Zags Home To Face Texas San Antonio

Nov. 17, 2006

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 4 - Texas San Antonio Roadrunners
Sun., Nov. 19 - 5 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KAYU-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listings)
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (3-0; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, So., Chicago, IL
       (9.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.7 blocks)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 177, Sr., Vancouver, WA
       (15.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -   4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 182, Jr., Montreal, Quebec
       (9.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.7 assists, 1.3 steals)
F -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 238, So., Clarkston, WA
       (20.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks)
F -  32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 223, Sr., Spokane, WA
      (11.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  191-41 (8th year - 18th at GU)  CA

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SAN ANTONIO ROADRUNNERS (1-1; 0-0 Southland) G - 10 Kurt Attaway, 6-1, 190, Sr., Flower Mound, TX (6.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 2.0 steals) G - 21 Isaiah Allen, 6-3, 205, Jr., Portland, OR (10.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals) G - 24 Melvin Smith, 6-3, 190, Jr., Covington, TN (10.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals) C - 50 Dwain Hall, 6-10, 240, Sr., Baton Rouge, LA (5.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals F - 5 Keith Spencer, 6-8, 215, Jr., San Diego, CA (8.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.5 steals) HEAD COACH: Brooks Thompson (Oklahoma State, 1994) UTSA RECORD: 1-1 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 11/17/06 at Washington State

Game No. 5 - North Carolina Tar Heels
Wed., Nov. 22 - 6 p.m. PST
Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip Off
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CROLINA TAR HEELS (2-0; 0-0 Atlantic Coast)
G -  2 Wayne Ellington, 6-4, 195, Fr., Wynnewood, PA
      (11.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.5 assists)
G -  4 Bobby Frasor, 6-3, 208, So., Blue Island, IL
      (2.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals)
F -  50 Tyler Hansbrough, 6-9, 245, So., Poplar Bluff, MO
      (24.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.0 assists, 2.5 steals,)
F -   3 Reyshawn Terry, 6-8, 232, Sr., Winston-Salem, NC
      (10.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.5 blocks)
F -  34 Brandan Wright, 6-9, 205, Fr., Nashville, TN
       (11.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 assists,1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Roy Williams (North Carolina, 1972)
UNC RECORD:  77-23 (4th year)  CAREER RECORD:  495-124 (19th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 11/17/06 vs. Gardner-Webb

The eyes and thoughts might be on the Big Apple and the University of North Carolina, but first Gonzaga University has a Sunday home date with the University of Texas San Antonio. After drubbing Rice University 88-50 and stopping Baylor University 78-69 to win the West pod of the Dick's Sporting Goods National Invitation Tournament Season Tip Off at the Spokane Arena last Tuesday and Wednesday, the Bulldogs have a Thanksgiving Eve engagement with second-ranked University of North Carolina at New York's Madison Square Garden. But the Bulldogs don't want to look past the Roadrunners who visit the McCarthey Athletic Center for Sunday's 5 p.m. game.

Spokane was one of four pods around the country that hosted Dick's Sporting Goods National Invitation Tournament Season Tip Off games last week. The four winners - University of North Carolina, Butler University, University of Tennessee and Gonzaga University - will meet Wednesday in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden, Consolation and championship games will be played on Friday. The following is a look at how the four teams qualified for New York.

East @ Charlotte, NC - Nov. 14-15
North Carolina d. Sacred Heart 103-81
North Carolina d. Winthrop 73-66
West @ Spokane, WA - Nov. 14-15
Gonzaga d. Rice 88-50
Gonzaga d. Baylor 78-69
Midwest @ Indianapolis, IN - Nov. 13-14
Butler d. Notre Dame 71-69
Butler d. Indiana 60-55
South @ Nashville, TN - Nov. 13-14
Tennessee d. Fordham 78-71
Tennessee d. UNC-Wilmington 87-75

Gonzaga University extended its home winning streak to 41 games with a season-opening 90-75 win over Eastern Washington University. That streak is the longest current streak in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs are 29-0 in the 3-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center and won their final 12 home games next door in The Kennel. Since beginning the streak Feb. 22, 2003, with a 69-60 win over Tulsa University, the Bulldogs have also played - and won - six games at the downtown Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. That gives the Bulldogs a 47-game winning streak in the city of Spokane. The last time the Bulldogs lost in Spokane was Feb. 19, 2003, to the University of Portland 72-68 in The Kennel.

Gonzaga University and the University of Texas San Antonio aren't strangers on the basketball court. The two teams played Dec. 6, 1996, in the One-Dodge Classic hosted by Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., the Bulldogs winning 87-61.

It's been well documented what Gonzaga University had to replace this season with the loss of Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista. The two combined to average 47.4 ppg and 14.9 rpg. But sophomore Josh Heytvelt and senior Derek Raivio are doing their best to make their mark on the 2007 version of the Bulldogs. It's still early in the season, but through the first three games the duo are averaging 35.0 ppg and 10.7 rpg. Heytvelt has been the surprise thus far, averaging 20.0 ppg and 6.7 rpg. He scored a career-high 22 points in the season opener against Eastern Washington University, then broke that with 25 points against Rice University. He recorded his first career double against Rice by grabbing 11 rebounds. Heytvelt is 23-for-46 from the field for 50.0 percent this season. Raivio, meanwhile, has picked up where he left off last year from the free throw line. A 91.2 percent (83-for-91) shooter from the line last season, he's 14-for-15 for 93.3 percent thus far this year. After missing his lone attempt against Rice, he came back to go 10-for-10 against Baylor University. He tied the school mark of 41 straight from the line during the 2004-05 season, starting his streak Dec. 28, 2004, and seeing it end Feb. 5, 2005. Geoff Goss also accomplished the feat from Dec. 23, 1992-Jan. 21, 1993.

Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes has been urged by Gonzaga University's coaching staff to look to the basket more in his two previous seasons, and this year he seems to be taking the advice to heart. Through the first three games he's 11-for-18 from the field for 61.1 percent and is averaging 9.7 ppg. His freshman season he averaged 2.0 ppg and last season increased that to 4.2 ppg. He had a career field goal percentage of 44.8 percent entering this season.

Junior college transfer Abdullahi Kuso was brought in to give Gonzaga University some depth, and the product of Tallahassee JC has done just that. He's averaging 7.3 ppg and 3.3 rpg. He's gone 6-for-8 from the field. He had a season-high 10 points against Rice University and grabbed 7 rebounds in the win over Baylor University. He's averaging 11.7 minutes/game.

Gonzaga University has one game left in the Spokane Arena this season, the Bulldogs hosting the University of Memphis in the Ronald McDonald House of Charities Classic on Feb. 17. Gonzaga's two wins in the West pod of the Dick's Sporting Goods National Invitation Season Tip Off pushed the Bulldogs record to 11-3 in the Spokane Arena and gave them an 8-game winning streak in the facility.

Eight newcomers dot the Gonzaga University roster this season, although two of them were redshirt walk-ons a year ago. Matt Bouldin, a 6-5 guard from Highland Ranch, Colo., Will Foster, a 7-4 center from Buckley, Wash., and Theo Davis, a 6-9 forward from Brampton, Ontario, are the recruited freshmen in the fold. Abdullahi Kuso, a 6-9 forward from Tallahassee Community College by way of Kaduna, Nigeria, is the long junior college transfer. Micah Downs, a 6-8 guard from Kirkland, Wash., and David Burgess, a 6-10 forward from Irvine, Calif., were two mid-year transfers last January who won't be eligible until after finals on Dec. 16 and their grades are certified. Downs joined the Bulldogs are one semester at the University of Kansas and Burgess came to Gonzaga in the middle of his sophomore campaign at Brigham Young University. They join 6-2 sophomore guard Andrew Sorenson from Olympia, Wash., and 6-2 freshman guard Jordan Mast from Hillsboro, Ore. Mast redshirted last season while Sorenson tried out for the team in 2004-05 but did not make the squad, then tried out for the team again last season and was kept on the squad.

Injuries have slowed the progress of several players this year, the most notable to sophomore Larry Gurganious who is sidelined for at least 6-8 weeks with a cracked lower vertebrae. Gurganious' injury was recently diagnosed after he had missed most of fall practice with back problems. He is expected to be sidelined at least 6-8 weeks and perhaps the season. It's an injury that doesn't heal very quickly and sometimes doesn't heal at all, according to head coach Mark Few. Transfers Micah Downs and David Burgess, who don't become eligible until after finals in December because they were mid-season transfers last January, have also been slowed. Downs is back at practice after minor foot surgery and Burgess is expected to be sidelined until approximately Dec. 1 with an ACL sprain. Freshman Theo Davis had shoulder surgery, is expected to be out until some time in December and could sit out the season.

Gonzaga University received votes in both of the major polls last week, the Bulldogs the first team in the others receiving votes category in the US Today/ESPN Top 25 and the second team listed in the Associated Press Top 25. The Bulldogs garnered 73 points in the USA Today/ESPN voting, 16 shy of No. 20 Creighton University with 89 points. The Bulldogs had 125 points in the AP Top 25, Wichita State University had 153 and the University of Tennessee is ranked 25th with 199.

Gonzaga University head men's basketball coach Mark Few announced the signing of four players to national letters-of-intent to join the Bulldogs next fall. Scheduled to join the Bulldogs next season are freshmen Austin Daye, Woodbridge High in Irvine, Calif.; Steven Gray, Bainbridge High, Bainbridge, Wash., and Robert Sacre (pronounced sack-rEE), Handsworth Secondary School, North Vancouver, British Columbia, and junior college transfer Ira Brown, Phoenix, Ariz., College who hails from Conroe, Texas. Daye, a 6-10, 190-pound wing, was ranked as the 32nd-best player nationally and as the ninth best small forward by one scouting service in the Class of 2007. He was named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West first team as the seventh-leading vote getter and was named to the Hot 100 players for 2007 as selected by Sports Illustrated. Daye averaged 16 ppg, 9 rpg and 3.4 blocks/game as a junior for coach John Halagan. Gray, a 6-4, 190-pound guard, was ranked as the 52nd best player and the 13th best shooting guard in the Class of 2007. He was also named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West second team. He averaged 24.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4 assists and 2.5 steals last season for coach Scott Orness. Sacre, a 7-0, 255-pound post, was rated as the 100th best player in the Class of '07 and the seventh best center. He averaged 25 ppg, 12 rpg and 4 blocks/game for Handsworth Secondary School and coach Randy Storey last season, earning MVP of the British Columbia Provincial Tournament. Brown, a 6-4, 235-pound forward, was ranked as the 42nd best junior college player in the country after averaging 17 ppg, 10 rpg and shooting 60 percent from the field for Phoenix College and Coach Matt Gordon. A late bloomer to the collegiate game, Brown graduated from Willis High in Texas in May of 2001 and pursued a professional baseball career. He was drafted in the eight round of the 2001 Major League Draft by the Kansas City Royals and played four seasons of minor league baseball, including the 2002 season with the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League.. He attended Phoenix College last season, averaging 17.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, shooting 57.6 percent from the field (253-for-439) and blocking 59 shots. "This is the first time we've ever had a class nationally ranked," Few said of the recruiting class ranked 11th best in the nation by one scouting service. "We got some offense, we got some size and we got some athleticism. This is a talented group."

Gonzaga is tied for eighth for the longest active NCAA Tournament Appearances Streak. The Bulldogs made their eighth straight appearance in 2006, joining Wisconsin, Texas and Florida. Arizona extended its streak to 22 with last spring's selection, followed by Kansas (17), Kentucky (15), Duke (11) and Michigan State (9). Streaks that ended in 2006 were Cincinnati (14), Stanford (11) and Oklahoma State (8).

Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 429. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland.

 

 

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