Bulldogs Head North To Alaska
Nov. 20, 2007
Game No. 4 - Western Kentucky
Thursday, November 22 - 8:30 p.m. PST
Great Alaska Shootout
Sullivan Arena - Anchorage, AK
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 14 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (3-0; 0-0 West Coast) G - 2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, Jr., Chicago, IL (14.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks) G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, So., Highlands Ranch, CO (10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.3 assists, 0.3 steals) G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 190, Jr., Kirkland, WA (6.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 assists, 2.3 steals) F - 25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Sr., Brewster, WA (6.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals) F - 31 Abdullahi Kuso, 6-9, 241, Sr., Kaduna, Nigeria (9.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 steals, 1.7 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 214-52 (9th year - 19th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
(All Times Pacific Standard Time)
Wednesday, Nov. 21
Game 1 - Michigan vs. Butler (ESPN2), 8:30 p.m.
Game 2 - Eastern Washington vs. Virginia Tech, 10:45 p.m.
Game 3 - Texas Tech vs. Alaska Anchorage (ESPN360), 6 p.m.
Game 4 - Western Kentucky vs. Gonzaga (ESPNU), 8:30 p.m.
Game 5 - Loser 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m.
Game 6 - Loser 3 vs. Loser 4, 3 p.m.
Game 7 - Winner 1 vs. Winner 2 (ESPN360), 6:30 p.m.
Game 8 - Winner 3 vs. Winner 4 (ESPN360), 9 p.m.
Game 9 - Loser 5 vs. Loser 6 (7th/8th) Place), 1 p.m.
Game 10 - Winner 5 vs. Winner 6 (4th/6th Place), 3 p.m.
Game 11 - Loser 7 vs. Loser 8 (3rd/5th Place) (ESPN360), 7 p.m.
Game 12 - Winner 7 vs. Winner 8 (1st/2nd Place) (ESPN2), 9:30 p.m.
Gonzaga University, 3-0 after holding home court advantage to open the season, hits the road for the first time when the Bulldogs head to the Great Alaska Shootout at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. While the men's portion of the tournament opens Wednesday, the Bulldogs don't get into action until Thanksgiving Day with an 8:30 p.m. PST contest against Western Kentucky University in a game to be televised on ESPNU. The winner meets the winner of Thursday's men's opener between Texas Tech and host University of Alaska Anchorage, while the two losers battle. The tournament concludes Saturday with placing games.
This will be Gonzaga University's third trip to Alaska in the last 11 years and will be the Bulldogs second trip to the Great Alaska Shootout. Gonzaga's inaugural appearance in Alaska was at the 1997 Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, the Bulldogs topping the University of Tulsa, Mississippi State University and then-fifth-ranked Clemson University in the title game. Gonzaga's first trip to Anchorage was for the 2001 Great Alaska Shootout. The Bulldogs downed St. John's University 65-58 and the University of Texas 67-64 prior to losing to Marquette University and Duane Wade 72-63 in the title game. Wade has gone onto All-Star status with the NBA's Miami Heat.
After playing three straight home games to start the season, Gonzaga University will be on the road for its next five contests. The Bulldogs will play three games at the Great Alaska Shootout, travel to Saint Joseph's University Nov. 29 and meet the University of Connecticut Dec. 1 at the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Mass. The next home game for the Bulldogs will be against Washington State University Dec. 5 in what is shaping up as a battle of Top 25 teams. Gonzaga is ranked 14th in both major polls this week, while WSU is ninth.
The Great Alaska Shootout has multiple ESPN entities televising games. Gonzaga University's game with Western Kentucky University Thursday will be televised on ESPNU. If the Bulldogs win, Friday's semifinal will be televised on ESPN360 which is available by internet subscription only. Saturday's championship game will be televised on ESPN2 and the consolation final will air on ESPN360. If Gonzaga drops Thursday's opener the Bulldogs will not be on television either Friday or Saturday.
Gonzaga University is 14th in both of the major polls for the third straight week. The Bulldogs garnered 834 points in the Associated Press Top 25, and 342 in the USA Today/ESPN balloting. Gonzaga returned to the preseason poll for the first time since 2005 when the Bulldogs were 7th in the ESPN/USA TODAY balloting and 8th in the AP voting. The Bulldogs got as high as 16th in the ESPN/USA TODAY poll and as high as 18th in the AP balloting last year. Gonzaga fell out of both polls on Christmas Day last year and never climbed back in to the Top 25 in a 23-11 season that included a ninth-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The University of North Carolina edged UCLA for the top spot in both polls.
Three teams on the Gonzaga University schedule remain ranked in the Top 10 of both polls again this week. The Bulldogs will travel to No. 3 University of Memphis Jan. 25, play No. 7 University of Tennessee in The Battle in Seattle Dec. 29 and host 9th-ranked Washington State University Dec. 5 in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Butler University, in the other half of the bracket of the Great Alaska Shootout, is ranked 22nd in AP and 23rd by the coaches. Gonzaga and Butler could meet on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout this Saturday.
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 42-1 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.
Austin Daye continues to enjoy success early in his collegiate career, the true freshman leading the Bulldogs in scoring at 18.0 ppg and has led the team in scoring all three games of his collegiate career. He scored 20 points in the season opener against the University of Montana, came back with 18 (largely on the strength of a 12-for-16 night from the field) to lead all scorers against the University of Idaho and poured in 16 points last Saturday against UC Riverside, going 4-for-8 from the field and 7-for-7 from the line.
Junior Josh Heytvelt and freshman Steven Gray will have their seasons interrupted by surgery. Heytvelt, who has been fighting a stress fracture in his right ankle all fall, underwent surgery Nov. 12 to insert screws into the ankle. Gray, who suffered a fractured wrist Nov. 7 in an exhibition game against Emporia State University, underwent surgery Nov. 14 to insert a pin in the wrist. In both cases, the surgery is expected to speed up the healing process rather than just casting both Heytvelt's ankle and Gray's wrist and letting time heal the injuries.
Sophomore Will Foster is back in uniform. The 7-4 center was scheduled to redshirt this season, but Josh Heytvelt's surgery has brought Foster back to active status. Foster was on the bench in street clothes in the exhibition opener, but has seen action in all three regular-season games.
There might be some magic in that No. 5 jersey freshman Austin Daye is wearing - especially when it comes to the free throw line. Daye is 21-for-25 for 84.0 percent from the stripe through the first three games. Derek Raivio, who wore No. 5 throughout his Gonzaga career, is one of the most prolific free throw shooters in NCAA history. He finished his career hitting 92.7 percent from the line and holds the top three single-season percentage marks in school history. Raivio went 148-for-154 for 96.1 percent to lead the NCAA Division I ranks in percentage a year ago and ranks second all-time on the NCAA single-season list. For his career he went 343-for-370 for 92.7 percent to rank second in the NCAA based on a minimum of 300 free throws made and 2.5 free throws made/game.
Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 461. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV holds the all-time streak of 668 entering this season.
Gonzaga University has held its last two opponents under 50 points, the first time since the 2002 season the Bulldogs have had back-to-back sub-50-point nights. The Bulldogs held three straight foes under 50 that season - downing the University of Washington 67-47, Washington State University 67-44 and Eastern Oregon State College 105-45. The Bulldogs then went to Monmouth University and won 79-54. Gonzaga set its single-season record for defensive field goal percentage that season when opponents connected on just 38.5 percent from the field. Thus far this year opponents are shooting 33.1 percent (54-for-163).
Gonzaga University juniors Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt have been named to the preseason watch lists for a pair of prestigious All-American men's basketball honors. Pargo, a native of Chicago, Ill., is one of 50 players named to the John R. Wooden Award as selected by the Los Angeles Athletic Club's Wooden Award Committee. Heytvelt, who hails from Clarkston, Wash., was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy as selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Pargo becomes the eighth Bulldog selected as a Wooden candidate. Adam Morrison was a 2006 John R. Wooden Top Five All-America selection, Dan Dickau was so honored in 2002 as Gonzaga's inaugural Wooden Award Top Five honoree, and Blake Stepp (2004) and Casey Calvary (2001) were named Wooden Award Top 10 All-Americans. Heytvelt is the second Bulldog in three years under consideration for the Naismith. Morrison was one of the five finalists in 2006.
Gonzaga University men's basketball coach Mark Few added three players to his charges for the 2008-09 season with the signing of three players to letters-of-intent. Andy Poling, 6-11, 30-pound forward from Westview High in Portland, Ore.; Grant Gibbs, 6-5, 190-pound guard from Linn-Mar High in Marion, Iowa, and Demetri Goodson, 6-0, 175-pound guard from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, made their intentions official to become Bulldogs on the first day of national letter-of-intent signing day. All three had previously made verbal commitments. Poling averaged 13.9 ppg last season to rank fifth in the Metro League in scoring while leading the Wildcats to a 21-8 overall record and 8-2 second-place Metro League finish. He was named honorable mention All-State 6A in Westview's first season in the newly-created State 6A classification. He was also voted first-team All-Metro League for the Wildcats, ranked seventh in the state heading into the State 6A Tournament where they lost their first two games. Poling was rated one of the 20 best centers in the country by one scouring service. Gibbs averaged 15.0 ppg, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rpg as Linn-Mar captured the Iowa State 4A title last spring. He had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the quarterfinal win over Sioux City North; 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 7 steals in the semifinal victory over Urbandale, and scored 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and had a pair of assists and steals in the title game against Bettendorf to cap a 24-1 season. He finished third in tournament scoring with 45 points and tied for fourth with 21 rebounds in earning All-Tournament honors. Goodson helped lead Klein Collins to the Region 2 title game last season while averaging 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 7.0 assists/game. He was an All-State 5A selection, the largest classification in Texas. Goodson was rated as high as the 135th best player in the country by one scouting service.
Gonzaga University edged Saint Mary's College as the favorite to capture their eighth consecutive regular-season West Coast Conference crown in the 2007-08 WCC men's basketball coaches' pre-season poll. The Zags tallied 61 points and received five first-place votes. Just two points behind Gonzaga is Saint Mary's with 59 overall points and the other three first-place votes.
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