Bulldog Men's Basketball Faces Pac-10 Week
Nov. 27, 2000
Game No. 4 - Arizona Wildcats
Wednesday, November 29 - 7 p.m. PST
Lute Olson Court at McKale Center - Tucson, AZ
Radio: KTRW 970 AM 25 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: FOX Sports Net (Channel 34 on Spokane AT&T Cable)
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (3-0, 0-0 in West Coast Conference)
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA WILDCATS (3-1, 0-0 in Pacific-10 Conference)
Saturday, December 2 - 5 p.m. PST
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: KXLI 630 AM 25 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: FOX Sports Net (Channel 34 on Spokane AT&T Cable)
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON HUSKIES (1-1, 0-0 in Pacific-10 Conference)
BULLDOGS REMAIN UNDEFEATED: Gonzaga University kept its record unblemished through three games Saturday with a 92-42 blasting of the University of Idaho in front of a sellout crowd of 4,000 in The Kennel. For the third time in the past four years, the Bulldogs have opened the season 3-0. The Bulldogs opened last season 4-0 and the 1998 season 5-0. Saturday's game was over early as the Bulldogs raced to a 21-4 lead, led 54-19 at halftime and cleared the bench for mush of the season half. Although Idaho leads the series 69-57, the Bulldogs captured their seventh win in the last eight meetings, and defeated the Vandals in The Kennel for the sixth straight time. The 50-point margin fell one point shy of equaling the largest margin of victory in Gonzaga history, the Bulldogs topping both Eastern Washington University (108-57 in 1963) and Whitman College (90-39 in 1931) by 51 points. Gonzaga also holds 50-point victories over Whitworth College (88-38 in 1984) and Carroll College (106-56 in 1992). Saturday's victory, obviously, was the largest ever for the Bulldogs over the Vandals.
BULLDOGS HAVE PAC-10 FRAYS: Gonzaga University ventures into the Pacific-10 Conference for a pair of games this week. Wednesday the Bulldogs meet one of the giants on this year's schedule when they travel to Tucson and a meeting with the University of Arizona. Saturday the Bulldogs return to The Kennel to face the University of Washington. Both games will be televised on FOX Sports Net Northwest (Channel 34 on AT&T Cable in Spokane), as well as other FOX affiliates throughout the United States.
GONZAGA VS. THE PAC-10: At first glance, Gonzaga University hasn't had much success against Pacific-10 Conference foes. But looks are deceiving. Although Pac-10 squads hold a 156-55 advantage against the Bulldogs, the last two seasons have belonged to the Bulldogs. Gonzaga has gone 6-2 against the Pac-10 the past two seasons, defeating Washington State University and the University of Washington twice each, Stanford University in the 1999 NCAA Tournament and UCLA last season in Pauley Pavilion, holding the Bruins to a Pauley Pavilion record 43 points in a 59-43 victory. Gonzaga lost to the University of California 72-64 last year in the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland, CA, and to the University of Oregon 70-64 in the semifinals of the Outrigger Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, HI. Gonzaga has never played the University of Arizona or Arizona State University.
THE RATINGS: Gonzaga University, tied for first last week in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), is 72nd through Saturday's games. In Jeff Sagarin's College Basketball Ratings, the Bulldogs find themselves 12th with an 88.72 rating. Seton Hall University and the University of Texas-Pan American are tied for first in the RPI rankings at 1.000. Duke University heads the Sagarin ratings with a 97.01.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS: The University of Arizona, ranked first in last week's Associated Press Top 25 and second in the ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 Coaches Poll, is sure to drop a notch or two following last Saturday's 72-69 loss to Purdue University in the John Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, IN. The Wildcats were fresh off their inaugural title in the Maui Invitational where the Wildcats opened the season with wins over host Chaminade University, Dayton University and 8th-ranked University of Illinois. Arizona is the unanimous pre-season favorite to win the Pacific-10 Conference title. All five starters - guards Gilbert Arenas and Jason Gardner, forwards Richard Jefferson and Michael Wright, and center Loren Woods John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 candidates for Player of the Year honors. Wright and Woods were honorable mention All-Americans a year ago, and Woods was voted the Newcomer of the Year in the Pac-10.
BULLDOGS VS. WILDCATS: This will be the first meeting between Gonzaga University and the University of Arizona.
BULLDOGS NO STRANGERS TO TUCSON: Although Gonzaga University has never played the University of Arizona, the Bulldogs will have some sentimental memories of Lute Olson Court at McKale Center. Last spring the Bulldogs began March Madness on this very court with wins over the University of Louisville and St. John's University in the first and second rounds, respectively, of the NCAA Tournament.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: The University of Washington has split its first two games heading into Tuesday's home matchup with Portland State University. The Huskies opened the season with a 73-61 setback to the University of Texas-El Paso in a game played at KeyArena, home of the Seattle Sonics. The Huskies returned to remodeled Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion and captured an 81-77 victory Saturday over New Mexico State University in the dedication game. The veteran Huskies start four seniors and a junior, but only guard Michael Johnson and forward Will Perkins are returning starters in the lineup. Johnson had 27 starts a year ago, Perkins 18. Thalo Green, who started 16 games a year ago, did not play in the season opener but came off the bench for 19 minutes last Saturday.
BULLDOGS VS. HUSKIES: The University of Washington leads the Battle of the Dawgs 28-8, but Gonzaga University has won the last two meetings. The Bulldogs prevailed 76-66 last season in Seattle at KeyArena, and took an 82-71 win the previous season at the Spokane Arena.
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 105-9 at home for a nifty 92.1 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. The Bulldogs are 2-0 at home this season, defeating the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay 85-58 and the University of Idaho 92-42 for an average winning margin of 38.6 ppg.
HEAD COACH MARK FEW SPEAKS OUT ON...
EFFORT AGAINST IDAHO: "I was happy no matter what the situation or the score, we came out and played with a lot of energy and fire from buzzer to buzzer. We hadn't been able to play 40 minutes. I thought we had a good effort for the full 40 on Saturday."
MEETING ARIZONA: "We'll need a great effort, especially a great mental effort as well as a physical effort. We'll also have to be very fortunate. I don't know if you stop Arizona, you just try to slow them down a little bit. They have five first-round picks, although Loren Woods isn't playing (because of NCAA suspension). There aren't too many games where we want to try and control tempo a little bit. This would be one of them. We like to play as fast as anybody, but Arizona is so dangerous in the open floor and so much better in the open floor we have to be more careful of the pace. I don't think we look to the perimeter on offense any more. I think we stick with our normal game plan, and whether it's inside or outside we hope to have opportunities we can take advantage of."
CALVARY'S IMPORTANCE: "Casey Calvary is somebody we are counting on heavily and we need him each and every game. This game is no different than any prior or after. He's too important to not have him on the floor. He'll be tested Wednesday at both ends of the court, especially with the doubling scheme the to like to use when guys catch the ball on the block."
ARIZONA WITHOUT WOODS: "Arizona are a different team without him. Defensively not having him as a shot blocker certainly makes a difference. They can gamble some and funnel things to him, they might have to play guys more straight up. At the other end it might make them harder to guard because they become more versatile and skilled."
VETERANS HAVING PLAYED IN McKALE: "I don't think our guys get too concerned with the gyms or the rims or the backboards. I think more important than that is Casey (Calvary), Mark (Spink), Zach (Gourde) and Jimmy (Tricco) to some extent have at least been in very big games, made big baskets, made big plays and been part of victories against higher ranked teams. I don't think you'll step into a game like this and have Mark and Casey be intimidated."
ARIZONA NOT NO. 1: "I think Arizona losing will definitely serve as a wakeup, not that they needed it. It's always tough when you come back from Hawai'i or Alaska and play a game. You look across the country and there are a lot of teams that stumble. Especially in a situation like that where they played on the road, a team was sitting there waiting for them, resting and with no stop at home. They went straight there from Hawai'i. That's tough scheduling and you have to tip your hat to coach (Lute) Olson for playing anybody at any time."
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