McNeese State's Desharick Guidry. (Pankaj Khadka / American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, December 15, 2012 7:03 PM
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.