Men’s Basketball Picked to Finish 9th in Coaches Poll

Over the last several years, writing about Denver men’s basketball has been a difficult exercise. It is an equally tough story to read about and follow a team with a mountain of issues and a steep grade to climb. Especially, after coming off a brutal 2-19 season, the firing a head coach Rodney Billups, 7 of their top 10 players (minutes-played) departing the program, and losing 61.9 points per game due to transfer and graduation. The Pioneers come into the 2021 season with 15.0 points per game returning from their top 10 players along with five freshmen and four experienced transfers playing for a new head coach, Jeff Wulbrun.

Conference coaches see little hope for this season’s version of Rocky Mountain Hoosiers, placing Denver only above former D3 conference mate St. Thomas. If you didn’t know better, you would say the situation is bleak at University & Evans.

But, hope springs eternal – be it a new barber, second wife or a lotto ticket.

New head coach Jeff Wulrun told the Denver PostI’d love to be in the conversation for most-improved program in the country this year. If that were to happen, then we’ve done our job in terms of establishing and implementing components which are necessary implements to having a championship-level program. I don’t think I’ve used the word ‘rebuild’ once since I’ve been here.

The team went through a 2-day program called The Program to ‘reset’ the downtrodden program.

In the same Post article, K.J. Hunt, a junior transfer from Morehead State, stated his goal, “To be in the (NCAA) Tournament this coming season,” Hunt replied. “They (coaches) want to change this program around.”

This season?

This coming season. Yes, sir.”

In a one-bid Summit League? Tough ask.

It is. Most definitely,” Hunt said. With that, he grinned. A survivor’s grin. “But it’s not impossible. At all.”

As for us at LetsGoDU, we’ll gladly take “most improved team in the country.”

We will be issuing our annual basketball season preview in several weeks, prior to tipoff on November 9th against Regis.

Top photo of head coach Jeff Wulbrun courtesy of Denver Athletics

9 thoughts on “Men’s Basketball Picked to Finish 9th in Coaches Poll”

  1. K.J. Hunt is immediately my favorite player. For now. I just wish Townsand and Jones had stayed. Dunker agrees. I want to be mentioned as one of the country’s most improved teams. Coach knows what he’s doing, but we can’t expect him to be another Pitino. Someplace around a .500 season would be great. A bonus would be a 3-5 place finish in the Summit.

  2. .500 would be a miracle, coming off a 2-19 season and a roster that more or less scattered off to the four winds, as of Rodney Billups’ firing….

    Just show any improvement from 2-19 and I’l be happy after year one. Culture change takes some time…

    1. Well said Swami, this will take time but the program is immediately in a better spot. Others in the athletic dept have absolutely said the culture is already night and day difference from what they saw previous seasons

  3. I think asking for 0.500 is a bit optimistic. Just win a few more games and be generally competitive, especially in conference play. I’d say best realistic case scenario is 0.500 in year 3.

  4. I made a comment before last year’s season I think, and I’ll make a similar comment: I just want to see a squad that competes hard, is good fundamentally, has some fun out there, and gives the fans a reason to show up. I don’t even care about wins and losses at this point.

    The last few years have been dreadful, so let’s all hope and pray there is tangible improvement on the horizon.

  5. Hi all, we had a great interview with Coach Wulbrun that aired on the October 10th Reaching the Summit: College Basketball Podcast. Coach seems really high on KJ Hunt and the two freshmen guards Tevin Smith and Coban Porter. Was a great interview and all three of us took away from the interview that his hire puts DU in the best position we have seen them in years. Can be found wherever you get podcasts or at

    Website also has all sorts of Summit League articles. Nothing like what you can get on the letsgodu website from a DU perspective but if you are looking for other Summit basketball insight.

  6. We have a DU Journalism grad student writing hoops for us this season. He has been sick but hopes t get something up this weekend.

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