Gonzaga Meets Portland In Pacific Northwest Battle
Jan. 20, 2004
Game No. 17 - Portland
Fri., Jan. 23 - 7:30 p.m.
Chiles Center - Portland, OR
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: FOX Sports Northwest; FOX Bay Area
No. 15 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (14-2; 4-0 West Coast Conference) G - 10 Blake Stepp, 6-4, 194, Sr., Eugene, OR (14.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 7.0 assists, 0.9 steals) G - 20 Kyle Bankhead, 6-0, 195, Sr., Walla Walla, WA (5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals) C - 33 Cory Violette, 6-8, 265, Sr., Boise, ID (13.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.9 blocks) F - 22 Erroll Knight, 6-6, 212, So., Seattle, WA (6.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 243, Jr., Le Robert, Martinique (15.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.1 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 119-31 (5th year - 15th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Thurs., Jan. 29 - 7 p.m.
Jenny Craig Pavilion - San Diego, CA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: PAX-TV (Spokane); San Diego 4
UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS (3-14; 0-2 West Coast Conference) G - 00 Brett Melton, 6-5, 195, Jr., Champaign, IL (10.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.8 steals) G - 11 Michael Hubbard, 6-4, 190, Fr., Los Angeles, CA (5.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.4assists, 0.8 steals) C - 12 Brice Vounang, 6-8, 250, Jr., Dschang, Cameroon (16.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 0.8 assists, 1.1 steals) F - 5 Brandon Gay, 6-8, 220, Jr., Missouri, TX (12.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 20 Mike McGrain, 6-3, 210, Jr., Portland, OR (3.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 6.3 assists, 1.2 steals) HEAD COACH: Brad Holland (UCLA, 1979) USD RECORD: 147-125 (10th year) CAREER RECORD: 170-156 (12th year). GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: Jan. 22 at San Francisco; Jan. 24 at Saint Mary's.BULLDOGS START 4-0: Gonzaga University has started West Coast Conference play 4-0 for the sixth time in the last seven years. The last time the Bulldogs didn't open 4-0 was in 2002 when Gonzaga won its first two games, lost at Pepperdine University and then won 11 straight to finish 13-1 in WCC play. Gonzaga hasn't lost back-to-back games in WCC play since 2000, the Bulldogs winning their first nine games before dropping back-to-back games in an 11-3 WCC campaign.
BULLDOGS VS. PILOTS: Gonzaga University leads the series with the University of Portland 71-65 dating back to the 1947-48 season. Since Gonzaga joined the West Coast Conference for the 1979-80 season (Portland had joined a year earlier) the Bulldogs hold a 35-14 edge. Gonzaga's longest winning streak in the series was the 14-game streak Portland ended last season, while Portland's longest streak was 10 games from 1950-53.
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 49-10 when nationally ranked, including a perfect 20-0 at home with this season's victories over the University of Idaho, Denver University, Washington State University, the University of Montana, the University of San Francisco and Saint Mary's College at The Kennel. The mark includes games against teams in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.
NO FREEBIES: Cory Violette has scored in double digits in seven straight games, including a career-high 31 against Washington State University. In that stretch he's 48-for-71 from the field for 67.6 percent. But after going 28-for-35 from the free throw line in the first four games of that streak, he hasn't made a trip to the line in the last three games. He's averaging 18.1 ppg over the last seven outings.
BOARDING IT: Cory Violette (7.7 rpg) and Ronny Turiaf (6.4 rpg) are the top two rebounders for Gonzaga University. Turiaf has grabbed at least five rebounds in each of the last eight games and in 13 of Gonzaga's 16 games. Violette has grabbed at least five rebounds in each of the last nine games and in 12 of 16 games. Violette is fifth in career rebounds with 750 and needs 8 to pass Casey Calvary (757, 1998-01) for fourth. He is the fifth player in Gonzaga history to grab 700 rebounds. Turiaf has 470 rebounds and needs 30 to reach the 500 plateau.
NOW THERE ARE THREE: Ronny Turiaf joined the 1,000 point club last Saturday against Saint Mary's College, his 19 points giving him an even 1,000 in his career, the 27th Gonzaga University player to hit the milestone. That gives Gonzaga three active 1,000-point career scorers in the lineup. Blake Stepp has already hit the milestone and has 1,447 career points to surpass Doug Spradley (1,427, 1986-89) and move into 10th. Cory Violette reached the milestone against Washington State University and has 1,118 career points to surpass Frank Walter (1,083, 1947-50) and move into 20th. Stepp became the 25th Gonzaga player and Violette the 26th to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
ON THE BOARDS: After being out rebounded in three straight games, Gonzaga University has come back to out rebound its last seven opponents by an average of 12.6 rpg.
FOR THREE: Blake Stepp and Kyle Bankhead continue to climb on Gonzaga University's all-time 3-point list. Stepp is tied for second with Matt Santangelo (1996-00) with 252. 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 633 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 388, two shy of overtaking Doug Spradley (389, 1986-89). Stepp has 329 and moved ahead of Matt Santangelo (320, 1997-00) into sixth. 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 GonzagaUniversity, his two blocks last Saturday giving him 109 as he has passed Tim Ruff (99, 1981-85) for second. Turiaf has 35 blocks this season. Casey Calvary (1998-01) is the all-time leader with 207.
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 145-10 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.
HEIR APPARENT: True freshman Derek Raivio, the heir apparent to Blake Stepp at point guard next year, is getting some valuable minutes this season. Over the last eight games he's averaged 15.5 minutes/game with 15 assists and four turnovers in that stretch. For the season he is averaging 12.1 minutes and has 20 assists and 10 turnovers.
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 545 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 130, 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.
NEW ZEALANDER ENROLLS: Calum (Cal-um) MacLeod, a 7-0, 220-pound center from Wellington, New Zealand, joined Gonzaga University's men's basketball team earlier this week. The newest Bulldog arrived in Spokane on Monday night, was in the classroom Tuesday with the start of second-semester classes and was at Wednesday's practice getting acclimated to major college basketball. He will redshirt this season and have four years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2004-05 season. MacLeod has been playing for the New Zealand Junior National Team, the Tall Blacks. The team, so named because of their black jersey, most recently played in the Oceanic Games qualifying tournament for the Junior World Championships. New Zealand lost to Australia, which features University of Utah 6-10 freshman Andrew Bogut.
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 347. 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.
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