Bulldogs Head To Utah Seeking To Regain Winning Way

Dec. 30, 2008

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 12 - University of Utah
Wednesday, December 31 - 5 p.m. PST
Jon M. Huntsman Center - Salt Lake City, UT
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane);
101.1 FM Rock `N' Roll's Greatest Hits (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: CBS College Sports (Check local listing)
No. 16/17 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (8-3; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (9.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 7.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (11.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.9 steals)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 194, Sr., Kirkland, WA
       (9.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (15.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.1 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Daye, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (12.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  244-63 (10th year - 20th at GU) CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH RUNNIN' UTES (7-5; 0-0 Mountain West) G - 5 Luka Drca, 6-5, 205, Jr., Belgrade, Serbia (6.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.6 assists, 1.3 steals) G - 11 Lawrence Borha, 6-3, 205, Sr., Staten Island, NY (10.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.8 assists, 0.5 steals) G - 15 Carlon Brown, 6-5, 205, So., Riverside, CA (9.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.9 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks) C - 50 Luke Nevill, 7-2, 265, Sr., Perth, Australia (16.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.2 blocks) F - 14 Kim Tillie, 6-10, 215, Jr., Cagnes-sur-Mer, France (3.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Jim Boylen (Maine, 1987) UTAH RECORD: 25-20 (2nd year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 13 - University of Tennessee
Wednesday, January 7 - 6 p.m. PST
Thompson-Boling Arena - Knoxville, TN
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane);
101.1 FM Rock `N' Roll's Greatest Hits (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN
No. 14/T18 UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (9-2; 0-0 SEC)
G - 32 Scotty Hopson, 6-7, 185, Fr., Hopkinsville, KY
      (8.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks)
G -   3 Bobby Maze, 6-2, 185, Jr., Suitland, MD
      (9.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals)
C -    4 Wayne Chism, 6-9, 242, Jr., Jackson, TN
      (11.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks)
F -    1 Tyler Smith, 6-7, 215, Jr., Pulaski, TN
      (16.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals)
F -   25 Josh Tabb, 6-4, 196, Jr., Carbondale, IL
       (5.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.6 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Bruce Pearl (Boston College, 1982)
UT RECORD:  86-26 (4th year)  CAREER RECORD:  403-110 (17th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  1/3 at Kansas.

NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

Gonzaga University, losing for just the third time at home in the 5-year existence of the McCarthey Athletic Center on Christmas Eve eve in a 77-70 setback to Portland State University, looks to get back on the winning track with a New Year's Eve contest at the University of Utah. Gametime is 5 p.m. PST. The Bulldogs will be coming off an 8-day layoff since the PSU setback, while the Runnin' Utes will enter the contest off a 60-52 win at UC Irvine last Saturday.

Wednesday's game will be televised by CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV), which is a television partner of the Mountain West Conference. CBS College Sports is available in the Spokane area on Comcast Cable channel 412 for subscribers who purchase the Sports and Entertainment package; DirecTV channel 613 for viewers who subscribe to the Premier Package; Dish Network channel 152 for subscribers of any package, and Time Warner channel 251 for subscribers of the Sports Pack. Viewers outside the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene should check local listings or contact their local cable television provider. The DirecTV and Dish Network channels and packages described above are available nationwide.

Jeremiah Dominguez scored 25 points and Portland State University upset Gonzaga University 77-70 Dec. 23. PSU which relied on a short, quick lineup, managed to outrebound the Zags 39-30. The Vikings kept the lead by hitting 12 3-pointers. The Vikings, 1-11 against nationally ranked teams, broke a 10-game losing streak to Gonzaga. The teams exchanged the lead most of the second half. Consecutive 3-pointers by Dominic Waters and Dominguez gave Portland State a 65-61 lead with 4:06 left. Julius Thomas' basket made it 67-62 in favor of the Vikings. Gonzaga's Josh Heytvelt hit a short jumper, and Austin Daye's steal led to Jeremy Pargo being fouled on the break. He made both free throws to cut the Viks' lead to 67-66 with 2:40 left. PSU again threw the ball away and Pargo grabbed the inbounds pass, slammed it home and was fouled. His three-point play gave Gonzaga a 68-67 lead with 2:16 to go. Waters' runner tied the score at 69 with 1:45 left. Phil Nelson's 3-pointer gave Portland State a 72-69 lead with 44 seconds left. Pargo missed on the other end, and PSU rebounded and Waters was fouled with 30 seconds left, making both for a 74-69 lead.

Gonzaga University has lost back-to-back games against the University of Connecticut and Portland State University, just the seventh time in Bulldog head coach Mark Few's 10 seasons the Bulldogs have suffered back-to-back regular-season losses. Gonzaga fell to the University of Oklahoma and the University of Tennessee in back-to-back neutral-court games last season. The Zags' longest losing streak under Few is four games during the 2007 season when Gonzaga lost to the University of Georgia, Duke University, the University of Nevada and the University of Virginia, the latter the only true road game among the four. The Bulldogs did finish last season with consecutive losses but they weren't in the regular season. Gonzaga fell at the University of San Diego in the West Coast Conference Tournament championship game and then saw its season end with a loss to Davidson College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

After being upset by Portland State University and having lost three of its last four contests, Gonzaga University dropped in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls this week. The Bulldogs, seventh in both polls last week, fell nine spots to 16th in the AP rankings and plummeted 10 spots to 17th in the USA Today/ESPN vote of the coaches. The University of Connecticut, an 88-83 overtime victor over the Bulldogs in The Battle in Seattle Dec. 20, remained second in both polls, although the Huskies suffered their first loss of the season to Georgetown University Monday night following the release of the polls earlier in the day. The only other ranked team is the University of Tennessee, which the Bulldogs visit Jan. 7. The Volunteers are 14th in AP and tied for 18th in the USA Today/ESPN balloting. Gonzaga downed the Vols 83-74 Nov. 30 in the title game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

By the time Gonzaga University gets home from Knoxville, Tenn., next week the Bulldogs will have traveled 19,115 miles since Nov. 26 and have played just two homes games since meeting the University of Idaho at home Nov. 18. The Bulldogs will have been in Florida, Indiana, Arizona, Utah and Tennessee in that stretch, and played in-state games in Pullman and Seattle. The Bulldogs open West Coast Conference play Jan. 10 with three straight home games.

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 55-3 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's other losses were last season to Washington State University and this year's setback to Portland State University.

Head coach Mark Few picked up his 225th career victory Jan. 19, 2008, against the University of San Diego. With 244 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, and he and teammate Josh Heytvelt have been named to the Naismith Trophy watch list as well. Pargo is eligible for the John R. Wooden All-American Team and Player of the Year Trophy, and he and Heytvelt are also in line for the Naismith Trophy as present by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. Pargo, a native of Chicago, Ill., was also nominated for the Wooden Award a year ago, while Heytvelt was also a Naismith candidate last season. Pargo becomes the eighth Bulldog selected as a Wooden candidate. Adam Morrison was a 2006 John R. Wooden Top Five All-America selection, Dan Dickau was so honored in 2002 as Gonzaga's inaugural Wooden Award Top Five honoree, and Blake Stepp (2004) and Casey Calvary (2001) were named Wooden Award Top 10 All-Americans. Heytvelt, who hails from nearby Clarkston, Wash., becomes Gonzaga's first two-time Naismith nominee. Adam Morrison is the only other Bulldog to be nominated for the award in 2006. "Both players are very deserving of these nominations," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "They have worked hard on and off the court to elevate their games to the national stage. They are as good as any player in the country at their respective positions."

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.

Second-year Gonzaga University assistant coach Ray Giacoletti won't need any directions to get around Salt Lake City and the University of Utah campus this week. Giacoletti was the head coach of the Runnin' Utes for three years, posting a 54-40 record including leading the team into the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in his first season of 2005. He recruited several players still dotting the Utah roster.

There could be a couple of fans in attendance Wednesday who might be a little torn as who to root for when Gonzaga University and the University of Utah do battle. Phil and Tom McCarthey have their family name on the 5-year-old Gonzaga arena - the McCarthey Athletic Center - and are alumni of the university. Phil is a member of the Board of Trustees and Tom is a member of the Board of Regents. But the duo also has ties to the Runnin' Utes. The McCarthey's owned Salt Lake Tribune Publishing - which included the Salt Lake Tribune - until 1997, are also avid followers of the University of Utah athletic fortunes and are residents of Salt Lake City.

Gonzaga University sophomore Robert Sacre continues to recover from a broken right foot suffered Dec. 5 in practice, the same foot he had a pin inserted in earlier this fall to help heal a non-displaced stress fracture. The newest fracture is in front of the previous stress fracture. Whether or not surgery will be necessary still isn't known as the extent of the injury is still being evaluated. Surgery would most likely sideline him for the season and give him a medical redshirt.

A look at the statistics in Gonzaga University's three setbacks in the last four outings paints a pretty reflective picture of why the Bulldogs have lost. In the three losses Gonzaga is shooting 45.5 percent from the field (80-for-176), compared to the 47.8 percent the Zags are shooting for the season, while opponents are hitting on 44.3 percent from the field, considerably better than the 36.9 percent foes are shooting for the season. Gonzaga has connected on just 32.1 percent from 3-point range compared to 36.4 percent for the season, and opponents have hit 47.3 percent from beyond the arc, well above the 32.5 they are shooting for the season. Perhaps the most telling statistic is rebounding, where opponents have averaged 36.7 rebounds/game to the 32.3 rpg by Gonzaga, a +4.4 rebounding margin for the opponents.

Gonzaga University has been out rebounded in each of the last two games, the University of Connecticut holding a +10 advantage and Portland State University a +9 margin. It's only the third time this season Gonzaga has been out rebounded, the University of Tennessee recording a monstrous +24 advantage (50-26) in Gonzaga's 83-74 victory over the Volunteers in the title game of the Old Spice Classic.

Overshadowed in Gonzaga University's setback to Portland State University last week was the fact senior Jeremy Pargo became the 30th member of the 1,000-point club for the Bulldogs and also surpassed the 500-assists plateau. The native of Chicago now has 1,004 career points to tie Jeff Condill for 29th on the Gonzaga list. John Rillie is 28th with 1,038, Jarrod Davis 27th with 1,054 and Bryce McPhee 26th with 1,060. Pargo's 501 career assists make him the fourth member of the 500 club behind Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554). Pargo's 136 career steals are sixth, four shy of surpassing Geoff Goss (139) for fifth.

Sophomore Austin Daye, shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from 3-point range for the season, has connected on just 10-of-26 shots from the field for 38.5 percent and 1-for-5 from 3-point range for 20.0 percent in the last two games.

Matt Bouldin bounced back from a 1-for-6 day from the field against the University of Connecticut to go 7-for-10 from the field in the loss to Portland State University. He didn't attempt a 3-pointer against UConn and went 2-for-4 from long range against PSU. His 18 points against the Vikings were a season high.

Senior Josh Heytvelt continues to have a solid final season, shooting 55.9 percent from the field (62-for-111), 45.8 percent from 3-point range (11-for-24), averaging a team-high 15.4 ppg and tied for the team rebounding lead with Austin Daye at 6.1 rpg. Heytvelt has shot 50.0 percent or better in nine of 11 games this season, including a season-high 9-for-10 night against the University of Maryland in the Old Spice Classic semifinals.

Austin Daye and Josh Heytvelt continue to climb the career blocked shots chart. Daye, just a sophomore, has 80 blocks to tie Mark Spink for sixth, while Heytvelt has 77 to tie 2008 graduate Abdullahi Kuso for eighth. Daye has a team-high 26 blocks this season for 2.4 blocks/game.

 

 

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