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March 22, 2024

Bryce Drew

Tyon Grant-Foster

Gabe McGlothan

Ray Harrison

Spokane, Washington, USA

Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena

Grand Canyon Lopes

Media Conference

Grand Canyon - 75, Saint Mary's - 66

THE MODERATOR: We welcome our friends from Grand Canyon in. We'll have Coach give an opening statement and then direct questions to student-athletes.

BRYCE DREW: What a fun night to be a Lope. The crowd was outstanding out there. All the folks from Phoenix and Spokane fans cheering for us. Thank you guys. Love the extra boost for our team.

These three guys, the rest of the players in the locker room, really special group. They really bonded together, went to the Bahamas, and they started something special there.

Two returners, Ray Harrison and Gabe McGlothan, they came back and they helped us with the recruiting process, the portal process. When guys would come on visits, like Tyon, we'd group with Ray and Gabe, do you like them, do you want them here, do you want them to be part of a family?

I credit these to in recruiting great transfers to come join us. It's been a really fun ride. We thank the Lord. We've had great health this year so far. We've had a connected team. We've had a team that's really motivated to win.

What I love about them is they really compete. I think you saw that out there tonight, the shot clock violations, how hard they guarded to the end of the buzzer. They don't have any quit in them. And just really proud of them, and the effort they gave for 40 minutes tonight.

Q. This is your guys' first program win as a D-I. What does that mean to you? What are you guys going to remember from this moment?

GABE MCGLOTHAN: I think it's just celebrating with my brothers. Just going out there battling. We do that every single day at practice, and being able to show on it the court. It's cool to see the world seeing what we're capable of, what GCU is capable of. And just that we're just not done yet.

Q. Talk about the moment for you, because this is by far your best game probably in three weeks. Just the way you came for this game and just your toughness and what this game meant to you?

GABE MCGLOTHAN: Adversity hits at random times. But you've got to find out what's going to be your rock. For me it's this, the bible. Jesus Christ. And being able to have that as a teammate, have Jesus Christ as your teammate is one of the best things you can have in this world.

It's the best thing. And so just trusting in his plan, trusting who he's making me as a man and that no matter what happens I'll never fall because he'll always catch me.

Q. You guys have one of the best student sections in the country. A lot of them came out tonight. Just what it meant to play in front of them here in Spokane and have all those guys show up?

RAY HARRISON: I feel it's being here at GCU and having the Havocs backing us, it's like having an extra teammate out there at all times. We're always thankful for it. It makes us feel more comfortable. We're able to play our game better.

TYON GRANT-FOSTER: Just wonderful. I mean, they're called the Havocs. They wreak havoc, they wreak havoc. They do what they need to do for us. It's wonderful.

GABE MCGLOTHAN: I told you reinforcements were inbound and then they showed up. The Havocs, they're always having our backs. It's a blessing to be a part of this.

Q. Gabe, I think you guys had eight steals and nine blocked shots. How much did you feel like your quickness, your jumping ability throughout the lineup was an advantage, and how much was that the difference?

GABE MCGLOTHAN: The coaches told us to go out there and be athletic. They trust us, so being able to go and play and play basketball, it's a beautiful thing.

It's also nice knowing I can go out, take a chance and I have teammates that will have my back, cover for me. But yeah, it's a wonderful thing.

Q. Started off with Tyon, a question for you, Coach talked about the transfers on this team. What brought you to GCU? And for Gabe and Ray, Coach talked about how you were part of that recruiting process for the transfers. What was your pitch to Tyon and the rest of the transfers?

TYON GRANT-FOSTER: I would say for me, what brought me to GCU was the winning culture they were building here and just how much I know Gabe and Ray wanted to win.

When I was on my visit, they talked about that Gonzaga game a lot. I knew winning meant a whole lot to them. That's one of the main things that brought me here.

RAY HARRISON: I feel like the only pitch we gave him was I asked him if he wanted a ring.

GABE MCGLOTHAN: My side of the recruiting process, we both were all a part of it, but just getting to know Tyon, and knowing that regardless of what's on the court, I know I have a brother for life. We were going to start building that. That was one of my favorite things. And trusting in that, look where it got us.

Q. Ray, what was the talk in the locker room at halftime that sort of led to the run that you guys were able to put together there early in the second half? And what did you feel like you did really well during that stretch where you were able to build the big lead?

RAY HARRISON: I feel like going into the half we knew we didn't play our best basketball. We knew the first four minutes we wanted to come out and be aggressive and hit them first.

But personally I feel like in the first half, I was being aggressive. The looks that I have, they felt good. So I just tried to stay composed and trust the work that I put in.

Q. Rebounding was kind of the name of the game coming into this. Saint Mary's is the best rebounding team in the country. What did it take for you guys to battle as hard as you did on the glass?

RAY HARRISON: Gabe, you got 11 of them.

TYON GRANT-FOSTER: I would just say, Coach told us they're the No. 1 team in the country by rebound margin. We just knew we had to rebound. Gabe had 11 of them, so go ahead.

GABE MCGLOTHAN: Coach Drew gave us a good pep talk before the game. He was saying, when the ball goes up, you gotta go grab it with two hands and then land with it. And so I decided to take a note from that. And that's what we got.

Q. Tyon, talk about the way you're able to take it over by putting your head down, drive to the lane, get fouled. You live on the line. You all live on the line. Was that the mindset, to grind it through, drive to the line and get fouled?

TYON GRANT-FOSTER: The mindset was to play the way we play. We didn't really have to change anything. I would just say that's what we did. That's what we do. We attack the rim. I just feel like we just stayed to that and kept attacking.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you to the student-athletes. We'll direct questions to Coach.

Q. Just talk about their half court offense and what -- just seemed like, bring it on; we want them to play that half court, let them run the clock down because you guys defended it so well tonight.

BRYCE DREW: We talked about it the last couple of days how efficient they are on offense, and they run their stuff. If you covered a certain way they go to a different package and do different things.

So we really tried to change our coverages throughout the game, going back and forth with some different ones. And really credit our guys. I still thought they got the ball a lot where they wanted to, but some of our recovery plays were spectacular.

Tyon, Lök, Gabe, coming out of nowhere blocking shots, and us being able to come out in transition. We knew it would be hard to score in the half court against them. Every transition point we got was really valuable for us.

Q. I'm sure you touched on this several times but can you reset the appeal of coming to GCU, what your vision was at the time, and just what it means to get this win, not just for the program, what it means, but for yourself as a coach in the tournament as well?

BRYCE DREW: We're such a unique place. We're a school of faith. We have 25,000 on ground. We have 90,000 online. And it's only growing.

And four years ago, when I came to interview, President Mueller, who is here, Jerry Colangelo. Spoke to them about their vision. And they told me what they envisioned for GCU.

It's amazing to look back four years now at that first talk. And so much of what we talked about is happening right now. And that's really cool to just be part of this.

President's been so valuable and Jerry has been a great mentor to me. My dad's here, who has been a mentor for life for me. He's hopping on a plane seeing my brother. I can't believe you're not staying here seeing one more game with us.

But it's such a special place. I think you sense that with our students that come, and just the togetherness that our campus has. It's really just a fun place to be a part of.

Q. (Off microphone?

BRYCE DREW: This is our third time coming, so this is kind of the next step in the maturation of a winning program is being able to win a game in the tournament. For myself and I think for our program, it's -- and for our school -- it's just a huge step so people can realize how special a school GCU is.

And hopefully the effort we gave tonight, hopefully we can follow it up with a great effort on Sunday.

Q. The free throw battle was won by you guys by a ton. It was 26 free throws more for you guys. Just talk about how you guys came out with energy, because that was consistent throughout both halves?

BRYCE DREW: All year, we're No. 5 in the country on getting fouled. We have a lot of guys that really drive the ball. They're really aggressive. They're long. They're confrontational around the rim.

And we've had a lot of games where we shoot this many free throws, and that's a big part of how we play and how we run offense and where we space.

And so really credit these guys. They got there and I thought it was really key. We shot almost 78 percent from the line. And especially in postseason, every free throw is so valuable. And really credit our guys for stepping up and making some big ones.

Q. What part of your team's athleticism do you feel like showed up and bothered them the most?

BRYCE DREW: I think a couple areas. First on defense. I think our length on recovery plays. Again, they got the ball a lot of those possessions where they wanted it. And we just had some spectacular plays at the rim to deflect balls.

On offense, some of our transition, getting out and finishing at the rim was really important. So I thought those two areas were key for us.

Q. Talk about the two 3s you guys hit to open the second half, corner 3s by Tyon and Collin, that seemed to fire you guys up and change the whole complexion of the game.

BRYCE DREW: We had that run in the first half to get the lead back, which I thought was really key. And then coming out at half, everyone knows basketball here, those first four minutes are so important. And the back-to-back 3s really got us into a rhythm and got us into a flow right away.

Q. You played San Diego State at home this year. After the game you talked about what a big deal it was for your program. How much did that win and the confidence from that win kind of propel you to this moment?

BRYCE DREW: It was tremendous. A team like San Diego State coming off a Final Four run and just the history they have, it was our first-ever school win against a ranked opponent. We got to do it in our home gym on national TV. You hit a keyword, "confidence." It really gave our team a lot of confidence they could play against really good basketball teams.

Q. You talked about it in the beginning, just the amount of fans that were here cheering for you guys. But especially that GCU student section, just what it meant for you to have all them come up and cheer you on into this win?

BRYCE DREW: It's remarkable. Not just are they present physically, but they're 100 percent invested emotionally into our team with how they yell and how they keep the energy for 40 minutes.

Like our guys said, it really helps us. There could be some lapse times during a game you get tired or fatigued or other team is on a run, but once our crowd gets right back into it, it helps lift us up quicker.

Q. You heard your student-athletes talk about faith. You've talked about faith as well. You said that you're a school of faith. But would love for you to dive a little deeper into that and how faith drives you and drives this team forward and that it's not just about basketball.

BRYCE DREW: It's a special platform we have at GCU. I had a heart condition growing up. I gave my life to the Lord at a young age, and we have so many guys that come into our program and have never heard about the Christian faith, never heard about our Lord and what he can do for them. Part of what we can do with our program we get to develop young men. We get to help make them better basketball players and help introduce faith to their lives.

As Gabe was speaking down there, he's been not only our verbal leader, our emotional leader, he's also been our spiritual leader. The connectivity of this team is just really good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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