Category Archives: Men’s Basketball

Fort Wayne Kisses DU Goodbye 94-81

Photo: Courtesy of Georgia Peachy

Fort Wayne (17-10, 9-3) played Denver (7-19, 2-10) Valentines night and it was the same old story. In the first half, Denver allowed the Mastadons to shoot 48.5% from the field and gave up  10 3-point shots (50%) to give the visitors a commanding 15 point lead at the break, 45-30.

The second half, the teams traded buckets but it was too late for the Pioneers who could never whittle the deficit below 11 points. Continue reading Fort Wayne Kisses DU Goodbye 94-81

The Force Fails Denver in Tulsa 78-65

Photo: Courtesy to Tyler Maun Twitter

It was Star Wars night at ORU (9-17, 5-6). and most people who follow this year’s Pioneer basketball team had the same thought as expressed in the classic movie series – “I have a bad feeling about this”.

And, they were right.

The Pioneers had a terrible first half with only 8 field goals (28.6%), 4 three’s and 2 free throws. The final 20 minutes were a formality as ORU coasted to a double digit win. Continue reading The Force Fails Denver in Tulsa 78-65

South Dakota State Races Past Denver, 92-82

It was déjà vu all over again. An opposing team shoots over 50% (55.6%) from the field, DU shoots around 40% (42.4%) or less and, as usual,  the visitors make over 40% of their 3-point shots (48.3%) with DU (7-16) falling by double digits. Final score – South Dakota State 92, Denver 82.

The Pioneers tried to slow and control the pace in the first half, often waiting to shoot until the final 10 seconds of the shot clock. But torrid shooting by the Jackrabbits gave SDSU a 42-31 advantage at halftime.  Continue reading South Dakota State Races Past Denver, 92-82

Pioneers Shoot Down ORU Golden Eagles for Second Summit League win in a row

The University of Denver Pioneer Men’s Basketball Team won its second Summit League game in a row, thumping the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles, 74-58 at Magness Arena on Sunday, January 20th.  

The Pioneers played another solid defensive game, holding the Golden Eagles to 34% shooting and making a crucial halftime double-team defensive adjustment to stop ORU’s hot-shooting freshman Kevin Obanor, who had torched the Pioneers for 15 first half points. Obanor had just two points in the second half, which opened the door for DU to cruise to a 40-point second half behind a balanced 53% shooting performance of its own.

Senior Joe Rosga hit his first five shots to set the tone for DU, finishing with a game-high 21 points.  DU also got 13 points off the bench from freshman David Nzekwesi, who had his best all around game for DU, chipping in with four rebounds and two steals in his 24 minutes, playing in front of his injured (ankle) older brother, Emmanuel, who is a junior star for ORU (8-14). 

Finally, DU guard Ade Murkey, after a terrible first half where he went scoreless and had four turnovers, came alive in the second half, scoring all 11 of his points and forcing the proverbial dagger into the Golden Eagles with a critical, driving three-point play with 6:35 left that pushed the Denver lead to 11 points, which seemed to break ORU’s spirit  (see the play here).

Denver senior Ronnie Harrell, Jr. sat out today’s game with a minor strained knee ligament. He is expected back in the lineup soon, as well as Joe Lanzi, who sat out his second game with a broken finger.

The Pioneers started the game with a 10-0 opening lead on ORU but the Golden Eagles trailed the Pioneers by a bucket at halftime, 34-32.

The Pioneers (7-14) now face a tough road trip to Fort Wayne, Ind. to face the Summit League’s third-place Ft. Wayne Mastodons (12-9) on Saturday, January 26th.

For Denver Men’s Hoops, it starts and ends with defense

It is clear by now that the DU coaching staff and players know what the problems is – it is defense. And the stats are there for all to see. Over the past 10 games, Denver (5-13, 0-4 Summit League) has allowed 50.2% shooting from the field, 47.2% from 3-point range and 91 points per game. Denver is 294th/350 in the nation in points allowed and to make matters worse, they are 344th in turnovers.

The coaching staff has tried every floor combination possible with the same result. And, before we point fingers at the coaching staff, we all saw this roster before the season started and believed that they had the potential to be outstanding.

The issue: These Denver players are not comfortable playing fast – they are rushing on offense but, more importantly, this harried approach is bleeding over to their defense. 

Continue reading For Denver Men’s Hoops, it starts and ends with defense

North Dakota Schools DU at Magness Arena, 80-59

Photo: Courtesy of Georgia Peachy. 

Head Coach Rodney Billups said, “It was a piss poor effort.” He was right.

The day started with a Tory Stewart Miller migraine that kept him on the bench. But, the real mental anguish was experienced by the witnesses to this afternoon contest. A couple of stats say it all. Steals 11-0. Turnovers 18-8. Three-point field goals 15 to 7. 41% shooting to 48% for the visitors. Denver, now 5-13, was beaten in every way possible Saturday afternoon from start to finish.

Denver never led in this one. Continue reading North Dakota Schools DU at Magness Arena, 80-59

Denver Falls to Coyotes in Final Minute, 71-70

Photo: Courtesy of Jason Evans

Denver (5-12, 0-3) fell to a depleted South Dakota squad at Magness Arena Wednesday night. DU led nearly every statistical category such as shooting percentage, free throws and rebounding. Unfortunately, it was hot 3-point shooting that propelled the visitors past Denver as the Coyotes sunk 12 for 23 attempts from downtown (52%). The Pioneers canned 3 of 10 shots from the arc but could not keep pace with the torrid outside shooting by the visitors. However, unlike many games this season, Denver’s defense kept the Pios in the game by pressuring the Coyotes and running a more deliberate offense that shot a solid 50% for the game. Continue reading Denver Falls to Coyotes in Final Minute, 71-70

DU Hoops Meltdown in Western Illinois Loss, 78-60

Photo: Courtesy of

No way to sugar coat this game – it was an embarrassment. Again, it was porous defense on full display that led to the pre-New Years eve collapse.  The Pioneers (5-11, 0-2) had high hopes heading into conference play but their play has sunk to a low level that has rarely been seen in DU’s relatively brief D1 basketball history. Western Illinois, ranked #275 in KenPom rankings, thoroughly outplayed the Pioneers Sunday afternoon.

Continue reading DU Hoops Meltdown in Western Illinois Loss, 78-60

Hot Shooting Omaha Sinks DU, 91-84

Photo: Courtesy of Omaha Basketball Twitter

Omaha (7-7, 1-0) shot 54.0% from the field and 47.8%  from three- point-land (on 11 of 23 shooting) to handily defeat Denver (5-10, 0-1), 91 to 84, to open Summit League play.

The first five minutes were even at Omaha’s Baxter Arena. Then, a hot shooting Joe Rosga reeled off seven points in the middle of the frame to build a 19-11 Pioneer advantage at 11:24. From there on, poor interior defense and five 3-point buckets allowed the Mavs back into the contest. A Zach Jackson layup knotted the game 28-28 at 4:53. The teams traded points until Omaha’s Mitch Hahn hit a 3-point shot and a layup to give Omaha a 3-point lead with two minutes to go. A KJ Robinson bucket-and-one gave the Mavs a 4-point lead heading into the break, 41-37. Denver’s defense was poor, especially in the second half of the period, allowing clean 3-point looks and easy inside buckets. Omaha’s 6 first half turnovers kept Denver in the contest. Continue reading Hot Shooting Omaha Sinks DU, 91-84

Denver Men’s Hoops still control own destiny in Summit League

Denver lost to Gonzaga by 61 points. Denver lost two-thirds of their non-conference games – and DU is being outscored by nearly 10 points per game.

And…it means nothing.

Yes, we said it. All hope is not lost for DU men’s basketball. In fact, Denver’s primary goals for this season are still intact and in clear view.  Continue reading Denver Men’s Hoops still control own destiny in Summit League