LAHAINA --- Gonzaga already had one player's name on the EA Sports Maui Invitational banner hanging in the Lahaina Civic Center bearing the names of every Most Valuable Player in the tournament's history.
There was only one problem.
The Bulldogs didn't have their program's name on the list of champions, too --- Adam Morrison claimed the individual honor in 2005 when Gonzaga finished as the runner-up to Connecticut.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Gonzaga teammates Matt Bouldin (left) and Steven Gray stand with Maui Invitational chairman Dave Odom after being named the tournament’s co-MVPs.
When next year rolls around, however, Gonzaga will have three names on the MVP list and, finally, its school on the championship banner resting alongside it.
After holding off Cincinnati 61-59 in the tournament's first-ever overtime title game on Wednesday night, Gonzaga's Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray were named co-MVPs for their gutsy efforts over the three-day hoops bonanza.
Gray scored 13 points in the title game, and totaled a tournament-best 55 points. Bouldin, who had six points, 11 rebounds and three assists on Wednesday, totaled 45 points, 22 rebounds and 13 assists.
MAUI INVITATIONAL MVPS
2009---Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray, Gonzaga
2008---Ty Lawson, North Carolina
2007---Kyle Singler, Duke
2006---Darren Collison, UCLA
2005---Adam Morrison, Gonzaga
2004---Ray Felton, North Carolina
2003---Keith Waleskowski, Dayton
2002---Bracey Wright, Indiana
2001---Mike Dunleavy, Duke
2000---Michael Wright, Arizona
1999---Joseph Forte, North Carolina
1998---Jason Hart, Syracuse
1997---Steve Wojciechowski, Duke
1996---Raef LaFrentz, Kansas
1995---Kerry Kittles, Villanova
1994---Mario Bennett, Arizona St.
1993---Travis Ford, Kentucky
1992---Bobby Hurley, Duke; Anfernee Hardaway, Memphis St.
1991---George Gilmore, Chaminade
1990---Billy Owens, Syracuse
1989---Doug Smith, Missouri
1988---Glenn Rice, Michigan
1986---Will Purdue, Vanderbilt
1985---Dell Curry, Virginia Tech
1984---Patrick Langlois, Chaminade
''I think its perfectly appropriate,'' Bouldin said. ''I wouldn't want to share this award really with anybody else.
''Steve's been playing out of his mind and I'm just so happy for him and what he's done, especially in this tournament,'' he added. ''His approach to this whole season has been unbelievable.''
Gray, who hit a crucial 3-pointer that tied the game at 53 with 2:50 to play in regulation, returned the compliment.
''Matt's my guy. When I first got here, he sort of took me under his wing, kept my mind and my head right freshman year going through the ups and downs. It seems like the longest season your first year,'' he said. ''We just have a great relationship. It's so much fun right now just to come out to play with all these guys, especially Matt just go out there and just have a good time basically.''
This year is the first in which a team boasted co-MVPs and only the second time such an honor was handed out --- Duke's Bobby Hurley and Memphis State's Anfernee Hardaway took home the trophies in 1992. The entire Iowa team won the award after claiming the 1987 title.
Rounding out this year's all-tournament team was Cincinnati's Yancy Gates and Deonta Vaughn, Wisconsin's Trevon Hughes and Arizona's Nic Wise.
''To share the award, is sort of the icing on the cake,'' Gray said. ''It sort of tops that fun that we have off.''
And it's still just November.
Matthew Carroll is at firstname.lastname@example.org