Bulldogs Host Idaho Saturday In Men's Basketball
Nov. 22, 2000
Game No. 3 - University of Idaho Vandals
Saturday, November 25 - 7 p.m. PST
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: KTRW 970 AM 25 minutes prior to tipoff
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (2-0, 0-0 in West Coast Conference)
UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO VANDALS (1-1, 0-0 in Big West Conference)
IDAHO TICKETS AVAILABLE: With Thanksgiving vacation underway and several hundred of the tickets allotted for students, staff and faculty going unclaimed, general admission tickets will be available to the public for Saturday's contest. Fans can call the athletic department at (509) 323-4202 and order with a credit card or come to the Martin Centre during regular business hours through Wednesday. Any remaining tickets will go on sale at noon Saturday over the phone and in person at the Martin Centre. Tickets are $10 each.
ARENA TICKETS ON SALE: Ticket packages for Gonzaga University's men's and women's games in the Spokane Arena are on sale through all Spokane area G&B Select-A-Seat outlets and through the Arena box office. The Bulldog men and women will play a doubleheader Jan. 2 with the women facing Colgate University at 4:30 p.m. and the men facing the University of New Mexico at 7:30 p.m. The men face Prairie View A&M on Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. Three-game packages are $30 and $20, with groups of 10 or more receiving a $5 discount per ticket. To order tickets with a credit card call 1-800-325-SEAT. For more information contact the Arena box office at (509) 324-0711. Fans can also order online at www.ticketswest.com.
BULLDOGS OFF TO 2-0 START: For the third time in the past four years, Gonzaga University has a chance to start a season 3-0 when the University of Idaho visits The Kennel Saturday for a 7 p.m. tipoff in the 126th hardwood meeting between the two schools. The Bulldogs opened last season 4-0 and the 1998 season 5-0.
BULLDOGS VS. VANDALS: Although the University of Idaho leads the series 69-56, Gonzaga University has held the upper hand in recent years. The Bulldogs have won 6 of the last 7 meetings, including last season's 60-49 win in Moscow. Idaho took a 73-64 victory in Moscow in 1998. Gonzaga has not lost to the Vandals at home since suffering a 67-47 shellacking on Dec. 5, 1989. Gonzaga has won the last five games played in The Kennel, including a 94-55 pasting during the 1999 season.
WE'RE NO. 1: That's right, Gonzaga University is ranked No. 1. The poll is the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), one of the factors the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee takes into account when determining its seedings and at-large selections for March Madness. The Bulldogs, University of Arizona, Michigan State University, Seton Hall University, TCU and Temple University are all tied for the top spot with a RPI of 1.000 through games of Tuesday.
LOOKING AHEAD: One couldn't really blame Gonzaga University's players if they had at least one eye looking a little bit past the University of Idaho this Saturday. Next Wednesday the Bulldogs face yet another in a long list of top-ranked opponents over the past four seasons when Gonzaga battles top-ranked or second-ranked (depending on which poll you want to read) University of Arizona Wildcats in the desert of Tucson. The Wildcats opened the regular season Tuesday with a 76-59 win over the University of Dayton at the Maui Invitational.
SHOOTING WELL: Through the first two games, Gonzaga University has had the shooting touch. The Bulldogs shot 62.8 percent for the game against Eastern Washington University, including a 62.8 percent clip in the second half. Against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay the Bulldogs hit 53.1 percent from the field, including a 66.7 percent first half. The Bulldogs have been equally deadly from 3-point range, hitting 6-of-13 against EWU for 46.2 percent and 8-of-19 against UWGB for 42.1 percent.
SCOUTING THE VANDALS: The University of Idaho has started the season 1-1, falling in the season opener to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay 62-50 and then coming back to defeat Western Montana College 89-69 Tuesday in a pair of home games. Junior forward Matt Gerschefske, who scored just 7 points in the season opener, came back with a 10-of-14 night from the field on his way to 23 points against Western Montana. The Vandals, who shot a miserable 22.6 percent from the floor in losing to UWGB, poured in 38-of-66 attempts for 57.6 percent in Tuesday's win. Idaho also improved from beyond the 3-point line, hitting 7-of-13 on Tuesday after opening the season with a chilly 3-of-20 from beyond the arc for 15.0 percent. After getting out-rebounded 43-31 against Wisconsin-Green Bay, the Vandals turned the tables on Western Montana with a 40-32 advantage on the boards.
CALVARY DOUBLES UP: Senior Casey Calvary recorded the eighth double-double of his career when he opened with a 24-point, 10-rebound night at Eastern Washington University. The native of Tacoma, Wash., had a trio of double-doubles last season.
GOURDE SEES SOME PT: Sophomore Zach Gourde, rehabilitating from September knee surgery to repair a damaged meniscus, played 10 minutes in the season opener at Eastern Washington University, then came back for an 18-minute stint against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Gourde, who scored a career-high 22 points last season against EWU, had 4 points and grabbed a pair of rebounds in his limited minutes against EWU, minutes that were limited in part because he fouled out. Sunday against UWGB he scored 7 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
RANKED TEAMS ON SCHEDULE: A pair of ranked teams looms in the not-to-distant future on Gonzaga University's schedule. The first big showdown is Nov. 29 when the Bulldogs face top-ranked (Associated Press Top 25) University of Arizona at Lute Olson Court at McKale Center on the Wildcats' campus. The Bulldogs are no strangers to McKale Center, having defeated the University of Louisville and St. John's University last March in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Tucson. Gonzaga will also face 11th-ranked (both polls) University of Florida Dec. 20 in Sunrise, Fla., in the Hip Health Care/Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. The Bulldogs and Gators are no strangers. Casey Calvary's tip-in with :04 remaining gave the Bulldogs a 73-72 Sweet 16 victory in 1999 at the NCAA West Regional in Phoenix, Ariz. Gonzaga received 1 vote in both of this week's polls.
CALVARY WOODEN AWARD NOMINEE: Gonzaga University senior forward Casey Calvary is one of 50 nominees for the John R. Wooden Award. A poll was conducted of The John R. Wooden Award Committee to determine the Pre-season Top 50 candidates for the 2000-01 Wooden Award All-American Team. On March 27, 2001, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Friday April 6, 2001 as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year." The event will be a one hour telecast on FOX Sports Net. The top 50 Candidates have been selected based on last year's individual performance and team records. In late December, the Wooden Award committee will release the Mid-season Top 30 during a half-hour program on FOX Sports Net. This is the second straight year the Bulldogs have had a Wooden Award nominee, guard Matt Santangelo getting the nomination a year ago.
FEW'S ROOKIE SEASON: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few had one of the best rookie seasons in NCAA history, the Bulldogs' 26 wins ranking him tied for 7th for "Top 10 Career Starts For Head Coaches By Victories." He's tied with such coaching legends as Jim Boeheim at Syracuse University (1977), Denny Crum of the University of Louisville (1972) and Nolan Richardson of Tulsa University (1981). All won 26 games as rookie head coaches at the NCAA Division I level.
20 WINS AGAIN: For the seventh time in eight years Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau, the Bulldogs' 26 wins last season second only behind the 1999 school record mark of 28-7 mark. Last year marked the fourth time the Bulldogs hit the magic 20-win plateau in the regular season. The 1994 squad took a 20-6 record into the West Coast Conference Tournament, the 1998 team was 21-8 entering the tourney, the 1999 Bulldogs went 22-6 in the regular season and the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga's first 20-win season as a NCAA Division I program came in 1992 with a 20-10 mark, falling to Pepperdine University 73-70 in the Bulldogs' first appearance in the WCC Tournament title game.
BULLDOGS IN THE KENNEL: The Kennel - home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs - has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country. In the last nine seasons the Bulldogs are 104-9 at home for a nifty 92.0 winning percentage, finishing 10-1 last season. The Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel in 1999, 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. Gonzaga was 10-1 at home in 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the second-longest active streak in the country.
HEAD COACH MARK FEW SPEAKS OUT ON...
THE OPENING WEEKEND: "To get a road win at EWU, and to play against a team that can be somewhat frustrating to deal with in their patience on the offensive end and their hard-nosed defensive tendencies like Wisconsin-Green Bay has was a good start. They were games we planned on winning, but games we knew weren't going to be easy, and obviously it wasn't at EWU."
SHORT TURNAROUND: "In a short turnaround we addressed some of our inadequacies at EWU and remedied them against Wisconsin-Green Bay. We got the ball where we needed to get it, we executed better and we defended as a team a little better. At EWU we had stretches of good play, we just didn't finish them off when we had the opportunity, primarily at the free throw line."
SHOOTING: "I think this is a real good shooting club. We have some guys who can knock it down at the perimeter and our inside players are still our strength so we should get some high percentage shots in the paint."
DEPTH: "I think the depth is there for nine or 10 players. It gets hard after that. Fouls at EWU forced us into some things. That is one of the differences from last year to this. We have more balance and we don't have a top five that is head-and-shoulders above everybody else on the team. We need to inter-mix here and there and find combinations that work."
ZACH GOURDE'S RETURN: "I thought Zach looked much better against Wisconsin-Green Bay. It's encouraging he could come back with such a short turnaround. He's probably at 75 percent. His timing, agility and all-around awareness is hard to mimic when you are in the pool or shooting free throws on the side."
THE VANDALS: "I'm sure Idaho will come in here very much fired up. We seem to bring that out in people. They always play very hard under Coach (David) Farrar. They'll be very determined. Being a local rivalry game, those games usually don't lack anything on the intensity side. But we also have a week to work on some things, get back to the basics, work on our offense and work on some breakdown drills on defense."
DEFENSE: "I thought our defensive effort against Wisconsin-Green Bay was. They run a lot of screens, spread you and wait for you to make a mistake. We didn't break down too much. We didn't defend all that well at EWU. We had communication breakdowns, got caught up in the moment and let the crowd get riled up and let them get some easy baskets down the stretch in that game."
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