PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Michael and Tim Finke didn't think they would have the chance to play college basketball together. Michael is 4 years older and had already played three seasons at Illinois.
"We played in a fall league, AAU team," said Michael, who averaged 9.8 and 4.9 rebounds a game last season for the Illini. "I think he was going into eighth grade and me my senior year."
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Tim signed with the Lopes out of Champaign (IL) Central High School. He's the highest rated recruit to sign with head coach Dan Majerle's Lopes. Once he signed with GCU, he went to work recruiting his older brother.
"Especially when all the other schools were calling him," said Tim, who averaged 21 points and nine rebounds a game his senior year in high school. "This is his place. He loved it. The staff, the people out here, Midnight Madness, the first time to see the crowd."
Majerle knows how to handle the situation from his own playing days.
"It's fun," said the Lopes coach, who had a similar experience at Central Michigan. "I got to play with my younger brother (Jeff), and he was a freshman. Same thing for Michael and Tim. It's a special opportunity for both those guys."
Tim and Michael aren't the only basketball playing brothers in the Finke family. Middle brother Nick will see time this season at Army.
"The percentage of players getting to go Division I, us having the ability to all go do that, and for them playing together, that's really special," said Nick, when reached via Skype at West Point. "Tim, being a guard, he can come off screens and can easily play with Michael, based on whether he pops or rolls. So their chemistry should be pretty awesome to play together."
It's a dream season for the Finke family. The only thing that could make it any sweeter would be a trip to the NCAA Tournament for both teams.
"That would be the craziest thing that's ever happened, "said Nick. "If we were to somehow play each other that would be awesome."
"Like us, they've never made it," said Michael. "They're working hard to win the Patriot League out there. He should see some time. If they could make it and we could make it, it would be a dream come true."
The Lopes start their quest on Tuesday night versus South Dakota State. That same night Army hosts Marist.