College basketball is set to begin a month from now, November 25th, and DU men’s basketball finds themselves ranked 8th out of 9 teams in the Summit League preseason poll. This is a familiar spot for Denver, picked 9th and finishing 8th in the nine-team Summit League last season.
Denver has a number of returning faces with Roscoe Eastmond, Jase Townsend, Taelyr Gaitlin, Tristan Green, Javonni Bickham, and up-and-coming big man Robert Jones who could spoil the poll if they play to their potential. Two interesting additions to DU are Colorado transfer 6’10” Frank Ryder who should strengthen the post depth and another back-court scorer in 6’4″ shooting guard Eric Moenkhaus.
Denver finished 7-24 last season and 3/13 in the Summit League and has gone 14-32 in conference play over the last three years. DU’s Jase Townsend (16.9 ppg/5.3 rpg/2.2 apg), a junior, was selected to the Summit League Second Team in the poll. Denver has not released their final schedule yet but we expect fewer non-conference games and home-home schedules which will cut travel in half (see details here).
As is usually the case, perennial league power South Dakota sits at the top of the poll followed by an improving Oral Roberts team. League newcomer, UMKC, was slotted 7th in the Poll. Only perennial bottomfeeder Western Illinois was pegged below DU.
Top photo courtesy of Denver Athletics