MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University women’s basketball coach Mike Carey has announced that graduate transfer A’riana “Ari” Gray will join the Mountaineers for the 2021-22 season. She comes to Morgantown after spending the last four seasons at Xavier (2017-21).
“I am thrilled that Ari is joining our program. Her athleticism, skillset and aggressive style of play fits us perfectly. Ari can play multiple positions, and I look forward to coaching her.” – WVU coach Mike Carey
“I chose WVU because I knew this would be the program that would help take my game to the next level. I love the up-tempo style of play, and I know I will be pushed every day by the coaches. Because of this, my game will be elevated, and I am excited to get ready for our team to be in the Big Dance again next year!” – A’riana Gray
A’riana Gray | Forward | 6-0 | Cleveland, Ohio | Maple Heights HS | Xavier
A 6-foot forward from Cleveland, Ohio, Gray played in 99 games, including 77 starts, during her four seasons with the Musketeers and has averaged 13 points or more in each of the last three years. A two-time selection to the All-BIG EAST team, she also was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week six times during her four years at Xavier. Gray is the daughter of Delilah Turner and John Gray.
As a senior in 2020-21, Gray started all 13 games for the Musketeers and scored in doubles figures nine times, including 15 or more points six times and 20 or more points twice. She also hauled in double-digit rebounds in two games to record a pair of double-doubles in 2020-21. Gray also tallied multiple assists in six games and multiple steals in four games last season. In total, she shot 43.8% or better from the floor six times a year ago.
As a junior in 2019-20, she played in 26 games, making 25 starts, and led Xavier in scoring (15.8) and rebounding (9.3), while adding 49 assists, 41 steals and 16 blocks. Gray also led the BIG EAST in rebounding, while ranking sixth in scoring as a junior and ranked 53rd in the NCAA in rebounds per game. She also earned All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention Team honors in 2019-20 and was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll five times. Gray posted 10 double-doubles and scored a season-high 28 points vs Butler on Jan. 4. She also scored 20 or more points in a game eight times as a junior. She had a season-high 17 rebounds twice (vs Northwestern on Dec. 21 – vs Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 8), while hauling in 10 or more rebounds 11 times in 2019-20. Gray also dished out a season-high seven assists at DePaul on Feb. 16, and had a season-high five steals vs Butler on Jan. 4. At season’s end, she finished the year ranked eighth in Xavier history in career rebounds (750) and finished ranked fourth in career rebounding average (8.7).
As a sophomore in 2018-19, Gray played and started in all 30 games for Xavier and led the team in scoring (13.9), rebounding (11.5) and steals (1.9). She ranked first in the BIG EAST in rebounding, while ranking 10th nationally in the category. She also finished the season with 344 rebounds to rank 19th in the NCAA in total rebounds and fifth in single-season history for the Musketeers. Her 11.5 rebounds per game average also ranked fourth in single-season history for XU. Gray was one of only two underclassmen to earn All-BIG EAST honors in 2018-19, as she was named to All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention Team. She also added a team-high 58 steals that year. Gray was named BIG EAST Player of the Week on Dec. 3, to become the first Xavier player to earn the honors since joining the conference in 2013. She also earned BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll honors five times that season. Gray posted 15 double-doubles and had three games with 20 or more rebounds as a sophomore. She also scored 20 or more points in a game seven times and scored a season-high 24 points vs Tennessee Tech on Nov. 11. In total, Gray scored in double figures in 22 of the team’s 30 games as a sophomore.
As a freshman in 2017-18, she played in 30 games and made nine starts, while averaging 5.1 points and a team-high 5.5 rebounds per game for Xavier. Her 5.5 rebounds per game led all BIG EAST freshmen that year. Gray also led the team in steals with 30 and added 24 assists and 13 blocks. She posted a .358 field-goal percentage (54-for-151) and scored in double figures three times as a freshman.