Bulldogs Face High-Flying Pilots With WCC Lead At Stake

Feb. 4, 2009

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 21 - University of Portland
Thursday, February 5 - 8 p.m. PST
Chiles Center - Portland, OR
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane);
101.1 FM Rock `N' Roll's Greatest Hits (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2
No. 18/18 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (16-4; 7-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (9.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.6 assists, 1.4 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (13.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, So., Bainbridge, WA
       (10.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.5 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (14.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.1 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Daye, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (13.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  252-64 (10th year - 20th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND PILOTS (15-7; 6-1 West Coast) G - 15 Nik Raivio, 6-4, 200,k Jr., Vancouver, WA (16.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals) G - 44 T. J. Campbell, 5-9, 190, Jr., Phoenix, AZ (10.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.9 assists, 1.3 steals) C - 12 Robin Smeulders, 6-10, 240, Jr., Braunschweig, Germany (11.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks) F - 45 Kramer Knutson, 6-9, 245, So., Mesa, AZ (6.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 3 Ethan Niedermeyer, 6-6, 200, Jr., Lafayette, CA (5.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals) HEAD COACH: Eric Reveno (Stanford, 1989) UP RECORD: 33-52 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 22 - University of Memphis
Saturday, February 7 - 6 p.m. PST
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena - Spokane, WA
Ronald McDonald House Charities Classic
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane);
101.1 FM Rock `N' Roll's Greatest Hits (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN
No. 14/15 UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS TIGERS (18-3; 7-0 Conference USA)
G -   5 Antonio Anderson, 6-6, 214, Sr., Lynn, MA
      (10.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.3 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.5 blocks)
G -  12 Tyreke Evans, 6-6, 219, Fr., Chester, PA
      (16.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.9 assists, 2.4 steals, 0.5 blocks)
G -   20 Doneal Mack, 6-5, 181, Jr., Charlotte, NC
       (9.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks)
F -     0 Shawn Taggart, 6-10, 238, Jr., Richmond, VA
       (9.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.6 steals, 1.7 blocks)
F -     2 Robert Dozier, 6-9, 220, Sr., Lithonia, GA
       (11.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.6 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  John Calipari (Clarion State, 1982)
UM RECORD:  237-68 (9th year)  CAREER RECORD:  430-139 (17th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  None.
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

After disposing of previously undefeated Saint Mary's College and the University of San Diego at home last weekend to take over sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference at 7-0, Gonzaga University faces another big test Thursday at the University of Portland. The surprising Pilots are off to their best start in WCC history at 6-1 and alone in second place after downing USD and SMC last weekend. Portland is 15-7 overall.

Gonzaga University and the University of Portland opened the West Coast Conference season Jan. 10 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Josh Heytvelt and Matt Bouldin each scored 14 points as the Bulldogs downed the Pilots 67-50. Steven Gray added 13 points as Gonzaga snapped a three-game losing streak. Austin Daye had 10 rebounds as the Zags beat Portland for the 11th consecutive time. Gonzaga won its 14th consecutive WCC home opener and its 13th consecutive WCC opener. The 50 points by Portland marks its second lowest output of the season, the Pilots scoring 43 in a one-point win over Air Force.

When Gonzaga University heads to the University of Portland Thursday, it will be the first time since 2001 the Bulldogs will be facing a Pilot team with a winning record in West Coast Conference play. Portland was 2-0 entering and home-and-home week with the Bulldogs, the Pilots losing 81-57 Jan. 17, 2001, at Gonzaga, then dropping the re-match three days later at the Chiles center 77-72. Portland was 2-2 in WCC play entering games against the Bulldogs on Jan. 23, 2004, and Jan. 22, 2007. Gonzaga won both road contests.

Should Gonzaga University come home from the University of Portland still undefeated in West Coast Conference play, the Bulldogs won't have any time to rest on their laurels. The University of Memphis is coming to town for College Game Day Saturday on ESPN. The morning College Game Day show will air from the McCarthey Athletic Center from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. PST, with the game between the Bulldogs, ranked 18th in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls this week, and the Tigers, ranked 14th by AP and 15th by USA Today/ESPN, scheduled for 6 p.m. from the sold out Spokane Arena. This is the second trip to Spokane for ESPN College Game Day, the Bulldogs stopping Stanford University 80-76 at the McCarthey Athletic Center Feb. 11, 2006.

Gonzaga University finds itself ranked 18th in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls this week. The Bulldogs jumped 18 spots in the USA Today/ESPN balloting after re-entering the poll at No. 25 last week. The Bulldogs jumped two spots to 18th in the Associated Press rankings. The University of Connecticut, which handed the Bulldogs an 88-83 overtime loss in The Battle in Seattle Dec. 20, is the new No. 1 this week in both polls, replacing Duke University. UConn is the fifth team to hold the top spot this season. The Bulldogs have been as high as fourth in both polls this season.

Gonzaga University has won eight straight games, tied for 10th for current active streak in NCAA Division I. But long winning streaks are nothing new to the Bulldogs. Gonzaga won eight straight a year ago prior to losing to the University of San Diego in the West Coast Conference Tournament final. The Bulldogs have had two school-record 20-game winning streaks - Dec. 31, 2005-March 23, 2006 and Dec. 28, 2003-March 20, 2004. Gonzaga has nine winning streaks of 10 or more games dating back to the 1965-66 season.

The series between Gonzaga University and the University of Portland has been a one-sided affair favoring the Bulldogs in recent years. Gonzaga holds an 82-65 all-time lead in the series, but since joining the West Coast Conference for the 1979-80 season the Bulldogs have a commanding 48-15 advantage. Gonzaga has won 23 of the last 24 meetings since suffering a 72-68 loss at the old Kennel in 2003 to snap a 14-game Gonzaga winning streak in the series and halt the Bulldogs streak of West Coast Conference home wins at 21. Gonzaga has won the last 11 meetings, including this season's 67-50 victory in the West Coast Conference opener.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few achieved his 250th win Jan. 24, 2009, at Loyola Marymount University. Few, third-fastest coach in NCAA history to 200 wins in his 247th game, reached win No. 250 in his 314th career game as head coach. He is 252-64 entering Thursday's game.

Two more players should join the Gonzaga University 1,000-point club before the season is over. Junior Matt Bouldin has 967 points entering this Thursday's game and is averaging 11.2 ppg in his career. Senior Josh Heytvelt has 952 points and is averaging 11.7 ppg.

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 60-3 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. Gonzaga's other losses were last season to Washington State University and this year's setback to Portland State University.

Head coach Mark Few picked up his 252nd career victory last Saturday to knot former head coach Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 seasons) for second on the all-time Gonzaga University charts. Few picked up his 250th career victory Jan. 24, 2009, at Loyola Marymount University. Few is 252-64 in his 10th season as he sets his sights on leader Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons). Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 120-13, moving ahead of Fitzgerald (112-88) on the all-time wins list. Carroll Williams, Santa Clara University (165-137) and Dick Davey, SCU (122-88) hold the top two spots.

Gonzaga University senior Jeremy Pargo is on the 2009 John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 list, and he and teammate Josh Heytvelt have been named to the Naismith Trophy watch list as well. Pargo is eligible for the John R. Wooden All-American Team and Player of the Year Trophy, and he and Heytvelt are also in line for the Naismith Trophy as present by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. Pargo, a native of Chicago, Ill., was also nominated for the Wooden Award a year ago, while Heytvelt was also a Naismith candidate last season. Pargo becomes the eighth Bulldog selected as a Wooden candidate. Adam Morrison was a 2006 John R. Wooden Top Five All-America selection, Dan Dickau was so honored in 2002 as Gonzaga's inaugural Wooden Award Top Five honoree, and Blake Stepp (2004) and Casey Calvary (2001) were named Wooden Award Top 10 All-Americans. Heytvelt, who hails from nearby Clarkston, Wash., becomes Gonzaga's first two-time Naismith nominee. Adam Morrison is the only other Bulldog to be nominated for the award in 2006. "Both players are very deserving of these nominations," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "They have worked hard on and off the court to elevate their games to the national stage. They are as good as any player in the country at their respective positions."

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few added two players to the Bulldog fold to letters-of-intent. Sam Dower, a 6-9, 220-pound left-handed senior center/forward from Osseo, Minn., High School and 6-5, 185-pound wing Mangisto "Manny" Arop will join GU next season. Dower averaged 22 ppg and 10 rpg per game in the month of July and 18 ppg and 9 rpg for this past AAU season, according to head coach Marquise Watts of Net Gain Sports, Dower's AAU club. Net Gain Sports won the Twin Cities Summer Classic, won the adidas 64 Gold Division in Las Vegas and went 3-2 in round-robin play in the Duel in the Desert in Phoenix, according to Watts. "He can score for a big guy. He's a lefty so that makes it harder to defend because most people aren't used to seeing a lefthander," Few said. "He can make a difference and is a unique post player. He had a good spring and a great summer." Watts said Dower has worked hard to improve his game. "Every day over the last two years he's gotten better. I don't think he's begun to scratch the surface. His inside-outside game, he can shoot the three and on the block he's a lefty with a great hook shot," Watts said. "He's athletic, he's working on putting on weight and he will fit in real well at Gonzaga." Dower didn't make the varsity team at Osseo until midway through his sophomore year. He averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg then blossomed last season to average 13.4 ppg and 5.9 rpg. Last season he scored in double figures 23 times and had double-digit rebounds six times. The Orioles went 28-1, their lone setback 60-59 in the Region finals. He scored a career-high 23 points at Coon Rapids and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds at Orono. He had several scholarship offers, among them the University of Minnesota, Marquette University and the University of Iowa. Arop, born in the Sudan, currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he plays with Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) which is basically Canada's Junior National Team. His first name is pronounced Man-GEESE-toe, his last name pronounced "rop" (the "a" is silent) but he goes simply by Manny. He recently set a single-game scoring NEDA scoring record with 42 points, and this past summer played for Canada in the FIBA Americas Championship in Formosa, Argentina. He averaged 17.0 ppg to rank second, 10.2 rpg to rank third, shot 52.8 percent from the field on 23-for-58 and 87.5 percent from the line on 14-of-15 in the five tournament games as Canada placed fifth. He had 21 points and 9 rebounds against the U.S. in the tourney. "Manny is a high energy player with a great competitive streak," Few said. "His skill level is something to be excited about. He has a great opportunity to be effective for us at both ends of the court." His mother and four brothers left Sudan when he was 9-years-old and lived in Kenya prior to re-locating to Regina, Saskatchewan. Arop then spent a year in Edmonton, Alberta, before joining Basketball Canada's NEDA program, which is a year-round junior development camp.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few and wife Marcy gave birth to son Colt Walker Norman Few on New Year's Day, the couple's fourth child joining Austin James (A.J.), Joe and Julia.

Senior walk-on Andrew Sorenson is no more. No, he's still on the team. But the walk-on status was removed in the post-game speeches Jan. 17 following Gonzaga University's win over the University of San Francisco when he was put on scholarship. Assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, who runs Gonzaga's tryout program, got the honors from head coach Mark Few. "He deserves it," Lloyd said. "He works hard in practice, is a great team guy and is probably the fan favorite. We still had a scholarship to use, so we talked it over as a staff and decided Andrew should get it this semester." Sorenson, from Olympia, Wash., tried out in 2004-05 but did not make the team, then tried out again the following year and was give a spot on the roster.

Gonzaga University sophomore Robert Sacre continues to recover from a broken right foot suffered Dec. 5 in practice, the same foot he had a pin inserted in earlier this fall to help heal a non-displaced stress fracture. The newest fracture is in front of the previous stress fracture. Recent x-rays indicate the latest fracture is healing. He will undergo weekly x-rays to chart the healing progress. The Vancouver, British Columbia, native will be sidelined indefinitely.

Sophomore Austin Daye continues to climb up the all-time Gonzaga University blocked shots list. He now has 99 to tie Tim Ruff (1981-85) for third. Ronny Turiaf (2002-05) is second with 179 and Casey Calvary (1998-01) sits atop the list with 207. He also continues to pound the boards. He has grabbed 98 rebounds over the past 12 games for 8.2 rpg during that stretch. He has taken the team lead at 7.2 rpg.

Gonzaga University senior Jeremy Pargo became the 30th member of the 1,000-point club for the Bulldogs against Portland State University and has also surpassed the 500-assists plateau. The native of Chicago now has 1,083 career points to tie Frank Walter for 24th. Jack Curran is 23rd with 1,121. Pargo's 534 career assists make him the fourth member of the 500 club behind Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554). Pargo's 151 career steals have moved him past Geoff Goss and into fifth, 2 shy of passing Blake Stepp (152) for fourth.

Junior Matt Bouldin has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Month for January. The junior from Highlands Ranch, Colo., averaged 16.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 assists/game and had a 2.4 assist/turnover ratio as Gonzaga went 8-0 for month, including a 7-0 WCC start. He shot 52.5 percent from the field (42-for-80) and 44.1 percent from 3-point range (15-for-34). Bouldin matched his career high with 26 points in 89-79 overtime win at Tennessee, going 11-for-20 from the field as Gonzaga snapped Tennessee's 37-game home winning streak which was the longest in the nation at the time as the Bulldogs defeated the Vols for the second time this season. Tennessee was ranked 15th by Associated Press and 25th by USA Today/ESPN in the second meeting. He set a career high with 10 assists and had his first career points-assists double-double with 14 points at Pepperdine. Last Thursday he had 17 points and 4 rebounds win 69-62 win over Saint Mary's in showdown of WCC undefeated teams.

After going without an assist or a steal Jan. 10 in the West Coast Conference opener against the University of Portland, Jeremy Pargo has handed out 23 assists for an average of 3.8 assists/game and has 12 steals for an average of 2.0 steals/game over the last six games.

Gonzaga University is second in field goal percentage defense in the latest NCAA Division I statistics through games of Sunday. Opponents are shooting 36.2 percent against the Bulldogs. Purdue University leads the list at 36.0 percent. Gonzaga has held seven of the last eight opponents to less than 40.0 percent from the field. Loyola Marymount University shot just 25.0 percent against Gonzaga, the best defensive effort by the Bulldogs since Jan. 4, 2001, when the Northwest College of Kirkland, Wash., to 24.6 percent on 14-of-57. The last time the Bulldogs were as good defensively against a NCAA Division I school was Nov. 26, 2000, at home against Eastern Washington University when the Eagles went 15-for-66 for 22.7 percent.

Sophomore Steven Gray went scoreless for the first time this season last Saturday against the University of San Diego. He went 0-for-6 from the field, half of his shots from 3-point range. It was just the second time in his young career he went scoreless, the first Jan. 28, 2008, at home against the University of Portland. He had scored in 32 straight contests.

 

 

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