Men's Basketball Faces Another Tough Schedule
Oct. 13, 2000
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University's men's basketball team will again face some of the top competition in the country, according to the 2001 schedule released today by athletic director Mike Roth and second-year head coach Mark Few.
The Bulldogs are also scheduled to appear on television no less than eight times during the upcoming season.
"I think this shows once again we are willing to play the elite programs in the country," Few said. "With our success the past two years we hope other schools also view us as a boost to their scheduling efforts."
Among the teams dotting the schedule this season at the University of Arizona in Tucson Nov. 29, the University of Washington in The Kennel Dec. 2, the University of Florida in Sunrise, FL, Dec. 16, and the University of New Mexico in the Spokane Arena Jan. 2. Arizona is ranked no lower than second in most pre-season polls.
The matchup with Florida is part of the Hip Health Plan/Orange Bowl Basketball Classic doubleheader and is a re-match of the 1999 Sweet 16 contest which saw the Bulldogs edge the Gators 73-72 in Phoenix, Ariz., on Casey Calvary's tipin with :04 to play.
The Bulldogs are schedule to play two games in the Spokane Arena - Jan. 2 against New Mexico and Jan. 6 against Prairie View A&M. The Jan. 2 game will be part of a men's and women's doubleheader with the Gonzaga women facing Colgate University at 4:30 p.m. followed by the men's game against the Lobos at 7:30 p.m.
The eight guaranteed television appearances are Nov. 29 at Arizona, Dec. 2 at home against Washington, Jan. 2 with New Mexico from the Spokane Arena, Feb. 2 at Pepperdine University, Feb. 9 at home against the University of San Francisco, Feb. 17 at home against Pepperdine and Feb. 24 at the University of San Diego. FOX will air all seven of those contests. The Sunshine Network will televise Gonzaga's game with Florida, and Roth is hopeful the game can be brought back to the Pacific Northwest. The West Coast Conference Tournament title game March 5 from San Diego, Calif., will again be televised by ESPN.
"We believe this is a well balanced schedule, and we are excited about the television possibilities," Roth said. "We also think it is important for us to continue to have a presence in the Spokane Arena. With our ticket availability for games in The Kennel virtually nil, it gives fans in the Spokane area a chance to see us play who otherwise might not have the opportunity."
Roth also noted one difference in the schedule from previous years is the elimination of the men's and women's doubleheader with the University of Portland.
The men's contest at Gonzaga will be played Wednesday, Jan. 17, with the women tipping off in The Kennel the following night. The men will play in Portland on Saturday, Jan. 20, with the women squaring off in Portland the following afternoon.
"It still allows our fans to go to Portland and see both games on the weekend," Roth said. "We believed that was an important consideration when making the change. It still gives Portland the weekend dates, and affords our fans the opportunity to attend the two road games."
The Bulldogs will play a pair of exhibition games, the first Nov. 4 against the Yakima Sun Kings of the Continental Basketball Association. That will be part of a basketball-volleyball doubleheader in The Kennel. Gonzaga's volleyball team will face Saint Mary's College in a 5 p.m. West Coast Conference match, to be followed at 8 p.m. by the basketball game. This is the first season the NCAA has allowed collegiate teams to play exhibition games against CBA foes.
"We're looking forward to meeting Yakima," Few said. "It will be a good early-season barometer of where our team stands. We'll have had about 20 practices by then and we'll be ready to play against somebody other than ourselves."
Gonzaga's other exhibition game will be Nov. 11 against the Old Dogs AAU comprised of Gonzaga basketball alumni.
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