"Thunder" Dan Majerle made his first trip to Assembly Hall on Saturday evening as the head coach of Grand Canyon. Majerle played 14 seasons in the NBA from 1988 to 2002, most of them for the Phoenix Suns (8).
Majerle's Grand Canyon team lost 94-66 to Indiana, but as is often the case in non-conference games, the outcome was hardly Majerle's main focus afterward.
"It was just a pleasure to be here," Majerle said. "I've been a fan of Indiana basketball for so long and had never been in this building. For me to come here and coach here was a great thrill for me."
As it turns out, Majerle and Indiana coach Tom Crean go back quite a long time. They attended Central Michigan at the same time and actually took two classes together. Both coaches have followed each other's career ever since.
"I'm really proud of what he was able to do," Majerle said. "He really had to work. To go through the coaching ranks and do what he's done has been great. I admire him a lot, and hopefully one day I can be as good of a coach as he is."
Crean has the same admiration for Thunder Dan, who averaged 17.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his best season, 1991-92 with Phoenix. Majerle averaged 11.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for his career.
"Dan's going to do a great job with that program," Crean said. "Grand Canyon is going to be a good team. He's an outstanding coach. I'm proud of what he's doing as a coach. It's just a matter of time, whatever he chose to do after he played he's going to be successful at."
Zeisloft continues to be solid
He doesn't grab the headlines the way that some guys do on this team, but Nick Zeisloft continues to prove that he was a great pickup by Crean in the offseason. Zeisloft had three more 3-pointers against Grand Canyon as well as seven rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers.
Zeisloft was a big factor in getting Indiana back in the game late in the first half against Louisville, and he has made as many -- if not more -- big shots as anybody else on Indiana's roster this season.
Emmitt Holt had six points and two rebounds in 11 minutes. ... Collin Hartman had six points and five rebounds in 20 minutes, including two 3-pointers. ... Yogi Ferrell shot just 3-of-15 from the field and seemed to be hunting shots late. ... James Blackmon Jr. had a team-high 18 points again. ... Indiana played the final 21 minutes, 52 seconds without a turnover.