The Tournament, the best and brightest way to cure those unavoidable college basketball blues during the summer, is back in action and gets a jump start this weekend with a new foray into Spokane Hoopfest. Although a majority of The Tournament doesn’t start until mid-July, the Gonzaga oriented squad, A Few Good Men, will hit the first round against Team Utah on Friday.
Since it has been a while seeing some of these names, let’s give a brief run down on who will be making the run for the Zags this year.
Casey Calvary (1998-2001)
One of the O.G.s from the squad that started it all, Calvary doesn’t need much of an introduction when it comes to Gonzaga fans. He is basically the namesake of this site. He still holds the second highest eFG% in WCC history and he is the leader in blocks at Gonzaga.
Drew Barham (2013-14)
Barham is the sharpshooter of the squad. He arrived at Gonzaga after two seasons at Memphis, and shot 47 percent beyond the arc his junior and senior year. After a life of basketball abroad, Barham currently plays for the Maine Red Claws, the G-League team affiliated with the Boston Celtics.
Matt Bouldin (2007-10)
Bouldin was the power couple with Steven Gray, winning WCC Player of the Year his senior season, and was an honorable mention AP All-American that year as well. He was a three time WCC First Team, and that has translated to some success in his professional career. Bouldin has spent time overseas and in the G-League. He was a league champion in 2014 with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, and was named the 2014 Finals MVP.
Steven Gray (2008-11)
Gray, in this writer’s humble opinion, is one of the more underrated Zags in team history. His name doesn’t even appear once on the team’s Wikipedia page! Together, with Bouldin for a good portion of his career, Gray was the backcourt to close out the first decade of the 2000s. Since Gonzaga, Gray has enjoyed a stellar career in Europe, where he led the French Pro A League in scoring in 2014-15. He currently is signed with KK Zadar, a Croatian basketball team. Gray was stellar in two games for A Few Good Men last season, so let’s see if the hot-streak continues in front of a home crowd.
Sam Dower (2011-14)
Dower’s style of play was reminiscent of Sam “The Big Smooth” Perkins. There was something so silky and clean about watching Dower in the post. He was a big man with a solid touch for shooting, as evident by his team single game free throw record (alongside Frank Burgess and Geoff Goss) where he shot 15-of-15 from the free throw line. Dower currently plays for MKS Dąbrowa Górnicza in Poland.
Blake Stepp (2001-2004)
Don’t expect to see Stepp too much out on the court. A promising professional career was cut short due to balky knees, and Stepp retired from the realm of playing basketball in 2006. He did play with A Few Good Men last year, averaging a shade over 10 points per game. Stepp was a second-team AP All-American his senior season, and a honorable mention his junior year.
Davonte Lacy (Washington State - 2012-2015)
You might recognize this name as one of the best players to come out of Pullman in recent years. Lacy is a pure scorer, averaging almost 20 points per game his junior year and nearly 17 points his senior year. He hoisted a program-record 249 threes. Lacy currently plays in the Germany for Enihingen.
Robert Upshaw (Washington - 2014-2015)
It is nice to see Upshaw back on track after a troubled college career. Upshaw was leading the nation in blocks when he was dismissed from the Washington Huskies for violating team rules. He joined the Los Angeles Lakers D-League team in 2015, but was kicked off for violating the league’s drug rules. After a two-year stint in Europe, Upshaw is back in Yakima playing for the SunKings in the CBA League.
Jacob Wiley (Eastern Washington - 2017)
Wiley is a forward who got his start at Montana, but made a name for himself at Eastern Washington. He was the 2017 Big Sky Conference Player of the Year, averaging 20.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. He went undrafted, but made his way to the Brooklyn Nets for a couple of years. He currently plays for MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany.