Washington-Marion reunion for Cowboys, Red Raiders

By By Alex Hickey / American Press

Lubbock, Texas is a strange place for a Washington-Marion reunion, but one will take place today when Desharick Guidry and

McNeese face Josh Gray and Texas Tech at 5 p.m.

“It’ll have a little flavor to it,” said McNeese coach Dave Simmons. “I’m sure Josh has told them about Desharick. And our

guys are familiar with Josh from playing pick-up games with him.”

The duo led the Charging Indians to the state Top 28 in 2010 when Guidry was a junior and Gray a sophomore. Gray moved to

Houston soon thereafter.

“At the beginning I didn’t want to leave my friends, but it turned out to be best thing to happen in my life,” Gray said.

“I had some good people in my corner to transition from Lake Charles to Houston.

“When I first moved I went to Christian

Life, and we had 10 (college) coaches at practice every day,” he said.

“I got to expose

my talent. That’s when I realized, in Lake Charles I didn’t have a

lot of exposure. Since I moved and got where I’m at now,

it was best thing to happen to me.”

Gray admits that Lubbock isn’t the world’s most exciting place, but he likes it.

“It gets kind of boring, but I work out all the time,” Gray said. “As long as I’ve got a gym and good people around me — I’m

all right, it’s cool.”

Texas Tech interim coach Chris Walker, who took over when Billy Gillispie abruptly resigned in September, said the freshman

point guard has been integral to the Red Raiders’ 5-1 start.

“He’s done a great job of maturing very fastly,” Walker said. “It’s not like playing in select basketball or high school.

He’s got to learn how to distribute and be catalyst on defense.”

There’s also plenty of work to be done.

“He’s got to get turnovers down a little bit,” Walker said. “He has blazing speed. has to learn how to switch gears. He has

to let his mind control his legs.”

While Gray is off to a good start for a freshman, Guidry is deflating the notion of the sophomore slump.

He is the first McNeese player with five straight double-doubles since 1981-82, and the stretch has coincided with a four-game

Cowboy winning streak.

“Hopefully Desharick can continue to play well,” Simmons said. “Obviously it’s a personal achievement, but that type of personal

achievement helps our basketball team. We’ll challenge him again to go out and continue to strive for it.”

No matter which team wins today, odds are a former Charging Indian will have played a vital role.