Men's Hoops Signs Four Top 100 Recruits
Nov. 8, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University head men's basketball coach Mark Few announced the signing of four players to national letters-of-intent on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.
Scheduled to join the Bulldogs next season are freshmen Austin Daye, Woodbridge High in Irvine, Calif.; Steven Gray, Bainbridge High, Bainbridge, Wash., and Robert Sacre, Handsworth Secondary School, North Vancouver, British Columbia, and junior college transfer Ira Brown, Phoenix, Ariz., College who hails from Conroe, Texas.
Daye, a 6-10, 190-pound wing, was ranked as the 32nd-best player nationally and as the ninth best small forward by one scouting service in the Class of 2007. He was named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West first team as the seventh-leading vote getter and was named to the Hot 100 players for 2007 as selected by Sports Illustrated. Daye averaged 16 ppg, 9 rpg and 3.4 blocks/game as a junior for coach John Halagan. He was named to the All-California Interscholastic Federation Southern Sectional Division II A first team. He is the son of former UCLA great Darren Daye, a third-round pick of the Washington Bullets in the 1983 NBA Draft.
Gray, a 6-4, 190-pound guard, was ranked as the 52nd best player and the 13th best shooting guard in the Class of 2007. He was also named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West second team. Gray was named to the Associated Press All-State first team and to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer All-Area team as a junior. He averaged 24.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4 assists and 2.5 steals last season for coach Scott Orness. He scored 46 points in an 83-59 win over Chief Sealth in a Sea-King 3A District playoff game, going 15-for-20 from the field with 7 3-pointers and going 9-for-10 from the free throw line. He was also a Metro League first-team selection.
Sacre, a 7-0, 255-pound post, was rated as the 100th best player in the Class of '07 and the seventh best center. He averaged 25 ppg, 12 rpg and 4 blocks/game for Handsworth Secondary School and coach Randy Storey last season in leading his team to the British Columbia Provincial Tournament while earning MVP honors. He represented the Canadian Junior National Team last summer at the Global Games in Dallas and in the World Championship Qualifiers in San Antonio. His father, Greg LaFleur, is a former tight end for the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL who is currently the athletic director at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. His mother, Leslie Sacre, played basketball at LSU.
Brown, a 6-4, 235-pound forward, was ranked as the 42nd best junior college player in the country after averaging 17 ppg, 10 rpg and shooting 60 percent from the field for Phoenix College and Coach Matt Gordon. A late bloomer to the collegiate game, Brown graduated from Willis High in Texas in May of 2001 and pursued a professional baseball career. He was drafted in the eight round of the 2001 Major League Draft by the Kansas City Royals and played four seasons of minor league baseball, including the 2002 season with the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League. Following the 2004 season he lived and worked in Arizona and then attended 2005 spring training with the Seattle Mariners and was released. He attended Phoenix College last season, averaging 17.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, shooting 57.6 percent from the field (253-for-439) and blocking 59 shots. He recorded 21 double-doubles last season and was named a second-team National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II All-American last year, the only freshman on the either the first or second team. Phoenix College advanced to the NJCAA Division II Final Four and was named to the all-tournament team.
"This is the first time we've ever had a class nationally ranked," Few said of the recruiting class ranked 11th best in the nation by one scouting service. "We got some offense, we got some size and we got some athleticism. This is a talented group."
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