Category Archives: Men’s Basketball

Pioneer men picked to finish 5th in Summit hoops

Photo: Photo courtesy of the Summit League. South Dakota State University is tabbed as the league favorite to repeat under pre-season Summit League Player of the Year Mike Daum.

Here we are, just weeks before the start of basketball season under second year head coach Rodney Billups.

Last week, the Summit League held their annual basketball media Day. DU men’s coach Rodney Billups and women’s coach Jim Turgeon were on the conference call and fielded questions. The 20 minute audio from the teleconference link is shown below.

Audio – Rodney Billups & Jim Turgeon

Denver was selected to finish 5th in the league wide poll. Continue reading Pioneer men picked to finish 5th in Summit hoops

DU Men’s Hoops lands another Twin Cities star

Photo: Courtesy of MN Basketball Hub

The University of Denver men’s basketball program landed another key recruit for the 2018-2019 season: JaVonni Bickham from Minneapolis’ Minnehaha Academy. Bickham announced his intention to attend the University of Denver next fall Wednesday evening. He will be joining DU’s other Twin Cities products Joe Rosga and Ade Murkey. Continue reading DU Men’s Hoops lands another Twin Cities star

Santa Margarita star narrows search, includes Denver

Photo courtesy of Gamepoint basketball @GamepointNation

High school basketball star, Jordan Guest (6’7” C, PF), from Santa Margarita, California has narrowed his college choice to three universities. Denver is included in the mix along with Boston University and Utah State. ESPN has the 6’7″ Jordan as a 3-star recruit. He plays AAU basketball for Gamepoint and Santa Margarita High School.

We featured Guest in our  Big Shot Series on 2018 incoming players who could transform Denver basketball under Coach Billups and his staff. Guest would provide much-needed size and athleticism to the Pioneer squad on both ends of the floor. According to Guest’s twitter account, he has made visits to all three schools and appears ready to make a decision. Also, he essentially signaled other college recruiters to back off the recruiting process.

Three-star recruits are always highly sought after but University of Denver basketball is on the upswing and offers the advantage of an up-tempo playing style, veteran coaching staff, excellent facilities, superior location and strong academics. All DU’s current roster are 2-star recruits.

Rick Pitino (finally) takes a fall

Photo: Courtesy of USA Today

We’ve published a number of articles about him. It was just a matter of time. But it took the FBI to finally end the run of ‘Slick Rick’ Pitino, the head basketball coach at Louisville.

But the scandal goes much deeper to include multiple schools, assistant coaches, AAU coaches, advisors, players’ families and Adidas. Nike is likely under investigation as well. The source of the scandal? Shoe money used to motivate players to select the ‘right school’.

Still, one had to laugh when college basketball commentators and analysts voiced ‘surprise’ at the unfolding events which are likely to get much more lurid as the FBI exercises wiretaps, provides immunity, and files charges against a growing group of ‘facilitators’. Continue reading Rick Pitino (finally) takes a fall

Denver Men’s Hoops lands ‘Big Shot’ Jase Townsend

Photo: Courtesy of The Dallas News. Jase Townsend (#3) drives to the hoop.

September 9th through November 5th, 2017 is a designated recruiting period for NCAA basketball. Many high school seniors are making their college decisions during this period, ahead of their final season of high school basketball. And the University of Denver just got a big commitment. Continue reading Denver Men’s Hoops lands ‘Big Shot’ Jase Townsend

Another Fighting Hawk Visits the Grand Forks pokey

According to Arrest Nation another Fighting Hawk found a perch in the Grand Forks Hoosegow.

North Dakota basketball player Marlon Dewann Stewart, 20, was booked into the Grand Forks County Correctional Center at about 1:30 a.m. this past Sunday by UND police on DUI charges. He bonded out Sunday morning, according to corrections officers.

Earlier this summer, UND athletics achieved a historic 635 days without an arrest until June 21st when fellow basketball player Geno Crandall was also arrested for DUI. Both players are still shown on the drinking  Fighting Hawks roster.

Marlon is a Creighton transfer but he’s quickly figured out the local culture.

DU Men’s Hoops finalizes challenging 2017-18 schedule

Denver men’s hoops announced their schedule today and it promises some big challenges for the Pioneers as Rodney Billups moves into year two of his tenure as head coach. The team has scheduled 28 games, fewer than normal due to IUPUI’s hasty exit from the Summit League.

The early highlights include a trip to Boulder to renew the DU-CU basketball rivalry. The 3-game Florida Gulf Coast Shootout in Fort Meyers against FGCU, St. Francis, and Navy over three days will give DU fans a quick read on this year’s squad. Then, there will be some great regional action with a pair of games at Magness Arena against Air Force and Wyoming along with an always challenging bus trip to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Then, in mid-December, the Pioneers board a quick flight to Palo Alto to take on the Pac-12’s Stanford Cardinal.

Denver’s first Summit League game is against a tough South Dakota team in Vermillion, S.D. on 12/30/17. The Pioneers have 5 of their first 6 games on the road so Denver will have to use their non-conference schedule to jell and gain confidence. League play ends with 4 out of 5 games at Magness arena.

The 2017-2018 hoops schedule looks like this:

Date Opponent / Event Arena Time / Result Media
11/12/17 vs.UC Irvine UC Irvine Denver, Colo. 4:00 p.m. MT MORE
11/14/17 atColorado Colorado Boulder, Colo. TBA MORE
11/16/17 vs.Johnson & Wales Johnson & Wales Denver, Colo. 5:00 p.m. MT MORE
Homewood Suites FGCU Shootout
11/24/17 atFlorida Gulf Coast Florida Gulf Coast Fort Myers, Fla. 5:00 p.m. MT MORE
11/25/17 vs.St. Francis Brooklyn St. Francis Brooklyn Fort Myers, Fla. 2:00 p.m. MT MORE
11/26/17 vs.Navy Navy Fort Myers, Fla. 10:00 a.m. MT MORE
11/29/17 vs.Wyoming Wyoming Denver, Colo. 7:00 p.m. MT MORE
12/02/17 vs.Air Force Air Force Denver, Colo. 1:00 p.m. MT MORE
12/05/17 vs.San Jose State San Jose State Denver, Colo. 7:00 p.m. MT MORE
12/09/17 vs.USC Upstate USC Upstate Denver, Colo. 1:00 p.m. MT MORE
12/13/17 atNorthern Colorado Northern Colorado Greeley, Colo. 7:00 p.m. MT MORE
12/15/17 atStanford Stanford Palo Alto, Calif. TBA MORE
12/18/17 atMontana State Montana State Bozeman, Mont. 7:00 p.m. MT MORE
12/28/17 vs.Colorado Mesa Colorado Mesa Denver, Colo. 7:00 p.m. MT MORE
12/30/17 atSouth Dakota South Dakota * Vermillion, S.D. TBA MORE
01/06/18 vs.Fort Wayne Fort Wayne * Denver, Colo. 1:00 p.m. MT MORE
01/11/18 atNorth Dakota State North Dakota State * Fargo, N.D. 6:00 p.m. MT MORE
01/13/18 atSouth Dakota St. South Dakota St. * Brookings, S.D. 1:00 p.m. MT MORE
01/18/18 atOmaha Omaha * Omaha, Neb. 6:30 p.m. MT MORE
01/20/18 atOral Roberts Oral Roberts * Tulsa, Okla. 6:00 p.m. MT MORE
01/25/18 vs.Western Illinois Western Illinois * Denver, Colo. 7:00 p.m. MT MORE
01/27/18 vs.South Dakota South Dakota * Denver, Colo. 4:00 p.m. MT MORE
02/03/18 atFort Wayne Fort Wayne * Fort Wayne, Ind. 12:00 p.m. MT MORE
02/08/18 vs.South Dakota St. South Dakota St. * Denver, Colo. 7:00 p.m. MT MORE
02/10/18 vs.North Dakota State North Dakota State * Denver, Colo. 1:00 p.m. MT MORE
02/14/18 vs.Oral Roberts Oral Roberts * Denver, Colo. 7:00 p.m. MT MORE
02/18/18 vs.Omaha Omaha * Denver, Colo. 1:00 p.m. MT MORE
02/24/18 atWestern Illinois Western Illinois * Macomb, Ill. TBA MOR

The 6 week winter break starts mid-November and classes resume January 3rd. During that time, five games will be played at Magness Arena (Wyoming, Air Force, San Jose State, USC Upstate and Mesa State) and six games on the road.

As usual, the Summit League conference championships will be held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

Another Twin City hoops prospect could mean big things for DU

Photo: JaVonni Bickham, #42, celebrating the 2A Minnesota State championship. Photo – Courtesy of the Pioneer Press

The number 42 is all about transformation – think Jackie Robinson going to the Dodgers. To a lesser degree, there is a #42 out of Minneapolis that could help propel the ongoing transformation of Denver basketball forward under the guidance of Rodney Billups and his coaches Ricardo Patton, Dan Ficke, and Steve Snell.

Denver continues to draw players from the Twin Cities and JaVonni Bickham, who proudly wears number 42,  could continue that trend if he accepts Denver’s offer to join the Pioneers.  Continue reading Another Twin City hoops prospect could mean big things for DU

Puck Swami: DU Athletic leadership change offers new Vice Chancellor possibilities

Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 11.01.04 PM(Photo Credits: University of Denver (Grahame, Peck), Swarthmore College (Akotaobi), Tulane University (Macneill), St. Cloud St. University (Weems), Blacktop Colorado (Willis)

We’ve now had a few days to process the major change in athletic leadership coming our way as DU fans: DU Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes announced her retirement at the end of the 2017/18 school year.  While longtime DU Deputy Athletic Director Ron Grahame is taking over the athletic director’s day-to-day responsibilities immediately, DU also announced that a nationwide search would take place this year to ultimately fill the vice-chancellor’s position that Peg has filled so well for the last nearly 15 years. Continue reading Puck Swami: DU Athletic leadership change offers new Vice Chancellor possibilities