Arizona State University Hoops and Grand Canyon University hoops will meet for the first time this December since their last meeting back in 1980 where the Sun Devils won, 80-68. The two teams will play a home and home series over the next two seasons. The first of the two games will start off at GCU on December 13th at 4pm. The second will be played in Tempe in 2021. Back in 2011 there was an exhibition game between the Sun Devils and the Lopes, but this one will actually count toward the regular season.
New Lopes head coach, Bryce Drew admitted in the ASU press release that “ we are thrilled for the opportunity to play a series with Arizona State.” Coach Drew was recently hired by GCU in March and has NCAA tournament and March Madness experience. In the Lopes press release back in March GCU president had this to say about their new coach, “ Bryce built a very successful mid-major program at Valparaiso and proved he can recruit at a high level at Vanderbilt but, most importantly, he embodies the Christian mission of the University in how he lives his life both on and off the court.”
Last season under former Suns great, Dan Majerle the Antelopes went 13-17 which was their first losing season since joining the Western Athletic Conference.
Now, as a welcome to the valley, the new GCU coach will get to face off against Sun Devil Hoops head coach, Bobby Hurley. Hurley and company went 20-11 last season and seemed primed for another NCAA tournament bid, but the corona virus had other ideas and the season was shut down right in the middle of the Pac-12 Tournament.
While this is something that the valley has waited for forever it will also be a great time to see two former prep hoops athletes be reunited on the court but this time as opponents.
Both ASU’s Jalen House and GCU’s Jovan Blacksher Jr played together at Shadow Mountain when they helped lead the Matadors to four straight state championships.