Gonzaga Puts Home WIn Streak On Line
Nov. 29, 2006
Game No. 8 - Portland State
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)
No. 21 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (6-1; 0-0 West Coast) G - 2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, So., Chicago, IL (10.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 assists, 1.1 steals) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 177, Sr., Vancouver, WA (18.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals) G - 4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 182, Jr., Montreal, Quebec (6.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals) F - 42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 238, So., Clarkston, WA (17.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.3 blocks) F - 32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 223, Sr., Spokane, WA (7.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.3 steals) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 194-42 (8th year - 18th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Sat., Dec. 2 - Noon PST
U.S. Airways Center - Phoenix, AZ
Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 25 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LONGHORNS (5-1; 0-0 Big 12) G - 3 A.J. Abrams, 5-10, 155, So., Round Rock, TX (19.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.7 assists, 3.2 steals) G - 14 D.J. Augustin, 5-11, 175, Fr., New Orleans, LA (9.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 7.2 assists, 2.0 steals) G - 24 Justin Mason, 6-2, 185, Fr., Amarillo, TX (8.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals) F - 5 Damion James, 6-7, 227, Fr., Nacogdoches, TX (8.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks) F - 35 Kevin Durant, 6-9, 225, Fr., Suitland, MD (22.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 2.7 blocks) HEAD COACH: Rick Barnes (Lenoir-Rhyne, 1977) UT RECORD: 196-77 (9th year) CAREER RECORD: 398-211 (20th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.
Gonzaga University, which rebounded from its first loss of the season with a 76-51 win over the University of Idaho on Sunday, plays host to Portland State University on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the McCarthey Athletic Center. It's the next-to-last home game for the Bulldogs in calendar year 2006, the only December game in the McCarthey Athletic Center one week from Saturday when the University of Washington. Gonzaga plays six games away from home between now and the start of West Coast Conference play, beginning with Saturday's game against the University of Texas in Phoenix, Ariz., in the Basketball Hall of Game Challenge. The University of Arizona plays the University of Illinois in the second game Saturday in Phoenix.
Gonzaga University moved into the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time this season, checking in at No. 22. The Bulldogs moved up two spots to 21st in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25. UCLA sits atop the AP rankings, while Ohio State University is No. 1 in the USA Today/USA Today balloting. Six teams dotting the Gonzaga schedule are ranked this week.
Josh Heytvelt was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for his effort in the Dick's Sporting Good NIT Season Tip Off and Gonzaga University's home game last Sunday against the University of Idaho. He was named to the NIT 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. Against the Vandals he had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the second double-double of his career.
Gonzaga University will try to maintain its mastery over Portland State University when the two tangle on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs have won nine straight in the series and 10 of the last 11. Gonzaga leads the overall series 17-6. The last PSU win in the series was Dec. 28, 1976, when the Vikings took a 74-59 victory in the Long Beach State University Invitational. The Vikings were the dedication game in the new McCarthey Athletic Center on Nov. 19, 2004, the Bulldogs winning the first of what has become 31 straight wins in the 3-year-old facility by a 98-80 count. The Bulldogs took an 89-80 victory last year. Current Bulldogs Sean Mallon, Derek Raivio, Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes and David Pendergraft played in the inaugural game. Scott Morrison is the only current Viking who saw action in that contest.
Gonzaga University extended its home winning streak to 43 games with a 76-51 win over the University of Idaho last Sunday. That streak is the longest current streak in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs are 31-0 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 49-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 last 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 +18.7 scoring margin advantage this season. Gonzaga is averaging 82.4 ppg while opponents are scoring at a 63.7 clip. Gonzaga's six wins have been by an average of 23.2 points. Gonzaga also has a +9.4 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 50.0 percent of its field goals (200-for-400). Opponents have hit just 36.7 percent of its attempts (154-for-420). Gonzaga has been under 50 percent in just twice this season, hitting a season-low 44.8 percent against the University of Idaho. Eastern Washington University has the highest shooting percentage against Gonzaga this season, connecting on 43.9 percent.
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 433. 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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