Pioneer men picked to finish 5th in Summit hoops

Photo: Photo courtesy of the Summit League. South Dakota State University is tabbed as the league favorite to repeat under pre-season Summit League Player of the Year Mike Daum.

Here we are, just weeks before the start of basketball season under second year head coach Rodney Billups.

Last week, the Summit League held their annual basketball media Day. DU men’s coach Rodney Billups and women’s coach Jim Turgeon were on the conference call and fielded questions. The 20 minute audio from the teleconference link is shown below.

Audio – Rodney Billups & Jim Turgeon

Denver was selected to finish 5th in the league wide poll.

Summit League’s 2017-18 Pre-Season Basketball Poll


1. South Dakota State 339 (13)
2. South Dakota 327 (12)
3. North Dakota State 246
4. Fort Wayne 234
5. Denver 230
6. Omaha 124
7. Oral Roberts 104
8. Western Illinois 60

South Dakota State has won the conference title and NCAA auto-bid five out of the last six years. Considering the talent on the Jackrabbits’ roster and the league tournament in Sioux Falls, they are once again the prohibitive favorites to win it all this season. Denver has never finished higher than 4th in the Summit League.

The Summit League preseason player of the year was, not surprisingly, South Dakota State’s Mike Daum who dominated the league last season. DU’s Daniel Amigo made the preseason all-conference first team and Joe Rosga made the second team.

For fans interested in fashion, Denver is also launching a much-needed set of new Adidas uniforms this season which are much cleaner than the uniforms they have worn for the last several years. Hopefully, the “look good, play good” mantra will apply for the Pioneers this season.

LetsGoDU writer Chris Shockey will be covering most of DU’s home dates this season and we look to have a basketball season preview and podcast completed in the near future with a view of the upcoming Denver hoops season.

In the meantime, DU is holding their annual Fan Jam and season ticket pick-up this Wednesday. If you are local, plan on stopping by the Fan Jam and take a look at this year’s men’s and women’s squads while getting an early peek at the new uniforms.

The Pioneer basketball season will tip-off November 12th at Magness Arena against UC-Irvine.

2 thoughts on “Pioneer men picked to finish 5th in Summit hoops”

  1. I think DU can be better than fifth place. Last year was a new coaching staff and a new system that they didn’t have the right personnel to run, and they still did quite respectably. This year, they have some very solid pieces – Amigo is a first team all league talent, while Rosga is also an all-league calibre player, and the supporting cast has some experience now — Mackey, Akintola, Murkey, Krafka, Thomas Neff and Jake Pemberton have all proven themselves to be very serviceable D-I ballplayers. If those eight can stay healthy, and DU gets some freshman contributions from Rodriguez, Carlisle and/or Blake, I think the Pios can move up to contend for third, and on a good day, could knock off any Summit League team.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think 5th is pretty fair, they clearly think that Denver is right in that second tier below SDSU and USD, which, over the course of the entire season, will probably be true. Realistically, I would be very happy with third place at the end of the year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a bit like last year where a number of teams were in the conversation for the league title in the final couple of weeks, and when that happens, you never know…..

    It’s going to be an exciting year for sure though and I’m looking forward to covering it! Fan Fest should be a blast tonight, hopefully there is a nice crowd!

    Liked by 1 person

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