Bainbridge's Steven Gray reflects on Gonzaga career
Steven Gray would prefer to remember his four years at Gonzaga rather than the way his college-basketball career ended here Saturday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
DENVER — Steven Gray would prefer to remember his four years at Gonzaga rather than the way his college-basketball career ended here Saturday.
Gray had 18 points (on 6-of-16 shooting) as the Zags bowed out of the NCAA tournament in the third round, falling heavily to Brigham Young and Jimmer Fredette, 89-67.
The senior from Bainbridge had seven of Gonzaga's 18 assists and spent a good part of the evening chasing Fredette, who scored 34 on the Zags.
"I've really enjoyed being a part of this program," said Gray, whose four years saw a 105-31 record. "They've taught me a lot, not just on the court, but in being a man.
"It's not the way you want it to end, but I've had a blast over these four years, especially this year. There wasn't another group of guys I would have wanted to spend my senior year with, fighting (through a roller-coaster season) day in and day out."
The eclectic Gray seemed to have a varied college experience. As a freshman in his first NCAA-tournament game, he made 7 of 12 three-pointers before Davidson and Stephen Curry ousted the Zags.
Later, he took part in two campus plays, and last summer, spent a month in Zambia as part of a campus-sponsored program.
One of the most unexpected aspects of the lopsided loss was the difficulties of Gonzaga starting guard Marquise Carter, who went scoreless and missed all six shots from the field.
He seemed out of rhythm offensively, appearing to pass up a couple of good looks against the BYU zone.
"Poor Marquise," lamented Zags coach Mark Few. "He couldn't find himself against that zone. He missed his runner, he missed a three ... "
Carter had been a huge factor down the stretch, averaging 14.5 points in his previous eight games, including a team-high 24 in the St. John's victory Thursday night.
• Few on Gonzaga's defense against Fredette: "Believe it or not, I thought we defended him OK." Few was most disturbed — and somewhat surprised — that the rest of the Cougars hurt the Zags that badly.
• When Gonzaga has exited the tournament in recent years, the Zags have been treated rudely. In 2009, they were routed from the Sweet 16 by North Carolina, 98-77. Last year, Syracuse schooled them, 87-65.
• More Few on Fredette: "He can make you pay in a hurry. He gets a lot of calls as he dips into you. He's a heck of a player."
• Forward Elias Harris, who tied Gray for team-high scoring honors at 18, said disgustedly, "We just like surrendered and gave up at the end of the game."
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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