Bulldogs Meet EWU In Spokane Arena

Dec. 31, 2003

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 11 - Eastern Washington
Wed., Dec. 31 - 5 p.m. PST
Spokane Arena - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane)
No. 16 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (8-2; 0-0 West Coast Conference)
G - 10 Blake Stepp, 6-4, 194, Sr., Eugene, OR
      (13.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 7.4 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -  20 Kyle Bankhead, 6-0, 195, Sr., Walla Walla, WA
      (6.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals)
C -  33 Cory Violette, 6-8, 265, Sr., Boise, ID
      (11.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.2 blocks)
F -   4 Tony Skinner, 6-5, 198, Jr., Albuquerque, NM
      (6.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals)
F -    1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 243, Jr., Le Robert, Martinique
      (16.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.9 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  113-31 (5th year - 15th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY EAGLES (3-8; 0-0 Big Sky Conference) G - 52 Alvin Snow, 6-2, 215, Sr., Seattle, WA (14.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals) G - 2 Brendon Merritt, 6-4, 190, Sr., Tacoma, WA (8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 assists, 0.6 steals) C - 22 Matt Nelson, 6-8, 220, Fr., Issaquah, WA (6.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals) F - 24 Marc Axton, 6-7, 225, Jr., Federal Way, WA (11.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 assists, 0.7 steals) F - 23 Josh Barnard, 6-5, 205, Sr., Tacoma, WA (11.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.5 assists, 0.9 steals) HEAD COACH: Ray Giacoletti (Minot State, 1985) EWU RECORD: 55-45 (5th year) CAREER RECORD: 103-78 (7th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 12 - Montana
Sun., Jan. 4 - 5 p.m. PST
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane)
G - 10 Derrick Mansell, 6-2, 190, Sr., Costa Mesa, CA
      (4.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.5 blocks)
C -  33 John Seyfert, 6-10, 240, So., Stevensville, MT
      (5.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks)
F - 34 Steve Horne, 6-6, 190, Sr., Pensacola, FL
      (7.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks)
F -  40 Matt Dlouhy, 6-6, 190, Fr., Coeur d'Alene, ID
      (1.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.5 steals)
F -  52 Corey Easley, 6-8, 220, So., Inver Grove Hts., MN
      (2.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Pat Kennedy (Kings College, 1975)
UM RECORD:  16-24 (2nd year)  CAREER RECORD:  409-300 (24th year)

BULLDOGS STAY HOME: For the first time Since Nov. 24 and Nov. 29 Gonzaga University will play back-to-back games in Spokane. After routing Washington State University 96-58 Sunday in front of a sold out Kennel crowd the Bulldogs make their second trip of the season to the nearby Spokane Arena to host Eastern Washington University in a New Year's Eve match up of neighbors. Gonzaga played Denver University on Nov. 24 in The Kennel and faced the University of Georgia in the Spokane Arena on Nov. 29 to end a string of three straight games in Spokane. Until Sunday's game, Gonzaga had played five straight games away from Spokane.

FINAL TUNEUP: Sunday's sold out game against Montana in The Kennel will be the final tune-up for Gonzaga University prior to opening West Coast Conference action Jan. 8 at Pepperdine University and Jan. 10 at Loyola Marymount University. The Pepperdine contest will tip off at 5:30 p.m. and be aired on FOX West2 and on FOX Sports Northwest. There will be no television for the LMU game, the lone contest on Gonzaga's regular-season schedule this year to not be televised.

WOODEN AWARD: Gonzaga University has a pair of seniors who are John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 candidates for the prestigious Player of the Year honor. The Bulldogs Cory Violette, a two-time Preseason Top 50 nominees, and Blake Stepp carry the Bulldog banner. Dan Dickau became Gonzaga's inaugural Wooden Award Top Five All-American in 2002, and Casey Calvary was the first Wooden Award Top 10 All-American for the Bulldogs in 2001. Matt Santangelo was the first Wooden Award Top 30 finalist in 2000.

ZAGS WHEN RANKED: Gonzaga is 43-10 when nationally ranked, including a perfect 17-0 at home with this season's victories over the University of Idaho, Denver University and Washington State University at The Kennel. The mark includes games against teams in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.

BALANCED ATTACK: Much has been written about Gonzaga University depth this season, and a quick look at the stats validates all the claims. Four Bulldogs are currently averaging double-figure scoring. Junior Ronny Turiaf leads the way with 16.3 ppg, followed by senior Blake Stepp (13.0), true freshman Adam Morrison (12.8) and senior Cory Violette (11.9). Three others are averaging nearly 7.0 ppg - senior Kyle Bankhead (6.9), sophomore Erroll Knight (6.8) and senior Tony Skinner (6.7).

DOUBLE-DIGIT FROSH: There's plenty of basketball yet to be played, but true freshman Adam Morrison is on pace to averaging in double digits. He's currently averaging 12.8 ppg. You don't have to dig too far back in the record book to find the last true freshman to average in double figures, current senior Blake Stepp turning the trick with his 10.3 ppg average in 2001.

TOP 25: Three teams ranked in this week's Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls dot Gonzaga University's schedule. Stanford University (5th in AP/ 7th in USA Today/ESPN), Saint Joseph's University (10th in both) and the University of Missouri (23rd/22nd) are ranked. The University of Maryland (24th/25th last week) received votes this week.

THREE COULD HIT 1,000: At some point in the season Gonzaga University should have three active 1,000-point career scorers in the lineup. Blake Stepp has already hit the milestone and has 1,347 career points to move past John Stockton (1,340, 1981-84) and into 12th. He needs 8 points to surpass Bill Suter (1,354, 1963-66) for 11th. Cory Violette reached the milestone against Washington State University and has 1,022 career points for 25th. Ronny Turiaf is at 913 points. Stepp became the 25th Gonzaga player and Violette the 26th to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

FOR THREE: Blake Stepp and Kyle Bankhead continue to climb on Gonzaga University's all-time 3-point list. Stepp is fourth with 231 to move past John Rillie (230, 1993-95) for third. Bankhead has 142 treys for seventh. Richie Frahm, currently with the Seattle Sonics, is the career leader with 280 from 1996-00. Stepp also has 601 attempts for third all-time. Frahm is the leader with 662.

FROM THE LINE: Ronny Turiaf and Blake Stepp each moved into the Gonzaga University Top 10 for free throws made last season. Turiaf is now 5th with 365 following his 7-for-9 night last Sunday. Stepp is 7th with 318, three shy of passing Matt Santangelo (320, 1997-00). Turiaf and Stepp each tied Frank Burgess' single-game record of 16 free throws made in a game last season. Turiaf did its against Indiana University in the Maui Invitational when he went 16-for-18, then matched the mark again when he went 16-for-22 against the University of Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament First Round. Stepp went 16-for-20 against the University of Washington to get his piece of the record.

BLOCK IT: Ronny Turiaf continues to move up the blocked shots list at Gonzaga University, his two blocks last Sunday giving him 94 for third on the all-time list. Turiaf could move into second with 25 blocks this season, Tim Ruff holding that spot with 99 from 1981-85. Turiaf currently has 19.

REBOUNDS: Senior Cory Violette has moved into 5th in career rebounds with 704, becoming just the fifth player in Gonzaga history to reach the 700-rebound mark. He needs 54 rebounds to move ahead of Casey Calvary (757 from 1998-01) for fourth.

20 OR BUST: Gonzaga University is tied for 11th in consecutive 20-win seasons withsix. The University of Arizona leads the way with 16, followed by the University of Kansas with 14 and the University of Kentucky with 13. Gonzaga is tied with the University of Connecticut, Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma and Syracuse University.

BULLDOGS AND THE KENNEL: The Kennel, home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs, has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country, the Bulldogs losing a 29-game home winning streak Dec. 31, 2002, that ranked third longest in the country. In the last 12 seasons the Bulldogs are 142-10 at home for a nifty 93.4 winning percentage. Gonzaga went 10-2 at home in 2003, the first time the Bulldogs lost two home games in a season since 1997. Gonzaga was 13-0 at home in 2002, winning by an average of 24.6 ppg. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. GU is 55-3 in The Kennel over the past five seasons. The 2000 squad was 10-1, and the 1999 Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel, 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. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the country's second-longest active streak.

PASS THE ROCK: While Blake Stepp is known for his scoring, he has quietly snuck up on the all-time assists list at Gonzaga University. He passed the 500 plateau and now has 507 to rank third behind Matt Santangelo (668, 1997-000) and sure-bet NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton (554, 1981-84). Stepp is also fifth in career steals with 126, Stockton the leader with 262.

SINGLE DIGITS: Only Gonzaga University, the University of Florida and Duke University have lost less than 10 games in each of the past five seasons. Gonzaga has posted marks of 29-4, 26-7, 26-9 28-7 and 24-9, respectively, in that stretch. The last time Gonzaga hit double-digits in the "L" column was 1998 with a 20-10 campaign. Current head coach Mark Few has never had 10 or more losses in his four years as a head coach. Duke went 25-7 and Florida 25-8 last season.

THREE OR BUST: Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 341. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, when the Bulldogs went 0-for-5 at home against Portland.

ARENA TWINBILL: Wednesday's game in the Spokane Arena between Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University is a men's/women's doubleheader. The women tip off the rare twinbill at 2 p.m., followed by the Bulldog men facing the Eagles at 5 p.m. Ticket holders can attend both games for the sold out affair.

ON THE AIR AND THE TUBE: All Gonzaga University games can be heard on 1510 KGA radio with Tom Hudson calling the action for a second straight season. In addition, Gonzaga will have 26 regular-season games televised either nationally, regionally or locally this season among ESPN, ESPN2, FOX Sports, CSTV, KHQ/PAX and KAYU-TV. For a complete listing of games check local listings or the Gonzaga web site at http://www.gozags.com.

ON THE INTERNET: Gonzaga University men's basketball can also be heard on the internet by subscribing to the College Sports Pass as offered by the Online College Sports Network (OCSN). More information can be obtained on the Gonzaga web site at http://www.gozags.com, clicking on men's basketball and going to the "Listen To Bulldog Games Live on the Internet" link under SIDELINES on the right side of the page. The subscription is $6.95/month and includes all audio broadcasts of any OCSN member school.

TUESDAY COACHES SHOW: The Gonzaga University Coaches Show has returned to 1510 KGA radio this year. The show will air from 7-8 p.m. on selected Tuesdays from the fireplace in the lobby of the historic Davenport Hotel. Tom Hudson, the voice of the Bulldogs on 1510 KGA will again host the show which will feature members of the Gonzaga University men's and women's coaching staffs, players and other special guests. The public is invited to attend the live broadcast.



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