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Grand Canyon Basketball: 2018-19 season preview for the Antelopes
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CrimsonPhantom Offline
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MyBB Grand Canyon Basketball: 2018-19 season preview for the Antelopes
Quote:Grand Canyon Basketball hasn’t been at the Division I level long. However, they do have the pieces to make an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018.

Since joining the ranks of Division I basketball in 2013, the Grand Canyon Antelopes have proved to be more than one of those online universities you see commercials for on tv. Head Coach Dan Majerle has brought the thunder to Phoenix, leading the Antelopes to an 86-46 record since 2013.

Despite not being eligible for the WAC Tournament or NCAA championships until last season, they did participate in the Collegeinsider Invitational Tournament in three of the prior four seasons. Last season, Majerle’s squad went 22-12 and finished 9-5 in the WAC, earning the No. 3 seed in their first conference tournament. They would go on to make an appearance in the final against New Mexico State, where they fell to the Aggies.

GCU relied heavily on its starting five last season with five players garnering all but 13 starts, with three players, Joshua Braun, Keonta Vernon, and Casey Benson starting all of the team’s 34 games. Coincidentally, those are three of the players that need to be replaced in 2018-19. Of the remaining players that saw measurable game action last season, only three do not return.

The Antelope’s success can be attributed to one thing, defense. Last season GCU was one of the elite defensive teams in the country. They allowed just 65.1 points per game, which was 22nd best. Their field goal percentage defense was even better at 40.2%, ranking 12th in the country, and their defense of their opponent’s three-point shooting was a nation’s best 27.8%.

The next step for Grand Canyon is an obvious one, win one more game than last season and earn the school’s first-ever berth to the NCAA Tournament.

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10-17-2018 06:50 PM
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