Bulldogs Take Aim At No. 1 Memphis
Jan. 24, 2008
Game No. 20 - Memphis
Saturday, January 26 - 9 a.m. PST
FedEx Forum - Memphis, TN
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (15-4; 4-0 West Coast) G - 2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, Jr., Chicago, IL (10.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 6.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks) G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, So., Highlands Ranch, CO (14.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals) G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-4, 190, Fr., Bainbridge, WA (8.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.6 assists, 1.6 steals) C - 42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 255, Jr., Clarkston, WA (11.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.0 blocks) F - 25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Sr., Brewster, WA (8.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 226-56 (9th year - 19th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Monday, January 28 - 5 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KAYU-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listings)
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND PILOTS (6-13, 1-2 West Coast) G - 1 Nik Raivio, 6-4, 195, So., Vancouver, WA (12.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.4 assists, 0.9 steals) G - 5 Taishi Ito, 6-0, 170, So., Mie, Japan (6.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.7 assists, 1.3 steals) C - 45 Kramer Knutson, 6-9, 215, Fr., Mesa, AZ (4.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 34 Sherrard Watson, 6-6, 190, Sr., Portland, OR (11.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals) F - 43 Luke Sikma, 6-8, 215, Fr., Bellevue, WA (6.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.0 blocks) HEAD COACH: Eric Reveno (Stanford, 1989) UP RECORD: 15-36 (2nd year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 1/25 vs. Cal State Bakersfield.
Gonzaga University steps out of the West Coast Conference to head to new No. 1 University of Memphis this Saturday. The Tigers moved into the top spot in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls after previous No. 1 University of North Carolina fell 82-80 to the University of Maryland on Saturday. It will be the Bulldogs first meeting against a No. 1 team since losing to the University of Cincinnati 75-68 Dec. 4, 1999, at the Rock-N-Roll Shootout in Cleveland, Ohio, Gonzaga's only meeting against a top-ranked team to date. Cincinnati featured consensus Player of the Year Kenyon Martin, currently a 7th-year pro with the Denver Nuggets. The Bulldogs knocked off No. 2 UNC last year in the semifinals of the NIT Tip-Off Classic in New York's Madison Square Garden. Gonzaga lost to then No. 8 Memphis 78-77 in overtime last season in the Spokane Arena.
Gonzaga University brings a 6-game winning streak into Saturday's game, the Bulldogs longest of the season and the best streak since 2006 when Gonzaga won 20 straight games to tie the school record. The Bulldogs won five straight three times last season.
The University of Memphis leads the overall series with Gonzaga University 2-1. The Tigers took last year's meeting in the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena 78-77 in overtime and claimed an 83-72 victory at the FedEx Forum in Memphis the previous season. Gonzaga won the inaugural meeting between the teams, taking an 88-73 win in The Pyramid, the former home of the Tigers, in the Pre-Season Chase NIT Nov. 16, 1998.
Gonzaga University is off to a 4-0 start in West Coast Conference play for the fourth time in the last six years. The Bulldogs return to WCC action Monday at home when the University of Portland visits the McCarthey Athletic Center for a 5 p.m. start. The Bulldogs have been picked by the WCC coaches to win an eighth straight West Coast Conference crown, the Bulldogs edging Saint Mary's College in the pre-season poll. Gonzaga has won nine of the last 10 WCC regular-season crowns.
Head coach Mark Few picked up his 225th career victory last Saturday against the University of San Diego. 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 104-12 and fourth on the all-time WCC wins list behind Carroll Williams, Santa Clara University (165-137), Dick Davey, SCU (122-88) and Fitzgerald (112-88).
The University of Memphis has the edge over Gonzaga University on paper as the Tigers are ranked in the Top 25 in seven NCAA categories according to the latest statistics as of Jan. 20. The Tigers are second in scoring margin (+22.6), eighth in field goal percentage defense (37.1) and blocked shots/game (6.6) and 13th in scoring offense (82.4 ppg).Over the last three games Gonzaga has 65 assists for an average of 21.7 assists/game and 35 steals for an average of 11.7 steals/game. The Bulldogs had 25 assists at Loyola Marymount University and 24 at Pepperdine University, and had 16 steals at Pepperdine and 13 Saturday against the University of San Diego. For the season the Bulldogs are averaging 14.7 assists/game and 6.8 steals/game.
Both Gonzaga University and the University of Memphis have players among the national statistical leaders through games of Jan. 20. Gonzaga's Austin Daye is sixth in free throw percentage (91.0) and 80th in blocked shots/game (1.7), while the Bulldogs Jeremy Pargo is 21st in assists/game (6.1). The Tigers Chris Douglas-Roberts is 75th in field goal percentage (53.1); Joey Dorsey is 19th in rebounds/game (9.9) and blocked shots/game (2.3); Robert Dozier is 52nd in blocked shots/game (1.9), and Antonio Anderson is 42nd in assist/turnover ratio (2.17).
Gonzaga University is in search of its 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs current streak of nine straight appearances ranks the Bulldogs tied for sixth for consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with the University of Florida, University of Texas and University of Wisconsin.
After shooting 50.0 percent or better in four of its previous five games, Gonzaga University had its worst shooting night from the field in West Coast Conference play this year and its fifth worst night from the field this season in Monday's 72-64 win over the University of San Francisco. The Bulldogs connected on 25-of-58 shots from the field for 43.1 percent. The only games Gonzaga has shot worse that Monday were 38.9 percent in a loss to Texas Tech University at the Great Alaska Shootout, 37.3 percent in a road win over Saint Joseph's University, 25.9 percent in a home loss to Washington State University and 39.3 percent in a neutral-court loss in Seattle to the University of Tennessee.
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 47-2 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.
Jeremy Pargo has had quite a 12-game run in the assists and turnovers department. In the last 12 games he's doled out 79 assists and turned the ball over 37 times for a 2.1 assist/turnover ratio. He's had one game of nine assists and had eight assists four times in that stretch. He now has 338 career assists to move into fifth place on the Gonzaga University career charts. Derek Raivio (356) is well within reach of Pargo this year that could move him into fourth. Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554) hold the top three spots. Pargo has 68 assists in his last 11 games for a 6.2 assists/game average in that stretch. For the season he is averaging 6.1 assists/game and in West Coast Conference play he is averaging 6.5.
There might be some magic in that No. 5 jersey freshman Austin Daye is wearing - especially when it comes to the free throw line. Daye is 61-for-67 for 91.0 percent from the stripe this season. He was ranked sixth nationally at 91.0 percent through games of Jan. 17 when the latest rankings were compiled. Derek Raivio, who wore No. 5 throughout his Gonzaga career, is one of the most prolific free throw shooters in NCAA history. He finished his career hitting 92.7 percent from the line and holds the top three single-season percentage marks in school history. Raivio went 148-for-154 for 96.1 percent to lead the NCAA Division I ranks in percentage a year ago and ranks second all-time on the NCAA single-season list. For his career he went 343-for-370 for 92.7 percent to rank second in the NCAA based on a minimum of 300 free throws made and 2.5 free throws made/game. Raivio set the Gonzaga record of 56 consecutive free throws. Daye had 29 straight makes this season.
After going 0-for-3 at Pepperdine University, Micah Downs has come back to go 8-for-10 from the field in the last two games, including a 5-for-5 afternoon from the field in Gonzaga University's win last Saturday against the University of San Diego.
Senior David Pendergraft tied his career high with nine rebounds last Saturday against the University of San Diego, the fourth time in his career he's fell one short of double digits. He is 35 rebounds away from joining the 500 point/500 rebound club. He has 607 career points and 465 career boards.
Gonzaga University's 12 turnovers Monday against the University of San Francisco was the lowest total for the Bulldogs since having just 10 against the University of Oklahoma. Gonzaga had committed 104 turnovers in the last six games for 17.3/game heading into Monday.
Gonzaga University men's basketball coach Mark Few added three players to his charges for the 2008-09 season with the signing of three players to letters-of-intent. Andy Poling, 6-11, 230-pound forward from Westview High in Portland, Ore.; Grant Gibbs, 6-5, 190-pound guard from Linn-Mar High in Marion, Iowa, and Demetri Goodson, 6-0, 175-pound guard from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, made their intentions official to become Bulldogs on the first day of national letter-of-intent signing day. All three had previously made verbal commitments. Poling averaged 13.9 ppg last season to rank fifth in the Metro League in scoring while leading the Wildcats to a 21-8 overall record and 8-2 second-place Metro League finish. He was named honorable mention All-State 6A in Westview's first season in the newly-created State 6A classification. He was also voted first-team All-Metro League for the Wildcats, ranked seventh in the state heading into the State 6A Tournament where they lost their first two games. Poling was rated one of the 20 best centers in the country by one scouring service. Gibbs averaged 15.0 ppg, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rpg as Linn-Mar captured the Iowa State 4A title last spring. He had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the quarterfinal win over Sioux City North; 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 7 steals in the semifinal victory over Urbandale, and scored 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and had a pair of assists and steals in the title game against Bettendorf to cap a 24-1 season. He finished third in tournament scoring with 45 points and tied for fourth with 21 rebounds in earning All-Tournament honors. Goodson helped lead Klein Collins to the Region 2 title game last season while averaging 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 7.0 assists/game. He was an All-State 5A selection, the largest classification in Texas. Goodson was rated as high as the 135th best player in the country by one scouting service.
Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 479. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV holds the all-time streak of 668 entering this season.
Juniors Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt have been named to the preseason watch lists for a pair of prestigious All-American men's basketball honors. Pargo, a native of Chicago, Ill., is one of 50 players named to the John R. Wooden Award as selected by the Los Angeles Athletic Club's Wooden Award Committee. Heytvelt, who hails from Clarkston, Wash., was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy as selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Pargo becomes the eighth Bulldog selected as a Wooden candidate. Heytvelt is the second Bulldog in three years under consideration for the Naismith.
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