Louisville head coach Rick Pitino says GCU crowd tougher than Duke, Kentucky

Dec 3, 2016, 9:53 PM | Updated: 10:14 pm

The Grand Canyon University men’s basketball program isn’t eligible for the NCAA Tournament until next season, but they aren’t going to stay quiet while they wait.

Those in attendance for the GCU Havocs student section while their team took on No. 14 Louisville Saturday night kept the noise up, creating an electric atmosphere.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, who first became a college basketball head coach in 1978, had high praise for the arena’s noise.

“In college basketball, my 40-plus years, (that) was the toughest crowd I’ve ever faced,” Pitino said. “Awesome.

“You got something special here, really special. When you have this type of enthusiasm, it made us a much better team tonight. Whether we go to Duke, Kentucky, nothing was as tough as that environment tonight.”

GCU Arena was ready for Louisville’s visit, setting an attendance record.

The team played up to the crowd.

Senior guard DeWayne Russell led the charge. He scored 42 points, the most by a GCU player in Division I play. Pitino called it the best guard performance against one of his teams.

He gave the Antelopes a first-half lead over a top-25 ranked team in the country in fashion.

GCU wound up losing the game 79-70 but will have one more chance at pulling off the upset against a highly-regarded college basketball program when they take on Arizona on Dec. 14 in Tucson.


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Grand Canyon University

Jovan Blacksher Jr. #10 of the Grand Canyon Antelopes on the court during the first half against th...
Associated Press

Late 3-pointer sinks GCU in narrow defeat to Sam Houston

A three-pointer with just under 90 seconds left to play allowed Sam Houston to hold off GCU 58-56 on Saturday.
4 days ago
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Grand Canyon stays undefeated in WAC with win over Tarleton State

Gabe McGlothan recorded 11 points and 11 rebounds to lift Grand Canyon to a win over Tarleton State on Saturday night.
10 days ago
(Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon University)...
Associated Press

GCU basketball scores season high in blowout win over Abilene Christian

GCU men's basketball scored a season-high in points in a 95-68 blowout victory over Abilene Christian on Thursday night.
13 days ago
Grand Canyon Lopes fans cheer during a semifinal game of the Western Athletic Conference basketball...
Associated Press

GCU wins 4th straight game, besting Texas Rio Grande Valley

Gabe McGlothan had 18 points as Grand Canyon basketball beat Texas Rio Grande Valley 84-70 on Thursday night.
19 days ago
Grand Canyon head coach Bryce Drew calls a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball...
Associated Press

Jovan Blacksher’s big night lifts GCU basketball over Chicago State

Jovan Blacksher Jr. had 24 points on 5-for-7 shooting from 3-point range and Grand Canyon beat Chicago State 80-63 on Thursday night.
26 days ago
Grand Canyon guard Holland Woods Jr. (11) shoots as Arizona State guard Marreon Jackson (3) defends...
Arizona Sports

GCU’s matchup vs. Nevada canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

GCU men's basketball has canceled its Tuesday matchup against Nevada due to coronavirus protocols within the Antelopes' program.
1 month ago
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino says GCU crowd tougher than Duke, Kentucky