Fans always like to give opinions on why DU men’s basketball seems to underperform in hoops. Now, we have insight into how coaches in the Summit League view the DU basketball coaching job according to Jeff Goodman’s Stadium. In fact, DU only trails the North Dakota State Bison. And coaches rank Denver as one of the top jobs in the Summit League based on budget, recruiting base, facilities, and selling pros. Aside from Omaha, Denver’s urban location is seen as an advantage in the largely rural Summit League. Plus, it is easier and cheaper to schedule opponents to play the Pioneers based on transportation and logistics.
But the picture is not all positive. Some of the negatives cited in the survey include: “They don’t really care about basketball there. The arena always seems empty. It’s a hockey school, and academics also make it difficult.” And, many of us have heard these same objections from fans as well.
This only confirms what many of us have argued, that Denver should be a consistent challenger for the Summit League title. But, DU’s history shows inconsistency under a host of head coaches with last season being the second worst in DI program history after two .500 seasons under head coach Rodney Billups.
SEASON WINS LOSSES % PF PA COACH
We will be issuing our annual basketball season preview in several weeks. With a very young team and a difficult non-conference schedule, Denver basketball is facing another challenging season. We will identify specific indicators to track during the season to measure what success looks like – this season must be measured by more than wins and losses even if they defy the apparent odds and win a whole bunch of games.
While Rodney Billups is not responsible for the overall performance of men’s basketball over the past 19 years, it is clear that Denver fans need a reason to watch college basketball – and, ultimately, wins are what drive support in a large metropolitan market with numerous entertainment options. The coaches survey shows us that the University of Denver has a number of advantages as a mid-major in a large market. Denver must begin to leverage these advantages and build a foundation for consistent future success which will allow them to consistently compete for conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances.