Summit League Coaches Rank DU Men’s Hoops #2 – Why Does DU fall Short?

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

2000-01 10 18 .357 1,888 1,978 Marty Fletcher
2001-02 8 20 .286 1,820 1,958 Terry Carroll
2002-03 17 15 .531 2,268 2,210 Terry Carroll
2003-04 14 13 .519 1,877 1,879 Terry Carroll
2004-05 20 11 .645 2,266 2,076 Terry Carroll
2005-06 16 15 .533 2,060 2,045 Terry Carroll
2006-07 4 25 .138 1,855 2,194 Terry Carroll
2007-08 11 19 .367 1,698 1,811 Joe Scott
2008-09 15 16 .484 1,884 1,872 Joe Scott
2009-10 19 13 .484 2,079 2,012 Joe Scott
2010-11 13 17 .433 1,800 1,817 Joe Scott
2011-12 22 9 .710 2,112 1,876 Joe Scott
2012-13 22 10 .688 2,076 1,790 Joe Scott
2013-14 16 15 .516 2,044 1,999 Joe Scott
2014-15 12 18 .400 1,865 1,890 Joe Scott
2015-16 16 15 .516 2,021 2,024 Joe Scott
2016-17 16 14 .533 2,275 2,239 Rodney Billups
2017-18 15 15 .500 2,192 2,189 Rodney Billups
2018-19 8 22 .266 2,086 2,319 Rodney Billups

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.

2 thoughts on “Summit League Coaches Rank DU Men’s Hoops #2 – Why Does DU fall Short?”

  1. The advantages and disadvantages of DU basketball are pretty well known by now, and these coaches around the Summit certainly know them. The ONLY way DU will ever be relevant in this sport is to win consistently and make it to the NCAA tournament. DU was close in 2013, but hasn’t been close since then. Rodney will have a very young team this year, and I think he’s got this season and perhaps next season to show the kind of progress that will get him extended. I think DU is doing everything it can to help Rodney get there and I wish him success.

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