Men's Basketball NCAA Journey Begins Against St. John's

March 15, 2011

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 34 - St. John's Red Storm
NCAA Tournament Second Round
March 17 - 6:45 p.m. PST
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 101.1 KEYF-FM (Spokane); ESPN 1410 (Walla Walla, WA); KALE 960 (Tri-Cities, WA) TV: CBS
No. 11 Seed GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (24-9; 11-3 West Coast)
G -    3 Demetri Goodson, 6-0, 175, Jr., Spring, TX
       (5.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 assists, 0.7 steals)
G -   2 Marquise Carter, 6-4, 178, Jr., San Diego, CA
       (5.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.9 assists, 0.9 steals)
G - 41 Steven Gray, 6-5, 205, Sr., Irondale, WA
       (13.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.9 assists, 1.7 steals)
C - 00 Robert Sacre, 7-0, 260, Jr., North Vancouver, B.C.
       (12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.9 blocks)
F -  20 Elias Harris, 6-7, 245, So., Speyer, Germany
       (12.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  315-82 (12th year - 22nd at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

No. 6 Seed ST. JOHN'S RED STORM (21-11; 12-6 BIG EAST) G - 12 Dwight Hardy, 6-2, 196, Sr., Bronx, NY (18.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals) G - 23 Paris Horne, 6-3, 189, Sr., Middletown, DE (7.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals) F - 0 Dwayne Polee II, 6-7, 193, Fr., Los Angeles, CA (4.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 1 D.J. Kennedy, 6-5, 214, Sr., Pittsburgh, PA (10.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.0 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 32 Justin Brownlee, 6-7, 219, Sr., Tifton, GA (12.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.8 blocks) HEAD COACH: Steve Lavin (Chapman, 1988) SJU RECORD: 21-11 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: 166-89 (8th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

ON THE AIR:
Gonzaga University men's basketball can be heard on Sports Radio 1510 KGA and KEYF-FM 101.1 in Spokane, ESPN Radio 1410 KTEL in Walla Walla, Wash., and ESPN Radio 960 KALE in Richland, Wash. The network pre-game show begins one hour prior to tipoff. Tom Hudson returns for his eighth season behind the microphone calling the action and former Bulldog Matt Santangelo will join Hudson as the analyst, replacing Richard Fox who was Hudson's sidekick the past three seasons. Fox had to step aside to focus on his career. An expanded 45-minute post-game show will again follow every game. Gonzaga's radio rights are owned by IMG, the multi-media rights partner for Gonzaga University athletics, which reached a 9-year agreement with Radio Spokane to air Bulldog basketball.

ON THE TUBE: KHQ-TV in Spokane and FSN will once again televise every Gonzaga University game not televised by another entity. In all, 14 regular-season games will be aired locally. Greg Heister returns for his 10th season behind the microphone as the television voice of the Bulldogs. Craig Ehlo begins his fifth season as the color commentator next to Heister. IMG, the multi-media rights partner for Gonzaga University athletics, announced a 10-year extension with KHQ-TV and FSN Northwest for broadcast of Gonzaga men's basketball and other events programming through the 2017-18 season.

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING: The Mark Few TV Show will air every Sunday following NFL football on KHQ-TV, and every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on FSN. Greg Heister will host. The Mark Few Radio Show will air Monday from noon-1 p.m. on Sports Radio 1510 KGA unless the Bulldogs are traveling or have a game. The "GU Coaches Show" hosted by Tom Hudson air Tuesdays at 7 p.m. live from Tomato Street in Spokane and will air on 101.1 FM and be simulcast on 1510 KGA whenever there isn't a live sports programming conflict.

This is the first time Gonzaga University has been a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The lowest seed the Bulldogs have ever been is a 14 in their first appearance in 1995 when No. 3 University of Maryland took an 87-63 victory. Gonzaga has been a No. 12 seed once and a No. 10 seed three times for their other double-digit seeds. The best seed the Bulldogs have had was a No. 2 seed in 2004. Gonzaga was a No. 3 seed in back-to- back years of 2005-06.

This is the first time since 2007 Gonzaga University has been a double-digit seed. The Bulldogs were a 10th seed in 2007, falling to Indiana University 70-57 in Sacramento, Calif.

Think Gonzaga University didn't have a tough schedule this year? Seven teams that dotted the Bulldog schedule are in the NCAA Tournament field. The University of Notre Dame is a No. 2 seed and the University of Illinois a No. 9 seed in the Southwest Region. No. 5 Kansas State University is in the Southeast Region with the Bulldogs, but those teams can't meet until the Sweet Sixteen in New Orleans, La. No. 6 Xavier University will face No. 11 Marquette University in a Second Round match-up in Cleveland, OH. No. 12 University of Memphis and No. 2 San Diego State University are in the West Region. Those seven teams have a combined record of 168-61 for a winning percentage of .734.

Gonzaga University has only been seeded out of the West Region four times in its 13 previous appearances. The Bulldogs were in the South Region in 2001, advancing to Atlanta for a Sweet Sixteen matchup with eventual national champion Michigan State University. The Bulldogs were in the St. Louis Regional in 2004 as the NCAA format went to a pod system which was geographically based in the early rounds, Gonzaga losing in the second round in Seattle and not advancing to St. Louis. The Zags were in the Midwest Regional in 2008 but did not advance out of the First Round after being sent to Raleigh, N.C. In 2009 Gonzaga was placed in the South Regional but played its pod in Portland, Ore., advancing to Memphis for the Sweet Sixteen in Memphis, Tenn.

Thursday's game will be the fourth meeting between Gonzaga University and Saint John's University and the second in NCAA Tournament play. The last meeting between the schools came Nov. 22, 2001, in the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska, Gonzaga taking a 65-58 victory. The clubs met March 18, 2000, in the NCAA Second Round in Tucson, Ariz., the 10th-seeded Bulldogs shocking the No. 2 seeded Red Storm 82-76. The inaugural meeting between Gonzaga and St. John's was Dec. 22, 1960, in New York, the Zags suffering a 97-69 setback.

Gonzaga University is 15-13 overall in the NCAA Tournament, the Bulldogs making their 13th straight appearance and 14th overall trip. The Bulldogs were a No. 8 seed a year ago and downed No. 9 Florida State University 67-60 before falling to No. 1 West Regional seed Syracuse University 87-65 in Buffalo, NY. Gonzaga advanced to the Elite Eight in 1999, their deepest run to date. The Bulldogs have been in the Sweet Sixteen five times, 2009 the last. Gonzaga has advanced to at least the second round in 9-of-13 NCAA Tournament trips.

While Gonzaga University will be meeting St. John's University for the second time in the NCAA Tournament, the Bulldogs have played four other current BIG EAST teams in the tourney and are 3-2 against them. Gonzaga met the University of Connecticut in the 1999 Elite Eight, the Huskies going on to win the national title. In 2000 Gonzaga defeated the University of Louisville in the First Round and St. John's in the Second Round in Tucson, Ariz. In 2003 the Zags downed the University of Cincinnati in the First Round in Salt Lake City and last season lost to Syracuse University in the Second Round. Louisville and Cincinnati were members of Conference USA when they played the Zags.

Gonzaga University has run its consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances streak to 13, one of the top marks in the country. The University of Kansas moved into the top spot last year when the University of Arizona had its 25-year streak snapped, the Jayhawks atop the list with their 22nd straight appearance this season. Duke University is now second with 16 straight and Michigan State University is third with 14 in a row. Gonzaga is joined in a tie for fourth by the University of Texas and the University of Wisconsin with 13, streaks that started with the 1999 NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga University has been to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen five times and head coach Mark Few has been a part of all of them, including his fourth as a head coach in 2009. The Bulldogs defeated the University of Florida 73-72 in 1999 in their first trip to the Sweet Sixteen when Few was an assistant on Dan Monson's staff. Gonzaga lost to Purdue University 75-66 in 2000, lost to Michigan State University 77-62 in 2001, fell to UCLA 73-71 in 2006 and lost to the University of North Carolina 98-77 in 2009. Michigan State and UNC have gone on to win the national title after beating Gonzaga in the Sweet Sixteen.

Fans could get an early glimpse of upcoming West Coast Conference showdowns with Brigham Young University if the Bulldogs and the Cougars both advance to Saturday's Third Round in Denver. BYU is slated to join the WCC next season after deciding to leave the Mountain West Conference effective June 30, 2011. The Cougars will play an independent football schedule beginning this fall. Ironically, the Cougars were sent to Denver for the NCAA Tournament and the Mountain West Conference is the host for the Denver site. Gonzaga and BYU have never met on the hardwood.

Gonzaga University has played four No. 6 seeds in their NCAA Tournament history, splitting the four contests. Gonzaga defeated the University of Florida in their 1999 run to the Elite Eight, lost to Purdue University in the 2000 Sweet Sixteen, lost to Texas Tech in the 2005 Second Round and downed Indiana University in the 2006 Second Round.

Five members of this year's Gonzaga University squad have played in the NCAA Tournament. Steven Gray leads the way with six tournament games, three of them starts. He's averaging 11.0 ppg and 31.7 minutes/game. Gray is probably best remembered for his 21 points against Davidson University and sharpshooter Stephen Curry in the 2008 NCAA First Round, Gray going 7-for-12 from 3-point range. Robert Sacre has started all three of his NCAA Tournament appearances, averaging 10.7 ppg and 5.7 rpg. Demetri Goodson has played in five games with two starts, and became a NCAA darling with his length-of-the-court drive and floater from the left side with 0.9 seconds to play for a 73-71 second-round win over Western Kentucky University in the 2009 tourney. Kelly Olynyk played in both games last year as a freshman in a reserve role.

Adam Morrison is Gonzaga University's all-time NCAA Tournament scoring leader with 149 points. Ronny Turiaf, who currently is playing with the New York Knicks, is fifth with 96. Austin Daye, who plays for the Detroit Pistons, scored 37 points in four appearances, but averaged 6.3 rpg and blocked 8 shots. Casey Calvary (136), Richie Frahm (120) and Matt Santangelo (100) join Morrison as the other GU 100-point scorers. Steven Gray is Gonzaga's active leading NCAA Tournament scorer with 66 points.

Elias Harris and Robert Sacre are third and fourth, respectively, on the Gonzaga University all-time NCAA Tournament Top 10 field goal percentage list based on a minimum of 20 attempts. Harris is 13-for-22 for 59.1 percent while Sacre is 12-for-21 for 57.1 percent. Harris (18.5 ppg) is third behind Dan Dickau (23.5 ppg) and Adam Morrison (21.3 ppg) on the all-time Gonzaga scoring average list. Steven Gray is tied for third with Dickau for all-time tournament 3-pointers made with 15.

Gonzaga University wrapped up its 11th straight West Coast Conference regular-season title this year, the longest current active streak in the nation and the second-best streak all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs were knotted with UNLV (Big West, 1983-92) and UConn (Yankee, 1951-60) for second behind UCLA's 13 Pacific-10 Conference titles from 1967-79.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few posted his 300th career victory Dec. 31, 2010, against Oklahoma State University, moving into a tie for sixth on the "Fastest To 300 Wins" list with Harold Anderson who coached at Bowling Green University and Toledo University. He picked up his 300th victory in his 378th game in 1949, his 14th year as head coach.

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 89-6 in the new facility. San Diego State University and Saint Mary's College handed Gonzaga home losses this season, the first time the Bulldogs have lost two home games in a season in the new facility. The Bulldogs won their 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. GU suffered a home loss last season when Wake Forest University escaped with a 77-75 decision. Gonzaga's other losses were during the 2008 season to Washington State University and in 2009 to Portland State University.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few moved to the top of the school's all-time winningest coaches list with the Bulldogs victory over Florida State University in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Buffalo, NY. Few, with a record of 315-82, moved ahead of Hank Anderson, who went 290-275 in 21 seasons at the helm. Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 150-18, moving ahead of former Bulldog head coach Dan Fitzgerald (112-88) on the all-time wins list. Few also moved ahead of Dick Davey of Santa Clara University (122-88) for second all-time (active or inactive) with Gonzaga's victory at the University of San Francisco Feb. 14, 2009. Carroll Williams, SCU (165-137) holds the top spot.

Gonzaga University has hit the 20-win plateau for the 14th straight season and for the 17th time in the last 18 years. Gonzaga head coach Mark Few has never not won 20 games in his 12 years on the Bulldog bench, including a 29-win season in 2002 to set a single-season mark for wins which was matched by the 2006 squad. This year's team is now 24-9.

The West Coast Conference coaches did a decent job of predicting the final standings in the pre-season poll. The coaches had Gonzaga University winning the title, but had co-champ Saint Mary's College pegged for third. Loyola Marymount was the No. 2 pick but finished tied for seventh. The coaches were right on with Santa Clara University and the University of Portland fourth and fifth, respectively. The University of San Francisco was third while the coaches predicted sixth, Pepperdine University finished sixth, one spot better than the coaches voted. The University of San Diego tied for seventh, one spot better than the coaches predicted.

To umlaut or not to umlaut, that is the question surrounding Mathis Mönninghoff. The German spelling is with the umlaut "ö", with the Americanized spelling eliminating the umlaut and adding an "e" so it would be spelled Moenninghoff. Either way is acceptable. The statistics will show it as Moenninghoff as the umlaut is not recognized in the computerized statistical program.

The name game continues for Gonzaga University. There are two players who spell their name Mathis. But one is German - Mönninghoff - and pronounces it Maw-tis Mur-ning-hoff. The other is French - Keita - and pronounces it Ma-tEEse KAY-tuh. Bulldog Bites

Guards were the order of the day for Gonzaga University head men's basketball coach Mark Few as three of the four players who inked national letters-of-intent were perimeter players. Joining the Bulldogs next fall will be Gary Bell, a 6-2, 175-pound guard from 7Kentridge High in Kent, Wash.; Kyle Dranginis, 6-5, 175, guard, from Skyview High in Nampa, Idaho; Kevin Pangos, 6-2, 175, guard, from Denison Secondary School in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, and Ryan Spangler, 6-8, 220, forward, from Bridge Creek High in Blanchard, Okla. Bell averaged 22.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for the Chargers last season. Dranginis is a two-time Idaho State Player of the Year and this past season as a junior was four points shy of tying the Idaho State 4A Tournament record with 75 points in three games as Skyview finished fifth in the State tourney. Dranginis averaged a team-high 20.3 points, 6.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 2.0 steals for the Hawks. Pangos helped lead Canada to the bronze medal at the FIBA U-17 World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, this past July, averaging 15.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 4.1 assists as Canada went 5-3 overall. He shot 46.2 percent from the field (42-for-91), including 39.1 percent from 3-point range (18-for-46). He also shot 82.8 from the free throw line (24-for-28). Spangler averaged 26.0 ppg and 18.5 rpg as a junior, the team losing in the game to advance to State.

Steven Gray became the 33rd member of the 1,000-point club Nov. 14, 2010, against IUPUI. With his 15 points against Saint Mary's College, he now has 1,398 to move into 16th.

In addition to becoming the 33rd player in Gonzaga University to hit the 1,000-point plateau, senior guard Steven Gray has cracked a few other career lists. His 152 steals tie for fifth with Blake Stepp (2001-04); his 204 3-pointers made are sixth and his 556 3-pointers attempted are fifth. His 327 assists rank seventh.

Gonzaga University's 14 NCAA Tournament appearances rank second among West Coast Conference schools. The University of San Francisco has 16 appearances, the Dons winning back-to-back title in 1955-56. Pepperdine has played in 13 tournaments, Santa Clara University has been in 11, Saint Mary's College has made six trips, the University of San Diego and Loyola Marymount University five each and the University of Portland two.

Gonzaga University has already played six Top 25 teams this season. The University of Notre Dame is the highest ranked opponent on the Zags schedule this season, the Fighting Irish eighth in last week's Associated Press and seventh in the ESPN/USA Today rankings. New rankings were due out Monday. San Diego State University was the highest ranked opponent on the Zags schedule this season, the Aztecs fourth two weeks ago in the ESPN/USA Today poll and sixth in Associated Press, but dropping to ninth in both polls last week. Xavier University, unranked when they played the Zags, was 23rd in AP and unranked in the ESPN/USA poll last week. Saint Mary's College, 24th in the ESPN/USA Today rankings in the first meeting with Gonzaga and unranked in the second meeting, has dropped from all recognition after a late-season three-game losing streak. Kansas State University, fourth in both polls when they beat Gonzaga in November, was receiving votes this week. The most ranked opponents Gonzaga has played in a season is seven during the 2006-07 campaign - defeating No. 2 University of North Carolina, No. 25 University of Texas, No. 8 University of Washington and No. 23 Stanford University, while losing to No. 6 Duke University, No. 18 University of Nevada in the Battle in Seattle and No. 8 University of Memphis.

West Coast Conference foes have had little or no luck against Gonzaga University in the six years since Gonzaga University moved into the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs are 47-2 in WCC regular-season games in the new facility and saw their 25-game WCC home winning streak come to an end with this year's nail biting loss to Saint Mary's College. The Bulldogs also won a pair of WCC Tournament games in 2006 when they hosted the tourney. SMC became just the second WCC team to defeat the Bulldogs in the McCarthey Athletic Center, Santa Clara University, which pulled off an 84-73 victory Feb. 12, 2007, the first. Since the University of Portland grabbed a 72-68 win in the Martin Centre, the former home of the Bulldogs, in 2003, Gonzaga has gone 54-2 in WCC regular-season play at home.

The 31 points the University of San Diego scored in the WCC regular-season finale marked the lowest point total against the Bulldogs in their NCAA Division I history which began with the 1958-59 season. The previous low was 35 by Carroll College in a 58-35 Bulldog win Nov. 27, 1981. The 31 points scored by USD was the lowest total in their history.

When Gonzaga University held the University of San Diego to 25.5 percent from the field - 12-for-47 - it was the third time this season the Bulldogs held a team to under 30 percent. Loyola Marymount University shot 27.3 percent at Gonzaga this season and Pepperdine University hit just 27.4 percent of its shots in Malibu, Calif. Gonzaga has held its last 11 opponents under 50 percent since Santa Clara University shot 51.0 percent in its win over the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga University had five players score in double figures four times this season. The latest was in the 89-85 overtime victory at Saint Mary's College the final week of the WCC regular season, and the first since Dec. 16 against Lewis-Clark State College. Sam Dower had 21 points, Elias Harris 18, Robert Sacre 13 and Marquise Carter and Demetri Goodson with 11 each at Saint Mary's. The Bulldogs had a season-high six players in double digits against Southern University.

Marquise Carter continues to take care of the basketball. Since committing four turnovers at Pepperdine University, Carter has just six turnovers over the last seven games, a span of 238 minutes played. In the last 21 games he has committed just 20 turnovers and has 46 assists for a 2.3 assist/turnover ratio covering 481 minutes.

Gonzaga University had a season-high equaling 14 steals against the University of San Diego, and 21 USD turnovers led to 34 Bulldog points. The Zags had 14 steals against Eastern Washington University.

Since being out-rebounded by double-digits in back-to-back games by San Diego State University and Kansas State University, the Bulldogs have been out-rebounded just five other times this season and none of those games by more than three rebounds.

Robert Sacre had four blocked shots in the West Coast Conference title game against Saint Mary's to push his career total to 135. He is the fourth person in GU history to block 100 or more career shots to rank third on the all-time Gonzaga career charts ahead of Austin Daye (124 from 2008-09). He swatted away 65 shots last season to rank second on the single-season list and has 62 this season to move past Ronny Turiaf and into third. Sacre has had four five-block games this season. Calvary (1998-01) heads the career charts with 207 while Daye leads the single-season list with 70.

Gonzaga University has extended its string of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 594. The last time the Bulldogs didn't connect from three was Jan. 27, 1993, when they went 0-for-5 at the University of Portland. UNLV holds the all-time record with 738 that started Nov. 26, 1986, through the start of the current season.

 

 

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