Kraziness In The Kennel Tips Off Hoops Season

Oct. 12, 2001

SPOKANE, Wash. - While basketball practice starts Saturday, the sites and sounds of basketball season come alive Thursday with "Kraziness in the Kennel" giving fans their first look at the 2001-02 Gonzaga University men's basketball team.

The Bulldogs, under third-year head coach Mark Few, will scrimmage beginning at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday. But the festivities begin earlier in the evening. The doors open at 6 p.m., and the Oldies 101 morning team of Dean and Rusty will be master of ceremonies beginning at 6:45 p.m. The Gonzaga Dance Team and the Bulldog cheerleaders will perform beginning at 6:50 p.m. The 2000-01 highlight video chronicling Gonzaga's third straight trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen will be shown at 7:05 p.m.

Fans will meet the Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. and the team will scrimmage for two 20-minute halves of running clock. At halftime of the scrimmage one fan will have a chance to shoot for $10,000. In order to win the $10,000 the contestant chooses any spot on the floor, shoots at one basket and, if successful on the first shot, turns around from the same spot and shoots at the basket at the opposite end of the court. Make both shots and walk away with $10,000.

Following the scrimmage Bulldog players will be available for autographs.

Fans are asked to bring canned food to help the Second Harvest Food Bank. Jay Daniels and Kevin James, the morning team on Cat Country 94, start their "94 Hours of Food" on Monday to support the Second Harvest Food Bank. Cat Country 94 is owned by Citadel Communications which also owns Oldies 101 and KGA 1510, the latter the official radio station for all Bulldog men's basketball games this season.

The Bulldog men are coming off a 27-6 season that included a West Coast Conference regular-season title, WCC Tournament title and a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs, who advanced to the Elite Eight in 1999 and the Sweet Sixteen each of the past two seasons, will be aiming for a fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and to a post-season berth for the seventh time in the last eight years.

The Bulldogs are led by All-America candidate Dan Dickau, who averaged 18.9 ppg and 6.3 assists/game. He also played for USA Basketball this past summer at the World University Games, helping USA Basketball to the bronze medal.

Also returning to the fold are Blake Stepp, who averaged 10.3 ppg and 3.5 assists/game last season as a freshman. He's joined on the perimeter by Alex Hernandez, a senior who averaged 6.8 ppg, senior Anthony Reason who averaged 4.5 ppg, junior Germayne Forbes who played for Great Britain in the World University Games, and Kyle Bankhead, a deadly 3-point shooter who hit 50.7 percent of his treys a year ago (37-for-73).

On the inside the Bulldogs return 6-8 junior Zach Gourde who averaged 8.5 ppg and 3.9 rpg, sophomore Cory Violette, who averaged 11.7 minutes/game as a freshman, and sophomore Jay Sherrell, a 6-8 forward looking for a breakout year after being hampered with a leg injury for most of the past two seasons including his redshirt season as a freshman.

The Bulldogs open their exhibition season Nov. 3 when Brewster Packing visits The Kennel for a 7 p.m. contest. The regular season opens Nov. 16 at the University of Illinois, Big Ten Conference co-champions a year ago.



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