Men's Basketball Returns Home Against SCU, USD
Jan. 23, 2001
Game No. 18 - Santa Clara University
Thursday, January 25 - 7 p.m.
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: ESPN 630 AM The Score 25 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: GUTV (Channel 15, AT&T Cable in Spokane)
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (12-5, 4-0 in West Coast Conference)
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY BRONCOS (11-8, 3-1 in West Coast Conference)
Saturday, January 27 - 7 p.m.
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: ESPN 630 AM The Score 25 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: GUTV (Channel 15, AT&T Cable in Spokane)
UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS (10-7, 2-2 in West Coast Conference)
BULLDOGS STILL UNBEATEN IN WCC: Gonzaga University remained one of two unbeaten teams in the West Coast Conference, joining Pepperdine University at 4-0 after the Bulldogs completed their home-and-home sweep of the University of Portland with Saturday's 77-72 victory. After jumping on the Pilots early and often in coasting to an 81-57 victory last Wednesday, the Bulldogs were unable to put the Pilots away in the Chiles Center. Gonzaga went 20-for-26 from the free throw line in the second half to hold off the Pilots. As they had Wednesday in taking a 47-17 halftime lead, the Bulldogs tried to put the Pilots away early, taking as much as a 13-point first-half lead at 30-17 with 5:09 to go following a Germayne Forbes steal and coast-to-coast drive for a layin. But unlike Wednesday, the Bulldogs were never able to finish putting Portland away. The Bulldogs led 37-26 at the half, then came out the second half and got the first basket for a 39-26 lead on a Dan Dickau steal and layin. The Bulldogs still held a 46-36 advantage with 13:17 to play, but the lead quickly diminished as the Pilots went on a 12-3 spurt to cut the deficit to 49-48 with 11:12 remaining. Several more times the Bulldogs pushed the lead back to double digits, the last time at 70-59 with 2:20 to play on a pair of Dickau free throws to complete a 12-3 run by the visitors. Bryan Mills nailed a 3-pointer to start the Pilots on an 11-3 run that cut the Gonzaga lead to 73-70 with :13 to play, Ryan Jones scoring the final 6 Portland points in that stretch on a layin and a pair of jumpers. In Wednesday's contest, Gonzaga sprinted to a 29-4 lead 10 minutes into the contest as the Zags connected on 13 of their first 17 shots while the Pilots struggled with a 2-for-16 start from the field. Gonzaga also dominated the boards, holding a 13-2 advantage on the boards through the first 10 minutes. The Bulldogs finished the first half hitting 18-of-31 from the field for 58.1 percent, then went 13-of-24 in the second half for 54.2 percent to finish the contest 31-of-55 for 56.4 percent. Gonzaga's biggest lead of the night was 38 points twice in the second half.
ANOTHER QUICK START: For the third straight season Gonzaga University is out of the blocks quickly in the West Coast Conference chase. Gonzaga opened last season's WCC action with a 9-0 record prior to dropping back-to-back games at Pepperdine University and at home to the University of San Diego. In 1999 the Bulldogs raced to an 8-0 start prior to dropping their first WCC outing of the season at USD. Gonzaga has started each of the past five seasons of WCC play no worse than 2-0 since dropping the WCC opener in 1996.
BALANCE AND DEPTH: Balance and depth are two words to aptly describe Gonzaga University's attack. Six Bulldogs averaged 5.0 ppg or better in the sweep of the University of Portland, and nine players averaged double-digit minutes. Point guard Dan Dickau averaged 33.5 minutes against the Pilots. Casey Calvary (17.5 ppg) led the points parade, followed by Dickau (14.5), Zach Gourde (13.0), Mark Spink (9.5), Blake Stepp (8.0) and Anthony Reason (5.0). For the season, 10 players are averaging double-digit minutes led by Stepp's 31.1 minutes/game. Jimmy Tricco is close to double digits with 9.5minutes/game. Eight players are averaging 5.0 ppg or better, with Anthony Reason (4.9) and Cory Violette (4.8) close behind.
WCC TOURNAMENT GOES TO SAN DIEGO: The 15th annual West Coast Conference Tournament makes its first appearance in San Diego, Calif., this March. The new Jenny Craig Pavilion will host the affair March 1-5 with 14 men's and women's games. The tournament leaves the Bay Area for the first time since 1997 when Loyola Marymount University was the host, and for just the fourth time in the history of the tourney. Tickets are on sale at all eight competing institutions, including the Gonzaga University ticket office at (509) 323-4046. Tickets are $65 and include all 14 men's and women's games that determine automatic bids into the NCAA tourney.
POPPING THE TWINE: Caution, nets are combustible. Especially when Gonzaga University is doing the shooting. The Bulldogs have been on fire from the field in their last three games, hitting 50.0 percent or better. The Bulldogs began the rampage by connecting on a season-high 64.3 percent (36-of-56) at Saint Mary's College, then followed that with 56.4 percent (31-for-55) and 50.0 percent (25-of-50), respectively, in the two victories over the University of Portland last week. In their last three outings the Bulldogs are 92-for-161 for 57.1 percent. In four West Coast Conference games the Bulldogs are shooting 55.1 percent (118-for-214).
FROM THE LINE: After struggling from the free throw line through the first seven games (110-for-173 for 63.6 percent), Gonzaga University has discovered the touch. The Bulldogs went 20-for-26 from the free throw line in the second half last Saturday at the University of Portland to help hold off the Pilots. Gonzaga is 197-for-281 from the line in the last 10 games for 70.1 percent.
CALVARY WOODEN AWARD NOMINEE: Gonzaga University senior forward Casey Calvary is one of the top 30 mid-season candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. The mid-season list was released Dec. 28. Calvary was originally one of the Pre-season Top 50 candidates for the 2000-01 Wooden Award All-American Team. On March 27, 2001, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Friday April 6, 2001 as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year." The event will be a one hour telecast on FOX Sports Net. The top 50 Candidates have been selected based on last year's individual performance and team records. In late December, the Wooden Award committee will release the Mid-season Top 30 during a half-hour program on FOX Sports Net. This is the second straight year the Bulldogs have had a Wooden Award nominee, guard Matt Santangelo getting the nomination a year ago.
FEW'S ROOKIE SEASON: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few had one of the best rookie seasons in NCAA history, the Bulldogs' 26 wins ranking him tied for 7th for "Top 10 Career Starts For Head Coaches By Victories." He's tied with such coaching legends as Jim Boeheim at Syracuse University (1977), Denny Crum of the University of Louisville (1972) and Nolan Richardson of Tulsa University (1981). All won 26 games as rookie head coaches at the NCAA Division I level.
20 WINS AGAIN: For the seventh time in eight years Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau, the Bulldogs' 26 wins last season second only behind the 1999 school record mark of 28-7 mark. Last year marked the fourth time the Bulldogs hit the magic 20-win plateau in the regular season. The 1994 squad took a 20-6 record into the West Coast Conference Tournament, the 1998 team was 21-8 entering the tourney, the 1999 Bulldogs went 22-6 in the regular season and the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga's first 20-win season as a NCAA Division I program came in 1992 with a 20-10 mark, falling to Pepperdine University 73-70 in the Bulldogs' first appearance in the WCC Tournament title game.
BULLDOGS IN THE KENNEL: The Kennel - home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs - has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country. In the last nine seasons the Bulldogs are 109-9 at home for a nifty 92.4 winning percentage, finishing 10-1 last season. The Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel in 1999, 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. Gonzaga was 10-1 at home in 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the second-longest active streak in the country. The Bulldogs are 6-0 at home this season and have a winning margin of 32.7 ppg.
CALVARY PASSES 1,000-POINT PLATEAU... Senior forward Casey Calvary has become the 22nd played in Gonzaga University to surpass the 1,000-point barrier, entering Thursday's game with Santa Clara University with Portland with 1,230 points. That ranks him 12th in school history, surpassing Bill Wilson's 1,226 points. He needs 111 points to move past John Stockton (1,340) and into 11th. Calvary should move into the top 10, needing 125 more points to surpass Bill Suter at No. 10 with 1,354.
...AND SURPASSES 600 REBOUNDS: Casey Calvary became just the fourth player in Gonzaga University history to join the 1,000-point/600-rebound club. He grabbed 7 rebounds against Monmouth University on Dec. 30, 2000, to join the 600 rebound club. He has 644 rebounds entering Thursday's game with Santa Clara University to rank 5th on the all-time Gonzaga list, surpassing Charlie Jordan (642 from 1958-59). He needs 23 to claim 4th from Jim Dixon (666 from 1962-63). Jerry Vermillion (1,547 points/1,670 rebounds), Gary Lechman (1,452/910) and Greg Sten (1,168/783) are the other three members of the 1,000 points/600 rebound club.
BLOCK PARTY: With 23 blocks this season, Casey Calvary has 183 to tie for the all-time West Coast Conference lead with Scott Thompson of the University of San Diego (1983-87). Calvary is by far the all-time leader in GU history (Tim Ruff is second with 99).
BULLDOGS WIN 200TH: Gonzaga University's win at the University of Montana earlier this year was the 200th for the Bulldogs in the last 10 seasons. Gonzaga is 207-88 since the 1991-92 season for a .702 winning percentage.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara University (11-8, 3-1) swept its Bay Area rivals last week in the new Leavey Center. On Thursday senior Jamie Holmes scored a career-high 24 points, while David Emslie registered his first career double as the Broncos rolled to a 90-67 win over Saint Mary's College. Brian Jones knocked-down 22 points and freshman Kyle Bailey added a career-high-tying 17 in Saturday's 89-82 win over the University of San Francisco. Jones, a two-time All-West Coast Conference guard, continues to move up the Santa Clara career charts in almost every statistical category. He needs just 35 assists to become the first player in Santa Clara history to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career. The Broncos, winners of three straight and 7 of their last 9, have been scoring at a clip of 86 points per game in its four conference contests this season, compared to its 68.9 average overall. The Broncos are also becoming less reliant on the scoring of Jones to have offensive success. At least nine different Santa Clara players have scored in each of the last five games, while a total of 11 Broncos scored in the win at Loyola Marymount.
BULLDOGS VS. BRONCOS: Gonzaga University had its 4-game winning streak against Santa Clara University snapped last season with an 81-70 loss at Toso Pavilion (now called the Leavey Event Center), the Broncos leading the overall series 27-21. The Bulldogs have won four straight in The Kennel against SCU, including last year's contest 97-67 after trailing by as many as 14 points midway through the first half. The Bulldogs came back to lead 41-37 at halftime, then blitzed SCU 56-30 in the second half.
SCOUTING THE TOREROS: The University of San Diego snapped a 4-game losing streak last weekend with a home sweep of the University of San Francisco and Saint Mary's College at the new Jenny Craig Pavilion on the USD campus. The Toreros were one of the pre-season favorites in the West Coast Conference, but got out of the blocks 0-2 with road setbacks at Loyola Marymount and pre-season co-favorite Pepperdine University the opening weekend of WCC action. The Toreros (10-7, 2-2) rank first in scoring defense at 64.8 ppg. The road has not been super friendly to USD as they bring a 5-6 road mark this year into the Northwest for games Thursday at the University of Portland and Saturday at Gonzaga. USD returns all five starters and 12 letterwinners from last year's squad. Andre Laws paces the Toreros at 11.6 ppg, while Sam Adamo is the only other Torero averaging double figures at 10.5 ppg. USD is shooting 45.1 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from 3-point range and 64.4 percent from the free throw line.
BULLDOGS VS. TOREROS: If there's one team Gonzaga University has had trouble with in recent years, it's the University of San Diego. Although the Bulldogs lead the overall series 31-19, USD holds a 6-5 edge in the series since sweeping all three games in 1997, including a first-round victory over the Bulldogs in the West Coast Conference Tournament. USD took an 82-70 win in The Kennel last season, snapping a 20-game Gonzaga home winning streak. Gonzaga captured an 84-79 overtime win in San Diego in the first meeting last season, their first road win over the Toreros since 1996. The Bulldogs also downed USD 80-70 in the semifinals of the WCC Tournament last season at Santa Clara University.
BANKHEAD UPDATE: Backup guard Kyle Bankhead missed both games against the University of Portland with a broken third metacarpal on his left hand suffered the opening weekend of West Coast Conference play. Bankhead is listed as day-to-day and will be examined again Tuesday to determine his status for this week's game. The walk-on redshirt freshman scored in double digits each of the last four games prior to the injury. He's averaging 10.5 ppg in that stretch.
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