Denver Men’s Hoops strikes early in 2019 recruiting wars

Photo: North Star Hoops Report Center Robert Jones highlights the 2019 Denver hoops class.

We have to wait – but Billups and company have continued to receive verbal commitments from prospects before their senior year of high school basketball begins. The actual signing period for verbal commits falls later in the year – November.

Three new prospects have verbally committed to Denver and a fourth is recuperating this season and should be ready to go for the 2019 campaign.

Here are the latest commitments.

Mykell Robinson is a 6’6″ two-way wing/SF player who has put on 4 inches of growth in high school and weighs in at 190 pounds. He is a two star player who is credited with athleticism and ball handling skills but according to one  scouting report needs to work on more consistent shooting and building his upper body strength. Expect his senior year to be a big one to more fully develop Robinson for his transition to the Pioneers.

Owen McGlashan is another 6’6″ perimeter player/PF from Marlton, NJ. He plays both football and basketball for Don Bosco Prep. Don Bosco is a traditional football power on the East Coast but they have won the last two Public A League basketball titles and lost in the New Jersey Boys Basketball Tournament of Champions final last season. Expect McGlashan to add size, athleticism and toughness that will fit nicely in Coach Rodney Billups system. And, we will look to New Jersey superfan Dunker to follow McGlashan closely during his last prep season.

Denver continues to scour Minnesota for prospects and the Pioneers landed another big man in 6’9″ 220 pound center from Prior Lake in Robert Jones. He played AAU hoops for D1 Minnesota. Denver has been getting bigger and more athletic under the Billups regime – and the trend continues with the signing of Jones. 24/7 Sports has Jones as a 3-star player. The rapidly improving Jones was recruited by Northern Iowa, UW-Milwaukee, Canisius, Wisconsin, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Bradley and Miami of Ohio. That would make Jones the most sought-after prospect of the new 2019 recruit class for the Pioneers.

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Power forward Javonni Bickham also committed to DU last season but had knee surgeries and is taking this season to recover. He, too, pending a full recovery, should bring his 6’8″ size and skill from Minnesota to Denver. We wish him a speedy recovery and looking forward to seeing him in Crimson and Gold next season.

We will be releasing our 2018-2019 season preview soon. There are two graduate transfers and four freshmen that should help make this upcoming season a special one for Denver fans.

24 thoughts on “Denver Men’s Hoops strikes early in 2019 recruiting wars”

  1. It’s all about recruiting in college hoops, both short term and long term.. Rodney is bringing in more talent the any other coach we have had in our new division 1 era. Some players will work out and some won’t. That’s the same with most schools. Maybe, just maybe, we will be in the NCAA tournament sooner then later. I could handle a NIT appearance this year.

  2. It’s all about recruiting in college hoops, both short term and long term.. Rodney is bringing in more talent the any other coach we have had in our new division 1 era. Some players will work out and some won’t. That’s the same with most schools. Maybe, just maybe, we will be in the NCAA tournament sooner then later. I could handle a NIT appearance this year.

  3. Great point, Dunks. Like most mid-majors, Denver is going to need to recruit kids that need some work. Hopefully, we find a few more Rosga’s, Konchar’s and Mooney’s that can be coached up. But, this past few years has seen the best size and talent DU has signed since I have been following them. Keep us filled in on Owen’s progress.

  4. Great point, Dunks. Like most mid-majors, Denver is going to need to recruit kids that need some work. Hopefully, we find a few more Rosga’s, Konchar’s and Mooney’s that can be coached up. But, this past few years has seen the best size and talent DU has signed since I have been following them. Keep us filled in on Owen’s progress.

  5. Nice to see Rodney and DU in there and swinging on early on more talented recruits as HS juniors. DU will lose most of those battles, as early recruiting tends to favor the bigger programs, but given DU is now prioritizing more athletic players, it makes sense to get in there and land talented players by showing more early interest in them.

    Jones looks to be a Rodney’s forward target – the 6-8 to 6-10 guys who add athleticism and versatility – in the mold of Nzekwesi, Kurnaz, Carlisle, Bickham and Miller-Stewart.

    Joe Scott had a different recruiting philosophy, less about pure athleticism and more about those 6-5 “gym rats” who could play multiple positions. He preferred to wait until far later in the recruiting process, going after more HS Seniors. He wanted guys where he had a realistic shot at landing them to play his cerebral Princeton system, and as his recruits players were older, and Scott could be more certain in their capabilities (at least in his mind). Scott’s philosophy worked early in his DU career, but it was failing at the end, when he waited too long and some recruits were clearly leftovers and not talented enough to contribute.

  6. Nice to see Rodney and DU in there and swinging on early on more talented recruits as HS juniors. DU will lose most of those battles, as early recruiting tends to favor the bigger programs, but given DU is now prioritizing more athletic players, it makes sense to get in there and land talented players by showing more early interest in them.

    Jones looks to be a Rodney’s forward target – the 6-8 to 6-10 guys who add athleticism and versatility – in the mold of Nzekwesi, Kurnaz, Carlisle, Bickham and Miller-Stewart.

    Joe Scott had a different recruiting philosophy, less about pure athleticism and more about those 6-5 “gym rats” who could play multiple positions. He preferred to wait until far later in the recruiting process, going after more HS Seniors. He wanted guys where he had a realistic shot at landing them to play his cerebral Princeton system, and as his recruits players were older, and Scott could be more certain in their capabilities (at least in his mind). Scott’s philosophy worked early in his DU career, but it was failing at the end, when he waited too long and some recruits were clearly leftovers and not talented enough to contribute.

  7. Promising class on top of another promising class ready to suit up this year.
    Puck, curious what happened to Neff Brothers? Noticed they are no longer on the team.

  8. The Neff brothers were likely told that since they were recruited by former coach Joe Scott to play a slow-down Princeton system that future playing opportunities under Billups’ more athletic, fast-running system would be very limited, if any. Both players were given a chance early on to play in Billups’ system, and their contributions were small ones. Given that turnover in D-I basketball during coaching changes is common, it’s not surprising that both players have moved on from DU basketball. It opens up scholarships for Rodney to recruit players who better fit his system, and it’s fair to the Neff bothers not to have to toil at practice everyday if they weren’t ever going to play…

    1. I figured as much and not a surprise. I was curious if they caught on somewhere else or end of the line for them in college hoops?

  9. Promising class on top of another promising class ready to suit up this year.
    Puck, curious what happened to Neff Brothers? Noticed they are no longer on the team.

  10. The Neff brothers were likely told that since they were recruited by former coach Joe Scott to play a slow-down Princeton system that future playing opportunities under Billups’ more athletic, fast-running system would be very limited, if any. Both players were given a chance early on to play in Billups’ system, and their contributions were small ones. Given that turnover in D-I basketball during coaching changes is common, it’s not surprising that both players have moved on from DU basketball. It opens up scholarships for Rodney to recruit players who better fit his system, and it’s fair to the Neff bothers not to have to toil at practice everyday if they weren’t ever going to play…

    1. I figured as much and not a surprise. I was curious if they caught on somewhere else or end of the line for them in college hoops?

    1. DUNJ- I missed the St. Joes game a few years ago, but have seen DU play at Yale, Iona, and Manhattan. I did see DU soccer at Monmouth and at Rutgers in the 2016 season. Next year we will have 2 NY/NJ kids on the roster, so maybe a trip east will happen. I go over to Monmouth Park to make sports bets.

    1. DUNJ- I missed the St. Joes game a few years ago, but have seen DU play at Yale, Iona, and Manhattan. I did see DU soccer at Monmouth and at Rutgers in the 2016 season. Next year we will have 2 NY/NJ kids on the roster, so maybe a trip east will happen. I go over to Monmouth Park to make sports bets.

  11. I caught the St Joe’s game–great mid-major atmosphere. Missed the Iona game due to post-Sandy schedules. Didn’t realize they were playing Monmouth until after the fact–I was away that weekend anyway, but was bummed nonetheless. Would love to see Pios hoops at Monmouth. And yeah, live at MP in summer. Can’t wait for March Madness at the Sports Book.

  12. I went to that Manhattan game at tiny Draddy Gym, too, DU got blown out, but I think that was around the turn of the millennium when DU was finding its feet again at the D-I level.

    Now that DU has full time alumni relations people living and working in key DU alumni areas such as NYC, Washington, Chicago, LA and SF, you will see DU doing more in those cities when DU teams play there, and I expect DU will try to schedule more games in places where we can get some road fan support.

  13. I caught the St Joe’s game–great mid-major atmosphere. Missed the Iona game due to post-Sandy schedules. Didn’t realize they were playing Monmouth until after the fact–I was away that weekend anyway, but was bummed nonetheless. Would love to see Pios hoops at Monmouth. And yeah, live at MP in summer. Can’t wait for March Madness at the Sports Book.

  14. I went to that Manhattan game at tiny Draddy Gym, too, DU got blown out, but I think that was around the turn of the millennium when DU was finding its feet again at the D-I level.

    Now that DU has full time alumni relations people living and working in key DU alumni areas such as NYC, Washington, Chicago, LA and SF, you will see DU doing more in those cities when DU teams play there, and I expect DU will try to schedule more games in places where we can get some road fan support.

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