Bulldogs Battle Volunteers Saturday

Dec. 27, 2007

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 13 - Tennessee
Saturday, December 29 - 1 p.m.
Comcast Battle In Seattle
KeyArena - Seattle, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (9-3; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, Jr., Chicago, IL
       (12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, So., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (12.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 190, Jr., Kirkland, WA
       (10.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals)
F -  25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Sr., Brewster, WA
       (9.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals)
F -  31 Abdullahi Kuso, 6-9, 241, Sr., Kaduna, Nigeria
      (6.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.3 steals, 0.9 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  220-55 (9th year - 19th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

No. 11/12 UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (11-1; 0-0 SEC) G - 2 JaJuan Smith, 6-2, 195, Sr., Cleveland, TN (14.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.8 assists, 2.0 steals) G - 5 Chris Lofton, 6-2, 200, Sr., Maysville, KY (14.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals) G - 15 Jordan Howell, 6-3, 190, Sr., Auburn, AL (7.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 3.3 assists, 0.9 steals) F - 1 Tyler Smith, 6-7, 215, So., Pulaski, TN (13.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.3 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 4 Wayne Chism, 6-9, 242, So., Jackson, TN (8.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.9 blocks) HEAD COACH: Bruce Pearl (Boston College, 1982) UT RECORD: 57-20 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: 374-104 (16th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 14 - Utah
Monday, December 31 - 5 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listings)
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH RUNNIN' UTES (7-3; 0-0 Mountain West)
G -  11 Lawrence Borha, 6-3, 205, Jr., Staten Island, NY
      (9.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks)
G -  32 Tyler Kepay, 6-0, 185, Jr., Vancouver, B.C.
      (10.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals)
C -  50 Luke Nevill, 7-1, 265, Jr., Perth, Australia
      (14.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.5 blocks)
F -   15 Carlon Brown, 6-4, 210, Fr., Riverside, CA
      (5.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -   21 Shawn Green, 6-8, 208, Jr., Salt Lake City, UT
      (7.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.9 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Jim Boylen (Maine, 1987)
UTAH RECORD:  7-3 (1st year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  12/27 vs. Idaho State.
NOTE: Poll rankings are Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN, respectively.

Gonzaga University returns to action after a 9-day layoff for Christmas break, the Bulldogs facing the University of Tennessee Saturday in the 5th Annual Comcast Battle in Seattle at KeyArena. Game time is 1 p.m. The Bulldogs haven't played since suffering a 72-68 loss Dec. 20 to Oklahoma University at the O'Reilly's All-College Classic in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Bulldogs returned to the practice floor Wednesday after breaking for Christmas.

Saturday's game against the University of Tennessee will mark the second ranked team Gonzaga University has played this season. The Volunteers are ranked 11th in this week's Associated Press Top 25 and 12th in the USA Today/ESPN vote of coaches. Washington State University was ranked 8th by AP and 6th by USA Today/ESPN when the Cougars visited the McCarthey Athletic Center and took a 51-47 win over the Bulldogs. After winning three straight games against nationally-ranked teams early last season, Gonzaga has dropped four of its last five games against ranked foes. Gonzaga beat No. 2 University of North Carolina in Madison Square Garden, No. 25 University of Texas in Phoenix, Ariz., and No. 8 University of Washington at home in the span of 18 days early last season. Gonzaga then lost to No. 6 Duke University at Madison Square Garden, lost to No. 18 University of Nevada in the Battle in Seattle, defeated 23rd-ranked Stanford University on the road and lost at No. 8 University of Memphis on the road last season prior to the meeting with the ranked Cougars this season.

Gonzaga University is 3-1 in the Comcast Battle in Seattle, the loss coming last season against the University of Nevada. The Bulldogs downed the University of Missouri, the University of Massachusetts and Oklahoma State University in the first three battles. Missouri was ranked third in the country when Gonzaga took an 87-80 overtime decision in the inaugural Battle, but the most memorable moment is Adam Morrison's bank-shot trey with 2.5 seconds to play that downed OSU 64-62 two year's ago.

KeyArena, home of the Seattle Sonics, has been kind to Gonzaga University over the years as the Bulldogs have trekked cross-state to play nine games in the building. The Bulldogs are 7-2 lifetime in at KeyArena and both losses have come to the University of Nevada. The Wolf Pack downed the Bulldogs 91-72 in the 2004 NCAA Tournament Second Round, then took last year's Comcast Battle in Seattle 82-74. Gonzaga has played five NCAA Tournament games in the building, posting a 4-1 record. Gonzaga also played the University of Washington in KeyArena Dec. 13, 1999, the Huskies playing their home games at KeyArena while Hec Edmundson Pavilion was being refurbished into what is now Bank of America Arena. The Zags won that game 76-66.

Gonzaga University won't get much rest following Saturday's game, the Bulldogs returning home immediately following the game to prepare for a New Year's Eve date with the University of Utah.

Gonzaga University fell out of the national polls for the first time this season, but the Bulldogs stilled received considerable votes. Gonzaga received 120 votes in the Associated Press Top 25, and 54 votes in the USA Today/ESPN voting. Gonzaga is the first team listed in the "others receiving votes" category of the USA Today/ESPN poll, and the second team listed in the AP 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; hosted fourth-ranked Washington State University in December and plays No. 11/12 University of Tennessee Saturday 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 44-2 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.

Junior guard Jeremy Pargo almost single-handedly beat Oklahoma University in the Bulldogs last outing. He scored a career-high 28 points - including 12 straight Bulldog points late in the second half to help Gonzaga to a 3-point lead - but he couldn't overcome the Sooners alone. Pargo was the lone Bulldog in double figures, going 11-for-18 from the field, 4-for-8 from 3-point range and 2-for-3 from the line to surpass his previous high of 23 points Dec. 1 against the University of Connecticut in the Hall of Fame Showcase in Boston. His jumper with 2:41 to play capped the 12 straight points and gave Gonzaga a 66-63 lead. The only points Gonzaga would get the rest of the way were a pair of David Pendergraft free throws with 43 ticks left.

Speaking of Jeremy Pargo, he has 33 assists over the last five games for a 6.6 assists/game average in that stretch. He leads the Bulldogs in assists at 5.8/game. His 292 career assists are one shy of moving him into a tie for 10th on the all-tie list with Jamie Dudley, and he needs eight for his 300th assist to move past Dan Dickau and into ninth. Matt Santangelo is the all-time leader with 668.

Steven Gray and Josh Heytvelt are both off the injured list. Gray, a true freshman out of Bainbridge, Wash., made his regular-season collegiate debut against the University of Northern Colorado Dec. 17. Gray missed the first 10 games of his freshman season after fracturing his wrist Nov. 7 in the Bulldogs exhibition game, and had pins inserted into the wrist on Nov. 14. Gray scored 12 points and played 28 minutes in his debut. His 3-pointer gave the Bulldogs their first lead at 17-16. He played 13 minutes against Oklahoma University. Heytvelt saw his first action of the season against OU after an ankle injury that eventually required surgery Nov. 12 to insert pins. Heytvelt played 15 minutes and scored 5 points.

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 54-for-60 for 90.0 percent from the stripe this season following an 8-for-8 night against Northern Colorado University, and for the first time in his short career failed to get to the line in the next outing against Oklahoma University. 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 29 straight makes this season.

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 472. 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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