New Grand Canyon men’s basketball coach Bryce Drew is a Cubs fan. That means he is an instant favorite of the WAC Hoops Digest podcast. Okay, we try not to play favorites here. Nonetheless, the former Valparaiso hero came on the podcast on Thursday to talk about taking the job in Phoenix, his current roster, a big waiver approval and the craziness of putting a new schedule together.
Drew is fresh off of a year as a college basketball analyst at ESPN. Prior to that, Drew had stops at his Alma Mater Valparaiso and then Vanderbilt prior to taking the job at ESPN. Drew took both the Crusaders and Commodores to the NCAA Tournament and is hoping for some magic at GCU.
A bit thing Drew has going for him in his first season at GCU is quality experience returning. All-WAC selection Alessandro Lever stayed in Phoenix. Add in WAC Freshman of the Year Jovan Blacksher and the athletic Oscar Frayer and Drew has one of the more experienced teams in the WAC. Mikey Dixon and Bryce Okpoh also return as does Gabe McGlothan that sat out the 2019-20 season due to transfer rules.
Waivers can have a huge impact on a program. It certainly has for GCU. 7-foot center Asbjørn Midtgaard is eligible immediately after transferring from Wichita State. This gives added depth in the post for the Lopes, which hasn’t been seen in recent years. Drew explains how it benefits both Lever and Midtgaard in this episode.
Scheduling is a chaotic mess at the current time. GCU had games against San Diego State, San Diego, Santa Clara, Nevada, San Francisco and Arizona State prior to Covid-19 issues. And Drew talks about the issues facing the Lopes in putting together a schedule at the current time. The situation is similar to other coaches in the conference.
Great facilities, plenty of resources, and an opportunity for firsts await Bryce Drew in his first season at GCU.