Category Archives: Men’s Basketball

More Denver Men’s Basketball Players Hit the Transfer Portal

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. Continue reading More Denver Men’s Basketball Players Hit the Transfer Portal

DU Men’s Basketball Staff & Roster Start to Take Shape

Early moves by new men’s basketball head coach Jeff Wulbrun give us insight into his plans to rebuild Denver hoops. His approach starts with familiarity in his selection of young, proven assistants who have worked together on turn-around staffs at Nevada as well as Cal State Fullerton and the University of Alabama Birmingham. By bringing in familiar assistants, Wulbrun avoids a lengthy introductory period while rebuilding the program. Together for only three weeks, this Denver staff is late to the party for many of the transfer portal targets while most of the high-end school recruiting is already done for the 2021-22 season. That leaves the coaches with limited options and a narrow path to follow. However, the staff has made some interesting pick-ups in a short amount of time in an effort to put a competitive team on the floor in their first season. Continue reading DU Men’s Basketball Staff & Roster Start to Take Shape

Denver Men’s Basketball Hit Hard by Portal Exits

How can it possibly get worse for a 2-19 basketball team? New coach Jeff Wulbrun faces an uphill battle with DU starters being plucked from the hoops transfer portal. So far, DU’s three top scorers from this past season have left the program and two more players are in the portal with the intention to transfer. Continue reading Denver Men’s Basketball Hit Hard by Portal Exits

Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: Jeff Wulbrun Hire Exceeds Expectations

Newly-hired Denver men’s basketball coach Jeff Wulbrun wasn’t shy in his first Zoom press conference.  He set a serious bar for himself and for his program:

“We want to be the most improved team in the country next year.”

Wow! I’ll be honest –  I didn’t expect this.

Perhaps, neither did you. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: Jeff Wulbrun Hire Exceeds Expectations

DU Hires Former Stanford Assistant Jeff Wulbrun as Next Men’s Hoops Head Coach

The University of Denver has hired veteran assistant coach Jeff Wulbrun from Stanford to guide the Denver Pioneer basketball program. We will have more on this breaking news after we attend Wulbrun’s press conference this afternoon at 2:00 pm MT. Our initial reaction to the hire is extremely positive as Wulbrun appears to have a breadth of experience and may provide a much-needed steady hand to a program in flux.

Continue reading DU Hires Former Stanford Assistant Jeff Wulbrun as Next Men’s Hoops Head Coach

Exploding Transfer Portal has Far-Reaching Impacts

At last count (yesterday), 881 men’s basketball players are in the transfer portal with well over 1,000 expected in the near term. After the University of Denver did not renew former head coach Rodney Billups’ contract, four Pioneers entered the portal, including Jase Townsend, Robert Jones, Sam Hines, Jr., and Taelyr Gatlin. About 60% of those who entered the portal came from the Power Five and are leaving for a variety of reasons.  Under the current rules in light of COVID and additional eligibility, student-athletes have been granted one-time transfer waivers. In fact, a number of NCAA Tournament teams had players on the court who were simultaneously playing for their team while listed in the transfer portal.

You can track the exits up to the minute here.

Continue reading Exploding Transfer Portal has Far-Reaching Impacts

Cinderella Runs in March Madness Fuel Money, Publicity for Schools

Tiny #14 seed Abiline Christian University defeated #3 seed Texas in the first round of the NCAA tournament. And the value of that win to the tiny southwestern university? “So far we are close to $120 million-plus and we really haven’t had time to tally up the totals,” said university president Dr. Phil Schubert to Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. For context, that is approximately four times the budget of DU athletics in one year. Continue reading Cinderella Runs in March Madness Fuel Money, Publicity for Schools

AD Creech Needs a Bold, Visionary Hoops Coach for DU

For die-hard Denver Pioneer fans, this week has been excruciating.  Our sub-.500 hockey team did not get a bid to the NCAA Tournament and it’s also frustrating to watch basketball’s March Madness as Oral Roberts from the Summit League defeats both Ohio State and Florida, North Texas bounces Purdue and little Loyola-Chicago defeats #1 seed Illinois.  It is all so distant – and disappointing. In one example, hockey, you have confidence that they will get back to the NCAA tournament soon. As for DU basketball, the answer feels more like never, especially to a long-suffering fan base. Continue reading AD Creech Needs a Bold, Visionary Hoops Coach for DU

Anatomy of a Summit League Men’s Basketball Coach

You might be surprised that one Summit League coach, Dave Richman from North Dakota State, had no prior head coach experience before joining the Bison. He worked his way up to an assistant role with his alma mater before getting the job. The highest level of head coaching experience by two other current Summit League coaches was high school. Each of the three had extensive experience as assistants, while two Summit League coaches had led DI programs in the past. One, Rob Jeter from  Western Illinois, has even made two NCAA D1 Tournament appearances as head coach for UW-Milwaukee. UMKC’s Billy Donlon won 20+ games his last three seasons at Wright State in Dayton, Ohio  Paul Sather (North Dakota), Darren Hanson (Omaha) and Todd Lee (South Dakota) came from the NCAA D2 ranks. The common thread for Summit League coaches is broad coaching experience working for a variety of distinguished head coaches and a significant level of success before their current assignment.

Continue reading Anatomy of a Summit League Men’s Basketball Coach

DU Men’s Hoops Coach Criteria May Attract Division 2 Candidates

While doing research on head coach candidates for the University of Denver men’s basketball team, there are a number of promising assistant coaches in the collegiate ranks but, based on recent experience, Denver would be unlikely to select a candidate without direct head coaching experience. While many of the highly respected DI assistant coaches are well-known for their recruiting skills, they may not possess in-game coaching skills.  Finally, most Power-5 assistants make well over DU’s salary guidelines, so we  focused on successful NCAA D2 coaches. Continue reading DU Men’s Hoops Coach Criteria May Attract Division 2 Candidates