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UND's Geno Crandall nearing transfer decision

March 16, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; North Dakota Fighting Hawks guard Geno Crandall (0) moves the ball against Arizona Wildcats guard Kadeem Allen (5) and center Dusan Ristic (14) during the first half in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Outgoing UND men's basketball standout Geno Crandall is close to announcing his next destination.

Crandall, who has elected to graduate transfer, will announce Thursday whether he will play at the University of Minnesota, Gonzaga or Xavier, according to multiple Twin Cities media reports.

The Minneapolis native, who went to DeLaSalle High School, led UND with 16.6 points per game last year and collected a Big Sky Conference-best 67 steals.

Crandall has yet to graduate from UND, but the all-Big Sky guard is taking summer courses to finish his degree.

Crandall, who's 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, is UND's 14th all-time leading scorer, seventh all-time in assists and fourth all-time in steals.

He shot 41.7 percent from the 3-point line and 72.8 percent from the foul line a year ago as UND finished 12-20 overall.

Crandall, who helped UND to the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance as a sophomore, started his junior season with a 41-point performance against Troy in Hawaii, which is a school record in the Division I era.

Another highlight performance came in Spokane against the Zags. He scored 28 points, grabbed five rebounds and hit a dramatic last-second 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime. He also had seven turnovers in the game.

UND, considered 30-point underdogs to the Bulldogs, led by eight with 4 minutes left before the Zags rallied and went on to win 89-83.

Gonzaga, which is considered a Top 5 team in the country in preseason polls, advanced as far as the Sweet 16 last season before losing to Florida State.

Xavier also exited the tournament thanks to Florida State. The Musketeers, who won the Big East Championship, were a No.1 seed in the tournament before falling to the Seminoles in the second round.

Xavier, which is in Cincinnati, has one local connection to Crandall. First-year Musketeer assistant coach Ben Johnson is a former Gopher assistant.

The Gophers are coming off a disappointing 2017-18 season that started with high expectations. Minnesota (15-17 last year) and coach Richard Pitino are hoping to rebound and return to the NCAA tournament next season.

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department since 2004. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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