According to a report from the Washington Post, the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) is leaving the Western Athletic Conference and returning to the Summit League for the 2020-2021 season. The addition of UMKC will bring conference membership to ten schools. The move makes it unclear what will happen with Augustana College – a school considered to be a shoo-in for the Summit League’s tenth opening when they transition to Division I play.
Interestingly, reports cited an ‘invitation’ which was extended by the Summit League to UMKC. According to the Washington Post, “We’re thankful to the WAC and their commitment to Division I excellence. We accepted the invitation to return to the Summit League because, after careful review, we believe it will help us achieve our goals,” UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal said in a statement. Continue reading Rapid Reaction: UMKC Returning to Summit League
DU Women Dominated the Field
While recent season’s showed DU men overshadowing their women counterparts, 2018-2019 was the Year of Women in Athletics at DU. Women’s hoops, led by Jim Turgeon, went 18-14 and won a first round NIT road contest against New Mexico. Women’s golf won the Summit League and went to the NCAA’s. Gymnastics advanced to the NCAA team finals – the first time ever and showed that they have the potential to be the first women’s team at Denver to win a national championship. Liza Kelly directed women’s lacrosse to a 16-4 record and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. Women’s soccer, a long time staple at Denver, went 13-6-2, won the Summit League and went to the NCAA playoffs. Women’s tennis drove their way way to a 17-6 record with a power five schedule, won the Summit League and went to the NCAA’s. Volleyball went 27-3 – undefeated during the Summit League regular season and advanced to the NCAA’s.
What is even more amazing, these women’s teams may be even better next season. Continue reading Five Big Takeaways from 2018-2019
Denver Men’s Basketball.
With perennial national contenders that fill the halls of Ritchie Center, the Denver Athletics program boasts a rich tradition and history of success. And yet, somehow the men’s basketball program has fallen behind and continues to be a puzzle at best. It’s a program that should be able to contend in the Summit League but is showing troubling signs of regression.
Some claim that with DU’s rich hockey tradition, basketball will never prosper at University and Evans, while other DU fans hope basketball never prospers at all, as it may be seen to threaten hockey’s long-standing primacy as DU’s winter flagship sport. Still others, likely the larger crowd, wish for a day when both sports flourish and cheering crowds flock to Magness Arena in support of both programs. Count us in that latter group. Continue reading Denver Athletics’ elephant in the room
The University of Denver has targeted only one day as their primary campaign to drive giving to the University – and today is the day.
Once again, there are a number of great causes you can give to during the University of Denver’s #1Day4DU. And, it is easier than ever this year to navigate your giving options and help DU students.
As usual, we hope part of your gift giving will include Denver Athletics – the most successful division at the University. We also believe Club Sports & Alpine Club provide valuable experiences for students and create lifelong bonds between participants and the University of Denver.
As a reminder, the Denver Athletic Department just completed one of their best years – ever. The Athletic Department is headed for yet another Director’s Cup. But that means Denver must continue to recruit and retain some of the best coaches, staff and athletes in collegiate athletics. And, there is ‘cost-of-attendance’ to retain students who are many times from out of state or even outside the US. So, we believe the option to Invest in the Student Athlete is a great choice this year.
Please take some time today and give. And, of course, GO Pioneers!
Photo: Denver Athletics. Elvin Rodriguez announced his intention to transfer out of the Denver basketball program.
As some of you may know, Denver basketball recently lost three players who have decided to leave the hoops program early – sophomores’ Donoven Carlisle and Elvin Rodriquez along with red-shirt senior Jake Krafka. All three players are transferring to other programs. Add the graduation of Ronnie Harrell, Jr. and Joe Rosga and DU is left with no juniors and only one senior on the roster – Ade Murkey.
In total, when looking at DU’s top five scorers from this past season, Denver is left with 19.4 points per game (Murkey 11.3 ppg. & David Nzekwesi 8.1 ppg.) of 52.5 points from last season’s ‘top five’ team scorers. Continue reading Denver Men’s Hoops’ departures mirror other Summit League foes
Photo courtesy DU Athletics
DENVER – Just two days after they played their best, most dominant game of the season in a 17-11 victory in the BIG EAST semifinals, the top-seeded Denver Pioneers laid an egg against the reigning BIG EAST champion Georgetown Hoyas in a 12-9 loss. While the championship game loss didn’t end their season a year ago, barring a shocking decision on the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s part, Denver’s season is over. Continue reading Denver falls to Georgetown to BIG EAST title game for second straight year
Photo courtesy Denver Athletics
DENVER – It was the Denver Pioneers’ best, most dominant performance of the year and elated fans of the Crimson & Gold were left to wonder, “where the heck has this been all season?” Just less than a month after the Villanova Wildcats came to Denver and upset the Pioneers in a 12-11 thriller, the Pioneers returned the favor and then some in a 17-11 victory in the BIG EAST Semifinals at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. After giving up the first goal, the Pioneers turned it on and poured it on jumping to a 12-3 halftime lead before cruising to the six-goal victory. Continue reading Denver exacts dominant revenge on Villanova, Pioneers advance to BIG EAST Title Game
Photo: Courtesy of Denver Athletics
DU added yet another National Coach of the Year winner this past week. Head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart was rewarded for her work with DU Gymnastics. Kutcher-Rinehart joins eight other Denver coaches who have won the award in their respective sports of hockey, swimming and diving, nordic and alpine skiing, soccer, and lacrosse.
Continue reading DU’s Secret Sauce: Coaching Depth
Inside Lacrosse published an article on the shot clock, Have the New Rules Increased the Pace of Play? And the piece concludes, “The shot clock (80 seconds) has resulted in every DI team playing at a faster pace of play in 2019. The average possessions per game has hit its highest mark in our 10-year data set at 82 possessions per game. This represents nearly a 20% increase year-over-year as compared to 2018.”
So, how have the new rules affected Denver Men’s Lacrosse?
We did an analysis below comparing this season to the prior three years. However, this does not take into account roster changes during this period, the Trevor Baptiste factor (.714 winning % at the X), weather and opponents.
||Denver Goals – total/Avg
||Goals Allowed – total/Avg
||Total Goals – Avg
||Denver Turnovers – Total/Avg
||Opponent Turnovers – Total/Avg
||Turnovers – Total/Avg GM
And the conclusions?
Continue reading Shot clock a net neutral for Denver Men’s Lacrosse
Photo credit: NCAA Ice Hockey Twitter
The NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament is returning to Colorado for the first time since 2008 when the Pepsi Center hosted the Frozen Four. This morning, the NCAA announced the 2020 & 2021 regional sites and hosts and the University of Denver’s bid to host the West Regional at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland in both of those years was selected. This announcement brings national postseason college hockey back to a state that has meant so much to the history of the sport.
As the only site that will serve as a host in the next two tournaments, Loveland will join Albany, NY (East), Worcester, MA (Northeast), and Allentown, PA (Midwest) as regional hosts in 2020 and Bridgeport, CT (East), Manchester, NH (Northeast), and Fargo, ND (Midwest) in 2021. Continue reading Denver to host West Regionals in Loveland in 2020 & 2021