Men's Basketball Opens Season Friday

Nov. 14, 2001

Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 1 - Illinois
Friday, Nov. 16 - 5 p.m. PST
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 4:45 p.m. PST
TV: ESPN Regional, PAX (Spokane Cable Ch. 8/UHF Ch. 34)

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (26-7, 13-1 in West Coast Conference)
G - 21 Dan Dickau, 6-0, 189, Sr., Vancouver, WA
(18.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 6.3 assists, 0.8 steals)
G - 24 Kyle Bankhead, 6-3, 188, So., Walla Walla, WA
(5.6 ppg., 1.8 rpg, 1.1 assists)
C - 33 Cory Violette, 6-5, 255, So., Boise, ID
(3.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.3 steals)
F - 32 Zach Gourde, 6-8, 249, Jr., Vancouver, WA
(8.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.6 blocks)
F - 25 Anthony Reason, 6-5, 184, Sr., Ocala, FL
(4.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987
GONZAGA RECORD: 52-16 (2nd year) CAREER RECORD: Same

#2 UNIVIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (27-8, 13-3 in Big Ten)
G - 13 Cory Bradford, 6-3, 200, Sr., Memphis, TN
(9.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals)
G - 30 Frank Williams, 6-3, 205, Jr., Peoria, IL
(14.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.4 assists, 2.0 steals)
C - 21 Robert Archibald, 6-11, 250, Sr., Ballwin, MO
(7.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.8 blocks)
F - 24 Sean Harrington, 6-3, 185, Jr., Bartlett, IL
(5.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals)
F - 34 Brian Cook, 6-10, 240, Jr., Lincoln, IL
(11.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH: Bill Self (Oklahoma State, 1985)
UI RECORD: 27-8 (2nd year) CAREER RECORD: 157-88 (9th year)

Game No. 2 - Montana
Sunday, November 18 - 3 p.m. PST
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 2:45 p.m. PST
TV: KHQ - Spokane, KNDO - Yakima, KNDU - Tri-Cities, KECI - Missoula

UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA GRIZZLIES (11-16, 6-10 in Big Sky) G - 10 Shane Christensen, 6-1, 150, Sr., Las Vegas, NV
(9.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 4.6 assists, 0.9 steals)
G - 34 Ryan Slider, 6-5, 205, Sr., Tigard, OR
(7.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks)
C - 40 Travis Greenwalt, 6-8, 230, Sr., Spangle, WA
(12.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.4 blocks)
F - 50 Dan Trammel, 6-6, 225, Sr., Pittsburg, CA
(12.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 0.4 assists, 1.9 steals, 1.1 blocks)
F - 24 Brent Cummings, 6-7, 210, Jr., Pullman, WA
(5.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.8 assists)
HEAD COACH: Don Holst (Northern Montana, 1975)
UM RECORD: 41-41 (4th year) CAREER RECORD: Same

FEW IN OPENERS: He hasn't had a lot of them in his brief two-year stint as head coach of Gonzaga University, but Bulldogs head coach Mark Few is undefeated in season openers. Gonzaga downed the University of Montana 76-61 in the 1999-00 opener, then topped nearby rival Eastern Washington University 74-65 last year, both on the road.

BULLDOGS GET TOUGH OPENER: Gonzaga University will play its toughest season opener ever Friday when the Bulldogs visit the University of Illinois. The Fighting Illini are ranked second in the ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 released Sunday, holding onto their preseason ranking. Illinois was ranked third in the Associated Press preseason Top 25. Illinois went 27-8 a year ago, including 13-3 for a tie for first in the Big Ten Conference. The Fighting Illini advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament with victories over Northwestern State University, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and the University of Kansas. Illinois' bid for the Final Four with a Midwest Regional Final loss to the University of Arizona. The Wildcats lost to Duke University in the national championship game.

SELF VS. GONZAGA: University of Illinois second-year head coach Bill Self is no stranger to Gonzaga University. Self was the coach at Tulsa University during the 1997-98 season when the Bulldogs administered a 78-40 pounding on Tulsa in the opening round of the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, AK. The Bulldogs went on to capture the Top of the World Classic crown, won the West Coast Conference and advanced to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. "That tournament kind of started the current run we've been on," Gonzaga third-year head coach Mark Few said.

BULLDOGS VS. ILLINOIS: Gonzaga University will be facing the University of Illinois for the first time.

STEPP IN LIMBO: Gonzaga University sophomore guard Blake Stepp is still in limbo concerning his status for this week. He underwent a procedure last spring called a micro fracture to repair a degeneration of the bone in his right knee. While doctors are optimistic the procedure was a success, Stepp has experienced swelling in the knee during the pre-season and has been held out of several days of practice. His playing time will be a game-time decision on Friday. He has not played in either of Gonzaga's two exhibition games. As a freshman he averaged 10.3 ppg and 3.6 rpg in earning West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year honors.

BULLDOGS VS. BIG TEN: One has to go back to only last year's NCAA Sweet Sixteen to find the last time Gonzaga University faced a Big Ten Conference opponent. Michigan State University ended the Bulldogs' NCAA Tournament run last March with a 77-62 in the NCAA South Regional Sweet Sixteen in Atlanta, Ga. Gonzaga also had a Big Ten foe end its 2000 march in the NCAA Tournament when Purdue University took a 75-66 win in the NCAA West Regional Sweet Sixteen in Albuquerque, NM. Gonzaga is 1-6 against Big Ten schools, the lone win over the University of Minnesota that launched Gonzaga to the Elite Eight of the 1999 NCAA Tournament. Here's How the Bulldogs have fared against Big Ten competition to date:

DATE OPPONENT GU W-L SCORE
11/26/84 at Iowa L 62-40
12/23/85 Iowa @ Spokane Coliseum L 84-64
11/29/97 at Michigan State L 70-68
11/18/98 at Purdue (NIT) L 83-68
3/11/99 Minnesota (NCAA) W 75-63
3/23/00 Purdue (NCAA) L 75-66
3/23/01 Michigan State (NCAA) L 77-62

NOTE: Gonzaga defeated Penn State during the 1988-89 season prior to the Nittany Lions joining the Big Ten Conference.

VIOLETTE SHINES IN EXHIBITIONS: Sophomore Cory Violette, who came off the bench in 32 of his 33 appearances a year ago as a freshman, was one of the bright spots in Gonzaga University's pair of exhibition games. The Boise, Idaho, native averaged 22.5 ppg, 12.5 rpg and hit 18-of-27 shots from a field for a sizzling 66.7 percent. He also went 2-for-3 from 3-point range. He scored a team-high 21 points against Brewster Packing, going 9-for-15 from the field, then came back with a game-high 24 points on a 9-for-12 night from the field against the Delta Jammers. He hauled down 7 rebounds against Brewster, and had 18 against the Jammers, including 14 defensive boards. Violette averaged 3.6 ppg and 2.9 rpg last season. His lone start came against Northwest Nazarene College.

SELF VS. GONZAGA: University of Illinois second-year head coach Bill Self is no stranger to Gonzaga University. Self was the coach at Tulsa University during the 1997-98 season when the Bulldogs administered a 78-40 pounding on Tulsa in the opening round of the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, AK. The Bulldogs went on to capture the Top of the World Classic crown, won the West Coast Conference and advanced to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. "That tournament kind of started the current run we've been on," Gonzaga third-year head coach Mark Few said.

GRIZZLIES PAY A MATINEE VISIT: The University of Montana and Gonzaga University will be meeting for the 44th time since the Bulldogs became a NCAA Division I school for the 1958-59 season when the teams battle Sunday at 3 p.m. in The Kennel. The Bulldogs hold a 27-16 edge since posting a 100-83 win in the Spokane Coliseum on Jan. 9, 1964, in a Big Sky Conference game. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 96-48. Gonzaga won last year's meeting in Missoula 77-69. The Bulldogs also spoiled the debut of the Grizzlies' refurbished Adams Center on Nov. 21, 1999, with a 76-61 victory. Gonzaga has won the last three meetings, the Griz tasting victory the last time on Dec. 14, 1996, with a 67-63 overtime victory in The Kennel.

NEWCOMERS MAKE DEBUTS: Three newcomers are expected to make their regular-season debuts Friday when Gonzaga University opens the regular season at the University of Illinois. Junior Winston Brooks, a transfer from nearby North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, redshirt freshman Brian Michaelson from Portland, Ore., and true freshman Ronny Turiaf from Le Robert, Martinique, could all get their first taste of Division I basketball. Brooks gives head coach Mark Few the option of playing two point guards with veteran Dan Dickau, much as the Bulldogs did with Matt Santangelo and Quentin Hall in 1999. Michaelson is another solid outside shooter in the Bulldogs' arsenal and Turiaf will give the Bulldogs added depth underneath.

ELITE COMPANY: Gonzaga University is one of just three schools to advance to the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Michigan State University and Duke University are the other two. Duke and MSU appeared in their fourth straight Sweet Sixteen in 2001. Since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have been 18 occasions where teams have had runs of three years or more into the Sweet Sixteen. The University of North Carolina leads the way with a 9-year stretch from 1985-93, followed by Duke with a 7-year run from 1986-92 in addition to its current streak.

BULLDOGS AND THE KENNEL: The Kennel - home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs - has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country. In the last nine seasons the Bulldogs are 115-9 at home for a nifty 92.7 winning percentage. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. The Bulldogs are 32-1 in The Kennel over the past three seasons. The 2000 squad was 10-1, and the 1999 Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel, winning by an average of 31.9 ppg. The Bulldogs also posted undefeated home campaigns in 1993 (13-0) and 1994 (14-0), and suffered just one home setback in 1996 and 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the country's second-longest active streak.

HOME OPENERS: Don't plan on winning often in The Kennel if you're the season opener for Gonzaga University. The Bulldogs have won their last 12 home openers. The last team to get the Bulldogs' home season off to a sour start was Boise State University with a 73-65 win to open the 1988-89 season. That broke a string of 13 straight home-opening victories for the Bulldogs, making them 25-1 in home openers since the 1975-76 campaign.

ZAGS HAVE HOME NON-CONFERENCE STREAK: Gonzaga University has been tough on non-conference opponents in The Kennel, winning 17 straight such meetings. The last non-conference foe to topple the Bulldogs at home was the University of Montana 67-63 on Dec. 14, 1996. That broke a streak of 42 straight home non-conference victories.

VILLEPIGUE TO REDSHIRT: Freshman Dustin Villepigue, a 6-9, 218 pound forward from Simi Valley, Calif., will redshirt this season. As is the case with all freshmen, Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few gave Villepigue the option of not redshirting, but explained he was likely to see limited playing time. Villepigue discussed the situation with his parents and decided to take the redshirt option. Villepigue was able to redshirt with the arrival of 6-9 freshman forward Ronny Turiaf.

DICKAU ON WOODEN AWARD BALLOT: Point Guard Dan Dickau is the third straight Gonzaga University representative on the John R. Wood Award Pre-season Top 50 candidates for the 2001-02 Wooden Award All-America Team. Casey Calvary, a Wooden All-America pick last season, and Matt Santangelo in 2000 were the previous Bulldogs on the list. The Wooden Award Top 50 was announced this past summer. In late December the Top 30 finalists will be announced. On March 26, 2002, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Sunday, April 7, 2002, as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year." The event will be a one hour telecast on FOX Sports Net.

FEW'S TWO-YEAR RUN: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few probably never thought life as a head coach would be so "sweet." But in his first two seasons as head coach the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, one of only two NCAA Division I head coaches to accomplish that feat since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Gonzaga, defending national champion Duke University and 2000 national champion Michigan State University are the only three schools to reach the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Few was an assistant coach on Gonzaga's run to the 1999 Elite Eight. Few's 2-year record of 52-16 places him among elite company for second-year head coaches. His 2-year total of 52 wins has him tied for third for second-year coaches with Dan Monson, his predecessor at Gonzaga, and Ben Carnevale of the University of North Carolina (1945-46).

BULLDOGS HIT 20 WINS AGAIN: With a 26-7 record last season, Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau for the 8th time in the last 10 seasons, matching the 2000 win total and second all-time behind only the 1999 school record mark of 28-7. Last season marked the fifth time the Bulldogs have hit the magic 20-win plateau in the regular season. The 1994 squad took a 20-6 record into the West Coast Conference Tournament, the 1998 team was 21-8 entering the tourney, the 1999 Bulldogs went 22-6 in the regular season and the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga's first 20-win season as a NCAA Division I program came in 1992 with a 20-10 mark, falling to Pepperdine University 73-70 in the Bulldogs' first appearance in the WCC Tournament title game.

O-FER FROM THREE: The last time Gonzaga University took the collar from 3-point range was in an 0-for-5 night in The Kennel against the University of Portland on Jan. 30, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 265 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.

 

 

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