Bulldog Men End Regular Season
Feb. 27, 2005
Game No. 27 - Northern Colorado
Mon., Feb. 28 - 6 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ; FSN
No. 12 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (22-4; 12-2 West Coast Conference) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 168, So., Vancouver, WA (13.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.1 assists, 1.7 steals) G - 14 Brian Michaelson, 6-4, 196, Sr., Portland, OR (1.0 ppg, 0.4 rpg) C - 1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 249, Sr., Le Robert, Martinique (16.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.8 blocks) F - 22 Erroll Knight, 6-7, 211, Jr., Seattle, WA (7.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals) F - 13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Jr., Pernambuco, Brazil (12.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 155-36 (6th year - 16th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Gonzaga brings the curtain down on the 2005 regular season Monday when Northern Colorado visits for Senior Night. Bulldogs Ronny Turiaf and Brian Michaelson will play their home farewell as the first senior class in the new McCarthey Athletic Center that opened for the current season. Game time is 6 p.m. with Turiaf and Michaelson to be honored in pre-game ceremonies. "These two guys have given everything to this program," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "Everybody sees and knows what Ronny means to this team both on and off the court, but few people have any idea as to what Brian means to this team. I've said all along he's like having another coach. We will miss both of their personalities and Zag-like approach to our program and the university."
Gonzaga clinched the West Coast Conference last Thursday with an 84-68 win at Portland. Ronny Turiaf had 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Bulldogs clinched their fifth straight WCC regular-season title and their ninth since 1994. Adam Morrison added 22 points for Gonzaga. Although the Bulldogs fell slightly behind in the opening minutes, they easily controlled the game, shooting 50 percent from the floor and leading by as many as 19 points in the second half. The Pilots shot 42.9 percent. Turiaf's lay-in made it 70-51 before Morrison hit a pair of free throws with about 5 minutes left for Gonzaga's widest margin. Gonzaga sophomore guard Derek Raivio, whose father, Rick, played for Portland and is in the school's Hall of Fame, scored 12 points. Gonzaga trailed by as many as four points in the first half. Down 19-18 after Portland's Andreas Gahlmann hit a jumper, Erroll Knight's 3-pointer sparked a 16-0 run that put the Bulldogs up 34-19. Morrison already had 14 of his points at the half.
Gonzaga won its ninth straight game with Thursday's win at Portland, but winning streaks are nothing new to the Bulldogs. This is the eighth winning streak of nine or more games since the 1999 season. That year the Bulldogs put together a 9-game streak, followed that with an 11-game run in 2000, a 14-game run in `01, a 12-game streak followed by a 14-game streak in '02, another 9-game streak in '03 and a school-record 21-game winning streak last season that was snapped in the NCAA Tournament by Nevada.
Gonzaga blocked 11 shots in the win over Portland, the fourth time in school history the Bulldogs have blocked 11 shots in a game. The record was set against St. Peter's on Nov. 30, 1990, at KYLT Classic in Missoula, Mont. The Bulldogs tied the record on Feb. 11, 1999, against Saint Mary's and Jan. 25, 2001, against Santa Clara.
Senior Ronny Turiaf, who is second on the all-time blocks list with 167, had five blocks at Portland last Thursday. That marked the ninth time this season he has had three or more blocks in a game. He had a career-high matching six blocks at Loyola Marymount this year.
Gonzaga (22-4) has recorded 20 victories for the eighth straight year and for the 12th time in the last 14 years. Gonzaga's first 20-win season in the NCAA Division I ranks was 1992 when the Bulldogs went 20-10 and advanced to their inaugural WCC Tournament championship game, losing to Pepperdine 73-70. Head coach Mark Few has never failed to produce a 20-win season and with 155 career victories is averaging 25.8 wins/season.
Since starting the 2003 season 8-5, Gonzaga University is 66-11. Gonzaga put together a 9-game winning streak and went 16-4 down the stretch following that 8-5 start, last year's club went 28-3 and this year's team is off to an 22-4 start.
Gonzaga jumped one spot to 12th in the Associated Press Top 25 this past week, and remained 16th for the second week in the USA TODAY/ESPN balloting. The new rankings will be out Monday afternoon prior to the game with Northern Colorado.
Ronny Turiaf continues to move up the Gonzaga career charts. He is fifth on the all-time scoring list with 1,655 points, passing 1994 West Coast Conference Player of the Year Jeff Brown. He needs 16 points to surpass 2003 and '04 WCC Player of the Year Blake Stepp for fourth. He has 806 career rebounds for fourth, the fourth player in Gonzaga history with 800 career rebounds. Cory Violette is currently third with 880 career boards. His 619 career free throws made are already a career record and his 167 career blocks rank second.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few is one of only two NCAA Division I head coaches with a minimum of five years head coaching experience who has a career winning percentage of 80.0 percent or better. Few is 155-36 in his sixth year on the Gonzaga bench for a winning percentage of .81152. North Carolina's Roy Williams is right behind Few at an even 80.0 percent with a career record of 460-115.
Gonzaga senior Ronny Turiaf is a John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy Mid-Season Top 30 selection. It marks the sixth time in the last seven years the Bulldogs have had a Mid-Season Top 30 candidate, including Turiaf last season. The Top 10 Wooden All-America Team will be announced on March 29, and the Top Five All-Americans will gather April 9 in Los Angeles where one will receive the Wooden Award Trophy as the most outstanding collegiate basketball player of the year. Dan Dickau was Gonzaga's only Top 5 All-American in 2002, while Casey Calvary was Gonzaga's inaugural Top 10 All-American in 2001. Blake Stepp was a Top 10 selection last season for the Bulldogs. Turiaf was also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy last season. The Naismith is presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Four finalists will be announced in March, with the trophy presentation in April.
Ronny Turiaf and Adam Morrison have each been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 14 first team, the Bulldogs joining Stanford with two first-team selections. Chris Hernandez and Dan Grunfeld of the Cardinal, and Nate Robinson of Washington round out the first team. Dan Kickert, Saint Mary's; Tre Simmons, Washington; David Lucas, Oregon State; John Cox, San Francisco, and Christian Maraker, Pacific, were named to the second team. Turiaf and Hernandez are first-team repeaters from a year ago.
Erroll Knight's scoring has been in spurts this season. After collecting just one double-digit game in his first five appearances after missing the first five games of the season with a hand injury, he scored in double digits in four straight games. Then he went the next six games with just 18 points, but in the last five games has scored 44 points and had two more double-digit nights. He's also grabbed 42 rebounds in the last six games for a 7.0 rpg average, 2.1 rebounds-per-game more than he's averaging for the season. He had a career-high 11 rebounds at Pepperdine.
Think the West Coast Conference isn't tougher this year? Gonzaga went 14-0 last year with an average winning margin of 18.1 ppg and the closest regular-season WCC game was a 10-point victory over Portland, 79-69. This year the Bulldogs have won 12 games by an average of 11.0 ppg with five wins being decided by seven or fewer points.
BULLDOGS VS. BEARS: Gonzaga University and the University of Northern Colorado will be meeting for the first time when the two tangle Monday at 6 p.m. at the McCarthey Athletic Center. UNC made the move to the NCAA Division I ranks last season, going 6-22 in the first year of a 4-year reclassification process as the school moves from the NCAA Division II ranks. Monday's game against Gonzaga will be the fifth game of the season for the Bears against a 2004 NCAA Tournament team - Air Force, Syracuse University, Texas Tech University and the University of Utah the others.
FIRST TIME SINCE 1966: For the first time since 1966 Gonzaga University will be ending the regular season with a non-conference game when the University of Northern Colorado visits Monday. The Bulldogs, members of the Big Sky Conference that season, played the University of Portland in the home finale.
NATIONAL LEADERS: Sophomore guard Derek Raivio was ranked in the Top 10 in two national categories last week. The Vancouver, Wash., native was fourth in 3-point field goal percentage at 48.1 percent (65-for-135) and seventh in free throw percentage at 91.4 percent (85-for-93). Salim Stoudamire of the University of Arizona was first in 3-point field goal percentage at 56.0, and Blake Ahearn of Southwest Missouri State University was first in free throw percentage at 95.8 percent. Raivio, who earlier this year tied the Gonzaga consecutive made record of 41, had a modest streak of 18 snapped last Thursday at Portland.
BACK-TO-BACK LOSSES: Gonzaga has not lost back-to-back games since the 2002-03 season when the Bulldogs lost Dec. 28, 2002, against Stanford 81-71 in the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland, Calif., and Dec. 31, 2002, at home to Saint Joseph's 79-78 in overtime. Gonzaga has played 74 games since that Saint Joseph's loss without losing back-to-back games.
BULLDOGS WHEN RANKED: Gonzaga is 83-15 when ranked, including 20-4 this season. The Bulldogs are 36-0 at home when ranked, 32-6 away and 15-9 on a neutral court.
TURIAF IN RARE COMPANY: With 1,655 career points and 806 career rebounds, Gonzaga University senior Ronny Turiaf has become just the third member of the 1,500 points/800 rebounds club. Jerry Vermillion (1952-55) was the first with 1,547 points and 1,670 rebounds, and Cory Violette the second with 1,509 points and 880 rebounds. Turiaf is just the 10th Bulldog to score 1,500 points and is the fourth to grab 800 rebounds.
YOU CAN CALL ME: There has been much debate on television, on the radio and in the print media this season over the pronunciation of Gonzaga University sophomore Derek Raivio's last name. While the sophomore from Vancouver, Wash., insists he doesn't care, the correct pronunciation is rye-VEE-oh. All of last season and through the early part of this season everyone has gone with rav-EE-oh.
HOME, SWEET HOME: Gonzaga University has a 24-game home winning streak that is second in the NCAA Division I ranks through games of last Thursday. Oklahoma State University leads the way with a 28-game streak, the Cowboys not playing at home again until March 2 against Texas A&M University. The Bulldogs had a 34-game home winning streak from 1992-95 that ranked second in the country at the time, won 29 straight from 2000-03 and had a 20-game streak from 1998-00.
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