Bulldogs Host Idaho Tuesday Prior To Hitting The Road

Nov. 17, 2008

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 2 - University of Idaho
Tuesday, November 18 - 6 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); Oldies 101.1 FM (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listing)
No. 10/11 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (1-0; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 10.0 assists)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (12.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 194, Sr., Kirkland, WA
       (9.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (15.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.0 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Day, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (15.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 4.0 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  237-60 (10th year - 20th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO VANDALS (1-1; 0-0 Western Athletic) G - 1 Mac Hopson, 6-2, 195, Jr., Portland, OR (16.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.5 assists, 1.0 steals) G - 15 Trevor Morris, 6-4, 1`82, Sr., Missoula, MT (10.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.5 steals) G - 32 Kashi Watson, 6-4, 190, Jr., Las Vegas, NV (12.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 44 Luis Augusto, 6-8, 245, Sr., Sao Paulo, Brazil (3.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.5 blocks) F - 11 Brandon Wiley, 6-6, 225, Jr., Pinole, CA (8.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.0 blocks) HEAD COACH: Don Verlin (CS Stanislaus, 1991) IDAHO RECORD: 1-1 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 3 - Oklahoma State University
Thursday, November 27 - 6 p.m. PST
Milk House - Kissimmee, FL - Old Spice Classic
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); Oldies 101.1 FM (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
G -  2 Obi Muonelo, 6-5, 215, Jr., Edmond, OK
      (3.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 assists)
G - 00 Byron Eaton, 5-11, 210, Sr., Dallas, TX
      (27.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.0 assists, 4.0 steals)
G -   1 Terrell Harris, 6-5, 200, Sr., Dallas, TX
      (20.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 2.0 steals)
G -   23 James Anderson, 6-6, 205, So., Junction City, AR
      (10.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.0 assists, 3.0 blocks)
C -  21 Ibrahima Thomas, 6-11, 230, So., Dakar, Senegal
       (14.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 steals, 3.0 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Travis Ford (Kentucky, 1994)
OSU RECORD:  1-0 (1st year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  11/17 vs. North Texas, 11/20 vs. Tulsa, 11/23 vs. 				     Grambling State.

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

Gonzaga University makes its second home appearance in four days Tuesday when the University of Idaho visits the McCarthey Athletic Center for a 6 p.m. contest. It will be the final home appearance for the Bulldogs until Dec. 18 when Texas Southern University visits as Gonzaga will play its next six games on the road. That stretch starts Thanksgiving Day against Oklahoma State University in the eight-team Old Spice Classic at the Milk House in Kissimmee, Fla.

The University of Idaho is 1-1 in the early going, defeating The Evergreen State College 91-69 in the season opener and then heading to East Lansing, Mich., where the Vandals fell to Michigan State University 100-62 Sunday.

Don Verlin is in his first year as head coach at the University of Idaho. He joined the Vandals from Utah State University where he was the longest tenured assistant coach in USU history, leaving the Aggies after 11 seasons. He had been with USU head coach Stew Morrill, a 1974 Gonzaga University graduate, for 11 years at Utah State after spending four years with Morrill at Colorado State University.

Gonzaga University and the University of Idaho were members of the Big Sky Conference from 1963-64 until 1978-79, the Bulldogs joining the West Coast Conference for the 1979-80 season. Gonzaga has won eight straight and 12 of the last 13 in the series. Yet, the Vandals still lead 70-63 overall. Since Gonzaga left the Big Sky Conference the Bulldogs have won 18 of the 30 meetings with the Vandals. Idaho won four straight games in the series from 1980-83 after the Bulldogs left the Big Sky but it's been a Gonzaga-dominated series over the last 25 years. Idaho's last win in the series was 73-64 at Idaho Jan. 5, 1997.

Josh Heytvelt and Austin Daye both scored 15 points as Gonzaga University claimed an 83-52 victory over Montana State University Billings in their season and home opener last Saturday. Daye also grabbed 12 rebounds. A senior forward, Heytvelt scored 11 points after halftime as the Bulldogs turned a five-point game into a blowout. He went 5-for-9 from the field and also hauled in eight rebounds, one better than his season-high all of last season. Jeremy Pargo scored seven points but was more valuable with 10 assists.

Jeremy Pargo's 10 assists Saturday gives him four double-digit assist games in his career, including a career-high 13 last year against Virginia Tech. He also had 12 last year against Pepperdine University and 11 against the University of San Francisco his freshman season.

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.

Sophomore Austin Daye must like season openers. In his collegiate debut last season for Gonzaga University he scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his only double-double of the season. Turn the calendar ahead one year to Saturday's season opener and he promptly went out and recorded another double-double with his 15 points and 12 rebounds, the latter one shy of his career high of 13 set last year against the University of Portland, the only other double-digit rebounding games to go with his pair of double-double performances.

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 53-2 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. Gonzaga has a modest 10-game home winning streak since last season's setback to Washington State University.

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."



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