Men's Basketball News Release (Final)

LAST WEEK: Willamette tops L&C in OT, but loses NWC title game at Whitworth;
Bearcats (19-7) conclude best season since 1995 national tournament team
Willamette finished its best season since the 1994-95 team went 20-12, won a share of the Northwest Conference title and advanced to the final eight of the NAIA Division II national championship tournament.

Feb. 27 NWC PLAYOFF: at Willamette 79, Lewis & Clark 74 (2 OT)
Willamette survived three players fouling out and some key missed free throws by Lewis & Clark to pull out the win in Cone Field House. The victory propelled the Bearcats into the NWC tournament championship game on Saturday at regular-season champion Whitworth (22-3). The Bearcats got 25 points and six assists from senior point guard Ryan Hepp (Sr., Century HS), who was the only player to play all 50 minutes. Marques Johnson (Sr., Grant HS) added 14 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out with 1:12 to play in the second overtime. Johnson’s fifth foul put L&C’s Colin Oriard to the line, where he converted both free throws to bring the Pios to within a point at 75-74. Hepp stretched the lead to 77-74 with two free throws of his own with 44 seconds remaining. On Lewis & Clark’s next possession, WU’s B.J. Dobrkovsky (Sr., Lebanon HS) drew an offensive foul on the Pioneers’ Kristofer Speier. After the Bearcats in-bounded in backcourt, David Force (Jr., Lakeridge HS) was fouled with 28 seconds left. He hit both ends of a one-and-one free throw opportunity to provide the final points of the game. Willamette also got 11 points and seven rebounds from Harold Sublett Jr. (So., Hayden HS, Phoenix, Ariz.). He also had four assists and four steals and did not commit a turnover. Ryan Rahlfs (Jr., Eastside Cathloic HS, Wash.) came off the bench to add 10 points for WU. Willamette was whistled for 22 fouls, compared to just 14 for the Pioneers, but the visitors couldn’t capitalize on the biggest opportunities. L&C made just 15 of 24 free throws (62.5%), while WU canned 10 of 12 (83.3%) charity tosses. Willamette shot just 41.0 percent from the field for the game, compared to 46.4 percent for Lewis & Clark. But the Bearcats did a much better job of taking care of the ball. L&C had 16 turnovers and WU had just six.

March 1 NWC CHAMPIONSHIP: at Whitworth 77, Willamette 64
No. 13-rated Whitworth (23-3) bolted to leads of 9-0 and 18-3, and never trailed thereafter, en route to the Northwest Conference tournament championship victory over visiting Willamette. With the win, the Pirates earned the NWC’s automatic berth into the 48-team NCAA Division III tournament, which begins Thursday with first-round games at campus sites. WU did not receive an at-large berth into the national tournament. Though the Bearcats dug themselves into the early hole, they were never out of the game until the final two minutes thanks to the shooting of senior point guard Ryan Hepp (Sr., Century HS). Hepp made his first five three-point shots in the game, four in the first half, and finished with a career-high 30 points. He hit 11 of 20 shots from the field, including 7 of 10 treys. Willamette also got nine points and six rebounds from Marques Johnson (Sr., Grant HS). The Pirates were led by Bryan Depew, the conference’s player of the year, who scored 29 points. He made 10 of 15 shots. Whitworth led 38-30 at halftime. The Pirates forced the Bearcats into an uncharacteristic 20 turnovers, while committing only five themselves. Whitworth also held a critical edge in free throw shooting, making 20 of 23 (87.0%) attempts compared to just 4 of 6 (66.7%) for the Bearcats.


1,000 POINT CLUB: Both point guard Ryan Hepp (Sr., Century HS) and post Marques Johnson (Sr., Grant HS) eclipsed the 1,000-point threshold for their college careers this season. Hepp finished with 1,129 points and Johnson ended up with 1,054. Hepp reached the milestone in the Feb. 8 win over Lewis & Clark and Johnson joined him in the Feb. 18 overtime loss at Pacific.


THE FOUR-YEAR CAREER OF RYAN HEPP
YR G FG PCT 3FG PCT FT PCT REB AVE PTS AVE AST TO BS ST
99-00 24 35-68 .515 3-6 .500 24-38 .632 24 1.0 97 4.0 44 34 0 8
00-01 24 100-208 .481 9-22 .409 83-107 .776 54 2.2 292 12.2 113 86 2 33
01-02 25 115-212 .542 12-31 .387 85-109 .780 51 2.0 327 13.1 109 110 1 33
02-03 26 157-313 .502 24-67 .358 75-92 .815 49 1.9 413 15.9 111 78 0 34
TOT 99 407-801 .508 48-126 .381 267-346 .772 178 1.8 1129 11.4 377 308 3 108

THE FOUR-YEAR CAREER OF MARQUES JOHNSON
YR G FG PCT 3FG PCT FT PCT REB AVE PTS AVE AST TO BS ST
99-00 9 4-9 .444 0-1 .000 2-4 .500 12 1.3 10 1.1 2 3 0 1
00-01 24 80-165 .485 0-4 .000 52-87 .598 137 5.7 212 8.8 28 31 13 25
01-02 26 160-281 .569 2-7 .286 104-159 .654 220 8.5 426 16.4 40 66 21 23
02-03 26 155-279 .556 2-8 .250 94-156 .603 196 7.5 406 15.6 31 62 22 28
TOT 85 399-734 .544 4-20 .200 252-406 .621 565 6.6 1054 12.4 101 162 56 77

THE FOUR-YEAR CAREER OF B.J. DOBRKOVSKY
YR G FG PCT 3FG PCT FT PCT REB AVE PTS AVE AST TO BS ST
99-00 24 21-47 .447 4-16 .250 32-36 .889 44 1.8 78 3.3 25 33 0 11
00-01 23 43-109 .394 15-49 .306 46-66 .697 75 3.3 147 6.4 49 37 1 11
01-02 26 79-177 .446 27-88 .307 70-100 .700 121 4.7 255 9.8 68 52 0 28
02-03 24 39-91 .429 18-49 .367 25-43 .581 82 3.4 121 5.0 39 28 3 25
TOT 97 182-424 .429 64-202 .317 173-245 .706 322 3.3 600 6.2 181 150 4 75


SANDGATHE LEADS RECORD BOOK ETCHINGS: The 2002-03 Bearcats made 10 changes in the Willamette all-time top 10 charts. Four of the additions were for team statistics: WU shot 47.7 percent from the field, the 10th-best mark in school history. The Bearcats also averaged 6.81 steals per game, which ranks No. 8 all-time at WU. Willamette also logged two of the best single-game performances ever. In the Feb. 15 home win over eventual NWC champion Whitworth, WU shot 87.0 percent (20-23) from the free throw line, which is tied for the seventh-best effort in school history. Also, WU recorded 15 steals in a home win over George Fox, tying for No. 6 on the all-time list. There were six individual updates, led by Miles Sandgathe’s (Jr., Pleasant Hill HS) school record for free throw shooting in a season. He hit 87.5 percent (84-96) of his charity tosses, putting him ahead of Chris Roche’s 1989-90 mark of 87.0 percent. The other five top-10 additions: No. 6 in career field goal percentage, 54.4%, Marques Johnson (Sr., Grant HS) (1999-03); No. 8 in season three-point field goal percentage, 46.6%, Miles Sandgathe; No. 10 in career free throw percentage, 77.2%, Ryan Hepp (Sr., Century HS) (1999-03); No. 9 in season free throw percentage, 81.5%, Ryan Hepp; and No. 5 in career assist average, 3.81 apg, Ryan Hepp (1999-03).


NOTES: The Bearcats finished 12-0 at home this season. Last year, WU was 8-2 in Cone Field House, losing only to Lewis & Clark and Whitworth. The latter was an NWC playoff game.


NCAA STATISTICS: In the most recent NCAA Division III statistics (Feb. 23, 2003), Willamette was ranked 17th in the nation in scoring defense (61.9 ppg) and 29th in field goal percentage (48.0%).


FINAL NORTHWEST CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS
W L
Whitworth (23-3) 13 3
WILLAMETTE (19-7) 12 4
Lewis & Clark (16-10) 11 5
Linfield (16-9) 9 7
Pacific (11-14) 8 8
Puget Sound (12-13) 7 9
Pacific Luth. (10-15) 7 9
Whitman (7-18) 4 12
George Fox (7-18) 1 15


2002-03 WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY MEN’S BASKETBALL ROSTER

NO PLAYER POS HT WT YR/EL HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL)
12 Ryan Hepp PG 5-11 175 Sr./Sr. Hillsboro, Ore. (Century)
14 Drew Miller PG/W 6-1 170 Fr./Fr. Keizer, Ore. (McNary)
20 B.J. Dobrkovsky W 6-3 195 Sr./Sr. Lebanon, Ore. (Lebanon)
23 Henry Greeley W 6-3 185 Fr./Fr. Seattle, Wash. (Lakeside)
24 Harold Sublett Jr. PG/W 6-1 190 Jr./So. Phoenix, Ariz. (Hayden)
30 Michael Plank PG 6-0 160 Fr./Fr. Stockton, Calif. (Franklin)
32 P.J. McDevitt W 6-4 165 Jr./Jr. Sacramento, Calif. (Jesuit)
34 David Force W 6-3 195 Jr./Jr. Lake Oswego, Ore. (Lakeridge)
40 Marques Johnson P 6-5 205 Sr./Sr. Portland, Ore. (Grant)
42 Brennan Garrelts P 6-7 205 Fr./Fr. Roseburg, Ore. (Roseburg)
44 Miles Sandgathe W 6-5 210 Jr./Jr. Springfield, Ore. (Pleasant Hill)
50 Ryan Rahlfs P 6-5 215 Jr./Jr. Bellevue, Wash. (E. Catholic)
52 Jacob Baran P 6-5 230 Fr./Fr. Beaverton, Ore. (Beaverton)
55 Joe Carmichael P 6-7 220 Gr./Sr. Eugene, Ore. (Sheldon)

HEAD COACH: Gordie James (16th year)
ASSISTANTS: Wally Wing (16th year), Nelson Lomax (4th year),
Kip Ioane (2nd year), Shawn Gahr (1st year)


THE BEARCATS UNDER COACH GORDIE JAMES:
OVERALL NWC PLACE
1987-88 18-10 10-0 1st
1988-89 15-12 9-3 1st
1989-90 25-6 10-2 1st (tie)
1990-91 19-10 8-4 3rd
1991-92 17-13 8-4 2nd
1992-93 29-4 11-1 1st (NAIA Division II National Champions)
1993-94 24-6 10-2 1st (tie)
1994-95 20-12 8-4 1st (tie)
1995-96 11-13 5-9 7th
1996-97 10-14 8-8 5th
1997-98 14-10 10-8 5th
1998-99 15-10 11-7 3rd (tie)
1999-00 15-10 9-7 4th
2000-01 10-14 7-9 5th
2001-02 18-8 12-4 2nd
2002-03 19-7 12-4 2nd (Becomes all-time winningest coach at WU)
TOTALS #279-159 148-76

# In the Feb. 22 win over Puget Sound, James set an all-time school record for wins by a Willamette head coach with 278. The previous record of 277 wins was held for 36 years by the late John Lewis. From 1947-67 (20 seasons), Lewis’ teams went 277-239 and won or shared seven conference titles. Lewis, a charter member to the Willamette University Athletic Hall of Fame (1991), also coached baseball at WU and served as athletics director.


2002-03 WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

NOVEMBER
22-23 Bud Pressley Classic Atherton, Calif.
22 Menlo vs. Willamette W, 86-83
22 Fresno Pacific vs. CSU-Hayward
23 Third-place game
23 WU vs. Fresno Pacific (Champ.) W, 66-58

DECEMBER
6-7 John Lewis Holiday Classic Salem
6 Southern Oregon vs. Linfield
6 Western Baptist vs. Willamette W, 80-73
7 Western Baptist vs. Linfield
7 Southern Oregon vs. Willamette W, 87-66
13 Warner Pacific Salem W, 72-60
14 Western Oregon Monmouth L, 61-57
28-29 Pioneer Classic Hayward, Calif.
28 Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. WU L, 60-55
28 Pacific Lutheran vs. CSU-Hayward
29 Wis.-Whitewater vs. P. Lutheran
29 WU vs. CSU-Hayward W, 86-58

JANUARY
4 Pacific Lutheran* Salem W, 62-37
7 Lewis & Clark* (KBZY 1490) Portland W, 77-70 (OT)
10 Linfield* Salem W, 87-67
17 Whitman* (KBZY 1490) Walla Walla, Wash. W, 81-61
18 Whitworth* (KBZY 1490) Spokane, Wash. L, 66-57
21 Pacific* Salem W, 70-53
24 George Fox* (KBZY 1490) Salem W, 76-60
25 Pacific Lutheran* Tacoma, Wash. L, 57-54
31 Puget Sound* Tacoma, Wash. W, 61-58

FEBRUARY
7 Linfield* (KBZY 1490) McMinnville L, 83-71
8 Lewis & Clark* Salem W, 79-65
14 Whitman* Salem W, 62-49
15 Whitworth* (KBZY 1490) Salem W, 66-56
18 Pacific* Forest Grove L, 69-64 (OT)
21 George Fox* (KBZY 1490) Newberg W, 59-52
22 Puget Sound* Salem W, 71-64
27 NWC playoffs (L&C at WU) Salem W, 79-74 (2 OT)

MARCH
1 NWC Champ. (Willamette at Whitworth) RADIO Spokane, Wash. L, 77-64

* Northwest Conference game


TICKETS: Ticket prices for all Willamette regular season home games are:
$5 General Admission
$3 Students and seniors
Free Children 12 and under
To purchase tickets in advance, call (503) 370-6011.


HOW TO CONTACT HEAD COACH GORDIE JAMES:
(503) 370-6063 Willamette University
(503) 949-9830 Cell
gjames@willamette.edu


MORE INFORMATION ON THE WEB:
/www.willamette.edu/athletics/mbasketball
http://www.nwcsports.com
http://www.ncaa.org
http://www.d3hoops.com