Grand Canyon University MBB quietly becoming NCAA threat
PHOENIX (Sept. 1, 2017)- Grand Canyon University (GCU) Antelopes men’s basketball team will look to make a statement in their first year of March Madness Eligibility this season, and they’re quietly becoming an NCAA threat.
Since head coach and former Phoenix Suns All-Star Dan Majerle took over in 2012, he has gone 127-81 and has been meticulously crafting one of the most underrated programs in college basketball.
This season marks the first time in his college coaching career that he will actually be able to play for a spot in the March Madness tournament.
The question is: are they ready?
In each of the last three seasons, Grand Canyon has finished no lower than third in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Along the way, Marjele and the ‘Lopes have been turning heads in their college basketball journey.
“In college basketball, my 40-plus years, (that) was the toughest crowd I’ve ever faced,” distinguished Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said during a post game press conference.“You got something special here, really special. When you have this type of enthusiasm, it made us a much better team tonight. Whether we go to Duke, Kentucky, nothing was as tough as that environment tonight.”
Even though the ‘Lopes lost against Louisville, their Guard Dewayne Russell set a school record with 42 points against the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) powerhouse.
Last season the ‘Lopes finished with a record of 22-9, finishing second in the WAC, they could not participate in the tournament because of their probation due to their transition from division two, to division one. During last season the Lopes notched wins against teams such as Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield and San Diego State. They have also drawn attention from basketball schools such as Duke, Kentucky, Louisville and the University of Arizona.
Of course we would not be doing anyone justice here at WBLZ sports if we failed to mention what makes GCU Arena one of the toughest spots to play in all of college sports. They are called the GCU Havocs.
They have been called the “biggest party of college basketball” by SB Nation, and also the “craziest fans in college basketball” by USA Today.
Here is a sneak peek at what they do before each game.
When factoring in the All-Star head coach in Majerle, the players who leave it all out on the floor and the fans, the Grand Canyon University Antelopes are a team to watch this NCAA season.