The suspense around DU’s 2018-2019 schedule has been delayed pending agreements with two final opponents and working out final scheduling details. Well, the wait is over and, while the home schedule may not wow you, Rodney Billups and company are facing a tough road. And that is exactly what they need with a roster of 50% newcomers to jell for a run at the end of the season.
This off-season features five solid incoming freshman recruits to bolster graduating losses. Then, this summer DU received the benefit of two outstanding graduate transfers, Tory Miller-Stewart and Ronnie Harrell from the University of Colorado and Creighton respectively. And, let’s just say their schedule will be a gauntlet, especially on the road.
Regardless of the regular season schedule, at the end of the day, this season will be measured by three games at the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The ultimate question, can this crew make it to the NCAA tournament and make school history? And, with a pre-conference schedule filled with challenges, the Pioneers will know what it is like to face a hostile environments and battle long odds.
The Pioneers non-conference road schedule is shown below with key games shown in RED:
Maine – November 6th, Magness Arena
Kansas State – November 12, Manhattan, Ks.
Abiline Christian – November 15th, Magness Arena
Seattle University – November 23rd, Seattle, WA. (MTE Tournament)
Longwood – November 24th, Seattle, WA (MTE Tournament)
Fairfield – November 25th, Seattle, WA (MTE Tournament)
Northern Colorado – November 28th, Magness Arena
Utah Valley – December 1st, Orem, Utah
Air Force – December 5th, Colorado Springs, Co.
Western State – December 9th, Magness Arena
Wyoming – December 11, Laramie, Wyoming
Cal-Irvine – December 15th, Irvine, California
Montana State – December 18th, Magness Arena
Gonzaga – December 21st, Spokane, WA.
Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan is nicknamed the “Octagon of Doom”. K-State is a Top 3 Big 12 team heading into next season. Air Force is always difficult to play, especially early in the season on their home court in Colorado Springs. A trek to Seattle over Thanksgiving will provide a good road tournament test for the Pioneers. Laramie is always a tough place to play against the Pokes. And, finally, Gonzaga has become THE mid-major power in men’s basketball and resides on a perennial Top 10 perch in men’s basketball.
The Summit League Schedule is as follows:
December 28th @ Omaha
December 30th @ Western Illinois
January 2nd South Dakota @ Denver
January 5th North Dakota @ Denver
January 10th @ South Dakota State
January 16th North Dakota State @ Denver
January 20th Oral Roberts @ Denver
January 26th @ Fort Wayne
February 3rd South Dakota State @ Denver
February 7th @ Oral Roberts
February 9th @ North Dakota State
February 14th Fort Wayne @ Denver
February 20th @ South Dakota
February 23rd @ North Dakota
February 28th Western Illinois @ Denver
March 2nd Omaha @ Denver
At the end of their regular season campaign, Denver hoops may be battle tested for a deep run. And, for the first time in years, a path just might open up for this year’s Pioneers.
No season in recent memory has started with such intrigue and possibilities.