Men's Basketball Tips Off 2009 Campaign Saturday

Nov. 14, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 1 - Montana State Billings
Saturday, November 15 - 4 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listing)

No. 10/11 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (25-8; 13-1 West Coast in 2008) G - 2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL (12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 6.0 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks) G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO (12.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals) G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, So., Bainbridge, WA (8.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals) C - 42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA (10.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.6 steals, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks) F - 5 Austin Day, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA (10.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.6 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 236-60 (10th year - 20th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS YELLOWJACKETS (1-28; 1-17 GNAC in 2008) G - 10 Mario Burns, 6-0, 157, Jr., Las Vegas, NV (Transfer from Western Oklahoma State) G - 22 Michael Hall, 6-2, 157, Sr., Dayton, OH (Transfer from Idaho) F - 3 Travis Bunker, 6-6, 210, Sr., Beaver, UT (Transfer from Wyoming) F - 4 Derrick Wright, 6-7, 240, Jr., Brooklyn, NY (Transfer from Western Oklahoma State) F - 21 Kirk Blaine, 6-6, 203, So., Gillette, WY (7.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.6 steals) HEAD COACH: George Pfeifer (Lewis-Clark State, 1979) MSUB RECORD: 0-0 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: 308-254 (19th year). GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 2 - University of Idaho
Tuesday, November 18 - 6 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listing)
UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO VANDALS (8-21; 5-11 Western Athletic in 2008)
G -  1 Mac Hopson, 6-2, 195, Jr., Portland, OR
      (Transfer redshirt from Washington State in 2008)
G -  3 Terrence Simmons, 6-3, 170, Sr., Durant, MS
      (3.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.3 steals)
G -  32 Kashi Watson, 6-4, 190, Jr., Las Vegas, NV
      (Transfer from Irvine Valley CC)
F -   44 Luis Augusto, 6-8, 245, Sr., Sao Paulo, Brazil
      (2.6 ppg. 2.3 rpg, 0.3 assists, 0.5 steals)
F -  11 Wiley Brandon, 6-6, 225, Jr., Pinole, CA
       (Transfer from City College of San Francisco)
HEAD COACH:  Don Verlin (CS Stanislaus, 1991)
IDAHO RECORD:  0-0 (1st year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  11/14 vs. Evergreen State, 11/16 at Michigan State.

NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

Gonzaga University opens the 2009 regular season Saturday against Montana State University Billings at 4 p.m., followed by a visit from the University of Idaho Tuesday at 6 p.m. Following the home openers Gonzaga will be idle for nine days until opening play Thanksgiving night at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. Gonzaga will meet Oklahoma State University in the first round, with either the University of Maryland or Michigan State University looming in the second round on Friday. The teams take Saturday off then play the placing round games Sunday, Nov. 30.

Montana State University Billings, a member of the Great Northern Athletic Conference (GNAC), was known as Eastern Montana Normal School when founded in 1927, then changed to Eastern Montana College and in 1994 renamed to its present name when the Montana State University System recognized. Gonzaga and Eastern Montana played eight times from 1962-69, the Bulldogs winning all but one game. The Bulldogs bring a six-game winning streak in the series into this year's meeting. The Bulldogs and Yellowjackets last met Jan. 18, 1969, Gonzaga taking an 80-64 victory.

Montana State University Billings first-year head coach George Pfeifer probably won't need an escort to the visiting locker room when he arrives at the McCarthey Athletic Center for Saturday's game. Pfeifer has faced Gonzaga the past two years as head coach of the University of Idaho, the Bulldogs taking an 80-43 verdict last season and a 76-51 victory the previous year in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

It's a new era for Montana State University Billings, and Michael Hall hopes to play a big role in the transformation. At least he didn't have to introduce himself to first-year head coach George Pfeifer. Hall, a 6-2 guard out of Dayton, Ohio, and Pfeifer, the first-year head coach of the Yellowjackets who inherited a program that went 1-28 a year ago, are both looking for a fresh start. Both came to MSU-Billings from the University of Idaho. Hall averaged 9.6 points, shot 91 percent from the free-throw line and connected on 40.8 percent from 3-point range last season for the Vandals. His 64 treys paced the Vandals and his 9.6 ppg ranked third. Hall came off the bench last season against Gonzaga in the McCarthey Athletic Center, played 10 minutes and had two turnovers and a foul. Hall did not have to sit out the customary one year when transferring since MSU Billings is not a NCAA Division I school.

Gonzaga University is 10th in the Associated Press pre-season poll and 11th in the USA Today/ESPN balloting. The AP ranking is just two spots off the Bulldogs best pre-season ranking of eighth heading into the 2005-06 season. The only other time Gonzaga was in the preseason Top 10 was in 2003-04 when they checked in at No. 10. The Bulldogs finished 24th in the final AP Top 25 last season. The USA Today/ESPN ranking marks the second-highest pre-season ranking for the Bulldogs who were seventh in the 2005-06 preseason rankings.

Three teams ranked in the pre-season Top 25 - University of Connecticut, University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee - dot the Gonzaga University schedule. UConn, who will face the Bulldogs Dec. 20 in The Battle in Seattle, is ranked second in both polls. Memphis, which comes to Spokane Feb. 7 for College Game Day on ESPN, is 12th in the USA Today/ESPN poll and 13th in the AP rankings, and Tennessee, which will host the Bulldogs Jan. 7, is 13th in the USA Today/ESPN vote of coaches and 14th in the AP balloting of sportswriters. The Bulldogs could also meet Michigan State University (6th AP; 7th USA Today/ESPN) in the second round of the Old Spice Classic and could face Georgetown University (18th USA Today/ESPN; 22nd AP) or Tennessee on the final day of the Old Spice Classic. Pacific-10 Conference foes University of Arizona and Washington State University, along with fellow West Coast Conference members Saint Mary's College and University of San Diego also received votes in at least one of the major polls.

Gonzaga University men's basketball team defeated Wayne State College 96-45 in the Bulldogs lone exhibition game of the season. Josh Heytvelt scored a game-high 19 points, connecting on 8-of-10 field goals in just 14 minutes of action. All 13 players in uniform saw action. Gonzaga raced to a quick 18-5 lead in the first six minutes against the NCAA Division II Wildcats who play in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Sophomore Austin Daye, who finished with 14 points on 5-of-7 from the field in 17 minutes, scored the first eight points for the Bulldogs on a jumper and a pair of 3-pointers.

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 52-2 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.

Head coach Mark Few picked up his 225th career victory Jan. 19, 2008, against the University of San Diego. With 236 victories, Few is third on the all-time Gonzaga victories chart behind Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) and Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 seasons). Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 113-13, moving ahead of Fitzgerald (112-88) on the all-time wins list. Carroll Williams, Santa Clara University (165-137) and Dick Davey, SCU (122-88) hold the top two spots.

Gonzaga University senior Jeremy Pargo is on the 2009 John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 list as announced by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder. Pargo is eligible for the John R. Wooden All-American Team and Player of the Year Trophy. The native of Chicago, Ill., was on last season's Pre-Season Top 50 list. He is the ninth Bulldog comprising 10 Pre-Season Top 50 nominations since 2000 when Matt Santangelo became Gonzaga's inaugural nominee and was named to the Mid-Season Top 30. Casey Calvary became a Top 10 All-American in 2001, Dan Dickau became the Bulldogs first Top 5 All-American in 2002, Cory Violette was nominated in 2003 and 2004, Ronny Turiaf was nominated in 2004 and 2005 and Adam Morrison was a Top 5 All-American in 2006 and runner-up for Player of the Year honors to J.J. Reddick of Duke University. Pargo became the eighth straight Bulldog to win West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors last season, averaging 12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 6.0 assists/game in leading the Bulldogs to the WCC regular-season title and a 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few added two players to the Bulldog fold to letters-of-intent. Dower averaged 22 ppg and 10 rpg per game in the month of July and 18 ppg and 9 rpg for this past AAU season, according to head coach Marquise Watts of Net Gain Sports, Dower's AAU club. Net Gain Sports won the Twin Cities Summer Classic, won the adidas 64 Gold Division in Las Vegas and went 3-2 in round-robin play in the Duel in the Desert in Phoenix, according to Watts. "He can score for a big guy. He's a lefty so that makes it harder to defend because most people aren't used to seeing a lefthander," Few said. "He can make a difference and is a unique post player. He had a good spring and a great summer." Watts said Dower has worked hard to improve his game. "Every day over the last two years he's gotten better. I don't think he's begun to scratch the surface. His inside-outside game, he can shoot the three and on the block he's a lefty with a great hook shot," Watts said. "He's athletic, he's working on putting on weight and he will fit in real well at Gonzaga." Dower didn't make the varsity team at Osseo until midway through his sophomore year. He averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg then blossomed last season to average 13.4 ppg and 5.9 rpg. Last season he scored in double figures 23 times and had double-digit rebounds six times. The Orioles went 28-1, their lone setback 60-59 in the Region finals. He scored a career-high 23 points at Coon Rapids and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds at Orono. He had several scholarship offers, among them the University of Minnesota, Marquette University and the University of Iowa. Arop, born in the Sudan, currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he plays with Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) which is basically Canada's Junior National Team. His first name is pronounced Man-GEESE-toe, his last name pronounced "rop" (the "a" is silent) but he goes simply by Manny. He recently set a single-game scoring NEDA scoring record with 42 points, and this past summer played for Canada in the FIBA Americas Championship in Formosa, Argentina. He averaged 17.0 ppg to rank second, 10.2 rpg to rank third, shot 52.8 percent from the field on 23-for-58 and 87.5 percent from the line on 14-of-15 in the five tournament games as Canada placed fifth. He had 21 points and 9 rebounds against the U.S. in the tourney. "Manny is a high energy player with a great competitive streak," Few said. "His skill level is something to be excited about. He has a great opportunity to be effective for us at both ends of the court." His mother and four brothers left Sudan when he was 9-years-old and lived in Kenya prior to re-locating to Regina, Saskatchewan. Arop then spent a year in Edmonton, Alberta, before joining Basketball Canada's NEDA program, which is a year-round junior development camp.

The West Coast Conference will revert back to the more traditional Thursday-Saturday format for conference tilts this season. The WCC will be a part of ESPN's "Thursday Night Showcase."

 

 

Twitter Logo
  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago
Instagram Logo
Facebook Logo
Annual Report 10_17_App_Promo_Icon ZAG_Promo_Icon Numerica Resume Book theW.tv Varsity Club University Kids Club
» «