While we are sitting in the lull period between the end of the basketball season and the beginning of summer practices, now is as good a time as any to look at who the Zags top players are going into the 2009-2010 season.
1) Matt Bouldin
Bouldin essentially took over the point guard role from Jeremy Pargo after the latter struggled during a midseason stretch. Bouldin, who was a star high school player in Colorado, seized the opportunity and started to show flashes of becoming one of the great Gonzaga point guards.
Bouldin scored in double digits in eight of the Zags last nine games. Even if Austin Daye comes back, Bouldin will be the guy running the show in Spokane next year. The offense will go through him, and if he plays next season like he finished the last, Bouldin has an excellent chance of becoming yet another Zag to pull down WCC player of the year honors.
2) Austin Daye
This of course is contingent on Daye withdrawing himself from the 2009 NBA Draft and returning to GU. If he does, Daye would have a chance to increase his draft stock and national profile.
While, as noted, Bouldin will be the focal point of the offense, Daye has a chance to be the star. His athletic ability and shooting range make him a perfect fit for the Zags offense, and if he reaches his potential, the sky is the limit for the junior-to-be.
3) Steven Gray
Gray’s 2008-2009 season was a bit of a disappointment, but that was mainly a product of the crazy expectations he created for himself with his performance in the 2008 NCAA first round game against Davidson.
Gray’s semi-sophomore-slump was due in large part to teams focusing on him when he was on the court, and Gray’s inability to make space for himself. With another offseason under his belt, if Gray figures out how to get himself open and create space, he could become one of the most dangerous shooters in the nation.
4) Demetri Goodson
Goodson could very well be this year’s Steven Gray.
His game winning basket in the second round game against Western Kentucky was one of the lasting images of the tournament, and is one of the most memorable moments in Zags basketball history.
Goodson didn’t see a ton of playing time during his freshmen year, but the mere fact that Mark Few had him on the court in the waning seconds of the WKU game shows the trust the coaches have in him.
Goodson may not become a star player next year, but he could very well be the X-factor that pushes the Zags deep into March.
5) Robert Sacre
A foot injury derailed Sacre’s sophomore season. However, the NCAA granted the big man a medical redshirt. As the only legitimate big man on the Zags roster, Sacre has the burden of replacing graduated star Josh Heytvelt, but Sacre’s size and athletic ability give him the potential to become a great weapon for Gonzaga in 2009-2010.