Bulldogs Back On Court After Finals Break
Dec. 15, 2007
Game No. 11 - Northern Colorado
Monday, December 17 - 5 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff>br> TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listing)
No. 19/23 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (8-2; 0-0 West Coast)
Thursday, December 20 - 6 p.m.
O'Reilly's All-College Challenge
Ford Center - Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
OKLAHOMA UNIVERSITY SOONERS (7-3; 0-0 Big 12 East) G - 5 Tony Crocker, 6-6, 193, So., San Antonio, TX (12.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.4 blocks) G - 11 Omar Leary, 5-10, 163, Jr., Portland, OR (6.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals) G - 20 Austin Johnson, 6-3, 165, Jr., Amarillo, TX (8.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks) C - 30 Longar Longar, 6-11, 234, Sr., Rochester, MN (11.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.7 blocks) F - 23 Blake Griffin, 6-10, 243, Fr., Oklahoma City, OK (13.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.7 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.1 blocks) HEAD COACH: Jeff Capel (Duke, 1997) UO RECORD: 23-18 (2nd year) CAREER RECORD: 102-59 (6th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 12/15 vs. Arkansas.NOTE: Poll rankings are Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN, respectively.
Gonzaga University, idle for nine days between games, returns to action Monday when the University of Northern Colorado visits the McCarthey Athletic Center for a 5 p.m. contest. The Bulldogs, who finished final exams Thursday, haven't played since last Saturday when they defeated Cal State Northridge 85-59 at home.
Following Saturday's home game, Gonzaga University has one last road trip prior to breaking for Christmas. The Bulldogs will travel to Oklahoma City, Okla., next Thursday to face Oklahoma University in the O'Reilly's All-College Challenge, the longest-running collegiate tournament in the country. The Bulldogs competed in this even in 2004, downing then third-ranked Oklahoma State University 78-75. Following the trip to Oklahoma the Bulldogs will be off until Dec. 26 when they return to campus to begin preparations for The Battle in Seattle Dec. 29 against the University of Tennessee. The Volunteers are ranked 11th in the USA Today/ESPN poll and 12th in the Associated Press rankings.
The University of Northern Colorado will be making its second appearance in the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs won the first meeting 97-60 on Feb. 28, 2005, the inaugural season in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Since that game UNC has been granted membership in the Big Sky Conference.
Gonzaga University is off to an 8-2 start for the third straight season. Last season the Bulldogs lost four straight after the 8-2 start, and in 2006 the Bulldogs won 21-of-23 games after starting 8-2, including a 20-game winning streak.
After scoring just 47 points in a 51-47 setback to Washington State University, Gonzaga University came back with an offensive vengeance against Cal State Northridge, matching its season high in the 85-59 victory. The Bulldogs also scored 85 in defeating the University of Connecticut 85-82 in the game prior WSU. Gonzaga is averaging 74.7 ppg while opponents are scoring at a 61.0 clip for a +13.7 scoring margin.
After being out rebounded against the University of Connecticut 46-38 and Washington State University 43-30, Gonzaga University came back to dominate the boards against Cal State Northridge 50-29. Gonzaga grabbed 52 rebounds last year against Rice University, and had a +29 rebounding edge (49-20) last season at Pepperdine University for the last time the Bulldogs had bettered their Cal State Northridge effort. Gonzaga has a +6.6 rebounding margin this season.
Gonzaga University dropped two spots to 19th in the Associated Press poll this week, while falling to 23rd in the USA Today/ESPN vote of coaches. The Bulldogs, who went 1-1 last week, received 386 points in the Associated Press Top 25, and 138 in the USA Today/ESPN balloting.
Three teams on the Gonzaga University schedule remain ranked in the Top 15 of both polls this week. The Bulldogs will travel to No. 2 University of Memphis Jan. 25, Washington State University is 7th in the AP balloting and 6th in the coaches poll following the Cougars win over Gonzaga and play No. 12 (AP)/No. 11 (ESPN/USA Today) University of Tennessee will meet the Bulldogs Dec. 29 in The Battle in Seattle.
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 43-2 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.
Sophomore guard Matt Bouldin came back from an 0-for-9 night from the field and no points against Washington State University to go 7-for-13 against Cal State Northridge on his way to 18 points. And he missed his first shot against the Matadors before making a layin to end his field goal drought.
Senior forward Abdullahi Kuso had grabbed just five rebounds in the three previous games, but he pulled down 11 boards in Gonzaga University's win over Cal State Northridge as the Bulldogs held a 50-29 advantage. The 11 boards were one shy of his career high 12 set last season against the University of Texas San Antonio. It was Kuso's second double-digit rebounding game of the season, hauling in 10 against Virginia Tech in the Great Alaska Shootout.
Robert Sacre went 0-for-5 from the field against Cal State Northridge, but he was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line and grabbed a season-high seven rebounds. He's 0-for-6 from the field since a 4-4 day in Gonzaga University's win over the University of Connecticut in Boston, Mass., in the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase.
Junior Josh Heytvelt and freshman Steven Gray have had their seasons interrupted by surgery, but both are making solid progress in their rehabilitation. Heytvelt, who has been fighting a stress fracture in his right ankle all fall, underwent surgery Nov. 12 to insert screws into the ankle. Gray, who suffered a fractured wrist Nov. 7 in an exhibition game against Emporia State University, underwent surgery Nov. 14 to insert a pin in the wrist. In both cases, the surgery is expected to speed up the healing process rather than just casting both Heytvelt's ankle and Gray's wrist. Both have been cleared for restricted duty. Heytvelt can jump and run on a hard surface, but can't do any lateral cutting for live practice. Gray got the protective brace off his wrist and was cleared for practice.
There might be some magic in that No. 5 jersey freshman Austin Daye is wearing - especially when it comes to the free throw line. Daye is 46-for-52 for 88.5 percent from the stripe this season. Derek Raivio, who wore No. 5 throughout his Gonzaga career, is one of the most prolific free throw shooters in NCAA history. He finished his career hitting 92.7 percent from the line and holds the top three single-season percentage marks in school history. Raivio went 148-for-154 for 96.1 percent to lead the NCAA Division I ranks in percentage a year ago and ranks second all-time on the NCAA single-season list. For his career he went 343-for-370 for 92.7 percent to rank second in the NCAA based on a minimum of 300 free throws made and 2.5 free throws made/game. Raivio set the Gonzaga record of 56 consecutive free throws. Daye had a string of 29 straight free throws snapped against the University of Connecticut.
Three of the four current former Gonzaga University players in the NBA reside in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Clippers signed Richie Frahm, a free-agent guard who was released by the Phoenix Suns during the preseason. Frahm, a 30-year-old 3-point specialist, has averaged 3.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 130 career games with Houston, Minnesota, Portland and Seattle. He played for Italy's Benetton Treviso in 2006-07 after averaging 3.4 points in 32 games for Minnesota and Houston the previous season. Frahm, a 6-5, 202-pounder, was undrafted after averaging 12.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists in four seasons (1997-00) at Gonzaga. He was a college teammate of Clippers guard Dan Dickau during the 1999-2000 season, Dickau's redshirt season at Gonzaga following his transfer from the University of Washington. Frahm helped the Zags to the 1999 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight and the 2000 NCAA Sweet Sixteen. He is eighth on the all-time Gonzaga scoring list with 1,621 points, and second in career 3-pointers made (280) and attempts (662). The third Bulldog in LA is Ronny Turiaf with the Los Angeles Lakers. Adam Morrison, currently out for the season with a knee injury, is the fourth Bulldog in the pro ranks with Charlotte.
Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 470. 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 all-time streak of 668 entering this season.
Gonzaga University men's basketball coach Mark Few added three players to his charges for the 2008-09 season with the signing of three players to letters-of-intent. Andy Poling, 6-11, 30-pound forward from Westview High in Portland, Ore.; Grant Gibbs, 6-5, 190-pound guard from Linn-Mar High in Marion, Iowa, and Demetri Goodson, 6-0, 175-pound guard from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, made their intentions official to become Bulldogs on the first day of national letter-of-intent signing day. All three had previously made verbal commitments. Poling averaged 13.9 ppg last season to rank fifth in the Metro League in scoring while leading the Wildcats to a 21-8 overall record and 8-2 second-place Metro League finish. He was named honorable mention All-State 6A in Westview's first season in the newly-created State 6A classification. He was also voted first-team All-Metro League for the Wildcats, ranked seventh in the state heading into the State 6A Tournament where they lost their first two games. Poling was rated one of the 20 best centers in the country by one scouring service. Gibbs averaged 15.0 ppg, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rpg as Linn-Mar captured the Iowa State 4A title last spring. He had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the quarterfinal win over Sioux City North; 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 7 steals in the semifinal victory over Urbandale, and scored 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and had a pair of assists and steals in the title game against Bettendorf to cap a 24-1 season. He finished third in tournament scoring with 45 points and tied for fourth with 21 rebounds in earning All-Tournament honors. Goodson helped lead Klein Collins to the Region 2 title game last season while averaging 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 7.0 assists/game. He was an All-State 5A selection, the largest classification in Texas. Goodson was rated as high as the 135th best player in the country by one scouting service.
Juniors Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt have been named to the preseason watch lists for a pair of prestigious All-American men's basketball honors. Pargo, a native of Chicago, Ill., is one of 50 players named to the John R. Wooden Award as selected by the Los Angeles Athletic Club's Wooden Award Committee. Heytvelt, who hails from Clarkston, Wash., was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy as selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Pargo becomes the eighth Bulldog selected as a Wooden candidate. Heytvelt is the second Bulldog in three years under consideration for the Naismith.
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