Every year during the NCAA Tournament, one or two players turn into megastars because of a series of unforgettable performances. While we still have a lot of time until we find out if Houston guard Rob Gray joins that list of March legends, his first game on Thursday night is one that no Cougar fan will forget.
Gray, a dynamic redshirt senior guard for No. 6 Houston, has averaged 18.5 points per game this year. He needed a whole lot more than that on Thursday, going for a career-high 39 points and eight rebounds in a 67-65 win over No. 11 San Diego State.
Things got completely bonkers down the stretch, with San Diego State’s Devin Watson hitting a three to tie things up with a minute left. Gray came back down to hit a three to re-establish a one-point lead, to which San Diego State responded with another three by Watson.
In the big moment to follow, Houston put the ball in the hands of its star guard and got out of his way. Gray did the rest, blowing by a defender and putting up a crafty layup at the rim that went in. Here’s the entire final minute. It is incredible.
The Aztecs still had a chance to win the game, and thanks to a wild sequence at the end, they had an almost perfect look from downtown. Unfortunately for San Diego State, the shot by Trey Kell wasn’t able to go in, giving Houston its first Tournament win since the 1980s.
Gray, meanwhile, showed all the way out.
Gray is the exact kind of player that can spark an unforgettable run if some things break right. He’s an outstanding guard who has been a lethal scorer from the moment he stepped on campus after starting his career at Howard. Whether his collegiate career has one game left or if he’s going to lead the Cougars to the second (or maybe even third) weekend, make it a point to watch Rob Gray for the rest of the Tournament. You won’t regret it.