Third Time’s A Charm: Noah Baumann Returns Home To Phoenix, Commits To Grand Canyon
On Monday afternoon, Grand Canyon University got a big commitment from a former PAC 12 & SEC player in Noah Baumann. Baumann spent last season at Georgia, playing three seasons before at San Jose State and USC.
“I thought it was a perfect fit, come back home,” Baumann told The Portal Report, “Bryce Drew is just a really good dude and a really good coach. I’ve got a lot of faith in him.”
The connection between the two goes back to Baumann’s AAU days when Drew was the head coach at Vanderbilt.
Drew was making his rounds when he got a commitment from one of Baumann’s teammates in current Detroit Pistons point guard, Saben Lee. As most teammates do, they watch their buddies play throughout their careers. That means that Baumann watched Drew coach quite a bit.
“I love watching my teammates play, whatever school they go to. So, I’d always watch them play. I know a little bit of him,” Baumann said.
Baumann’s college journey went a separate route from Saben’s, playing two seasons at San Jose State before transferring and getting a degree at USC. The thing is, everywhere he’s gone he’s been an excellent three-point shooter.
During his freshman year in the bay, Baumann shot 46% from three. In his second season, he hit eight threes in a game against New Mexico, draining seven in two other games. That wouldn’t exactly change at USC as he shot a strong 35% from three, following it up with a 40% effort at Georgia this past season.
After the season ended, Baumann had put his name in the portal for the third time in his career. When he booked a flight back home to Phoenix in December for Easter, he didn’t think it would result in a commitment to a new school.
“We booked this in December, just to be home for Easter and for my girl. I just happened to be in the portal,” Baumann said, “Being home would be an awesome place to end my career and just the way it set up. I was able to come home, and have an unofficial visit. Meet the coaching staff.”
It wasn’t his first time being recruited by Grand Canyon, as he visited when Dan Majerle was the head coach. He was also recruited last season by the Lopes coaching staff but didn’t learn much because it was virtual. It was different this time around as he learned that Bryce Drew was just like him.
“I think of basketball-wise, the shot at Valparaiso,” Baumann said, “His sorta built is what I kinda am. Tall shooter, so I thought that was a really cool fit.
This time around he saw the growth in the program as well. After making their first NCAA Tournament in 2021, it was followed with a strong 23-8 season in the toughest WAC in a long time. It also helped that he was close to home.
“I think the major factor with my last school, was just being home,” Baumann said, “At the end of the day, I just wanted to make it easy for my family to come see me play. GCU has been one of the up-and-coming programs for a while and the fanbase is crazy.”
Baumann is about to finish up his senior season at Georgia and has seen nothing like the GCU HAVOCS before.
Before he committed to GCU, Michigan and New Mexico State had reached out to him about visits.