Bulldogs Host Portland Wednesday
Feb. 17, 2004
Game No. 24 - Portland
Wed., Feb. 18 - 7:30 p.m.
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: FOX Sports Northwest
No. 6 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (21-2; 11-0 West Coast Conference) G - 10 Blake Stepp, 6-4, 194, Sr., Eugene, OR (14.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 7.3 assists, 1.2 steals) G - 20 Kyle Bankhead, 6-0, 195, Sr., Walla Walla, WA (5.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals) C - 33 Cory Violette, 6-8, 265, Sr., Boise, ID (14.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks) F - 22 Erroll Knight, 6-6, 212, So., Seattle, WA (6.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks) F - 1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 243, Jr., Le Robert, Martinique (15.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.6 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 126-31 (5th year - 15th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Sat., Feb. 21 - 3 p.m. PST
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2 (Bracket Buster II)
UNIVERSITY OF TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE (7-15; 3-10 Western Athletic) G - 12 Kyle Blankenship, 6-0, 180, So., Shreveport, LA (2.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.3 steals) G - 14 Jason Parker, 6-2, 180, Sr., Tulsa, OK (18.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.9 assists, 1.9 steals) F - 11 Glenn Jarius, 6-6, 220, Jr., Decatur, GA (13.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.4 blocks) F - 41 Charles Ramsdell, 6-10, 205, Fr., Kingfisher, OK (4.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 50 Anthony Price, 6-8, 235, So., The Woodlands, TX (10.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.1 blocks) HEAD COACH: John Phillips (Oklahoma State, 1973) UT RECORD: 57-32 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: Feb. 18 vs. Fresno State.
BULLDOGS START 11-0: For the second time in school history Gonzaga University has begun West Coast Conference play 11-0. The last time was the 2001 season, the Bulldogs falling to Pepperdine University for their only WCC loss of the season as both Gonzaga and Pepperdine finished the WCC campaign 13-1.
BULLDOGS VS. PILOTS: Gonzaga University leads the series with the University of Portland 72-65 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. Gonzaga won the first meeting this season 80-65 as Ronny Turiaf had 21 points and 14 rebounds at the Chiles Center in Portland.
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. GU and Duke seemed assured of doing it a sixth straight year as they are 21-2. Florida is 14-7.
ZAGS WHEN RANKED: Gonzaga is 56-10 when nationally ranked, including a perfect 22-0 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, Saint Mary's College, Pepperdine University and Loyola Marymount University at The Kennel. The mark includes games against teams in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.
THE DEUCE: Gonzaga University will become a regular on ESPN2 as the final three regular-season games for the Bulldogs will be televised on the deuce beginning with Saturday's Bracket Buster game at the University of Tulsa. Gonzaga's final two home games - both West Coast Conference tilts - will be televised on Feb. 26 against the University of San Diego and Feb. 28 against Santa Clara University in the final game in The Kennel. Tipoff Saturday is 3 p.m. PST, the USD game will tip at 8 p.m. PST and the SCU game will air at 6 p.m. PST.
MORRISON HITS CAREER HIGH: Gonzaga University true freshman Adam Morrison scored a career-high 22 points in last Saturday's West Coast Conference title-clinching win at Saint Mary's College. It was the third time the Spokane, Wash., product hit 20 or more points. He also did it against Stanford University and the University of San Diego, getting an even 20 both games.
VIOLETTE BOARDS: Senior Cory Violette is third in career rebounds with 809, becoming just the third Gonzaga player to grab 800 career boards - Jerry Vermillion (1,670) and Gary Lechman (910) the others.
NOW THERE ARE THREE: Blake Stepp, Ronny Turiaf and Cory Violette are all members of the Gonzaga University 1,000-point club. Turiaf joined the club with 19 points against Saint Mary's College on Jan. 17 and now has 1,102 for 21st, moving ahead of Frank Walter (1,083, 1947-50). Stepp was already a member entering the season and has 1,559 for sixth, 63 shy of passing Richie Frahm (1,621, 1997-00) for fifth. Violette reached the milestone against Washington State University and has 1,229 career points for 14th, passing Bill Wilson (1,226, 1962-64). He needs 112 to move past John Stockton (1,340, 1981-84).
SINCE YOU ASKED: The last West Coast Conference team to run the table was Pepperdine University in 1992 when the Waves went 14-0 to beat Santa Clara University by five games. Three teams have gone undefeated in WCC play under the current league alignment, which came into being for the 1980-81 season when Seattle University left the league.
FOR THREE: Blake Stepp and Kyle Bankhead continue to climb on Gonzaga University's all-time 3-point list. Stepp has moved past Matt Santangelo (1996-00) with 271. Bankhead has 157 treys for seventh. Richie Frahm, currently with the Seattle Sonics, is the career leader with 280 from 1996-00. Stepp is also the all-time 3-point attempt leader with 688, surpassing Frahm (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 3rd with 422 after his 7-for-9 effort last Saturday against Saint Mary's College. He needs four to move past Jim McPhee (425, 1986-90). Stepp has 355 for 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 Gonzaga University with 112 as he has passed Tim Ruff (99, 1981-85) for second. Turiaf had a streak of at least one block in 18 straight games snapped last Thursday. 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 147-10 at home for a nifty 93.6 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.
DEPTH: Gonzaga University's depth is reflected in the fact 10 players are averaging double-digit minutes. Senior Blake Stepp leads the way with 34.2 minutes/game, followed by senior Cory Violette at 29.3 and junior Ronny Turiaf at 27.2. Senior Kyle Bankhead (24.7) and freshman Adam Morrison (21.7) also average better than 20 minutes/game, giving the Bulldogs five players averaging better than 20 minutes a night. Senior Tony Skinner is close behind at 19.6 minutes/game.
THEFT: While Blake Stepp is known for his scoring and assists, he continues to move up Gonzaga's career steals chart. He has 143 to move past Geoff Goss (139, 1991-94) and into third. John Stockton is the leader with 262 from 1981-84.
MALLON COMES ON: Redshirt freshman Sean Mallon has shown steady improvement throughout the course of the year. In the last four games he's 15-for-21 from the field for 71.4 percent, has grabbed 13 rebounds and scored 37 points for a 9.3 ppg average to raise his season scoring average nearly a full point to 5.5 ppg. He's played in all 23 games, is averaging 14.6 minutes/game and has played double-digit minutes in 19 games this season with a high of 26 against Loyola Marymount University.
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.
THREE OR BUST: Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 353. 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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