Other Transfers, Returners, & Freshman
Yes, it is sort of a bummer that, outside of Michael Finke, we’ll have to wait a year to see these former Power-5 ballers play for the Grand Canyon basketball program. Luckily, Majerle and his staff are master recruiters that mine all levels of basketball. Outside of the four major incoming transfers, Majerle has some other tricks up his sleeve to push Grand Canyon basketball into the NCAA Tournament this year.
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Finke’s brother, Tim, who I mentioned earlier, is a three-star recruit that could make an immediate impact as a freshman. Tim is four inches shorter than his older brother but can do more off the dribble and in a play-making capacity.
Trey Drechsel, like the elder Finke, joins GCU this year as a graduate transfer. Drechsel, however, will be getting his first taste of Division-1 basketball this year, coming over from Division-2 Western Washington. He’s a well-rounded point guard that’s expected to be the back-up to sophomore Damari Milstead to start the season.
Last year at Western Washington, the 6-foot-6 guard averaged 14.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.
Another guy to watch for GCU this year is a JUCO transfer, J.J. Rhymes, that was also born and raised in Arizona. Rhymes, who once starred at Shadow Mountain HS in Phoenix, spent his first two collegiate seasons tearing it up for Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. According to AZ Central, Rhymes was considered “among the top junior college players in the nation” over the last two seasons.
Hutchinson CC, it should be noted, is one of the premier NJCAA programs in the country. NFL star Alvin Kamara played there, as did current New England Patriots receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and NBA veteran Darius Johnson-Odom, among others.
Ironically, Rhymes will be reunited with the aforementioned Carlos Johnson. In the same article linked above, it’s revealed that the pair played a few years together at Shadow Mountain before Johnson moved away.
That’s a lot of incoming talent!
Then, when you throw in sharpshooting junior Oscar Frayer, and their exciting trio of sophomores — leading scorer Alessandro Lever, 6-foot-10 Roberts Blumbergs, and Milstead — you have a program destined for great things this year.
And with a team full of underclassmen, the transfers eligible next year, and the recruiting ability of GCU’s staff, this could be a legit powerhouse for years to come.
To wrap things up, the goal is clear this season and beyond. Majerle, as usual, said it best when speaking to AZ Central: “Our goal is to win the WAC, win the tournament and get to the NCAAs.”
The Grand Canyon basketball program will have their Midnight Madness event on October 5th, followed by an exhibition against Montana State-Billings on October 31st and their first official game (at South Dakota State) on November 6th.
Click here for the full Grand Canyon basketball schedule.