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Grand Canyon basketball set to be on national TV a record 5 times in regular season

Grand Canyon Antelopes head coach Bryce Drew during the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Ball Arena in Denver on March 17, 2023.
Grand Canyon Antelopes head coach Bryce Drew during the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Ball Arena in Denver on March 17, 2023.

Grand Canyon, in its 11th year as an NCAA Division I program, is garnering the most national attention in its men's basketball history.

For the first time, five regular-season games will be televised nationally, including its home game on Dec. 5 against San Diego State, which finished NCAA runner-up last season. That game will air on ESPNU. San Diego State enters this season ranked No. 17 in the nation.

ESPNU will also televise GCU's game at Liberty, and its March 2 home game against Stephen F. Austin. GCU and SFA are expected to be the top two teams in the Western Athletic Conference.

GCU will also be part of the CBS Sports Network lineup of games on Nov. 17 against San Francisco and No. 19 against either DePaul or South Carolina in the Arizona Tip-Off at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale.

Last year, GCU was on national TV five times, but that included the WAC Tournament championship game and the first round of the NCAA Tournament, a loss to Gonzaga. It could be more than five times this season if the Lopes get to the WAC championship game and again is part of March Madness.

Before last season, GCU had never been on national TV more than twice in a season.

More Lopes: GCU men's, women's basketball picked by coaches to win the WAC

The Antelopes have reached the NCAA Tournament twice in coach Bryce Drew's three years leading the program.

This could be his best team if it stays healthy. They welcome seven newcomers, including big men Duke Brennan, Lok Wur and Sydney Curry, and two starters from last year's 23-win team. They are Preseason WAC Player of the Year Ray Harrison and Preseason All-WAC forward Gabe McGlothan.

GCU also will have back point guard Jovan Blacksher Jr., who missed the last half of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He is expected to start the season on Nov. 6 at home against Southeast Missouri.

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert atrichard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter:@azc_obert

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: GCU set to be on national TV 5 times in 2023-24 basketball season