Central star Tim Finke commits to Grand Canyon

Central star Tim Finke commits to Grand Canyon

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By COLIN LIKAS

After years of speculation, crossing his move from Centennial to Champaign Central, star guard Tim Finke committed to Grand Canyon University on Tuesday night.

Finke announced his decision via Instagram, with a post reading: “I always wanted to be a part of something special. I found it here. To God be the glory. I’m home. #GoLopes.” This followed a Nov. 3 Snapchat from Finke indicating he was visiting Grand Canyon’s campus in Phoenix.

Finke could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Finke has at least 16 Division I offers, though neither Rivals nor 247sports listed Grand Canyon among those schools prior to the senior’s decision. Among those offering were Illinois, Notre Dame, Butler, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oregon, Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh.

The 6-foot-6, four-star shooting guard is the first member of Antelopes coach Dan Majerle’s 2018 class. Majerle’s team will visit State Farm Center on Dec. 30 in Illinois’ final nonconference game of the 2017-18 season.

The Antelopes are a recent addition to the Division I hoops scene, making the jump from NCAA Division II to the NCAA’s D-I Western Athletic Conference in July 2013. In all three seasons since, Majerle has qualified Grand Canyon for the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, reaching the quarterfinals last season.

Finke is a three-time All-Area first-teamer — as a freshman with Centennial and each of the last two seasons with Central under coach Jeff Finke, Tim’s father.

Tim Finke most recently posted 19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for a Maroons team that finished 19-10 and won a Class 3A regional title in 2016-17.

Finke first received an Illinois offer from then-coach John Groce on July 9, 2015, prior to the athlete’s sophomore season. That preceded Finke making unofficial visits to the Illini campus in October 2015 and October 2016. Finke’s brother, Michael, is now a redshirt junior on the Illinois men’s team.

After Groce was fired by athletic director Josh Whitman in March 2017, Finke’s offer from Illinois stuck around as Brad Underwood was lured over from Oklahoma State.

In a March 2017 News-Gazette article, Finke described Underwood’s offense as one that “looked like a lot of fun” as he was watching the coach’s Cowboys in the NCAA tournament. Roughly a month later, Underwood and Illinois assistant Jamall Walker were scheduled to visit with Finke.

Finke is slated to begin his senior season at Central next Tuesday against Springfield Southeast at the Decatur Tournament.

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Moonpie wrote on November 15, 2017 at 8:11 am

Let’s see—his brother plays for the Illini and the young lad lives only a few miles from campus and yet the vaunted program could not keep him in town.

Yep—that’s the Illini Tradition of Recruitment Whiffing.

skatsinas wrote on November 17, 2017 at 1:11 pm

What? It's not Loren's fault?

champaign61821 wrote on November 15, 2017 at 8:11 am

You obviously haven't been following his story very closely Moonpie. I really think the U of I are okay with this one. Major injury concerns for one (back problems), he's dropped far in national rankings recently, and now the ongoing story with his coach father cutting a starter teammate of Tim's.

bookworm wrote on November 15, 2017 at 11:11 am

Something went wrong.  Either his back or his grades or ....  No one rejects those 5 for Grand Canyon!  He should have chosen a good DIII school over that backwater.

cjcohen wrote on November 15, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Grand Canyon Univ. hoops had bigtime support from Jerry Colangelo at the start of their program. Assume his support continues, along with other "influential" folks in AZ. The other local (Phoenix metro) basketball program of note is AZ State, which hasn't been very good of late, so the Antelopes of GCU get a fiar amount of press coverage around here & across the state. Haven't a clue about their academics, but GCU really markets their basketball program. They have a smallish arena, but it's always packed. You all back in Illinois will be able to judge GCU basketball when their team comes to C-U to play the Illini in late December. P.S. Not to worry, all us UI alums out here will always support the Illini.

champaign61821 wrote on November 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm

They also have a former NBA player for a coach, Dan Marjerle.