Bulldogs Home To End Regular Season
Feb. 24, 2004
Game No. 26 - San Diego
Thurs., Feb. 26 - 8 p.m. PST
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 4 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (23-2; 12-0 West Coast Conference) G - 10 Blake Stepp, 6-4, 194, Sr., Eugene, OR (14.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 6.9 assists, 1.2 steals) G - 20 Kyle Bankhead, 6-0, 195, Sr., Walla Walla, WA (5.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals) C - 33 Cory Violette, 6-8, 265, Sr., Boise, ID (13.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks) F - 22 Erroll Knight, 6-6, 212, So., Seattle, WA (6.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 243, Jr., Le Robert, Martinique (15.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.6 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 128-31 (5th year - 15th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY BRONCOS (13-14; 5-7 West Coast Conference) G - 11 Kyle Bailey, 6-2, 200, Jr., Fairbanks, AK (11.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.7 assists, 1.2 steals) G - 30 Doron Perkins, 6-2, 200, Jr., Anchorage, AK (12.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.2 assists, 2.- 40 1 steals, 0.4 blocks) G - 3 J.R. Patrick, 6-4, 205, Sr., Edmonton, Alberta (6.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks) C - 15 Sean Denison, 6-10, 230, Fr., Nelson, British Columbia (3.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.3 assists, 0.5 blocks) F - 41 Travis Niesen, 6-7, 220, So., Mission Viejo, CA (9.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.0 steals) HEAD COACH: Dick Davey (Pacific, 1964) SCU RECORD: 199-148 (12th year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: Feb. 26 at Portland.BULLDOGS START 12-0: For the second time in school history Gonzaga University has begun West Coast Conference play 12-0. 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. TOREROS: Gonzaga University leads the series with the University of San Diego 40-20 with this year's 85-73 win at USD. Since dropping all three meetings in 1997 - two regular-season matchups and one in the WCC Tournament - Gonzaga has gone 14-4 against the Toreros. USD snapped Gonzaga's 9-game winning streak in the series with last year's 72-63 win in the WCC Tournament championship game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the USD campus.
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 (23-2) and Duke (22-3) seem assured of doing it a sixth straight year. Florida is 15-8.
ZAGS WHEN RANKED: Gonzaga is 58-10 when nationally ranked, including a perfect 23-0 at home with this season's 9-0 home record. The mark includes games against teams in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.
PERFECT AT HOME: With its final two games of the regular season at home this week, Gonzaga University will be aiming for its fourth perfect home slate in the last six years. Gonzaga is 9-0 in The Kennel this season, 11-0 in Spokane with wins in the Spokane Arena over the University of Georgia and Eastern Washington University.
FEW AT GU: While fifth-year head coach Mark Few is prominent on the national coaching lists of success, he's also climbing on the Gonzaga University charts. He needs one more win to tie Claude McGrath for third in career wins at GU with 129. Hank Anderson leads the list with 291 in 21 years while Dan Fitzgerald is second with 254 in 15 years. Few is also fourth in career winning percentage among Bulldog coaches at 80.5 percent (128-31), but first among coaches who spent more than one season on the Bulldog bench. Frank McKevitt (88.9), Charles Henry (84.6) and George Varnell (83.3) all spent one season as head coach. Varnell (1908-09) was the first head coach in GU history after the team went its first year of existence without a head coach. McKevitt (1910-11) was the third head coach in GU history and Henry coached during WWII in 1943-44.
VIOLETTE BOARDS: Senior Cory Violette is third in career rebounds with 822, 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 1,134 to move ahead of Jack Curran (1,121, 1947-50) and Dan Dickau (1,125, 2001-02) for 19th. Stepp was already a member entering the season and has 1,576 for sixth, 46 shy of passing Richie Frahm (1,621, 1997-00) for fifth. Violette reached the milestone against Washington State University and has 1,245 career points for 14th.. He needs 96 points to pass 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 272. Bankhead has 160 treys for sixth, passing Jon Kinloch (157, 1993-96). 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 696, 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 2nd with 438 after his 9-for-13 effort last Saturday against the University of Tulsa. Stepp has 357 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 115 as he has passed Tim Ruff (99, 1981-85) for second. Casey Calvary (1998-01) is the all-time leader with 207.
20 OR BUST: Entering this season Gonzaga University was tied for 11th in consecutive 20-win seasons with six. The University of Arizona leads 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. Since 1991 the Bulldogs are 159-15 at home for a nifty 91.3 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.
SENIORS, KENNEL IN FINALE: Five Gonzaga University seniors will be playing their final games in The Kennel this weekend. Blake Stepp, Cory Violette, Kyle Bankhead, Richard Fox and Tony Skinner will bid The Kennel adieu. They will be the last group of seniors in The Kennel as Gonzaga moves next door into its next facility next season.
THEFT: While Blake Stepp is known for his scoring and assists, he continues to move up Gonzaga's career steals chart. He has 147 to move past Geoff Goss (139, 1991-94) and into third. John Stockton is the leader with 262 from 1981-84.
VIOLETTE DOUBLES UP: Senior Cory Violette recorded the 26th double-double of his career with last Saturday's 10 points and 10 rebounds at the University of Tulsa. It was his third double-double in the last four games and his sixth of the season.
DEPTH: Gonzaga University's depth is reflected in the fact 10 players are averaging double-digit minutes. Senior Blake Stepp leads the way with 33.9 minutes/game, followed by senior Cory Violette at 28.7 and junior Ronny Turiaf at 27.4. Senior Kyle Bankhead (24.9) and freshman Adam Morrison (21.4) 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.
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 355. 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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