Men's Basketball Season Tips Off Saturday At Home

Nov. 13, 2009

Few Preview Olynyk Preview Bouldin Preview Sacre Preview

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Game No. 1 - Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils
Saturday, November 14 - 5 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WA
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 101.1 KEYF-FM (Spokane)
Network pre-game show 60 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listings)
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (28-6; 14-0 West Coast in 2009)
G -   3 Demetri Goodson, 5-11, 164, So., Spring, TX
       (3.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Sr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, Jr., Bainbridge, WA
       (9.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C - 00 Robert Sacre, 7-0, 247, So., North Vancouver, B.C.
       (3.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.4 blocks - only played in five games)
F -  20 Elias Harris, 6-8, 215, Fr., Speyer, Germany
       (Was not on team in 2009)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  264-66 (11th year - 21st at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY DELTA DEVILS (7-25; 7-11 in SWAC) G - 3 Tashan Newsome, 6-4, 185, So., Albany, NY (6.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals) G - 25 Kevin Burwell, 5-10, 185, Jr., Philadelphia, PA (1.8 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.7 assists) F - 15 Shannon Behling, 6-7, 200, Jr., Columbia, SC (10.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 30 Mark Holmes, 6-6, 215, Fr., Chicago, IL (Was not on team in 2009) F - 42 Jason Holmes, 6-6, 215, Fr., Chicago, IL (Was not on team in 2009) HEAD COACH: Sean Woods (Kentucky, 1992) MVSU RECORD: 7-25 (2nd year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 11/13 at Washington State.

Game No. 2 - Michigan State University Spartans
Tuesday, November 17 - 5 p.m. PST
Breslin Center ( 14,759) - East Lansing, MI
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 101.1 KEYF-FM (Spokane)
Network pre-game show 60 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN

No. 2/2 MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY SPARTANS (31-7; 15-3 Big Ten)
G -    1 Kalin Lucas, 6-1, 190, Jr., Detroit, MI
      (14.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 4.6 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -  15 Durrell Summers, 6-4, 205, Jr., Detroit, MI
      (8.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C -  41 Garrick Sherman, 6-10, 235, Fr., Kenton, OH
      (Was not on team in 2009)
F -   23 Draymond Green, 6-6, 235, So., Saginaw, MI
      (3.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.6 steals)
F -   22 Isaiah Dahlman, 6-6, 195, Sr., Braham, MN
       (0.8 ppg, 0.6 rpg)
HEAD COACH:  Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, 1977)
MSU RECORD:  335-137 (15th year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  11/13 vs. Florida Gulf Coast.
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

Gonzaga University men's basketball can be heard on Sports Radio 1510 KGA and KEYF-FM 101.1. 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 Richard Fox is back alongside Hudson as the analyst for the third season. An expanded 45-minute post-game show also follows 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.

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 ninth season behind the microphone as the television voice of the Bulldogs. Craig Ehlo begins his fourth 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.

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 will also air on 1510 KGA every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. with the exception of Nov. 17 and Nov. 24.

Gonzaga University opens the 2010 regular season Saturday at home against Mississippi Valley State University. Game time is 5 p.m. from the sold out McCarthey Athletic Center. The Delta Devils went 7-25 a year ago, all their wins coming during a 7-11 season in the Southwestern Athletic Conference where they finished tied for sixth.

Mississippi Valley State University is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, more affectionately known as the SWAC. Other members of the SWAC are Alabama A&M, Alabama State University, Alcorn State University, Grambling State University, Jackson State University, Prairie View A&M, Southern University, Texas Southern University and the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.

Gonzaga University played SWAC member Texas Southern University last year, a game played on a day that saw 20 inches of snow fall in Spokane in a 24-hour period. The Bulldogs won that game 84-42.

There's one Gonzaga University player who might have a little more information on the SWAC than your average basketball player. Robert Sacre's father, Greg LaFLeur, is the athletic director at Southern University.

Gonzaga University is a perfect 4-0 against SWAC schools. The Bulldogs defeated Alcorn State University 77-67 in the 1992 UAB Classic in Birmingham, Ala., downed the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff 94-42 at home during the 2001-02 season, topped Prairie View A&M 93-50 at the Spokane Arena during the 2000-01 campaign and downed Texas Southern 84-42 last season in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Mississippi Valley State University split a pair of exhibition contests, losing to Wesley College of Delaware 92-87 and defeating Stillman College of Tuscaloosa, Ala., 100-85. The Delta Devils have just two returning starters in 6-7 senior guard Shannon Behling who averaged 10.4 ppg a year ago and 6-8 sophomore forward Amos Studivant who averaged 2.8 pp.

Mark Few is 8-2 in season openers in his 10 previous seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs. The two losses came on the road - Nov. 16, 2001, in a 76-58 loss to the University of Illinois and Nov. 14, 2003, 73-66 to Saint Joseph's University in the Coaches vs. Cancer event played at Madison Square Garden in New York.

On the flip side, Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few is a perfect 10-0 in home openers. Few has won their 10 home openers by an average of 20.6 ppg. The only two teams Gonzaga beat by single digits were Hofstra University 69-61 Nov. 22, 2002, and the University of Idaho 69-60 on Nov. 18, 2005. The win over Hofstra came in the old Kennel, while the Idaho victory came in the second season of the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga won last year's home and season opener 83-52 over Montana State University-Billings.

Perhaps the youngest and lest experienced Gonzaga University men's basketball team to ever take the floor greeted head coach Mark Few this season. There are seven newcomers and three redshirts who have never played a minute of NCAA Division I basketball. Of the newcomers, six are freshmen and one is a redshirt sophomore. The three returning redshirts were all true freshmen last season.

Gonzaga University has hit the 20-win mark for 12 straight seasons, including all 10 under head coach Mark Few. The Bulldogs hit the plateau for the 16th time in the last 18 years in 2009. Few has been a part of all 16 20-win seasons. Gonzaga has won at least 23 games in each of those 12 seasons.

With a 14-0 West Coast Conference slate last season, Gonzaga University will enter the 2010 WCC campaign with 21 straight regular-season wins in conference play. The last regular-season loss suffered by the Bulldogs was Feb. 4, 2008, at Saint Mary's College 89-85 in overtime.

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 63-3 in the new facility, winning its 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. Gonzaga's other losses were last season to Washington State University and this year's setback to Portland State University.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few moved into second place on the school's all-time winningest coaches list with the Bulldogs victory Feb. 5, 2009, at the University of Portland. Few, in his 10th season, is now 264-66 and moved ahead of Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 years). Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) is the all-time leader. Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 127-13, moving ahead of Fitzgerald (112-88) on the all-time wins list. Few also moved ahead of Dick Davey of Santa Clara University (122-88) for second with Gonzaga's victory at the University of San Francisco Feb. 14, 2009. Carroll Williams, SCU (165-137) holds the top spot.

Canadians dot the 2010 Gonzaga University roster - four of them to be exact. Three of them come to the Bulldogs from the province of British Columbia to the north of Spokane. Redshirt sophomore center Robert Sacre is from North Vancouver, B.C., freshman forward Kelly Olynyk hails from Kamloops, B.C., and redshirt sophomore forward Bol Kong is from Vancouver, B.C. Mangisto "Manny" Arop is from Edmonton, Alberta, but spent the past few years in Hamilton, Ontario, while playing with Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy (NEDA).

Don't forget the Texans as sophomore guard Demetri Goodson and freshman guard G.J. Vilarino hail from the Lone Star State. But in a state where everything is big, these two Gonzaga University Bulldogs might prove that good things do come in small packages. Goodson, from Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, stretches the tape measure to 5-11. Vilarino, from McKinney, Texas, located almost due north of Dallas, stands 6-0.

Gonzaga University senior guard Matt Bouldin has been named to the 2009-10 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy announced by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder. The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor. Bouldin becomes the eighth Bulldog to be nominated for the award. The Bulldogs have had two John R. Wooden Award Top Five recipients, Adam Morrison in 2006 and Dan Dickau in 2002. Blake Stepp was a Top 10 All-American in 2004 and Casey Calvary received the same recognition in 2001. Matt Santangelo (2000), Cory Violete (2003-04), Ronny Turiaf (2004-05) and Jeremy Pargo (2008-09) are the other Bulldogs to receive nominations. Bouldin started 33 of 34 games a year ago, his only non-start coming on Senior Night. He averaged 13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.4 assists/game and shot 49.1 percent from the field, going 156-for-318. He also shot 42.3 percent from 3-point range, connecting on 55-of-130 from long range. The native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., has 1,169 career points to rank 22nd on the all-time Gonzaga list. His 312 career assists 124 career steals both rank eighth on the GU charts. He has started 85 of his 100 career appearances. Bouldin was named to the All-West Coast Conference and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 9 first-team.

The nine straight West Coast Conference regular-season titles by Gonzaga University marks the longest current streak in the nation and ranks tied for fourth all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks, the Bulldogs knotting the University of Kentucky. The Wildcats won nine straight SEC crowns from 1944-52. UCLA's 13 Pacific-10 Conference titles from 1967-79 head the list.

Senior Matt Bouldin is 22nd on the all-time Gonzaga University scoring charts with 1,169 points. He needs three points to move past Matt Stanford and into 21st and four points to edge ahead of Josh Heytvelt and into the Top 20.

Gonzaga University ranked in the top five in three NCAA categories last season. The Bulldogs were third in scoring margin at +15.9, fourth in field goal percentage defense at 37.8 percent and fifth in field goal percentage, shooting at a 48.8 percent clip. Individually, returning senior Matt Bouldin ranked in the top 100 in assist/turnover ratio at 1.98 for 69th.

Eight teams that dot this year's Gonzaga University schedule played in the NCAA Tournament last year. Michigan State University, which Gonzaga visits next Tuesday in East Lansing, advanced to the national championship game, losing to the University of North Carolina. The Tar Heels eliminated Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 in Memphis. Three others - Duke University, University of Oklahoma and the University of Memphis - advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Other NCAA Tournament teams on the Bulldog schedule are Wake Forest University, the University of Arizona, the University of Maryland and the University of Wisconsin. Arizona, Maryland and Wisconsin are potential opponents in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

Gonzaga University finished 10th in the final Associated Press Top 25 and 13th in the final ESPN/USA Today rankings last season. It's the fifth time since 2002 the Bulldogs have finished in the Top 10 of the AP rankings. Gonzaga was as high as fourth in both polls last season.

 

 

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