Big Sky Conference

Former UND star Crandall grad transferring to Gonzaga


Geno Crandall, a two-time All-Big Sky Conference selection at point guard at the University of North Dakota, is transferring to Gonzaga. The 6-foot-3 graduate transfer announced his decision to become a Zag on his personal Twitter account on Thursday morning.

The Minneapolis native chose the Bulldogs over graduate transfer options from Minnesota and Xavier. He visited Spokane last weekend. He will be eligible to play right away.

Crandall morphed from energetic but inconsistent freshman into one of the most explosive guards in the Big Sky as a sophomore. He earned second-team All-Big Sky honors playing next to preseason and Big Sky Tournament MVP Quinton Hooker, a first-team all-conference pick each of his final two years at UND. Crandall’s gutsy performance down the stretch in the Big Sky championship game against Weber State helped lift North Dakota to its first ever NCAA Tournament berth.

North Dakota head coach Brian Jones with guard Geno Crandall/by Brooks Nuanez

Following that historic season, Drick Bernstine graduate transferred to Washington State, Carson Shanks grad transferred to Loyola-Chicago and Hooker along with sharp-shooting wing Corey Baldwin graduated. As UND’s primary option, Crandall produced, averaging 16.6 points per game and earning second-team all-league honors again.

Crandall led the Big Sky in steals (2.1 per game), while also shooting 50.3 percent and ranking seventh in the league in assists per game (3.6) while playing 33.4 minutes per game. He scored 41 points in an 83-80 win over Troy in the season-opener for both teams. The total would hold as the second-most points in a game behind Jerrick Harding’s 46-point outpouring in a win at Montana State.

Crandall scored 28 points and dished out five assists in UND’s 89-83 overtime loss at Gonzaga. That loss was one of 20 during a trying junior season for Crandall. The Fighting Hawks posted a 6-12 Big Sky record and a 12-20 record overall, rallying from a 19-point second-half deficit to eliminate Montana State in the first round of the Big Sky Tournament before bowing out to eventual tournament champion Montana.

The fast, aggressive guard will add to Gonzaga’s already dynamic guard rotation next season. He can play alongside Josh Perkins and Zach Norvell or serve as the primary ball handler if Perkins is on the bench.

North Dakota will play in the Summit League full time next season.

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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