Men's Basketball Opens Season At Home
Nov. 20, 2002
Game No. 1 - Hofstra University Pride
Friday, Nov. 22 - 7 p.m. PST
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. PST
No. 21 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (29-4; 13-1 West Coast Conference)
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY PRIDE (12-20; 5-13 Colonial Athletic Conference)
Monday, Nov. 25 - 8:30 p.m. PST
Lahaina Civic Center - Lahaina, Maui
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 8 p.m. PST
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH UTES (21-9; 10-4 Mountain West Conference)
HOFSTRA VISITS: For the first time in five seasons Gonzaga University will open the regular season at home when Hofstra University visits The Kennel Friday for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The last time the Bulldogs began a campaign at home was Nov. 15, 1997, when the Bulldogs defeated Concordia University of Portland, Ore., 97-50. The Bulldogs went on to a 24-10 season and a second-round appearance in the NIT, defeating the University of Wyoming in the first round and losing at the University of Hawai'i in the second round.
OFF TO MAUI: Following Friday's opener, Gonzaga University will be on an airplane early Saturday morning headed for Lahaina, Maui, and the 19th annual EA Sports Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs will open play in the Maui Invitational Monday against the University of Utah in an 8:30 p.m. PST game to be televised on ESPN2. The Bulldogs are in the same bracket with Indiana University and the University of Massachusetts.
FLU BUG: The 24-hour flu bug hit Gonzaga University's squad on Tuesday as 11 players and two coaches were absent and practice was cancelled.
INJURY UPDATE: Cory Violette (hip), Ronny Turiaf (shoulder) and Winston Brooks (shoulder) were all back in the lineup last Friday for Gonzaga University's final exhibition tune up. All three had missed the first exhibition. "They aren't 100 percent but they are close," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. Blake Stepp suffered a cut under his right eye in last Friday's tilt that required stitches.
BULLDOGS ON THE AIR: All Gonzaga University basketball games can be heard on News Talk AM 1510 KGA radio in Spokane. KREM-TV sports anchor Tom Hudson is in his first season behind the microphone calling all the radio action of Bulldog basketball beginning with the pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff. Gonzaga basketball can also be accessed off the Internet via subscription to the Online College Sports Network. OCSN, the official athletics web site provider for Gonzaga, offers many new features via its audio subscription service and all sites on the OCSN web site are included in the subscription. Subscriptions are available by visiting the Gonzaga site at http://www.gozags.com.
BULLDOGS ON THE TUBE: As many as 27 Gonzaga University regular-season contests could be televised through the West Coast Conference Tournament. KHG-TV/PAX-TV in Spokane will televise 10 games from The Kennel as well as road games from the University of Montana, against Stanford University at the Pete Newell Challenge and at Portland State University. KHQ-TV news anchor Greg Heister returns for his second season on KHQ/PAX. Former Bulldog Jeff Brown and former NBA and Washington State University standout Craig Ehlo will join Heister on the broadcasts. The Bulldogs could appear as many as eight times on ESPN or ESPN2 - all three games from the Maui Invitational if the Bulldogs win their opener, the Jimmy V Classic against North Carolina State University, at Pepperdine University for Rivalry Week, at home against Tulsa University in Bracket Busters and in the semifinals and championship game of the West Coast Conference Tournament.
BROOKS BACK: After missing the final 19 games of last season with a fractured wrist, senior guard Winston Brooks is back for his final season. "Winston was just coming into his own when he was injured," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few noted. "I think he's playing with great confidence this season.
BEST SEASON EVER: The 29 wins Gonzaga University posted last season in a 29-4 campaign were the most in school history. Gonzaga has won 20 games for five straight seasons and in eight of the past nine years.
GOURDE AMONG FG LEADERS: Senior forward Zach Gourde has made his mark on Gonzaga University's career record book. He enters the season ninth in field goals made with 395 as he chases Doug Spradley in eighth with 462. Gourde is also sixth in career blocked shots with 69, Marc Armstead (70), Paul Rogers (72) and Mark Spink (80) just ahead of him. Casey Calvary is the all-time leader in blocks with 207.
POUNDING THE BOARDS: Gonzaga University led the NCAA Division I ranks in rebounding margin last season with a +8.9 margin to edge Louisiana Tech University (+8.8) by the slimmest of margins. Cory Violette paced the Bulldogs with his 8.3 rpg, including a 20-rebound night against Fresno State University that ranked tied for 13th nationally.
POTENT OFFENSE: While Gonzaga University will have to replace the 21.0 ppg of the departed Dan Dickau, the Bulldogs are hoping to be as successful on the offensive end of the court as they were last season. Gonzaga had a +14.5 scoring margin to rank fourth in the country behind Duke University (+19.7), the University of Cincinnati (+17.8) and the University of Kansas (+16.2). The Bulldogs averaged 81.1 ppg last season.
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, the Bulldogs entering the 2003 season with a 26-game home winning streak to rank third in the country. In the last 10 seasons the Bulldogs are 128-9 at home for a nifty 93.4 winning percentage after capping a 13-0 home season in 2002 and winning by an average of 24.6 ppg. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. GU is 45-1 in The Kennel over the past four 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.
LIGHT DECEMBER AT HOME: Home for the Holidays isn't the theme for Gonzaga University this season as the Bulldogs play just three times in The Kennel in December. Gonzaga meets the University of Washington Dec. 20, Long Beach State University on Dec. 20 and brings down the curtain on 2002 with a New Year's Eve matchup with Saint Joseph's University.
FEW'S THREE-YEAR RUN: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few's 81-20 record makes him the winningest third-year coach in NCAA history, surpassing Bill Guthridge of the University of North Carolina (1998-00) and Everett Case of North Carolina State University (1947-49) who each won 80 games in their first three seasons as a NCAA Division I head coach. With 15 wins this season Few would crack the Top 10 list for wins by a fourth-year head coach, Jerry Tarkanian (Long Beach State, 1969-72), Pat Foster (Lamar, 1981-84) and Nolan Richardson (Tulsa, 1981-84) all with 96 wins. Case leads the four-year list with 107, one of only five coaches to win 100 games in their first four seasons. In his first two seasons as head coach the Bulldogs 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. Few was an assistant coach on Gonzaga's run to the 1999 Elite Eight.
LAST FOUR YEARS: Gonzaga University trails only Duke University, Michigan State University and the University of Cincinnati in wins over the last four seasons. The Bulldogs have won 109 games, while Duke leads the list with 128.
IN THE MAGAZINES: The pre-season basketball magazines picked Gonzaga University and Pepperdine University to battle it out for the West Coast Conference title again. Street and Smith, Lindy's Basketball and Sports Illustrated all picked the Bulldogs to capture the West Coast Conference crown, while Athlon projects the Bulldogs second behind rival Pepperdine.
SUMMER HOOPS: Cory Violette and Ronny Turiaf were each exposed to the European brand of basketball last summer. Turiaf represented France in the U-20 European Championship. France captured the bronze medal as Turiaf averaged 14.9 ppg for 11th and 9.8 rpg for third. He scored 20 points in an 88-75 win over Russia and grabbed 21 rebounds in an 84-72 win over Ukraine. He posted four double-doubles. Violette for NYC Hoops on a five-game tour of Istanbul and Italy. He had 17 points against Germany and grabbed 16 rebounds against the Turkish National Junior Team as NYC Hoops finished 3-2 on the tour.
TOURNAMENT FORMAT: The West Coast Conference has changed its tournament format for this season. All eight teams qualify for the tourney, but that's the only thing consistent about past years. In the first round, the fifth through eighth teams play with four and five receiving byes. The two winners the first night then meet No. 4 and No. 5, with those two winners facing No. 1 and No. 2 who will be seeded into the semifinals. For the third straight season the tournament will return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus. Beginning in 2004 the tournament will rotate the championship site regionally. The 2004 and 2005 tournaments will be in the ay Area, 2006 and 2007 in the Pacific Northwest and 2008 and 2009 in southern California.
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