They were up-tempo, fast, and athletic – pushing the ball whenever they had a chance. It was the Jacksonville Dolphins who won the game 92-84, but they play the kind of ball that DU wants to play. As the Pioneers rolled out a new, exciting brand of basketball during their Saturday night opener, they were beaten by a team built and coached for up-tempo basketball.
Joe Rosga’s 30 points, nine from downtown, were offset by the Dolphins’ J.R. Holder’s 30 points, many from close range. DU shot 60% in the first half but cooled off in the second half and were unable to keep pace with an aggressive Jacksonville team shooting 54.2% for the game – many close range buckets in the second half.
As advertised, Daniel Amigo played a big role with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
DU missed 11 free throws and committed 18 turnovers which proved to be too much too costly to overcome. C.J. Bobbitt had 12 points and 5 rebounds and prized freshman Ade Murkey chipped in with 8 points.
DU alum Rodney Billups’ first career game as a head coach had it all – a pep band, tumblers, dancers, cheerleaders, a new intro video, Chauncey Billups, and rowdy students behind the bucket and next to the crimson section. Everything, except a win. Those will come with time. But this was a solid start for a team playing a new, exciting brand of basketball for Denver fans.