Gonzaga Home To Face Idaho Sunday

Nov. 25, 2006

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 7 - Idaho Vandals
Sun., Nov. 26 - 1 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listings)
No. 23 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (5-1; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, So., Chicago, IL
       (10.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 177, Sr., Vancouver, WA
       (17.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -   4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 182, Jr., Montreal, Quebec
       (7.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals)
F -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 238, So., Clarkston, WA
       (17.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.5 blocks)
F -  32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 223, Sr., Spokane, WA
      (8.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  193-42 (8th year - 18th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO VANDALS (1-3; 0-0 Western Athletic) G - 5 Keoni Watson, 5-10, 180, Sr., San Diego, CA (18.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 1.5 steals) G - 11 Mario Mackey, 5-10, 160, Jr., Aurora, CO (11.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.8 steals) C - 50 Desmond Nwoke, 6-8, 230, Sr., Kano State, Nigeria (7.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.3 steals) F - 1 Clyde Johnson, 6-7, 205, Jr., Aurora, CO (8.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 12 Michael Crowell, 6-7, 210, Jr., Mesa, AZ (6.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.0 assists, 0.3 steals) HEAD COACH: George Pfeifer (Lewis-Clark State, 1994) IDAHO RECORD: 1-3 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None

Game No. 8 - Portland State Vikings
Thurs., Nov. 30 - 5 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listings)

PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY VIKINGS (3-2; 0-0 Big Sky)
G -  2 Deonte Huff, 6-4, 195, Jr., Lancaster, CA
      (9.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -  4 Ryan Sommer, 5-11, 165, Jr., Snohomish, WA
      (5.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 5.4 assists, 1.8 steals)
G -  15 Dupree Lucas, 6-1, 170, Jr., Wichita, KS
      (10.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.0 assists, 1.8 steals)
C -   44 Scott Morrison, 6-11, 250, Jr., Vancouver, B.C.
      (14.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 0.4 assists, 2.0 blocks)
F -  21 Juma Kamara, 6-6, 190, Sr., Stockton, CA
       (12.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.6 assists, 1.0 steals)
HEAD COACH:  Ken Bone (Seattle Pacific, 1983)
PSU RECORD:  15-18 (2nd year)  CAREER RECORD:  273-136 (14th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  11/27 vs. Portland

Gonzaga University, coming off its first loss of the season Friday in the championship game of the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip Off, returns home Sunday to host the University of Idaho in a 1 p.m. game at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs fell to Butler University 79-71 Friday at Madison Square Garden after downing second-ranked University of North Carolina in Wednesday's semifinals 82-74. It was Gonzaga's first appearance in New York for the NIT, the Bulldogs having advanced to the second round of what was then the Pre-Season NIT in 1998. Gonzaga has been in the post-season NIT twice, advancing to the second round in both 1994 and 1998.

The biggest factor Gonzaga University may have to deal with on Sunday is fatigue. The Bulldogs arrived in Spokane at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning, had a Saturday afternoon practice and will take to the court for Sunday's 1 p.m. matchup with the University of Idaho less than 48 hours after having gone coast-to-coast following Friday night's game.

A.J. Graves scored 26 points and Butler University, despite not making a field goal over the final eight minutes, beat Gonzaga University 79-71 in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Butler (6-0) won the battle of the Bulldogs by going 23-for-26 from the free throw line, including making 16 of 18 over the final 3 1/2 minutes after Gonzaga (5-1) had cut an 18-point deficit to as few as six. Derek Raivio had 20 points to lead Gonzaga, which advanced to the title game at Madison Square Garden by beating No. 2 North Carolina 82-74 in the semifinals. While it was free throws that sealed the win, it was 3-pointers that got Butler off to a 43-29 halftime lead. Butler, which beat No. 22 Tennessee 56-44 in the semifinals, had nine 3-pointers in the first half, their average for a game so far this season. Julian Betko made all three of his long-range attempts in the first half as Butler went 9-for-22. Graves, who was 2-for-8 from beyond the arc in the first half, made two of his five 3-point attempts in the second half, the second one giving Butler a 60-45 lead with 9:39 to play. Betko's desperation jumper from just outside the foul line as the shot clock expired with 8:00 left was Butler's last field goal of the game and it gave the Bulldogs a 62-45 lead. Brian Ligon's free throw 30 seconds later gave Butler its biggest lead. Josh Heytvelt, Gonzaga's big man who was limited to six points in eight minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, started an 8-0 run for Gonzaga with a three-point play. Raivio capped it with a 3 and two free throws, but Graves started Butler's free throw parade with 3:32 left. He went 6-for-6 from the line the rest of the way and Mike Green made all eight of his free throws down the stretch. Gonzaga was able to get within seven points five times and six once, 77-71 with 14 seconds left, but Butler just kept making free throws. Heytvelt finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for Gonzaga.

Josh Heytvelt was named to the Dick's Sporting Good NIT Season Tip Off All-Tournament team. He had 19 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in Gonzaga University's 82-74 semifinal win over the University of North Carolina, going 8-for-13 from the field against the Tar Heels. He came back with 16 points, 8 rebounds and two blocked shots in the championship setback to Butler University.

Gonzaga University's win over No. 2 University of North Carolina was the highest ranked team the Bulldogs have ever defeated. Gonzaga has three wins over teams ranked third, but the Bulldogs were 0-4 against teams ranked No. 2 prior to Wednesday's upset. Gonzaga is 0-1 against No. 1.

Wednesday's win over the University of North Carolina continued Gonzaga University's success against the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Bulldogs 8-1 all time against ACC competition. The Bulldogs have two more games against ACC foes this year, the Bulldogs returning to Madison Square Garden on Dec. 21 to face Duke University, then heading to the University of Virginia for a Jan. 3 matchup.

Gonzaga University extended its home winning streak to 42 games with a 92-48 win over the University of Texas San Antonio last Sunday. That streak is the longest current streak in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs are 30-0 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 48-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 had a 21-game regular-season winning streak snapped Friday by Butler University. The Bulldogs hadn't lost in the regular season since last Dec. 27 when the Bulldogs fell 83-72 at the University of Memphis.

Gonzaga University has a +17.7 scoring margin advantage this season. Gonzaga is averaging 83.5 ppg while opponents are scoring at a 65.8 clip. Gonzaga's five wins have been by an average of 22.8 points. Gonzaga also has a +9.6 rebounding margin advantage. Gonzaga has yet to be out rebounded this season, although the University of North Carolina pulled a 42-42 rebounding stallmate.

Through the first six games Gonzaga University has its shooting touch. Gonzaga is connecting on 50.9 percent of its field goals (174-for-342). Opponents have hit just 36.4 percent of its attempts (134-for-368). Gonzaga has been under 50 percent in just one game this season, hitting 45.5 percent against Rice University. Eastern Washington University has the highest shooting percentage against Gonzaga this season, connecting on 43.9 percent in the season opener in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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 Highlands 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 continue to slow the progress of several players this year. Micah Downs had a stress fracture injury flare up on him again on Nov. 18 he had surgery the following day that will sideline him 6-10 weeks. A pin was placed in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot. If he heals quickly he could be back in six weeks and be ready for West Coast Conference play. If it takes longer to heal a decision will be made whether or not to play him this season. As a mid-season transfer he wasn't going to be eligible to play until mid-December. He came to the Bulldogs after one semester at the University of Kansas. If he doesn't play this season he will have three years of eligibility remaining. Sophomore Larry Gregarious 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 could be sidelined 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. Transfer David Burgess, who won't become eligible until after finals in December because he was another mid-season transfer last January, has also been slowed. 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. Davis has begun shooting and weightlifting but his shoulder needs to get stronger before he can return to the daily grind of practice. Trainers and coaches are optimistic Davis will see action this season.

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 432. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV held the all-time streak of 601 entering the current season.

 

 

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