Dec. 16, 2004
Game No. 9 - Georgia Tech
Sat., Dec. 18 - 9:30 p.m. PST
Las Vegas Showdown
Thomas & Mack Center - Las Vegas, NV
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 22 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (7-1; 0-0 West Coast Conference) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 168, So., Vancouver, WA (11.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.9 assists, 2.4 steals) G - 22 Erroll Knight, 6-7, 211, Jr., Seattle, WA (5.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals) C - 1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 249, Sr., Le Robert, Martinique (20.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.9 assists, 1.4 blocks) F - 3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, So., Spokane, WA (18.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.5 assists, 0.5 steals) F - 32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 218, So., Spokane, WA (11.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.8 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 140-33 (6th year - 16th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
No. 3 GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (7-0; 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) G - 1 B.J. Elder, 6-4, 218, Sr., Madison, GA (16.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals) G - 3 Jarrett Jack, 6-3, 198, Jr., Fort Washington, MD (13.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.0 assists, 1.9 steals) F - 11 Will Bynum, 6-0, 185, Sr., Chicago, IL (9.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals) C - 12 Luke Schenscher, 7-1, 250, Sr., Hope Forest, S. Australia (10.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals) F - 55 Anthony McHenry, 6-7, 222, Sr., Birmingham, AL (5.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals, 2.0 blocks) HEAD COACH: Paul Hewitt (St. John Fisher, 1985) GT RECORD: 82-54 (5th year) CAREER RECORD: 147-81 (8th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.
Tues., Dec. 21 - 6 p.m. PST
Les Schwab Tires President's Trophy Game Presented by Major Mortgage
Spokane Arena - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY EAGLES (2-6; 0-0 Big Sky Conference) G - 10 Kenny Smith, 6-3, 205, Jr., Oakland, CA (6.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks) G - 25 James Loe, 5-10, 170, Fr., Hillsboro, OR (1.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals) C - 22 Matt Nelson, 6-9, 235, So., Issaquah, WA (10.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.0 assists, 0.3 steals) F - 24 Marc Axton, 6-7, 225, Sr., Federal Way, WA (18.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 32 Jake Beitinger, 6-8, 225, Fr., Port Orchard, WA (11.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.5 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mike Burns (Central Washington, 1997) EWU RECORD: 2-6 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 12/18 vs. Denver
When Gonzaga takes on No. 3 Georgia Tech on Saturday in the Las Vegas Showdown, it will be the highest ranked opponent the Bulldogs have faced since battling No. 2 Arizona on March 22, 2003, in what was immediately dubbed an Instant Classic by ESPN. The Wildcats prevailed 96-95 in double overtime in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City. The Bulldogs dumped No. 3 Missouri 87-80 in overtime Dec. 13, 2003, in the inaugural Battle in Seattle at KeyArena, a game that propelled Gonzaga to a 28-3 season and a ranking that reached No. 2. Earlier this season the Bulldogs lost to then-No. 5 and current No. 1 Illinois 89-72 at the Wooden Tradition at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Saturday will mark the 12th time in school history the Bulldogs have met a Top 5 team, Gonzaga 2-9 in the previous 11 tries. In addition to last year's victory over Missouri, the Bulldogs other win over a Top 5 team was an 84-71 verdict over No. 5 Clemson in the title game of the 1997 Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, AK.
Saturday when Gonzaga faces Georgia Tech it will mark the seventh time since Gonzaga became a NCAA Division I program for the 1958-59 season that GU will have played a Final Four team from the previous year or met a Final Four team in the year it went on to play for the NCAA crown. The last time it happened was 2001 when Gonzaga faced Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in Atlanta, the Spartans prevailing over Gonzaga and going on to lose in the national semifinals. Also in 2001, the Bulldogs met Florida, which had lost to Michigan State the previous season in the NCAA title game. In 1999 Gonzaga fell to eventual national champion Connecticut in the NCAA Elite Eight in what is still considered one of the best games in NCAA Tournament history, the Huskies prevailing 67-62 in Phoenix, Ariz. In 1999 the Bulldogs faced 1998 Final Four participant Stanford, in 1963 Gonzaga faced Oregon State which went on to finish fourth in the NCAA Tournament and in 1959 the Bulldogs faced a Seattle University squad that had lost to Kentucky in the 1958 national championship game.
Gonzaga is 68-12 when ranked, including 5-1 this season. The Bulldogs are 29-0 at home when ranked, 27-3 away and 12-9 on a neutral court.
Gonzaga junior guard Nathan Doudney will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, men's basketball trainer Jennifer Nyland confirmed on Thursday. Doudney, who redshirted last season at Gonzaga after transferring from Texas Tech University, was injured early in the second half of Tuesday's game at Washington State when he collided with the Cougars Chris Schlatter in front of the Gonzaga bench. The Rockwall, Texas, native had a MRI on Wednesday that revealed the tear. He will undergo surgery within the next month. The normal rehabilitation period is approximately nine months. Doudney had appeared in all seven Gonzaga regular-season games this season with four starts, averaging 19.9 minutes/game. He was averaging 3.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals.
Erroll Knight, who suffered a badly sprained right thumb Nov. 17 just two days prior to the season opener, got his first start of the season last Saturday against Saint Louis. Knight's first action of the season came Dec. 4 in his hometown in the Battle in Seattle as Gonzaga defeated Massachusetts 68-57 in KeyArena. In his three games he is averaging 17.0 minutes/game, 5.3 ppg and 2.0 rpg.
Ronny Turiaf, who played just 17 minutes last Saturday against Saint Louis on a sprained right ankle suffered three nights earlier at Washington State, scored just 2 points to snap his double-digit scoring streak at 19 games. He had scored in double digits all seven previous games this season, including a career-high 40 points against Idaho. He became the first Gonzaga player since Jim McPhee to hit the 40 plateau. McPhee had 42 points against Loyola Marymount twice in an 8-day stretch in 1990.
Gonzaga sophomore Adam Morrison scored a game-high 20 points against Saint Louis last Saturday to eclipse the career 500-point plateau. He enters Saturday's game against Georgia Tech with 502 points. Last year the Bulldogs had three scorers with 1,000 career points - Blake Stepp, Cory Violette and Ronny Turiaf. This year Turiaf is the lone 1,000-point scorer in a Gonzaga uniform with 1,396 for 12th all time. Morrison seems a sure thing to reach the milestone early in his junior season.
Gonzaga has a modest 17-game home winning streak that ranks tied for fourth with Air Force in the NCAA Division I ranks through games of Monday. Wisconsin leads the way with a 32-game streak, followed by Oklahoma State and Western Michigan at 21.
You can call me....There has been much debate on television, on the radio and in the print media this season over the pronunciation of Derek Raivio's last name. While the sophomore from Vancouver, Wash., insists he doesn't care, the correct pronunciation is rye-VEE-oh. All of last season and through the early part of this season everyone has gone with rav-EE-oh.
Gonzaga won the battle of the boards 36-32 last Saturday against Saint Louis, the Bulldogs still not having been out-rebounded this season. Despite the lopsided loss to Illinois, Gonzaga prevailed on the boards 43-29 for a season-high +14. Montana held the Bulldogs at bay as each team grabbed 35 rebounds for the only time in eight outings Gonzaga has not held the upper hand on the boards this season.
Gonzaga has won 36 of its last 37 non-conference home games, Saint Joseph's topping Gonzaga 79-78 in overtime on Dec. 31, 2002, for the last home non-conference defeat for the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 369. 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.
ON A ROLL: Gonzaga University is 51-8 since starting the 2003 season 8-5. Following that the Bulldogs put together a 9-game winning streak and went 16-4 down the stretch, last year's club went 28-3 and this year's team is off to a 7-1 start.
GEORGIA TECH, PLEASE: According to the Georgia Tech media guide, "The Georgia Institute of Technology is the official title, but Georgia Tech will work fine, or just Tech (unless you're in Virginia or Texas). We would appreciate it if you would use our name in those ways. Georgia Tech University sounds official, but it's incorrect. Thanks."
BULLDOGS AMONG NCAA STATS: Gonzaga University is in the Top 20 in two NCAA Division I statistical categories through games of Dec. 13 - 17th in free throw percentage at 76.7 percent (Duquesne leads at 81.3) and 20th in field goal percentage at 50.7 (University of New Mexico leads at 53.0). Two Bulldogs are ranked in five individual categories. Derek Raivio is 9th in 3-point field goal percentage at 55.3 percent and 32nd in assists/game with 5.9. Ronny Turiaf is 15th in scoring at 20.8 ppg, 31st in rebounds/game with 9.5 and 47th in field goal percentage at 59.1 percent.
END OF FINALS: It's been finals week on the Gonzaga University campus, but the real test for the Bulldogs comes Saturday when they face No. 3 Georgia Tech in the Las Vegas Showdown at the Thomas & Mack Center. The game will be televised at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN. The first half of the showcase twinbill pits host UNLV against No. 4 Oklahoma State University at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The Bulldogs will get a rare advantage of seeing a future opponent in person when the Cowboys take the floor in the opener. Gonzaga and OSU have a date Dec. 28 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., in the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic. NCAA rules prohibit scouting an opponent in person except such as this weekend in Las Vegas.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: With the University of Illinois advancing to No. 1 in both of the major polls this week, no matter how you cut it Gonzaga University has a tough schedule - past and future. The Bulldogs lost to then fifth-ranked Fighting Illini on Nov. 27 at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, Ind.. Gonzaga has also defeated the University of Washington (14th at the time and currently 16th in Associated Press and 21st in USA Today/ESPN). Remaining on the Bulldogs schedule are games Dec. 18 at the Las Vegas Showdown against Georgia Tech (third in both polls) and Oklahoma State University Dec. 28 at the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City, Okla., the Cowboys fourth in both rankings. If OSU can maintain its Top 10 ranking until they play Gonzaga, it will mark the first time since the 200-01 season the Bulldogs will have played three Top 10 teams in a season.
FIRST TIME UNDER 60 SINCE '01: The 54 points Gonzaga University scored at Washington State University was the first time the Bulldogs had been under 60 points since a 76-58 loss at Illinois on Nov. 16, 2001, to open the 2001-02 season. The last time Gonzaga scored less than 60 points in victory was a 59-43 win at UCLA on Dec. 11, 1999.
FINAL SPOKANE APPEARANCE IN 2004: The final Spokane appearance of 2004 for Gonzaga University will be next Tuesday when the Bulldogs battle nearby rival Eastern Washington University at the Spokane Arena at 6 p.m. in the Les Schwab Tires President's Trophy Game Presented by Major Mortgage. EWU is the designated home team in this year's meeting. The Bulldogs won't be back in Spokane until Jan. 13 when Loyola Marymount University comes to the McCarthey Athletic Center for the West Coast Conference home opener. Between now and then the Bulldogs will face Georgia Tech Saturday in Las Vegas, Oklahoma State University on Dec. 28 in Oklahoma City, Okla., be at the University of Missouri on Dec. 30 and then open WCC play Jan. 6 at Santa Clara University and Jan. 8 at Saint Mary's College.