Men's Basketball Finishes Road Trip Wednesday
Dec. 19, 2000
Game No. 9 - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Wednesday, December 20 - 5 p.m. PST
Brown County Arena - Green Bay, WI
Radio: KXLY 920 AM 25 minutes prior to tipoff
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (5-3, 0-0 in West Coast Conference)
WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY PHOENIX (3-7, 0-0 in Midwestern Collegiate)
Saturday, December 30 - 7 p.m.
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: KXLI 630 AM 25 minutes prior to tipoff
MONMOUTH HAWKS (6-2, 3-0 in Northeast Conference)
G - 4 Rahsaan Johnson, 6-0, 185, Jr., Washington, D.C.
BULLDOGS BITTEN BY GATORS: The University of Florida got its measure of revenge against Gonzaga University with an 85-71 victory last Saturday in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in Sunrise, Fla. The 8th-ranked Gators, 73-72 upset losers to the Bulldogs in the 1999 NCAA Sweet Sixteen in Phoenix, Ariz., avenged that defeat behind the strong inside play of Udonis Haslem. The 6-8 Haslem scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the victory. The Gators jumped out to an early 19-6 lead at the 12:00 mark of the first half, increased the lead to as much as 16 in the first half, and the Bulldogs never got closer than 9 points in the first-half in trailing 44-32. Gonzaga never cut the deficit to single digits in the second half and the Gators responded to every Gonzaga comeback bid. The Bulldogs got 18 points each from Casey Calvary and point guard Blake Stepp, the latter playing all 40 minutes in place of the injured Dan Dickau who missed his fourth straight game with a broken left index finger.
GREEN BAY RE-MATCH: Gonzaga University will play its final game prior to a 10-day Christmas break when the Bulldogs stop in Green Bay, Wisc., for a Wednesday re-match with the Phoenix. The Bulldogs stopped the Phoenix 85-58 in The Kennel the opening weekend of the regular season behind the 20 points of Dan Dickau. The Bulldogs shot 53.1 percent against UWGB while the Phoenix shot just 38.9 percent. Gonzaga held a 40-25 rebounding edge. That meeting was the first since Nov. 11, 1985, when the Bulldogs took a 63-47 home victory. Gonzaga now leads the series 2-1, losing its only game in Green Bay by a 53-52 count in overtime on Dec. 26, 1984.
TURNOVERS COSTLY: Gonzaga University has committed 19 turnovers in each of the last two games, a 94-69 loss at Boise State University and in last Saturday's 85-71 setback to the University of Florida in Sunrise, Fla. Gonzaga is averaging 20.3 turnovers/game in its three losses, including a season-high 23 turnovers at the University of Arizona. In the five victories the Bulldogs are averaging just 14.2 turnovers/game, and in four of those wins the Bulldogs had 13 or less turnovers.
AVOIDING THREE STRAIGHT LOSSES: It's been quite awhile since a Gonzaga University team lost three straight games, something the Bulldogs will be trying to avoid in Wednesday's game at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Bulldogs lost back-to-back games three times last season, and at one time dropped 3-of-4 outings. The last time the Bulldogs dropped three straight was during the 1996-97 season when Gonzaga lost its final three regular-season games and then lost in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament to finish the season with a 4-game skid. Gonzaga's longest losing streak is 10 games during the 1990 WCC season.
CALVARY PASSES 1,000-POINT PLATEAU... Senior forward Casey Calvary has become the 22nd played in Gonzaga University to surpass the 1,000-point barrier, entering Wednesday's game against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with 1,074 points. That ranks him 17th in school history, nine shy of Frank Walter's 1,083 points and 47 away from matching Jack Curran's 1,121 points. Calvary should move into the top 10, needing 281 more points to surpass Bill Suter at No. 10 with 1,354.
...AND NEARS 600 REBOUNDS: Casey Calvary will become just the fourth player in Gonzaga University history to join the 1,000-point/600-rebound club. He's already achieved the 1,000 points, and now has 596 career rebounds. Calvary cracked Gonzaga's career Top 10 with his 8 rebounds last Saturday, passing Joe Clayton's 593 rebounds and Frank Burgess' 595 rebounds to move into the 9th spot. Larry Brown is currently 8th with 604.
CHRISTMAS BREAK: It's off for the holidays for Gonzaga University following Wednesday's game at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Bulldogs will get one of the longest breaks in recent memory, not returning to practice in The Kennel until 5 p.m. on Dec. 26. The Bulldogs will have gone 10 days without a game prior to returning to action at home Dec. 30 against Monmouth University. The Bulldogs will practice at 10 a.m. Dec. 27-29.
BULLDOGS WIN 200TH: Gonzaga University's win at the University of Montana earlier this year was the 200th for the Bulldogs in the last 10 seasons. Gonzaga is 200-86 since the 1991-92 season for a .699 winning percentage.
CALVARY WOODEN AWARD NOMINEE: Gonzaga University senior forward Casey Calvary is one of 50 nominees for the John R. Wooden Award. A poll was conducted of The John R. Wooden Award Committee to determine the Pre-season Top 50 candidates for the 2000-01 Wooden Award All-American Team. On March 27, 2001, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Friday April 6, 2001 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. The top 50 Candidates have been selected based on last year's individual performance and team records. In late December, the Wooden Award committee will release the Mid-season Top 30 during a half-hour program on FOX Sports Net. This is the second straight year the Bulldogs have had a Wooden Award nominee, guard Matt Santangelo getting the nomination a year ago.
FEW'S ROOKIE SEASON: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few had one of the best rookie seasons in NCAA history, the Bulldogs' 26 wins ranking him tied for 7th for "Top 10 Career Starts For Head Coaches By Victories." He's tied with such coaching legends as Jim Boeheim at Syracuse University (1977), Denny Crum of the University of Louisville (1972) and Nolan Richardson of Tulsa University (1981). All won 26 games as rookie head coaches at the NCAA Division I level.
20 WINS AGAIN: For the seventh time in eight years Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau, the Bulldogs' 26 wins last season second only behind the 1999 school record mark of 28-7 mark. Last year marked the fourth time the Bulldogs 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.
BULLDOGS IN 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 nine seasons the Bulldogs are 106-9 at home for a nifty 92.2 winning percentage, finishing 10-1 last season. The Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel in 1999, 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. Gonzaga was 10-1 at home in 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the second-longest active streak in the country. The Bulldogs are 3-0 at home this season and have a winning margin of 29.7 ppg.
SCOUTING WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY: In a rare same-year home-and-home series, Gonzaga University will return the favor to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Wednesday when the two do battle at Brown County Arena in Green Bay, Wisc. The Bulldogs and Phoenix met on the opening weekend of the regular season in The Kennel, the Bulldogs taking an 85-58 victory. The Phoenix have struggled through the first third of the season, bringing a 5-game losing streak into Wednesday's contest, including last Saturday's 69-57 loss at Syracuse University. Chris Sager, who scored just 5 points in 19 minutes off the bench against the Bulldogs in the first meeting, is now in the starting lineup at one guard spot. Sager scored 20 points against Syracuse, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range. He's averaging a team-leading 11.8 ppg, the only UWGB player in double digits. UWGB, which shot just 17.6 percent from 3-point range against the Bulldogs on a 3-for-17 night, hit 10-of-18 from beyond the arc against Syracuse. Following a split on their Pacific Northwest swing to open the season - winning at the University of Idaho and losing at Gonzaga - the Phoenix have lost 6-of-8 outings and bring a 3-7 record into Wednesday's game. In this year's first meeting the Bulldogs got 20 points from Dan Dickau, who has since been sidelined with a broken finger and will miss the re-match. Mark Spink had 13 points, while Casey Calvary and Blake Stepp each added 12 in the first game. The Bulldogs went 26-for-49 from the field for 53.1 percent, while the Phoenix shot a chilly 21-for-54 for 38.9 percent. Gonzaga also held a 40-25 rebounding edge.
SCOUTING THE HAWKS: Monmouth University of West Long Branch, NJ, is off to its best start since the 1990-91 season, the Hawks 6-2 and riding a 5-game winning streak heading into Christmas break. Monmouth is also 3-0 in the Northeast Conference. Saturday's 79-50 non-conference home victory over St. Peter's College was the largest margin of victory for the Hawks since the 1992-93 season. The Hawks will be idle until Dec. 28 when they start their western swing at UNLV. Rahsaan Johnson and Gerry Crosby have each scored in double figures in all eight contests to date. The duo is averaging a combined 38.6 ppg. Johnson is averaging a team-leading 20.5 ppg, Crosby 18.1 ppg.
HOT AND COLD: The current road trip for Gonzaga University will find the Bulldogs going from one weather extreme to another. After being in the balmy conditions of the Fort Lauderdale/Sunrise, Fla. region where the temperatures have been in the upper 70's and low 80's, the Bulldogs head for Green Bay, Wisc., where the extended forecast calls for a game-day high of 19 degrees and a low of 8 degrees for Wednesday.
THE RATINGS: Gonzaga University is ranked 83rd in the Jeff Sagarin College Basketball Rankings with a 79.23, and 124th in the College RPI with a .5192 through Sunday's games. Stanford University heads the Sagarin rankings with a 97.59, while the University of Toledo sits atop the College RPI with a .7234.
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