Gonzaga-Memphis In ESPN College GameDay Showdown Saturday

Feb. 6, 2009

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
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. 18/18 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (17-4; 8-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (9.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.4 assists, 1.4 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (13.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 assists, 1.6 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, So., Bainbridge, WA
       (10.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (14.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.1 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Daye, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (13.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  253-64 (10th year - 20th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

No. 14/15 UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS TIGERS (19-3; 8-0 Conference USA) G - 5 Antonio Anderson, 6-6, 214, Sr., Lynn, MA (10.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.4 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks) G - 12 Tyreke Evans, 6-6, 219, Fr., Chester, PA (16.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.9 assists, 2.4 steals, 0.5 blocks) G - 20 Doneal Mack, 6-5, 181, Jr., Charlotte, NC (9.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 0 Shawn Taggart, 6-10, 238, Jr., Richmond, VA (10.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.5 steals, 1.8 blocks) F - 2 Robert Dozier, 6-9, 220, Sr., Lithonia, GA (11.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.6 blocks) HEAD COACH: John Calipari (Clarion State, 1982) UM RECORD: 238-68 (9th year) CAREER RECORD: 431-139 (17th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 23 - Saint Mary's College
Thursday, February 12 - 8 p.m. PST
McKeon Pavilion - Moraga, CA
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. 25/18 SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (19-3; 6-2 West Coast)
G -     3 Carlin Hughes, 6-2, 185, Sr., Perth Australia
       (8.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.5 assists, 1.1 steals)
G -  24 Wayne Hunter, 6-4, 210, Jr., Sacramento, CA
      (4.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.7 assists, 2.3 steals)
C -  50 Omar Samhan, 6-11, 265, Jr., San Ramon, CA
      (13.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.0 blocks)
F -     4 Ian O'Leary, 6-7, 220, Sr., Woodland, CA
      (5.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -   20 Diamon Simpson, 6-7, 230, Sr., Hayward, CA
       (13.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.0 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Randy Bennett (UC San Diego, 1986)
SMC RECORD:  146-93 (8th year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  2/7 at Santa Clara.
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

Gonzaga University got the first big game of the week out of the way with a convincing 93-78 victory at the University of Portland Thursday night, now the Bulldogs turn their attention to Saturday's Ronald McDonald House Charities contest against the University of Memphis in the sold out Spokane Arena. The 6 p.m. game is part of the ESPN College GameDay festivities. The day begins at the McCarthey Athletic Center with SportsCenter from 7 a.m-8 a.m. The College GameDay show runs from 8 a.m.-9 a.m., then a College GameDay show will air from the Spokane Arena from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. leading into the game. The morning show dais will have Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis, Jay Bilas and Bob Knight. The game announcers will be Dan Shulman, Bilas, Knight and sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

Matt Bouldin matched his career high with 26 points and Gonzaga University pulled away from upstart University of Portland for a 93-78 West Coast Conference victory Thursday. Gonzaga won its ninth straight. It was the Bulldogs' 12th consecutive win over the Pilots (15-8, 6-2) and the 24th in the last 25 meetings. T.J. Campbell and Nik Raivio had 19 points each for Portland, which had won its last six games and could have gained a share of the conference lead with a victory. Gonzaga led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but the Pilots briefly threatened by pulling within 79-73 on Ethan Niedermeyer's 3-pointer. Austin Daye added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Raivio, who had 27 points against Saint Mary's College last Saturday, had 17 of his 19 points in the first half against the Zags. Raivio is the younger brother of former Gonzaga guard Derek Raivio. Portland led 43-42 at halftime, but Gonzaga opened the second half with Micah Downs' layup, Jeremy Pargo's 3-pointer and Josh Heytvelt's two free throws to take a 49-43 lead. It was short-lived, however, as Portland tied it again at 49 on Luke Sikma's 3-pointer and Robin Smeulders' free throws. The Bulldogs went on an 11-3 run capped by Bouldin's reverse layup that made it 60-52.

Gonzaga University and the University of Memphis will be meeting for the third straight year and for the fifth time overall. The Bulldogs won the first meeting in Memphis in The Pyramid which housed the Tigers prior to their move to the FedEx Forum. Gonzaga captured an 88-73 win in the first round of the 1998 pre-season NIT. The teams didn't meet again until Dec. 27, 2005, the Tigers taking an 83-72 home. Memphis captured a 78-77 overtime victory in the Spokane Arena Feb. 17, 2007, then won last year's game in Memphis 81-77.

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 Memphis is ranked 14th in the AP poll and 15th in the USA Today/ESPN voting. 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 nine straight games, tied for ninth for current active streak in NCAA Division I through games of Thursday. 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.

Jeremy Pargo broke out of a scoring slump Thursday at the University of Portland, going 7-for-10 from the field, 2-for-2 from 3-point range and 6-of-10 from the line for a season-high 22 points. It was his first 20-plus point game of the season.

The free throw line hasn't been very giving at times this season for Gonzaga University, but the Bulldogs hit their first 16 charity tosses Thursday and ended 23-for-31, the 23 makes and 31 attempts both season highs. Gonzaga hit 28 free throws twice last season, at Santa Clara University and at the University of San Francisco. The Bulldogs are shooting 70.7 percent from the line this season and have just five games where they have shot 80.0 percent or better from the line.

Gonzaga University junior Matt Bouldin could become the 31st member of the 1,000-point club Saturday against the University of Memphis. The native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., has 993 points and is averaging 11.4 ppg in his career. He matched his career high for the second time this season with 26 points Thursday at the University of Portland Senior Josh Heytvelt has 967 points and is averaging 11.8 ppg for his career.

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.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few moved into second place on the school's all-time winningest coaches list the Bulldogs victory Thursday, running his record to 253-64. Few, in his 10th year, moved ahead of Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 years). Few picked up his 250th career victory Jan. 24, 2009, at Loyola Marymount University. Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) is the all-time leader. Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 121-13, 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 up for another post-season award, the Chicago, Ill., native one of 17 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award sponsored by The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in conjunction with The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. The award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate point guard. The 17 finalists were chosen from a pool of over 60 top candidates from NCAA Division I, II and III institutions across the country. The 2009 Finalists were selected by screening committees comprised of media members representing all three divisions of collegiate basketball. In addition to Pargo, the other finalists are Sheron Collins University, Kansas; Darren Collison, UCLA; Stephen Curry, Davidson; Toney Douglas, Florida State; Levance Fields, Pittsburgh; Jonny Flynn, Syracuse; Dominic James, Marquette; Ty Lawson, North Carolina; Eric Maynor, Virginia Commonwealth; Patrick Mills, St. Mary's; AJ Price, Connecticut, and Jeff Teague, Wake Forest. Pargo is also a John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 candidate, and along with teammate Josh Heytvelt is a Naismith Trophy Top 30 candidate.

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 102 to move past 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 110 rebounds over the past 13 games for 8.5 rpg during that stretch. He posted his fourth double-double of the season and the fifth of his career with 14 points and 12 rebounds Thursday at the University of Portland. He has taken the team lead at 7.4 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 1,105 career points to move into 24th. Jack Curran is 23rd with 1,121. Pargo's 536 career assists make him the fourth member of the 500 club behind Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554). Pargo's 154 career steals have moved him past 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.

Sophomore Steven Gray, who went scoreless for the first time this season last Saturday against the University of San Diego, came back to score 14 points Thursday at the University of Portland. He went 6-for-8 from the field, 2-for-4 from 3-point range and also added three assists.

Junior Will Foster turned into another strong effort off the bench Thursday at the University of Portland, blocking a pair of shots and grabbing a rebound in five minutes off the bench. He now has 33 rebounds and 11 blocks in 104 minutes this season. Prior to this season he had played a total of 97 minutes, grabbed 27 rebounds and had 14 blocks in his career.

Gonzaga University's 93 points Thursday at the University of Portland was the third 90-plus output of the season for the Bulldogs, all coming in West Coast Conference play. The Bulldogs scored 93 at Loyola Marymount University and 95 at home against Santa Clara University. In WCC play the Bulldogs are averaging 81.1 ppg and have a +22.3 scoring margin.

 

 

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