Bulldogs, Missouri In 'Battle In Seattle'

Dec. 10, 2003

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 8 - Missouri
Sat., Dec. 13 - 11 a.m. PST
The Battle in Seattle - KeyArena - Seattle, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: CBS Sports (Nationally)
No. 17 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (6-1; 0-0 West Coast Conference)
G - 10 Blake Stepp, 6-4, 194, Sr., Eugene, OR
      (13.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 7.7 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -  20 Kyle Bankhead, 6-0, 195, Sr., Walla Walla, WA
      (6.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.4 steals)
C -  33 Cory Violette, 6-8, 265, Sr., Boise, ID
      (11.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.3 blocks)
G -   4 Tony Skinner, 6-5, 198, Jr., Albuquerque, NM
      (8.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals)
F -    1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 243, Jr., Le Robert, Martinique
      (15.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.0 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  111-30 (5th year - 15th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

No. 3 UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI TIGERS (3-0; 0-0 Big 12 Conference) G - 1 Jimmy McKinney, 6-3, 200, So., St. Louis, MO (12.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals) G - 15 Josh Kroenke, 6-4, 195, Sr., Columbia, MO (6.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 2.0 assists, 0.3 steals) F - 50 Arthur Johnson, 6-9, 268, Sr., Detroit, MI (16.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.7 blocks) F - 5 Travon Bryant, 6-9, 244, Sr., Long Beach, CA (13.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.0 blocks) F - 23 Rickey Paulding, 6-5, 218, Sr., Detroit, MI (12.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Quin Snyder (Duke, 1989) UM RECORD: 87-59 (5th year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 9 - Stanford University
Sat., Dec. 20 - 6 p.m. PST
Pete Newell Challenge - Oakland Arena - Oakland, CA Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); CSTV (Check local listings)
No. 13 STANFORD UNIVERSITY CARDINAL (4-0; 0-0 Pacific-10 Conference)
G - 11 Chris Hernandez, 6-2, 190, So., Fresno, CA
      (14.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 4.5 assists, 1.3 steals)
G - 33 Matt Lottich, 6-4, 205, Sr., Winnetka, IL
      (11.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.8 assists, 0.5 steals)
C - 42 Rob Little, 6-10, 260, Jr., Hampton, VA
      (9.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.5 blocks)
F - 21 Nick Robinson, 6-6, 200, Jr., Liberty, MO
      (8.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F - 22 Justin Davis, 6-9, 230, Sr., Berkeley, CA
      (7.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mike Montgomery (Long Beach State, 1968)
STANFORD RECORD:  367-165 (18th year)  CAREER RECORD:  521-241 (26th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  Dec. 13 vs. UNLV; Dec. 15 vs. Florida International.

REGULAR-SEASON FIRST: Gonzaga University will achieve another "first" Saturday when the 17th-ranked Bulldogs tip off against the third-ranked University of Missouri Tigers in "The Battle in Seattle" from KeyArena, home of the Seattle Sonics of the NBA. The 11 a.m. contest will feature the first regular-season nationally televised outing on CBS Sports for the Bulldogs. Craig Bolerjack will call the action with Clark Kellogg doing the commentary. John Hines of Northwest Sports & Entertainment brought "The Battle in Seattle" to fruition.

WOODEN SHOWDOWN: Gonzaga University and the University of Missouri both have a pair of seniors who are John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 candidates for the prestigious Player of the Year honor. The Bulldogs Cory Violette, a two-time Preseason Top 50 nominees, and Blake Stepp carry the Bulldog banner in Saturday's showdown. Arthur Johnson and Rickey Spaulding, like Violette making his second straight preseason Top 50 list, represent the Tigers on the Wooden list.

RED, WHITE AND BLUE MATES: While Gonzaga University and the University will be opponents on Saturday, two players will probably have a pre-game reunion. Blake Stepp of the Bulldogs and Arthur Johnson of the Tigers were teammates on the USA Basketball Pan American Games team last summer in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. USA Basketball went 2-3 in the weeklong competition.

ZAGS WHEN RANKED: Gonzaga is 41-9 when nationally ranked, including a perfect 16-0 at home with this season's victories over Idaho and Denver at The Kennel. The mark includes games against teams in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls. UNDEFEATED FOES: Gonzaga University defeated its third straight undefeated foe when the Bulldogs beat 4-0 University of Maryland last Saturday in the opening round of the BB&T Classic. The University of Missouri is the fifth undefeated team the Bulldogs will have faced this season, not counting Saint Joseph's University, obviously, in the season opener.

TOP 25: Three teams ranked in this week's Associated Press Top 25 dot Gonzaga University's schedule. The University of Missouri is third, Saint Joseph's University is 11th and Stanford University is 13th following the Cardinal's win over then top-ranked University of Kansas last weekend.

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 1,309 career points to rank 13th. He needs 32 points to surpass John Stockton (1,340, 1981-84) for 12th. Cory Violette has 976 career points and Ronny Turiaf is at 861. 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 225, 6 shy of moving past John Rillie (230, 1993-95) and into third. Bankhead has 137 treys to move past Jarrod Davis (1991-92) for seventh. Richie Frahm, currently with the Seattle Sonics, is the career leader with 280 from 1996-00. Stepp also has an even 612 attempts for third all-time. Frahm is the leader with 662.

ONE TREY: Blake Stepp's one 3-point attempt Sunday against George Washington University was his lowest total since Feb. 22, 2002, when he also went 0-for-1 at the University of San Francisco, the fourth such game in his career.

FROM THE LINE: Ronny Turiaf and Blake Stepp each moved into the Gonzaga University Top 10 for free throws made last season. Turiaf is now 5th with 349 following his 10-for-12 effort last Sunday. Stepp is 8th with 308. 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 four blocks in the BB&T Classic giving him 89 to move past Zach Gourde (86 from 2000-03) and into third on the all-time list. Turiaf could move into second with 25 blocks this season, Tim Ruff holding that spot with 99 from 1981-85. Turiaf currently has 14 this season.

REBOUNDS: Senior Cory Violette has moved into 5th in career rebounds with 674, becoming just the 10th player in Gonzaga history to reach the 600-rebound mark. With 35 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.

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 +7.7 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.

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 487 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 123, Stockton the leader with 262.

KNIGHT HAS BREAKOUT GAME: Highly touted transfer Erroll Knight may have had his breakout game last Sunday against George Washington. He had 18 points on a 5-for-7 day from the field, went 7-for-8 from the line, grabbed five rebounds and had a pair of assists and a steal in 24 minutes off the bench. His previous scoring high this season was 7 in the season opener against Saint Joseph's University.

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 338. 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.

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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