Photo:Courtesy of Jason Evans. DU’s Taelyr Gatlin drives on Jackson State’s Jayveouus McKinnis
The Denver Pioneers (4-5, 0-0) returned to Magness Arena Tuesday night to play the Jackson State Tigers (1-8, 0-0). DU overcame 27 turnovers resulting in 28 points for Jackson State. Denver countered the miscues with 54.3% shooting from the field and 46.2% from downtown (6-13) to cement the win. Jackson state shot a miserable 39.4% from the field and were as ice cold as the air temperature in Magness Arena on 2-24 shooting from beyond the arc. Continue reading Denver Overcomes Turnovers and Jackson State in 67-58 Win→
Photo: Courtesy of USA Today. Stephen F. Austin shocks #1 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium last week
Every season we see it – the big upset. #1 Duke upset by Stephen F. Austin, Kentucky falls to Evansville, and the University of Kansas taken into overtime by Dayton. But the reality is that most of the games are essentially predetermined before the tip-off. This is especially true if you are a lower mid-major program, like DU, taking on a Power-5 program or playing a ‘near Power 5’ program from the Big East, Atlantic 10, or American Conference. Continue reading Non-Conference Play has not been Kind to DU or the Summit League→
DENVER –Last year in Provo, Utah, the Utah Valley Wolverines smashed the Denver Pioneers by 23 points on the way to a blistering 25-10 season. This year, though, the return game was in Denver and the Pioneers were ready for the Wolverines, as DU rode sophomore Joseph Lanzi’s 20-point career-high performance to a 74-62 home opening victory at Magness Arena in a game that wasn’t as close as the 12-point margin of victory.
The Pioneers used platoons of players to stay fresh and won the bench point battle, 32-14, outscored UVU 43-34 in the paint, and went 7-for-10 in clutch three-point shooting (all in the second half) to pull away for a big home opening win at Magness Arena.
“I liked our ability to stay connected,” said DU coach Rodney Billupsafter the game. “Our bench was energetic for the entire 40 minutes and that’s what we need to be good.”
DU improved to 1-1 on the young season while Utah Valley fell to 1-1.
Lanzi went 8-for-9 from the field, keying the Pioneer win, particularly in the second half, when DU needed some separation from the more experienced Wolverines. The Alabama native was a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the 3 point arc, scoring three consecutive treys in the second half to break open a close game and fuel DU’s biggest rally of the day, an 11-point run in the second half that sealed the victory. Sophomore Jase Townsend chipped in 18 points and five rebounds and senior, Ade Murkey led the Pioneers on the glass with six rebounds to go along with three assists and nine points.
“When we ran our sets, we got open looks,” said Lanzi of DU’s 48% shooting performance. “My teammates were able to find me in transition. We also made some defensive stops, and when we put those [two] together, it helped us win.”
The Wolverines were led by Brandon Averette who had a team-high 17 points.
Utah Valley came out strong and was able to hold the lead through the opening 10 minutes of play. Denver took over with 10:32 remaining in the half following a layup from David Nzekwesi. With two deadlocked scores at 22 and 26, the Pioneers used a 6-0 run to take a 32-26 lead. Consecutive layups from DU and a free throw as time expired, sent Denver into halftime holding a 39-30 advantage.
Utah Valley used six points early in the second half to cut the deficit to 41-37 and continued the momentum into a 5-0 run to tie things at 43. A Taelyr Gatlin three pointer and a jumper form Murkey helped re-establish the Pios lead at 51-50. Back-to-back triples from Lanzi propelled Denver to a seven point lead at 57-50 before the Crimson and Gold exploded for a 12-4 run to take a 69-55 lead with 2:44 remaining, driving them to a 74-62 victory.
The Pios will return to action in Logan, Utah on Tuesday to face their biggest test of the season so far against no. 19 Utah State (7 PM MT).
Thanks to Jason Evans for the photos and quotes in this story
With major conferences adding more conference games (ACC, BIG 10, Pac-12) to their schedule this season as well as regularly scheduled conference challenges and holiday tournaments, there is less demand for non-conference games, especially against mid-major programs. Continue reading Fewer Non-Conference Games Squeeze Mid-Majors→
After a last-place finish in the Summit League a year ago, the Pioneers were picked by conference coaches to finish in the cellar once again this season. Not exactly what DU hoops fans want to hear. This season will be a reboot with new assistant coaches, four freshmen, three junior college transfers and just two upperclassmen. Continue reading Denver Men’s Hoops 2019-2020 Season Preview: Reset & Refocus→
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. Continue reading Summit League Coaches Rank DU Men’s Hoops #2 – Why Does DU fall Short?→
DU’s men’s soccer team is a surprising 0-3-1 after the first four games of a brutal six-game road stretch. LetsGoDU will be covering Denver soccer live in Palo Alto and Berkeley, California as Denver finishes up their long road trip against Stanford and Cal this weekend before returning home. Goal scoring has been this team’s Achilles heal. They could use the graduated Andre Shinyashiki, just named MLS Player of the Week. DU is the Summit league coaches pre-season favorite to win the conference with second place Omaha (0-3-1) currently holding the same record as the Pioneers.
Looking forward to watching DU soccer, volleyball, hockey on TV this fall? Well, unfortunately, DU athletics are now off the air along with the rest of Altitude TV’s programming in its 10 state region if you have Comcast/Xfinity, DISHTV or Direct TV. And, Altitude TV claims that streaming content is not a feasible, economic option to do an ‘end run’ around the Big Three.
Altitude is also the home network for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, MLS’ Colorado Rapids and NLL’s Colorado Mammoth. Should it last that long, the dispute ratchets up on October 3rd when the Colorado Avalanche are scheduled to return to Altitude’s lineup with their regular season opener and October 5th when DU hockey hits the ice.