Men's Basketbal Finally Returns Home After A Month

Dec. 17, 2008

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 9 - Texas Southern University
Thursday, December 18 - 6 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, 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. 8/T7 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (7-1; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (9.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 7.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (11.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.4 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.3 blocks)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 194, Sr., Kirkland, WA
       (9.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (15.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.4 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Daye, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (13.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.8 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  243-61 (10th year - 20th at GU) CAREER RECORD:  Same

TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY TIGERS (0-9; 0-0 Southwestern Athletic) G - 1 DeAndre Hall, 6-6, 180, Jr., Pontiac, MI (13.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals) G - 3 Matthew Miller, 6-3, 200, Sr., Arlington, TX (12.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals) F - 15 Jacques Jones, 6-7, 200, Sr., Houston, TX (8.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks) F - 20 Ricky Boyles, 6-7, 215, Jr., Los Angeles, CA (7.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.0 blocks) F - 55 Michael Drewy, 6-8, 215, Sr., Missouri City, TX (7.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Tony Harvey (Cameron, 1988) TSU RECORD: 0-9 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 10 - University of Connecticut
Saturday, December 20 - 1 p.m.
KeyArena - Seattle, WA - The Battle in Seattle
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); Oldies 101.1 FM (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: CBS-TV (Check local listings)
G -  11 Jerome Dyson, 6-4, 190, Jr., Rockville, MD
      (15.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals)
G -  12 A.J. Price, 6-2, 181, Sr., Amityville, NY
      (8.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.6 assists, 0.9 steals)
G -   24 Craig Austrie, 6-3, 176, Sr., Stamford, CT
       (10.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 2.4 assists, 0.7 steals)
C -   34 Hasheem Thabeet, 7-3, 263, Jr., Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
      (14.9 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 3.8 blocks)
F -     4 Jeff Adrien, 6-7, 243, Sr., Brookline, MA
       (14.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.8 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.2 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Jim Calhoun (American International, 1968)
UCONN RECORD:  535-200 (23rd year)  CAREER RECORD:  783-337 (37th year).
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

SCHEDULE NOTE: Texas Southern University arrived in Spokane Wednesday. Thursday's game is scheduled to be played as planned. Weather conditions did not hamper TSU's travel on Wednesday.

Gonzaga University finally returns to the friendly confines of the McCarthey Athletic Center when Texas Southern University visits Thursday for a 6 p.m. contest. Gonzaga has not played a home game since Nov. 18 when the Zags downed the University of Idaho 80-46. Gonzaga will be right back on the road as the Bulldogs head to Seattle to face second-ranked University of Connecticut Saturday at 1 p.m. in The Battle in Seattle at KeyArena, then it's back home for a Tuesday game against Portland State University prior to breaking for Christmas.

Gonzaga University will be back in action Thursday for the first time since suffering its first loss of the season last Sunday to the University of Arizona in the Desert Classic at U.S. Airways Arena in Phoenix. Nic Wise scored 21 points, including three free throws in the final 31 seconds, as the Wildcats upset the then fourth-ranked Bulldogs 69-64. The Wildcats, who led most of the game, outscored Gonzaga 7-2 over the last 2:25, with Hill and Wise scoring all their points. Austin Daye had 22 points and Matt Bouldin added 14 for the Bulldogs. Hill broke a 62-62 tie with two free throws with 1:17 to go, then hit a 4-footer over Josh Heytvelt to put the Wildcats up 66-62 with 36 seconds left. Bouldin scored on a layup, then Wise iced the game at the free throw line, going 3-of-4 down the stretch. The matchup was the second of the week against a Pacific-10 Conference school for the Bulldogs, who earlier in the week won at Washington State University 74-52. Sunday's game against the Wildcats was the first between the schools since Arizona's 96-95 double-overtime NCAA Second Round victory in 2003.

Texas Southern University will be playing its 10th straight road game to start the season when the Tigers visit Gonzaga University Thursday night. TSU was at the University of Texas Tuesday night, the Longhorns taking an 88-72 victory as the Tigers' fell to 0-9. TSU has already made one trip to the state of Washington as the University of Washington captured an 88-52 victory Dec. 6. The Tigers have played in Texas, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas and Washington thus far. From Gonzaga they head to the University of Idaho Saturday then complete the 12-game season-opening road trip Dec. 22 at Air Force. TSU will play its first home game Dec. 27 against Portland State University.

Since Gonzaga University last played a home game the Bulldogs have traversed the country for a total of 12,507 miles. The trek began in Orlando, Fla., for the Old Spice Classic over Thanksgiving, continued in Indianapolis for the Hartford Hall of Fame Challenge, saw a short sojourn to Pullman to face Washington State University and concluded last weekend in Phoenix, Ariz., for the Desert Classic. Along the way the Cougars played Oklahoma State University, the University of Maryland and the University of Tennessee in winning the Old Spice Classic; saw the Bulldogs down Indiana University at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL in the first collegiate game played in the first-year facility; dominated WSU in the second half in a 74-52 win on the Cougars' home court, and ended with last Sunday's 69-64 upset at the hands of the University of Arizona. This year's schedule rivals the 2006-07 season when the Bulldogs traveled 15,865 from Nov. 21-Jan. 3 that saw the Bulldogs make three coast-to-coast trips and play just one home game the month of December.

Gonzaga University fell four spots to eighth in the Associated Press Top 25 and dropped three spots into a tie for seventh with Xavier University in the USA Today/ESPN rankings following the Bulldogs first loss of the season last Sunday against the University of Arizona at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Ariz. Gonzaga will play a member of the Top 10 Saturday when the Bulldogs meet No. 2 University of Connecticut in The Battle in Seattle at KeyArena. It will be Gonzaga's first matchup against a Top 10 foe since traveling to No. 1 University of Memphis last Jan. 26.

Austin Daye matched his career high with 22 points last Sunday against the University of Arizona. He went 8-for-13 from the field, including 2-for-3 from 3-point range, and hit all four of his free throw attempts. Daye scored 22 points last season at Santa Clara University, a game in which he scored 13 of his points in overtime as the Bulldogs escaped the upset bid by the Broncos with an 87-82 victory. It was his first 20-point game this season and the third of his career. Daye made his collegiate debut with 20 points against the University of Montana last season.

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 243 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. Sam Dower, a 6-9, 220-pound left-handed senior center/forward from Osseo, Minn., High School and 6-5, 185-pound wing Mangisto "Manny" Arop will join GU next season. 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.



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