Having no-name roster not unusual for Gonzaga

BY foxsports • September 26, 2009

Go ahead and name someone else besides Matt Bouldin on Gonzaga. It's not easy.

"That big guy," one national writer said to me.

"The little point guard," another added.

"Is Micah Downs still there?" yet another chimed in.

No. Downs is gone, and so are Jeremy Pargo, Austin Daye and Josh Heytvelt.

That leaves Bouldin and a bunch of no-names.

"Everyone in the league thinks we're vulnerable, and I'm alright with that," Zags coach Mark Few said. "These guys have a lot to prove."

Heytvelt, Daye, Pargo and Downs were four of the team's top-five scorers and combined to average more than 47 points last season. Bouldin and Steven Gray are the only returnees to average more than four points.

But those in Spokane have seen this act before, so they aren't getting all that concerned.

The Zags lost Richie Frohm, Matt Santangelo and two other starters from a 26-win team in 2000, but Dan Dickau and Blake Stepp emerged the following year and the team didn't miss a beat, winning 26 more.

When Bouldin was a freshman three years ago, Gonzaga was coming off a 29-win season but the team lost Adam Morrison, J.P. Batista and two other starters.

"It was similar to this year," Bouldin said. "Derek Raivio was the only guy back."

The Zags still found a way to win 23 games in 2006-07 and extend their NCAA tournament streak to nine straight seasons. Heytvelt and Pargo went from seldom-used role guys to full-time starters who quickly became national names.

Few's take: He has a few players that can make a similar leap from last season to this season.

Steven Gray.

Demetri Goodson.

Robert Sacre.

If you aren't from Spokane, you probably haven't heard much about them.

That'll change. Soon.

Few said Gray has a chance to be as good as any guard that has come through the program on his watch, and that's a big heaping of praise since the Zags have churned out Pargo, Dickau and plenty of other quality backcourt players.

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