By: K.J. Wylie/GCU Staff
Last weekend the Grand Canyon University Men’s Club Basketball program began their journey to a championship with an opening of three games in the National Club Basketball Association (NCBBA) League. Over the course of three days the Lopes hosted conference rival Arizona State University-Downtown twice and traveled to ASU’s home turf once. GCU fared well posting a record of 2-1 with both wins coming off of the home games and losing their away match.
In games one and two, Grand Canyon routed the Sun Devils 95-79 and 85-77 with Lopes player Dustin Troutt leading the way with an impressive stat line average of 25 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. Lopes Head Coach Lamont Lane spoke of the great impact Troutt was able to provide to the team all weekend.
“Dustin was dominant on the offensive end,” said Lane. “His threat from deep made his playmaking even better and that spearheaded others getting involved. Were definitely going to be an offensive juggernaut when everything comes together.”
While there’s plenty to be celebrated about the teams strong start to the season, GCU was unfortunately also plagued with two injuries to key players Walker Gailbraith and Jacob Garcia. Both players suffered an injury to their shoulder in the second game.
“Walker is our starting power forward and his presence on defense will be missed, hopefully we can get him back by Wednesday,” said Lane. “Garcia’s injury was not as severe, so he’ll be at practice testing it out and we’ll go from there. He provides us a spark off the bench and led many of our runs over the weekend.”
Game Three at ASU
On Saturday GCU played their final game of the weekend away from their home floor and lost a close game 71-79. While the injuries to Gailbrith and Garcia were certainly contributing factors to the Lopes struggles, Lane was able to pinpoint a few other elements within the game his team struggled with.
“We were shell shocked by the environment at ASU,” said Lane. “ASU packed the gym pretty well and we have a few players that weren’t used to playing in that type of hostile crowd.”
Aside from playing in unfamiliar territory, Lane also added in about the team’s need to become much better defensively.
“We have to get better with our on ball defense,” said Lane. “Whether it’s drilling more in practice or creating new schemes for more help defense, we have to do a better job of preventing our opponent from driving into the lane.”
Grand Canyon is on a short week with their next game on Wednesday, Nov. 14 against Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Tip off for the match will be at 7 pm and located in the gymnasium at Chandler-Gilbert.