The Denver men’s basketball roster continues to churn, almost daily.
Denver recently added new point guard Jordan Johnson (11.7 pts, 43.6% FG), a JUCO transfer from Hinds Community College. We reported on the additions of forward Mikey Henn (Portland) and shooting guards Payton Moore (Rice) and Kevin Hunt, Jr. (Moorehead State). Denver also added guard freshman Coban Porter, younger brother of Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. Current DU point guard Tealyr Gatlin withdrew his name from the transfer portal and will remain on the roster.
Up until five days ago, only Denver players Jase Townsend, Robert Jones, and Sam Hines, Jr. had found new homes via the transfer portal. Now, four additional players from last season’s 2-19 team entered their names in the portal. Three former JUCO transfers, Eric Moenkhause, Khalil Johnson, and Kobey Lam, all entered the portal. Part-time starting point guard Roscoe Eastmond joined them as well.
After three weeks of spring practice, both players and staff have had a chance to evaluate each other and, no surprise, there was not an ideal fit between some returning players and the new staff. The departures are not unexpected, especially with the need to turn around a culture mired in losing basketball games.
Moenkhaus and Eastmond were relative surprises even though their overall production was low. Moenkhaus averaged 5.6 points and shot a nifty 48.1% from the field with 1.3 rebounds and shot 43.5% from 3-point range in limited action. Eastmond was an undersized guard who scored 3.6 points, shot 36.5% from the field, and 25.8% from beyond the arc. He was second on the team in steals with 18.
These new player exits leave Denver with five remaining open spots. During an interview between athletic director Karlton Creech and Jeff Wulbrun (below), there were ‘hints’ of new recruits on the way to bolster the Denver roster.
DU is thin at the front line with only Tristan Green, Mikey Henn, and JaVonni Bickham and will need to add some size and athleticism along with reliable low post scoring and defense.
The point guard slot includes Taelyr Gatlin and Jordan Johnson. Shooting guards include Drake Muller, freshman Coban Porter, and newcomers Payton Moore and Kevin Hunt, Jr.
The rebuilding Pioneers will be unsurprisingly starved for points unless they can find some proven scorers and improve overall team defense on a squad that gave up nearly 80 points per game this past season.
Top photo courtesy of Denver Athletics