Michael, Troutt find spots on 1st Team; Ballard named to 2nd Team
By: Jim Howell/GCU Club Sports Information Director
GCU Club Sports is proud to announce that three members of the Grand Canyon University Men’s Club Basketball team have earned spots on the 2019 National Club Basketball Association (NCBBA) Southern Pacific All-Region Teams. Both rosters of the two teams that represent GCU in the SoPac South Conference had at least one representative honored. GCU White’s Jayden Michael joined fellow junior, GCU Purple’s Dustin Troutt, on the 1st Team All-Region squad, while Michael’s teammate on GCU White, sophomore Trever Ballard, earns 2nd Team honors. The announcements come a full month after Michael and Ballard led GCU White to a 3rd-place finish at the SoPac Regional Tournament in Tempe, and just three weeks after all three players led a combined Lopes’ roster that finished 8th at the NIRSA National Basketball Championships in Wichita, Kansas.
The key for the man overseeing the Lopes’ Men’s Club Basketball program in his first year, Matt Gordon, was to balance his top two teams in a way that would make them both as equally competitive as possible. Putting the three honorees on different squads went a long way in doing just that. Dustin Troutt was undoubtedly GCU Purple’s “go-to guy” all season long. On a team that had no seniors, Troutt was the leader of a group that included five other juniors besides himself. The native of Peoria, North Dakota was the only player on either squad to average 20 points per game on the season, and played well in his final game of the year, chipping in a dozen points in the Lopes’ quarterfinal matchup at NIRSA.
Jayden Michael did a little bit of everything for GCU White in 2018-19. The junior forward from Denver, Colorado spent time both in the starting lineup and coming off the bench, and was very effective in both roles. Michael averaged 18 points and nearly nine rebounds per contest, and those numbers increased when GCU White hit the postseason. In the SoPac Regional Tournament, Michael started at power forward at California Polytechnic State University-Pomona, scored 17 points, and was forced to guard eventual tournament MVP, CPP’s Michael Kalu, much of the game. Against USC in the consolation final, Michael came off the bench, and was still one of five Lopes in double figures, leading the way with 23. At the NIRSA Championships, Michael led the Lopes in scoring in three of the four games, scored double figures in all of them, and nearly averaged a “double-double” with 21 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Finally, on a team that had sharpshooters in almost every starting position, when GCU White needed a bucket from long range, they looked to Trever Ballard first. The only one of the three honorees to be playing in more than his first year with the program, the sophomore was deadly from three-point range – and especially showed that in the postseason. Against Cal-Poly Pomona, when the rest of the team struggled offensively in the second half, Ballard was unstoppable, hitting eight field goals, including four shots from behind the three-point arc, to try to spur the Lopes’ rally. After finishing with 28 points in that game, Ballard took the floor two hours later against the University of Southern California and hit four more treys (many of which were at least two steps behind the arc), and finished with 16 points. Ballard finished the season averaging 15 points per contest.