Battle Of Bulldogs At Spokane Arena
Nov. 27, 2003
Game No. 4 - Georgia
Sat., Nov. 29 - 1 p.m. PST
Spokane Arena - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 16 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (1-1; 0-0 West Coast Conference) G - 10 Blake Stepp, 6-4, 194, Sr., Eugene, OR (9.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 8.5 assists, 1.0 steals) G - 20 Kyle Bankhead, 6-0, 195, Sr., Walla Walla, WA (6.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals) C - 33 Cory Violette, 6-8, 265, Sr., Boise, ID (12.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.5 blocks) G - 4 Tony Skinner, 6-5, 198, Jr., Albuquerque, NM (8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 0.5 assists, 1.5 steals) F - 1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 243, Jr., Le Robert, Martinique (10.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.0 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 106-30 (5th year - 15th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Wed., Dec. 3 - 7:30 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena - Seattle, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
BATTLE OF BULLDOGS: Only the second meeting between Gonzaga University and the University of Georgia takes place Saturday at the Spokane Arena in the "Battle of the Bulldogs." The teams met for the first time last year in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Classic at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta. The southern Bulldogs won that inaugural meeting 95-83.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES: Gonzaga University returns pretty much a pat hand from last year, while the University of Georgia has a new look. Gone are two players who played a big part in last year's win over Gonzaga - Jarvis Hayes, who scored 29 points and declared for the NBA draft following just his second season at Georgia, and Ezra Williams, who had 21 points and 8 rebounds against Gonzaga, departed after three seasons after being declared an academic non-qualifier as a freshman. Hayes is the brother of current Georgia starter Jonas Hayes. Two other starters - Chris Daniels and Rashad Wright - also return, but seven freshmen dot this year's roster. Also missing from the Georgia bench is former head coach Jim Harrick Sr., who resigned last March after a joint investigation by the NCAA, the University of Georgia and the Southeastern Conference. Gonzaga, meanwhile, returns four starters from a year ago and has been mentioned in the same breath as Final Four by some of the so-called basketball experts. Head coach Mark Few is in his fifth year as head coach and his 15th year overall at Gonzaga. Gonzaga has been to five straight NCAA Tournaments, and reached the second round last year.
VERSUS THE SEC: Gonzaga University is 2-3 against current members of the Southeastern Conference. The first time the Bulldogs played a SEC school was the Mississippi State University in the 1997 Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Bulldogs prevailed 70-68 in the semifinal contest. The Bulldogs are 1-1 against the University of Florida, including the memorable 73-72 win in the 1999 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game on Casey Calvary's late tip-in. The Bulldogs lost to the University of Kentucky last season in the Maui Invitational and to the University of Georgia in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Classic in Atlanta.
THREE COULD HIT 1,000: At some point in the season Gonzaga University should have three active 1,000-point career scorers in the lineup. Blake Stepp has already hit the milestone and has 1,250 career points to rank 13th. He needs 91 points to surpass John Stockton (1,340, 1981-84) for 12th. Cory Violette has 943 career points and Ronny Turiaf is at 791. Stepp became the 25th Gonzaga player to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
FOR THREE: Blake Stepp and Kyle Bankhead continue to climb on Gonzaga University's all-time 3-point list. Stepp is fourth with 214, 17 shy of moving past John Rillie (230, 1993-95) and into third. Bankhead has 133 treys to tie Jarrod Davis (1991-92) for seventh. Richie Frahm, currently with the Seattle Sonics, is the career leader with 280 from 1996-00.
FROM THE LINE: Ronny Turiaf and Blake Stepp each moved into the Gonzaga University Top 10 for free throws made last season. Turiaf moved into a tie for 5th with Matt Santangelo (1997-00) with 320 when he went 9-for-11 on Monday against the University of Denver. Stepp is ninth with 302, one shy of Geoff Goss who had 303 (1991-94). Turiaf and Stepp each tied Frank Burgess' single-game record of 16 free throws made in a game last season. Turiaf did its against Indiana University in the Maui Invitational when he went 16-for-18, then matched the mark again when he went 16-for-22 against the University of Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament First Round. Stepp went 16-for-20 against the University of Washington to get his piece of the record.
BLOCK IT: Ronny Turiaf continues to move up the blocked shots list at Gonzaga University, his two blocks last Monday giving him 81 and moving past Mark Spink and into fourth on the all-time list. He needs six to surpass Zach Gourde (86 from 2000-03) and move into third. Turiaf could move into second with 25 blocks this season, Tim Ruff holding that spot with 99 from 1981-85. Turiaf currently has 6 this season.
REBOUNDS: Senior Cory Violette has moved into 6th in career rebounds with 651, becoming just the 10th player in Gonzaga history to reach the 600-rebound mark. With 73 more points he'll become the fifth player in Gonzaga history to record 1,000 points and 600 rebounds.
20 OR BUST: Gonzaga University is tied for 11th in consecutive 20-win seasons with six. The University of Arizona leads the way with 16, followed by the University of Kansas with 14 and the University of Kentucky with 13. Gonzaga is tied with the University of Connecticut, Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma and Syracuse University.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Six teams from the NCAA Tournament a year ago dot the Gonzaga University schedule this season - Tulsa University, University of Missouri, Stanford University, University of Maryland, Saint Joseph's University and fellow West Coast Conference foe University of San Diego. The Bulldogs played eight NCAA Tournament teams a year ago.
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 losing a 29-game home winning streak Dec. 31, 2002, that ranked third longest in the country. In the last 12 seasons the Bulldogs are 141-10 at home for a nifty 93.4 winning percentage. Gonzaga went 10-2 at home in 2003, the first time the Bulldogs lost two home games in a season since 1997. Gonzaga was 13-0 at home in 2002, 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 55-3 in The Kennel over the past five 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.
POUNDING THE BOARDS: Gonzaga University is off to a strong start in the rebounding department. The Bulldogs currently have a +10.4 rebounding margin. Gonzaga was the top rebounding team in the country in 2002 with a +8.9 margin. Last year the squad had a +5.7 margin.
IN THE SPOKANE ARENA: Gonzaga University is 5-3 in games played at the Spokane Arena since the facility opened in the fall of 1995. The first collegiate game in the building saw GU drop a 72-67 decision to Washington State University on Nov. 24, 1995.
PASS THE ROCK: While Blake Stepp is known for his scoring, he has quietly snuck up on the all-time assists list at Gonzaga University. His 457 assists rank third behind Matt Santangelo (668, 1997-000) and sure-bet NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton (554, 1981-84). Stepp is also fifth in career steals with 118, Stockton the leader with 262.
SINGLE DIGITS: Only Gonzaga University, the University of Florida and Duke University have lost less than 10 games in each of the past five seasons. Gonzaga has posted marks of 29-4, 26-7, 26-9 28-7 and 24-9, respectively, in that stretch. The last time Gonzaga hit double-digits in the "L" column was 1998 with a 20-10 campaign. Current head coach Mark Few has never had 10 or more losses in his four years as a head coach. Duke went 25-7 and Florida 25-8 last season.
THREE OR BUST: Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 334. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, when the Bulldogs went 0-for-5 at home against Portland.
FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTIONS: All three Gonzaga University freshmen are averaging double-digit minutes - Adam Morrison 23.0, Sean Mallon 16.3 and Derek Raivio 10.7. Morrison is shooting 56.0 percent from the field to lead the Bulldogs, hitting on 14-of-25 shots. He also had his first double-double against the University of Denver when he scored 12 points and grabbed a dozen rebounds.
ON THE AIR AND THE TUBE: All Gonzaga University games can be heard on 1510 KGA radio with Tom Hudson calling the action for a second straight season. In addition, Gonzaga will have 26 regular-season games televised either nationally, regionally or locally this season among ESPN, ESPN2, FOX Sports, CSTV, KHQ/PAX and KAYU-TV. For a complete listing of games check local listings or the Gonzaga web site at http://www.gozags.com.
ON THE INTERNET: Gonzaga University men's basketball can also be heard on the internet by subscribing to the College Sports Pass as offered by the Online College Sports Network (OCSN). More information can be obtained on the Gonzaga web site at http://www.gozags.com, clicking on men's basketball and going to the "Listen To Bulldog Games Live on the Internet" link under SIDELINES on the right side of the page. The subscription is $6.95/month and includes all audio broadcasts of any OCSN member school.
TUESDAY COACHES SHOW: The Gonzaga University Coaches Show has returned to 1510 KGA radio this year. The show will air from 7-8 p.m. on selected Tuesdays from the fireplace in the lobby of the historic Davenport Hotel. Tom Hudson, the voice of the Bulldogs on 1510 KGA will again host the show which will feature members of the Gonzaga University men's and women's coaching staffs, players and other special guests. The public is invited to attend the live broadcast.
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