Bulldogs Announce Another Tough Slate
July 27, 2004
SPOKANE, Wash. - A pair of games against 2004 Final Four teams, the second Battle in Seattle and the opening of a new arena are just some of the highlights of the 2004-05 Gonzaga University men's basketball schedule announced today.
The Bulldogs will face Georgia Tech on Dec. 18 at the Las Vegas Showdown at the Thomas & Mack Center and Oklahoma State University on Dec. 28 at the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Georgia Tech defeated OSU in the NCAA Tournament semifinals last year, then fell to national champion University of Connecticut in the title game.
The second Battle in Seattle is slated for Dec. 4 at KeyArena in Seattle with the University of Massachusetts providing the opposition. Last year the Bulldogs topped the University of Missouri in overtime in the inaugural Battle in Seattle in front of a national television audience on CBS.
Perhaps the biggest night of the season will be Friday, Nov. 19, when the Bulldogs open the regular and home season in the new 6,000-seat McCarthey Athletic Center against Portland State University, the first of three straight home games to open the 2004-05 campaign. Following PSU, the University of Montana will visit on Nov. 21 and the University of Idaho on Nov. 24.
The first game away from the Bulldogs new digs will be Nov. 27 when Gonzaga meets the University of Illinois in The Wooden Tradition at Canseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. That will be the first game of a showcase doubleheader with Purdue University facing the University of Cincinnati in the nightcap.
Gonzaga will also meet Eastern Washington University in the Spokane Arena On Dec. 21 for the third straight season in what is expected to be another sellout. This year's game is technically an EWU home game as the teams have alternated home status.
"We think we've put together another strong schedule," sixth-year head coach Mark Few said. "Some people may think this schedule is too tough with the young team we have, but we are committed to playing this type of schedule. While we are young, we also have a lot of players who have been through the rigors of a demanding schedule. It will only make us better and I believe we'll hold up well to the challenges such a schedule presents."
In addition to the three early-season home games to open the season, the Bulldogs also have home non-conference contests slated against the University of Washington on Dec. 1, Saint Louis University on Dec. 11 and Northern Colorado University on Jan. 25. Other non-conference road games are Dec. 7 at Washington State University and Dec. 30 at Missouri.
The Bulldogs, 14-0 in the West Coast Conference a year ago, open defense of their regular-season title Jan. 6 at Santa Clara University followed by a Jan. 8 visit to Saint Mary's College. Gonzaga opens its home WCC season Jan. 13 against Loyola Marymount University followed by a Jan. 15 visit from Pepperdine University.
"We're excited about the upcoming season," Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said. "Every day we see progress being made on the McCarthey Athletic Center and that makes us even more eager for this season to start. We think it will be the same atmosphere in the new building as it was in old building, just with more people. We've been told that experts who have done noise studies think the noise level will actually be higher than it was next door. And that's hard to imagine."
The Bulldogs quit taking season ticket applications months ago for the McCarthey Athletic Center.
"We anticipate being sold out," Roth said. "But as in the past, we will more than likely have tickets available during break periods when our students are gone from campus. Plus, we have the best television package in the history of the school."
FOX Sports Net has guaranteed to televise every game not on another entity in at least the Seattle market, and KHQ-TV locally will televise all games not televised by another entity in the eastern Washington, northern Idaho, eastern Oregon and western Montana markets. FOX Sports Net will also televise as many games as possible in the five-state region of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Alaska.
"There's not a game that fans in Spokane and Seattle markets - and in some instances beyond - won't be able to see on television," Roth said.
The complete television package will be announced later this summer.
The Battle in Seattle will be the second in a 4-year agreement between the Bulldogs and Northwest Sports Inc., the latter also working in association with the Seattle SuperSonics.
This year's battle features UMass and head coach Steve Lappas, who in 15 years as a NCAA Division I head coach has fashioned a 253-207 record for a .550 winning percentage. The Minutemen return three of their top four players from last season, including leading scorer and Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Year Raushan Freeman.
The game also serves as a platform for Gonzaga and Northwest Sports to honor a Pacific Northwest icon who has made significant contributions to the collegiate game. This year's recipient will be announced later this fall. Former University of Washington, Washington State University and Pacific Lutheran University head coach Marv Harshman received the inaugural award last year.
General ticket sales for the Battle in Seattle will go on sale Sept. 18 through all Ticketmaster outlets in Seattle. A pre-sale will be conducted in Spokane only on Sept. 11 through Ticketmaster outlets.
Tickets for the Las Vegas Showdown are now on sale. Fans in Las Vegas can phone 739-FANS or log on to www.unlvtickets.com. For fans from Gonzaga, Georgia Tech or Oklahoma State, calls can be directed to (866) 388-FANS.
The official host hotel for the Las Vegas Showdown is the Aladdin Resort, located on the Las Vegas Strip. All inquiries about room reservations can be directed to the hotel at (877) 485-2020.
Gonzaga will play two exhibition contests prior to the regular season. The first will be Nov. 5 when Emporia State University visits for a second straight year. The second exhibition will be announced later.
2004-05 Gonzaga University Men's Basketball Schedule
(All Times Pacific Time Zone - All Times Subject To Change)
5 - Emporia State (exhibition), 7 p.m.; 19 - Portland State, 7 p.m.; 21 - Montana, TBA; 24 - Idaho, 7 p.m.; 27 - Illinois @ Indianapolis, IN, TBA.
1 - Washington, TBA; 4 - Massachusetts @ Seattle, WA, TBA; 7 - at Washington State, 7 p.m.; 11 - Saint Louis, 7 p.m.; 18 - Georgia Tech @ Las Vegas, NV; 9:30 p.m.; 21 - Eastern Washington @ Spokane Arena, 7 p.m.; 28 - Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma City, OK, TBA; 30 - at Missouri, TBA.
6 - at *Santa Clara*, 7 p.m.; 8 - at *Saint Mary's, 7 p.m.; 13 - *Loyola Marymount, 7 p.m.; 15 - *Pepperdine, 7 p.m.; 20 - at *San Francisco, 7 p.m.; 22 - at *San Diego, 7 p.m.; 25 - Northern Colorado, 7 p.m.; 29 - *Portland, 7 p.m.
3 - *Saint Mary's, 7 p.m.; 5 - *Santa Clara, 7 p.m.; 10 - at *Pepperdine, 7 p.m.; 12 - at *Loyola Marymount, 7 p.m.; 17 - *San Diego, 7 p.m.; 19 - *San Francisco, 7 p.m.; 26 - at *Portland, 7 p.m.
4-7 - West Coast Conference Tournament @ Santa Clara, CA, TBA.
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