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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Men's Basketball

Senior guard Rob Gray earns preseason recognition


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The Cougars’ star guard received national recognition Tuesday after being named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, said team spokesman Jeff Conrad in a news release.

Last year, senior guard Rob Gray Jr. finished as the top scorer in the American Athletic Conference with 20.6 points per game. He and guard Damyean Dotson turned into a dynamic duo on the court, giving the Cougars two AAC first-team selections in the same year. The 2016 season saw Gray become the 46th player in Cougar history to score 10,000 points.

The North Carolina native has also been named to the Preseason All-AAC first team and to the Jerry West Award watch list for the best off-guard in the nation.

The 50 players on the list are chosen by a group of college basketball experts around the nation. The student-athletes on the list are considered strong nominees for the 2018 John R. Wooden Men’s Player of the Year award, according to the news release.

Gray enters his senior year as the clear leader of the offense and team. With Dotson now a New York Knick in the NBA, the Cougars will have to rely more on the people around Gray to be successful.

“We lost Damyean, but we have a lot of good shooters on this team, including myself,” Gray said. “Everyone is ready to step up and make a difference on the court, so we should have even better chemistry on offense.”

The Wooden Award All-American team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” of the NCAA Tournament. Almost 1,000 votes will be cast to determine who will be given the trophy at the end of the season.

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