No. 4 Bulldogs Head To WSU Seeking A Bit Of Revenge

Dec. 9, 2008

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 7 - Washington State University
Wednesday, December 10 - 7 p.m.
Friel Court - Pullman, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); Oldies 101.1 FM (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listings)
No. 4/4 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (6-0; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (10.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 7.2 assists, 1.0 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (11.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.8 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.3 blocks)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 194, Sr., Kirkland, WA
       (11.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (15.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.7 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Daye, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (11.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  242-60 (10th year - 20th at GU) CAREER RECORD:  Same

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY COUGARS (6-2; 0-0 Pacific-10) G - 1 Klay Thompson, 6-6, 187, Fr., Ledera Ranch, CA (11.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks) G - 4 Nikola Koprivica, 6-6, 211, Jr., Belgrade, Serbia (6.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals) G - 10 Taylor Rochestie, 6-1, 186, Sr., Santa Barbara, CA (10.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.5 assists, 1.6 steals) C - 11 Aron Baynes, 6-10, 270, Sr., Cairns, Australia (11.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.3 blocks) F - 32 Daven Harmeling, 6-7, 225, Grand Junction, CO (8.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.4 blocks) HEAD COACH: Tony Bennett (Wisconsin-Green Bay, 1992) WSU RECORD: 58-19 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 8 - University of Arizona
Sunday, December 14 - 3 p.m. PST
U.S. Airways Center - Duel in the Desert - Phoenix, AZ
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); Oldies 101.1 FM (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: FSN (Check local listings)
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA WILDCATS (5-2; 0-0 Pacific-10)
G -  13 Nic Wise, 5-10, 177, Jr., Houston, TX
      (13.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.6 assists, 1.1 steals)
G -  21 Kyle Fogg, 6-2, 175, Fr., Brea, CA
      (3.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.6 assists)
F -   34 Chase Budinger, 6-7, 218, Jr., Encinitas, CA
      (20.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.6 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.6 blocks)
F -   43 Jordan Hill, 6-10, 235, Jr., Atlanta, GA
      (17.4 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.6 blocks)
F -   42 Jamelle Horne, 6-6, 209, So., San Diego, CA
       (8.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks)
INTERIM HEAD COACH:  Russ Pennell (Pittsburg State, 1989)
UA RECORD:  5-2 (1st year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  12/10 vs. San Diego State.
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

It's Pacific-10 Conference week for Gonzaga University as the Bulldogs head to Pullman Wednesday to face Washington State University then travel to Phoenix, Ariz., Sunday to meet the University of Arizona in the Duel in the Desert at U.S. Airways Center, home of the Phoenix Suns of the NBA. Wednesday's game starts at 7 p.m. PST with Sunday's tipoff slated for 3 p.m. PST. Sunday's game with Arizona is the second game of a double-header that starts at 12:15 p.m. PST with Arizona State University meeting Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Sunday's game will be nationally televised on FOX.

A measure of revenge might be on Gonzaga University's mind Wednesday when the Bulldogs head to Washington State University. The last visit by the Bulldogs Dec. 5, 2006, saw the Cougars rally from a 56-49 deficit with 11:00 to play on their way to a 77-67 victory. Gonzaga still led 66-63 with 3:38 to play on a Josh Heytvelt layin, but WSU went on a 14-1 run the rest of the way for the victory over the then 18th-ranked Zags. Last year at the McCarthey Athletic Center the sixth-ranked Cougars ground out a 51-47 victory over No. 19 Gonzaga, handing the Bulldogs their first home loss as a ranked team and snapping Gonzaga's 52-game home non-conference winning streak that dated back to Dec. 14, 1996.

Gonzaga University has won seven of the last nine meetings with Washington State University, the Bulldogs having their 7-game winning streak in the series snapped with the loss in Pullman two season's ago. WSU leads the overall series 97-46, Since Gonzaga joined the NCAA Division I ranks for the 1958-59 season the Cougars holds a 37-17 edge. The teams went six years without playing from 1990-95, the series resuming during the 1995-96 season when the teams met in the first basketball game played at the new Spokane Arena Nov. 24, 1995.

Josh Heytvelt scored 17 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in earning player of the game honors as Gonzaga University downed Indiana University 80-54 last Saturday at the Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase in Indianapolis, Ind. The game was the first collegiate game played at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and site of the 2010 Final Four. Jeremy Pargo and Matt Bouldin each added 13 points as Gonzaga pulled away from a 29-24 halftime lead. IU's 25 turnovers led to 22 GU points.

Gonzaga University moved up four spots in the Associated Press Top 25 and one spot in the USA Today/ESPN balloting to check in at fourth in both weekly polls. The Bulldogs achieved their highest AP ranking since the final poll of the 2004 season when they were ranked third for a second straight week. That followed two weeks at No. 4. In the USA Today/ESPN balloting the Bulldogs reached their loftiest ranking since being second the final two weeks of the 2004 regular season, Gonzaga's highest ranking ever in either poll.

Two of the best field goal defenses in the NCAA ranks will square off Wednesday when Gonzaga University invades Washington State University. After holding Indiana University to 30.4 percent from the field (14-for-46) last Saturday the Bulldogs have moved into fifth for field goal percentage defense in the NCAA through games of Sunday. Oklahoma State University and the University of Maryland each shot a season-high 37.3 percent from the field against the Zags. The top field goal percentage team in the country? You guess it, WSU. Cougar opponents are connecting on just 31.7 percent of their shots. Sacramento State University shot a season-high 46.8 percent against WSU, while Mississippi Valley State University sot a season-low 16.7 percent in the season opener.

Jeremy Pargo now has 465 career assists as he closes in on becoming the fifth member of the 500 Club at Gonzaga University. He ranks fourth behind Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554). His 7.2 assists/game and his 4.3 assists/turnover ration this year both rank seventh nationally through games of last Sunday. Pargo also has 958 career points as he closes in on becoming the 31st member of the Bulldogs 1,000-point club.

Josh Heytvelt moved into eighth on the all-time Gonzaga University career blocked shots list with 75, two behind 2008 senior Abdullahi Kuso and seventh. Austin Daye has moved into the Top 10 with 69 career blocks ahead of Axel Dench and one behind Marc Armstead. The Bulldogs are averaging 6.7 blocks/game to rank 12th nationally through games of Sunday.

There's no place like home, and the McCarthey Athletic Center has become quite the home for the Bulldogs since it opened for the 2004-05 season. Gonzaga is 54-2 in the new facility, winning its first 38 games in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Santa Clara University halted the streak with an 84-73 victory Feb. 12, 2007. That loss also snapped a 50-game home winning streak for the Bulldogs, at the time the longest streak in the nation, as Gonzaga left the old Kennel with 12 straight home victories. Gonzaga has a modest 10-game home winning streak since last season's setback to Washington State University.

Head coach Mark Few picked up his 225th career victory Jan. 19, 2008, against the University of San Diego. With 242 victories, Few is third on the all-time Gonzaga victories chart behind Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) and Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 seasons). Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 113-13, moving ahead of Fitzgerald (112-88) on the all-time wins list. Carroll Williams, Santa Clara University (165-137) and Dick Davey, SCU (122-88) hold the top two spots.

Gonzaga University senior Jeremy Pargo is on the 2009 John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 list as announced by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder. Pargo is eligible for the John R. Wooden All-American Team and Player of the Year Trophy. The native of Chicago, Ill., was on last season's Pre-Season Top 50 list. He is the ninth Bulldog comprising 10 Pre-Season Top 50 nominations since 2000 when Matt Santangelo became Gonzaga's inaugural nominee and was named to the Mid-Season Top 30. Casey Calvary became a Top 10 All-American in 2001, Dan Dickau became the Bulldogs first Top 5 All-American in 2002, Cory Violette was nominated in 2003 and 2004, Ronny Turiaf was nominated in 2004 and 2005 and Adam Morrison was a Top 5 All-American in 2006 and runner-up for Player of the Year honors to J.J. Reddick of Duke University. Pargo became the eighth straight Bulldog to win West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors last season, averaging 12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 6.0 assists/game in leading the Bulldogs to the WCC regular-season title and a 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few added two players to the Bulldog fold to letters-of-intent. Dower averaged 22 ppg and 10 rpg per game in the month of July and 18 ppg and 9 rpg for this past AAU season, according to head coach Marquise Watts of Net Gain Sports, Dower's AAU club. Net Gain Sports won the Twin Cities Summer Classic, won the adidas 64 Gold Division in Las Vegas and went 3-2 in round-robin play in the Duel in the Desert in Phoenix, according to Watts. "He can score for a big guy. He's a lefty so that makes it harder to defend because most people aren't used to seeing a lefthander," Few said. "He can make a difference and is a unique post player. He had a good spring and a great summer." Watts said Dower has worked hard to improve his game. "Every day over the last two years he's gotten better. I don't think he's begun to scratch the surface. His inside-outside game, he can shoot the three and on the block he's a lefty with a great hook shot," Watts said. "He's athletic, he's working on putting on weight and he will fit in real well at Gonzaga." Dower didn't make the varsity team at Osseo until midway through his sophomore year. He averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg then blossomed last season to average 13.4 ppg and 5.9 rpg. Last season he scored in double figures 23 times and had double-digit rebounds six times. The Orioles went 28-1, their lone setback 60-59 in the Region finals. He scored a career-high 23 points at Coon Rapids and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds at Orono. He had several scholarship offers, among them the University of Minnesota, Marquette University and the University of Iowa. Arop, born in the Sudan, currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he plays with Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) which is basically Canada's Junior National Team. His first name is pronounced Man-GEESE-toe, his last name pronounced "rop" (the "a" is silent) but he goes simply by Manny. He recently set a single-game scoring NEDA scoring record with 42 points, and this past summer played for Canada in the FIBA Americas Championship in Formosa, Argentina. He averaged 17.0 ppg to rank second, 10.2 rpg to rank third, shot 52.8 percent from the field on 23-for-58 and 87.5 percent from the line on 14-of-15 in the five tournament games as Canada placed fifth. He had 21 points and 9 rebounds against the U.S. in the tourney. "Manny is a high energy player with a great competitive streak," Few said. "His skill level is something to be excited about. He has a great opportunity to be effective for us at both ends of the court." His mother and four brothers left Sudan when he was 9-years-old and lived in Kenya prior to re-locating to Regina, Saskatchewan. Arop then spent a year in Edmonton, Alberta, before joining Basketball Canada's NEDA program, which is a year-round junior development camp.

Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 497. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV holds the current streak of 668 entering the 2009 season.

 

 

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