Denver (10-8) got off to their best first half of the season and held off a second half charge from Western Illinois (7-8) for a confidence-building 76-69 road victory on Thursday night in Macomb, Illinois. Denver streaked out to a 39-21 first half lead and comfortably fought off a second half push by the Leathernecks for the win. Freshman Thomas Neff and Senior Nate Engesser started the game with three point buckets and the first half rout was on. Duke Douglas, an unexpected hero, was everywhere for DU with 10 points and 6 defensive rebounds. Nate Engesser, getting his first start, led the team with 14 points. It was all 11’s for Marcus Byrd, Bryant Rucker, and super freshman Joe Rosga. The Pioneers bench outscored the Western Illinois bench 28-18. DU’s biggest player, Daniel Amigo was MIA for game -number three for the crimson and gold. Continue reading Pioneer First Half Surge Overwhelms Leathernecks
This basketball game was not for the faint of heart Pioneer basketball fan – 3 for 17 from the 3-point line, 9 of 27 from the field, and trailing by double digits in rebounds – the Pioneers had a brutal first half. The Pios (9-8) dug a big hole against a good team, IPFW (14-3). Despite a second half rally and a brief DU lead, 58-57 with 3 minutes to go, the Pioneers could not hold on for the win. Continue reading Ice Age First Half Gives Mastodons Life, 64-65
When Wednesday night’s game started, the big question was how would DU (9-7) respond coming off a 4-game skid. Were they ready to get back to the basics that led them to a host of early season victories? And, could they offset the inevitable rebound disadvantage? For Oral Roberts (8-9), could they adjust to the loss of their Summit pre-season player of the year, Obi Emegano, who missed the game with a concussion.
DU responded on all counts with a complete team victory tonight, leading ORU nearly the entire game. Late-stage drama occurred in the final 3 minutes of the game as Oral Roberts began to exchange deadly three point shots while DU was nearly flawless at the foul line, narrowing the game to an uncomfortable 1 point margin in the waning seconds. A desperation shot at the buzzer by the Golden Eagles caromed off the rim to give the Pioneers the 3-point win. Continue reading Denver Dodges Late Oral Roberts Bombs for Win 78-75
Illustration – Wikihow
According to NCAA statistics, DU is rated 325th out of 346 teams with a -7 rebound differential versus their opponents. This deficit has become more pronounced over the last four games, all losses, as the rebounding differential has swollen to -12.75.
The Pioneers do not not need to win the rebound battle. However, they need to keep it close. The difference can be overcome by improved shot selection, reduced turnovers, superior free throw percentage and steals. Continue reading Rebounding Differential Spells Trouble
The Pioneers (8-7) ventured to lovely Fargo, North Dakota to face the 11-4 Bison. North Dakota State, predicted to finish second in the Summit League, were undefeated at home and led by Paul Miller (16.5 ppg.) and A.J. Jacobson (14.1 ppg.).
Like the botched kidnapping and ransom in the actual movie Fargo, DU’s matinee unraveled into an ugly mess as the Bison coasted to a 75-49 victory. Continue reading Pioneer Hoops Taken to the Wood Chipper in Fargo
As the holidays come to an end and conference play begins, it is time to seriously discuss the need for a regular holiday basketball tournament in Denver featuring front range D1 basketball teams.
There should be an annual holiday round robin tournament featuring Colorado, CSU, Air Force, & Denver. Depending on the format, Wyoming and Northern Colorado could be included or rotated into the tournament as well. Continue reading No Good Excuses for Denver’s Holiday Tournament Void
DU men’s basketball traveled to Brookings, SD to play the 42nd ranked (NCAA RPI) South Dakota State Jackrabbits on a New Years day tilt. The Jackrabbits entered the contest 11-3 as the Summit League favorite with five players averaging double figures. They were led by three seniors – Diondre Parks (17.6 ppg.), George Marshall (12.9 ppg.), Jake Bittle (11.4) ppg. joined by underclassmen Mike Daum (11.7 ppg.), Reed Tellinghuisen (10.0 ppg.). DU held South Dakota State to their third worst scoring contest of the season, holding these Jackrabbit scorers in check, but a glut of Pioneer turnovers determined the final outcome. Continue reading Turnovers Sink New Year Effort, 68-59
DU finished the second quarter of their basketball season, 3-3. All six games were against non-conference opponents. During that stretch, DU averaged 63 points per game while their opponents scored 65.4, a -2.4 margin. Continue reading 2Q Hoops Report Card Shows Hope & Concern
While the Summit League my be a free-for-all this year, no team has a tougher opening stretch than the Pioneers. DU will get the Summit League preseason poll 1-2-3-4 punch in the first nine days of January. The first two games are on the road, Brookings & Fargo, and the next two games are in Denver. A 2-2 split would be an excellent start to league play. Anything better than that and the Pioneers would have to be considered the biggest league surprise. All in nine days. It won’t take long to get a sense of how well DU matches up against the league’s best.
2015-16 PRESEASON POLL
1. South Dakota State (January 1, 2016 – Brookings, S.D.)
2. North Dakota State (January 3, 2016 – Fargo, N.D.)
3. Oral Roberts (January 6, 2016 – Denver, Colorado)
4. Fort Wayne (January 9, 2016 – Denver, Colorado)
LetsGoDU wishes hoops a great start to the new year.