Bulldogs Take To Road To End Season
Feb. 20, 2002
Game No. 28 - San Francisco Dons
Friday, Feb. 22 - 7:30 p.m. PST
War Memorial Gym - San Francisco, CA
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 7:15 p.m. PST
TV: FOX Sports Net Northwest and Bay Area
No. 7 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (24-3, 11-1 West Coast Conference)
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO DONS (12-13, 7-5 West Coast Conference)
Saturday, Feb. 23 - 7 p.m. PST
McKeon Pavilion - Moraga, CA
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. PST
SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (7-18, 2-10 West Coast Conference)
CURTAIN FALLS: The curtain falls on the West Coast Conference regular season this week, and Gonzaga University finishes its slate on the road seeking no worse than a share of the WCC title. The Bulldogs gained revenge last Saturday with a 91-78 win over Pepperdine University in the Bulldogs' home finale, pulling into a first place tie with the Waves at 11-1. Pepperdine had taken the first meeting of the season 88-79 in Malibu, Calif. The Bulldogs face the University of San Francisco Friday and Saint Mary's College Saturday in a pair of 7:30 p.m. contests. Pepperdine, meanwhile, hosts the University of San Diego on Friday and Santa Clara University on Saturday.
WHAT IF? If Gonzaga University and Pepperdine University both sweep this weekend and finish 13-1, the two teams will be named regular-season co-champions of the West Coast Conference. A coin flip will determine the No. 1 and 2 seeds into the WCC Tournament. If the teams split this weekend or lose both games, then the tiebreaker would be how they did against WCC foes in descending order of league finish.
BATTLE FOR SEEDS: Nothing is set in the way of seeding for the West Coast Conference Tournament. The University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University are both 7-5 heading into the final weekend, while the University of San Diego lurks a game back at 6-6. Loyola Marymount University, Saint Mary's College and the University of Portland are in a logjam for the last three spots at 2-10. USF and SMC host Gonzaga University and Portland, while Pepperdine and LMU entertain SCU and USD this weekend to wrap up the regular season.
BULLDOGS 7TH IN BOTH POLLS: For the second straight week the pollsters agree as both the Associated Press and USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 ranked Gonzaga University seventh. It's the highest ranking ever for GU, who moved up one notch in both polls. It's the 11th straight week for the GU in the AP rankings since cracking the list Dec. 12 at No. 25, the longest consecutive run by the Bulldogs in school history. Gonzaga had a 7-week appearance from Nov. 8-Dec. 12, 1999. Gonzaga is in the USA TODAY/ESPN poll for the 10th straight week, entering the poll 24th on Dec. 16.
DICKAU NAISMITH FINALIST... Gonzaga University senior guard Dan Dickau is one of 20 finalists for the 34th annual Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award. The Naismith Awards program honors the outstanding college basketball player in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of excellence of student-athletes in basketball. This year's winner will be announced April 5 in Atlanta. A complete list of finalists can be found on the Gonzaga web site at http://www.gozags.com.
...AS IS MARK FEW: Third-year Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few is one of 20 finalists for the Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year as selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The award will be presented April 5 in Atlanta. For a complete list of finalists visit the Gonzaga web site at http://www.gozags.com.
HERNANDEZ WATCH: Much like he did last year, senior forward Alex Hernandez is picking his game up a notch down the stretch. In his last five games he has scored 10, 8, 8, 12 and 14 points for a 10.5 ppg average, almost double his 6.0 ppg he's averaging for the season. He's gone 19-for-26 from the field in those for games for 73.1 percent, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the field last Thursday's week Loyola Marymount University. Last season Hernandez heated up down the stretch, scoring 14, 15 and 10 points, respectively, in Gonzaga's three games in the West Coast Conference Tournament, and coming back with 15 and 12 in the first two NCAA Tournament games.
POUNDING THE BOARDS: Gonzaga University is back in third in the NCAA statistics forrebounding margin this week, the Bulldogs with a +9.0 margin. The Bulldogs, who led the category for much of the season, were sixth last week. Stanford University (+9.7) heads the list followed by Dayton University (+9.3). Gonzaga has out rebounded its last three opponents since Santa Clara University out rebounded Gonzaga 32-25, just the seventh time in 27 games the Bulldogs have been out rebounded - 30-29 at home against Saint Mary's College, 47-33 at Pepperdine University (the only time Gonzaga has been out rebounded by double digits), 41-33 at home against Santa Clara University, 31-26 against Marquette University in the title game of the Great Alaska Shootout, 39-36 at home against Washington State University and 35-31 at Saint Joseph's University the others. Gonzaga has held the edge in 20 of 27 outings and has grabbed 50 or more rebounds four times this season - 53 at home against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 50 at the University of Washington, 51 at home against Eastern Oregon University and 53 against Monmouth University. Cory Violette's career-high 20 rebounds against Fresno State University is tied for the 11th highest single-game total this season in NCAA Division I ranks.
DICKAU CRACKS TOP 10 ASSISTS LIST: Senior point guard Dan Dickau is tied for ninth on the Gonzaga University career assists Top 10 list with 280 assists, matching Tim Wagoner's total from 1979-82. Dickau needs five to move past Jeff Condill (284 from 1984-86) and into eighth. Matt Santangelo (1997-00) heads the list with 668, surpassing the longtime record of 554 held by John Stockton (1981-84).
CLOSING IN ON 1,000: Senior guard Dan Dickau (997) and junior forward Zach Gourde (922) are closing in on 1,000 career points at Gonzaga University. Counting his two seasons at the University of Washington, Dickau has 1,161 career points.
DICKAU NAMED PLAYER OF WEEK: Gonzaga University guard Dan Dickau has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. In wins over Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University he went 10-ofc-25 from the field for 40.0 percent, 7-of-16 from 3-point range for 43.8 percent and 22-of-24 from the free throw line for 91.7 percent. He scored 23 points against LMU and 26 against Pepperdine to average 24.5 ppg. He also dished out nine assists, seven against Pepperdine. He also had just four turnovers in 75 minutes.
ELITE COMPANY: Gonzaga University is one of just three schools to advance to the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Michigan State University and Duke University are the other two. Duke and MSU appeared in their fourth straight Sweet Sixteen in 2001. Since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have been 18 occasions where teams have had runs of three years or more into the Sweet Sixteen. The University of North Carolina leads the way with a 9-year stretch from 1985-93, followed by Duke with a 7-year run from 1986-92.
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. In the last 10 seasons the Bulldogs are 128-9 at home for a nifty 93.4 winning percentage after capping a 13-0 home season this year and 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 45-1 in The Kennel over the past four 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. Gonzaga takes a 26-game home winning streak into next season, the current streak ranking third. Brigham Young University holds the top spot with 34 victories.
BEST START EVER: With a 24-3 record this season, Gonzaga University is off to its best start since joining the NCAA Division I ranks for the 1958-59 season. The 1966-67 campaign saw the Bulldogs start 14-2 prior to dropping three straight and ending the season 19-6. The 1998-99 squad was 21-6 after 27 games.
DICKAU ON WOODEN AWARD TOP 30 LIST: Point Guard Dan Dickau is the third straight Gonzaga University representative on the John R. Wood Award Midseason Top 30 candidates announced Dec. 28 for the 2001-02 Wooden Award All-America Team. Casey Calvary, a Wooden All-America pick last season, and Matt Santangelo in 2000 were the previous Bulldogs on the list. Dickau was on The Wooden Award Top 50 announced this past summer. On March 26, 2002, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Sunday, April 7, 2002, as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year."
FEW'S THREE-YEAR RUN: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few probably never thought life as a head coach would be so "sweet." But in his first two seasons as head coach the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, one of only two NCAA Division I head coaches to accomplish that feat since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Gonzaga, defending national champion Duke University and 2000 national champion Michigan State University are the only three schools to reach the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Few was an assistant coach on Gonzaga's run to the 1999 Elite Eight. Few's 2-year record of 52-16 places him among elite company for second-year head coaches. His 2-year total of 52 wins has him tied for third for second-year coaches with Dan Monson, his predecessor at Gonzaga, and Ben Carnevale of the University of North Carolina (1945-46). His 76 wins in his three seasons (76-19) rank tied for third with Roy Williams' 76 victories in his first three seasons at the University of Kansas.
BULLDOGS HIT 20 WINS AGAIN: Gonzaga University (24-3) has hit the 20-win plateau this season the quickest in school history. The Bulldogs have now won 20 or more games in each of the past five seasons and in eight of the last nine campaigns. The Bulldogs went 26-7 record last season, matching the 2000 win total and second all-time behind only the 1999 school record mark of 28-7. This season is the sixth time the Bulldogs have 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, the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament and last year's team was 21-6 entering the WCC fray. 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.
O-FER FROM THREE: The last time Gonzaga University took the collar from 3-point range was in an 0-for-5 night in The Kennel against the University of Portland on Jan. 27, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 292 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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