school record of 42 straight last weekend with his 3-for-3 game against Loyola Marymount University, then set the West Coast Mark of 44 straight with a 2-for-2 night last Monday against Pepperdine University. Raivio and Geoff Goss had shared the Gonzaga record at 41, Raivio making his 41 straight from Dec. 28, 2004-Feb. 5, 2005, while Goss recorded his from Dec. 23, 1992-Jan. 21, 1993. Raivio's streak this season began with an 8-for-8 night against Butler University on Nov. 24. Entering this weekend he was second in the NCAA rankings in free throw percentage, connecting on 62-of-65 for 95.2 percent, and is now 68-for-72 for 94.4 percent following Saturday's effort. He was fourth in the nation last season with a school record of 91.2 percent.

Transfer Micah Downs finally got his first action in a Gonzaga University uniform on Saturday at Santa Clara University. He entered the game with 12:50 to go in the opening half, grabbed a rebound four seconds later and got his first basket with 1:07 to go in the half on a layup. He also hit a 3-pointer from the left side with :22 remaining in the half. He finished 2-for-4 from the field with 5 points, a rebound and two assists in 12 minutes. A mid-year transfer last January from the University of Kansas, he was eligible at the end of finals in December but was rehabilitating a stress fracture in his foot which required a pin to be inserted in late November. He was cleared to play last Friday in time for the SCU game.

Sophomore Josh Heytvelt has shown signs the last three games of returning to the form he displayed earlier this year. Coming off the bench after starting the first 15 games he's scored 10, 18 and 12 points and grabbed 8, 7 and 7 rebounds, respectively, for an average of 13.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg.

Gonzaga University extended its home winning streak to 47 games with Monday's 69-52 win over Pepperdine University. That streak is the longest current streak in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs are 35-0 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 53-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 has won 26 straight West Coast Conference regular-season games and 30 straight over WCC foes counting WCC Tournament play. The Bulldogs won their final nine regular-season games in 2005, went 14-0 last season and have opened this campaign with three wins. Gonzaga has won all four of its WCC Tournament outings over the past two seasons.

Derek Raivio became the 29th member of Gonzaga University's 1,000-point club earlier this season and now has 1,197 career points to rank 18th. The senior from Vancouver, Wash., is averaging 10.8 ppg in his career. He has 12 games of 20 or more points this season, including a season-high 27 against the University of Texas. Raivio's 216 career 3-pointers and 497 attempts rank fifth on the Gonzaga University charts. His 136 career steals are fifth and his 308 career assists pushed him into sixth. He should reach fourth on the all-time assists chart as Geoff Goss (324) and Don Baldwin (313) rank fourth and fifth, respectively.

Don't think Gonzaga University has a tough schedule? Eight teams on the Bulldogs schedule were ranked heading into the weekend in one of the two major polls (new rankings are due out Monday). The University of North Carolina sat atop both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN rankings. Other ranked teams were Duke University, Butler University, University of Nevada, University of Memphis, Washington State University, University of Washington and University of Texas. The eight teams had a combined record of 110-23 through games of Saturday.

The injury situation is starting to clear up for Gonzaga University. Transfer David Burgess was the first to come off the injured list and play, appearing in his first game at the University of Virginia. He had been sidelined all fall with an anterior cruciate ligament sprain, although he wouldn't have become eligible until the end of first-semester finals because he was a mid-year transfer last January. Freshman Theo Davis, sidelined since the first day of practice of having shoulder surgery, has been cleared to practice and play, although it's still a possibility the coaching staff may choose to redshirt him this season. Sophomore Larry Gurganious continues to rest and rehabilitate a stress fracture in his back. He will have another MRI later this month. It's likely he will redshirt this season.

For the first time in six games Gonzaga University had less than 10 turnovers in a game with 8 at Santa Clara University on Saturday. The Bulldogs were averaging 17.3 turnovers/game in the six games prior to Saturday. The Bulldogs are averaging 14.5 turnovers/game this season.

Sophomore guard Jeremy Pargo is in the midst of his first shooting slump of the season, going 9-for-27 from the field in his last four games for 33.3 percent, including 3-for-13 Saturday at Santa Clara University. In his three prior games he had gone 21-for-39 from the field for 53.8 percent. For the season he's shooting 48.3 percent on 71-for-147.

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 442. 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.

Gonzaga University has won 21 of the last 22 meetings with Saint Mary's College. The Bulldogs had a 17-game winning streak against the Gaels snapped Jan. 8, 2005, when SMC took an 89-81 home victory. Going back to the 1995 West Coast Conference Tournament semifinal meeting won by the Bulldogs, Gonzaga has taken 27 of the last 29 matchups.

Freshman Abdullahi Kuso is 8-for-16 from the field while starting the last five games. For the season he is shooting 51.5 percent from the field on 34-for-66.

Since going 1-for-8 against Duke University on Dec. 21 at Madison Square Garden, Gonzaga University senior forward Sean Mallon has gone 28-for-47 from the field for 59.7 percent, averaged 15.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg. He scored a career-high 23 points in the West Coast Conference opener against Loyola Marymount University then came back two nights later to equal his career high in rebounds with 10 against Pepperdine University.

While Derek Raivio was second nationally in free throw percentage at 95.2 percent entering this weekend's games, he was also 12th in 3-point field goals/game with 3.4, 13th in 3-point field goal percentage at 50.9 and 33rd in scoring with 19.4 ppg. Josh Heytvelt was 89th in field goal percentage at 52.4 percent. (See chart below for all of Gonzaga's national rankings through games of 1/7/07.)

Santa Clara University is probably glad Gonzaga University senior Derek Raivio will never play at the Leavey Center again. In the last three years he's gone 22-for-40 from the field for 55.0 percent, 11-for-24 from 3-point range for 45.8 percent and 20-for-21 from the free throw line for 95.2 percent while scoring 75 points for 25.0 ppg. In the process he's helped the Bulldogs run their overall winning streak against the Broncos to 13. Raivio had 25 points in last Saturday's 77-69 victory.

Derek Raivio has led Gonzaga University in scoring in 12 of 18 games this season. Josh Heytvelt has taken game scoring honors three times, Jeremy Pargo twice and Sean Mallon once.

 

 

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