Men's Basketball Hosts EWU Tuesday
Dec. 3, 2001
Coaches' Teleconference Audio:
Game No. 8 - Eastern Washington Eagles
Tuesday, Dec. 4 - 7 p.m. PST
The Kennel - Spokane, Wash.
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 6:15 p.m. PST
TV: PAX (Spokane AT&T Cable Channel 8, UHF Channel 34)
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (5-2, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY (4-2, 0-0 Big Sky Conference)
Loud Records Fab Four Classic
Thursday, Dec. 6 - 6:30 p.m. PST
The Forum - Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 6:15 p.m. PST
TV: FOX Sports Net
FRESNO STATE UNIVERSITY (6-1, 0-0 Western Athletic Conference)
BULLDOGS VS. EAGLES: It's only 19 miles from Spokane to Cheney, so the rivalry between Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University has always had a local flavor to it. The two renew their rivalry Tuesday night when the Eagles visit Gonzaga and The Kennel for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Both teams have won two straight, and both teams have major wins on their respective ledgers this year. Gonzaga has defeated St. John's University and then 23rd ranked University of Texas. The Eagles opened the season with a stunning 68-67 victory at then 10th ranked St. Joseph's University, a team the Bulldogs visit for a New Year's Eve date. Gonzaga is 5-2, EWU 4-2 heading into Tuesday's 53rd meeting since Gonzaga became an NCAA Division I school for the 1958-59 season.
BEST FRIENDS OFF THE COURT: Part II of the Mark Few-Ray Giacoletti rivalry unfolds Tuesday in The Kennel. The Few and Giacoletti families are best friends off the court, which makes the annual game between Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University even harder. "We don't even talk about it," Few said of the upcoming game. Few got the jump on Giacoletti last season with a 74-65 win in Cheney, Giacoletti's first year at EWU.
FORMER EWU COACH ON GU BENCH: Tuesday's visit to The Kennel by Eastern Washington University has another interesting twist to it. Jerry Krause, who coached the Eagles for 17 years from the 1967-68 season through the 1984-85 season with the exception of a year's sabbatical during 1982-83, is the Director of Men's Basketball Operations for the Bulldogs. Krause posted a 262-195 record at EWU and coached the Eagles their first two seasons as a NCAA Division I program - 1983-84 and 1984-85. Krause is in his second stint with the Bulldogs, serving eight years as a part-time assistant from 1985-92. He spent the five years at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY, as professor of sport philosophy and director of instruction for the department of physical education.
BULLDOGS-EAGLES SERIES: The rivalry between Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University has definitely been tipped toward Spokane on the map. The Bulldogs bring a 15-game winning streak into Tuesday's contest, and have won 23 of the last 24. The last time the Eagles won was on The Kennel floor, taking a 70-55 victory Jan. 8, 1990. Gonzaga began the current streak the following year with an 81-63 win in Cheney. The average margin of victory in the past 15 Gonzaga victories is 19.9 ppg. Only four times in those 15 games has the margin of victory been single digits for the Bulldogs, including last year's nine-point 74-65 win at Reese Court on the EWU campus.
POUNDING THE BOARDS: Coming into the season, Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few thought his club had to do a better job of rebounding than it did last season. So far, the Bulldogs are doing just that. Gonzaga has out-rebounded six of its seven opponents thus far. Gonzaga holds a +14.9 rebounding margin this season. The only game the Bulldogs have not held the rebounding edge was against Marquette University in the title game of the Great Alaska Shootout. Gonzaga is +17.8 on the boards in its four victories. Gonzaga held a 40-30 edge on the boards in a season-opening loss at the University of Illinois. Last season Gonzaga out-rebounded opponents 24 times in 33 outings, but only nine times by double digits. This season all six games Gonzaga has held the rebounding edge have been by double digits, including a season-high +28 Saturday against Portland State University.
VIOLETTE DOUBLES UP: Sophomore Cory Violette collected his first career double-double last Thursday against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. It was the fourth double-double by a Bulldog this season - Zach Gourde with two and Ronny Turiaf with one the others. It was Violette's third double-digit rebounding night of the season. He had a career-high 12 at the University of Illinois, and also grabbed 11 against the University of Texas in the Great Alaska Shootout.
STEPP STREAK ENDS: Blake Stepp's streak of 38 straight starts ended last Thursday when he was held out of the game with a sprained ankle. The sophomore from Eugene, Ore., started all 33 games last season and the first five this season, despite seeing limited practice time this fall after undergoing knee surgery last spring.
BANKHEAD STEPS UP: With Blake Stepp sidelined, sophomore Kyle Bankhead made the most of his fourth career start on Thursday as he matched his career high of 15 points set last season against Monmouth University. Bankhead got the Bulldogs off and running with 12 first-half points. He finished with a 5-for-8 night from the field, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range.
BANKHEAD, DICKAU COMBINE FOR 33: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few will take the kind of production he got from his starting guards on Thursday. Dan Dickau and Kyle Bankhead combined for 33 points, 30 of them from 3-point range. Dickau scored a game-high 18 points, including a 6-of-10 night from 3-point range. Bankhead added 15 and went 4-for-6 from long range, making the duo a combined 10-for-16 from beyond the arc. They combined to go 11-for-19 overall from the field.
BULLDOGS HEAD TO LOS ANGELES: Gonzaga University will be back on the road following Thursday when they compete in the Loud Records Fab Four Classic at The Forum in Los Angeles. It will be a battle of Bulldogs as Gonzaga will meet Fresno State University in the 6:30 p.m. opener. Pepperdine University and the University of Southern California will meet in the late game. Both games will be televised by Fox Sports Net. The Bulldogs have next weekend off prior to resuming action Dec. 11 at cross-state rival University of Washington.
DOG FIGHT: It will be a Battle of the Bulldogs Thursday when Gonzaga University faces Fresno State University in the Loud Records Fab Four Classic at The Forum in Los Angeles. It will be the fourth meeting between the two sets of Dogs and the first since Gonzaga dropped a 77-76 decision on Nov. 30, 1991, in the title game of the Coors Light Classic hosted by FSU. Gonzaga won a 102-80 contest in 1961 in the Spokane Coliseum, and took a 51-43 victory in 1936.
ELITE COMPANY: Gonzaga University is one of just three schools to advance to the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Michigan State University and Duke University are the other two. Duke and MSU appeared in their fourth straight Sweet Sixteen in 2001. Since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have been 18 occasions where teams have had runs of three years or more into the Sweet Sixteen. The University of North Carolina leads the way with a 9-year stretch from 1985-93, followed by Duke with a 7-year run from 1986-92 in addition to its current streak.
BROOKS DISHES: Junior college transfer Winston Brooks, who gives the flexibility of having two point guards in the game when he teams with Dan Dickau, dished out six assists in Thursday's win over the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, then came back with seven two nights later against Portland State University. Brooks, who came to the Bulldogs from nearby North Idaho College in Coeur d' Alene, had 11 assists total through the first four games, including three each in games against the University of Montana, St. John's University and the University of Texas.
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. In the last 10 seasons the Bulldogs are 118-9 at home for a nifty 92.9 winning percentage. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. The Bulldogs are 34-1 in The Kennel over the past three 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. Gonzaga currently has a 16-game home winning streak dating back to the last home game of the 1999-00 campaign.
DICKAU ON WOODEN AWARD BALLOT: Point Guard Dan Dickau is the third straight Gonzaga University representative on the John R. Wood Award Pre-season Top 50 candidates for the 2001-02 Wooden Award All-America Team. Casey Calvary, a Wooden All-America pick last season, and Matt Santangelo in 2000 were the previous Bulldogs on the list. The Wooden Award Top 50 was announced this past summer. In late December the Top 30 finalists will be announced. On March 26, 2002, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Sunday, April 7, 2002, 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.
FEW'S TWO-YEAR RUN: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few probably never thought life as a head coach would be so "sweet." But in his first two seasons as head coach the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, one of only two NCAA Division I head coaches to accomplish that feat since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Gonzaga, defending national champion Duke University and 2000 national champion Michigan State University are the only three schools to reach the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Few was an assistant coach on Gonzaga's run to the 1999 Elite Eight. Few's 2-year record of 52-16 places him among elite company for second-year head coaches. His 2-year total of 52 wins has him tied for third for second-year coaches with Dan Monson, his predecessor at Gonzaga, and Ben Carnevale of the University of North Carolina (1945-46).
BULLDOGS HIT 20 WINS AGAIN: With a 26-7 record last season, Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau for the 8th time in the last 10 seasons, matching the 2000 win total and second all-time behind only the 1999 school record mark of 28-7. Last season marked the fifth time the Bulldogs have 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.
O-FER FROM THREE: The last time Gonzaga University took the collar from 3-point range was in an 0-for-5 night in The Kennel against the University of Portland on Jan. 27, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 272 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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