Charles Barkley blasts Grand Canyon coach Bryce Drew after loss: ‘Some of the dumbest basketball I’ve ever seen

Grand Canyon’s run in the NCAA tournament came to a sudden end on Sunday, as the Antelopes fell 72-61 to No. 4 Alabama.

The Lopes looked like the better side for much of the first 35 minutes, even claiming a three-point lead deep into the second half. It looked for a moment like Grand Canyon would nab another major upset, especially as star guard Tyon Grant-Foster continued to pour in shot after shot against a weary Crimson Tide defense.

Ultimately, Grand Canyon began to falter down the stretch. That left a sour taste in many an onlooker’s mouth, including Basketball Hall of Famer-turned-pundit Charles Barkley.

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Barkley offered many a thought on the Lopes’ second-half showing. Most of them were critical, with Barkley taking serious offense with the Antelopes’ tactical acumen as the clock ticked down.

“Grand Canyon, that was the dumbest game of basketball I think I’ve ever seen,” Barkley said. “Everybody went one-on-one. … I’m not sure what they were doing offensively. I don’t think they ran a play the entire second half.”

The Lopes toiled through the opening stages of the game, starting the contest by shooting 3-of-17 from the field. Things got better as the game wore on, but inconsistent shooting continued to rear its ugly head; Grand Canyon hit just 32.1 percent of its shots on the day, missed 18 of its 20 threes, and went 23-of-37 from the free throw line.

All that amounted to a frustrating day at the office for Bryce Drew’s squad. Barkley wasn’t the only panelist who was mystified with Drew’s adjustments (or lack thereof), either.

“I’m befuddled trying to figure out what they were trying to do,” Clark Kellogg said. “There was no signal, no plays. And I had never seen them play like this. They played great all year.”

Tournament nerves can strike anyone at any point in the campaign. For those in purple-and-black, it was rather unfortunate timing this time around.

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