The GCU Lopes (13-4, 7-1 WAC) are in town to take on the Seattle U Redhawks (9-8, 2-3 WAC) in what will be their final home games at the Redhawk Center. The Lopes are currently the top dogs in the WAC and their visit poses a big opportunity for the Redhawks at the tail end of the conference season. Both games, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th, are scheduled for a 6 p.m. local tip off.
SU once again had a pair of conference games cancelled, as their trip to Edinburg, TX was scratched due to weather in the Lone Star State. This means the Redhawks last game was back on Feb. 13th when they fell to NMSU in game two of their back-to-back.
After being one of the top teams in the country when it came to non-conference games played, Seattle has now had seven conference games cancelled for various reasons. That has caused a team that built some fluidity, to have to adjust to a bumpy and hectic playing schedule. Even with the adjustments, SU has still been a competitive team in every game. They have not lost back-to-back games since their loss to Washington back on Dec. 9th and have not lost a game by more than seven in that same stretch.
Nettles Coming on Strong:
Much has been written about the great play by transfer Darrion Trammell, but his backcourt mate in Aaron Nettles has started to be a huge contributor. The Senior Guard has definitely found his groove in the conference season, filling the role of a third scorer for the team.
Since their conference opener vs. Utah Valley, Nettles has been averaging 14.2 points per game while shooting 43 percent from behind the arc. This stretch includes a 20 point outburst at Dixie State which tied his career high with the Redhawks.
He will be a key member down the final stretch of the regular season and into the conference tournament. If he can continue to perform at a high level, the Redhawks are going to have a very difficult backcourt to deal with.
Know Thy Opponent:
Based on a WAC formula that weighs win percentage and percentage of games played, GCU leads the WAC standings. They enter this weekends matchups after splitting their series with California Baptists last week. The loss on Saturday to the Lancers was their first in the conference season and only their fourth all season.
The Lopes have several players to watch for, but none more obvious than Asbjørn Midtgaard. The seven foot transfer from Wichita State is the reigning TicketSmarter Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. Midtgaard had back-to-back double-doubles in the split vs CBU. He had 14 points and 12 rebounds in game one and followed that up with 11 points and 15 rebounds in game two. He currently leads the WAC and the nation in field goal percentage at .744.
The all-time series is heavily in favor of the Lopes as they are 13-3 in their previous 16 meetings, GCU even won 10 of the first 11 games in the matchup. The past couple of seasons the two teams have split their series over the past couple of seasons though, with each winning on their home court. Seattle won the last game between the two back on Feb. 20, 2020. Terrell Brown had a huge night with 30-points and Riley Grigsby dropped 23.
For Your Viewing Pleasure
Both games are set for a 6 p.m. tip off time from the Redhawk Center. The games will be streamed live on ESPN+ (plus.espn.com) with Brandon Brown on play-by-play. Every Redhawk game can also be heard on 770 KTTH and Mynorthwest.com with Mr. Doug Greenwald on the call.
Russell is the Content Director for the Eli Network. He studied broadcast journalism at Eastern Oregon and North Dakota State University. Mostly covers soccer and basketball in the Seattle area and is the current play-by-play voice for Seattle Redhawks basketball. You can follow him @brussbrwn.