Sports scheduling for the Denver Pioneers, in all sports, is often an elusive and frustrating exercise.
Being located in Denver is the largest problem, as playing here requires plane rides and hotel stays for all but a handful of DU’s D-I opponents, which is tough for non-revenue sports. We don’t have the exact figures, but it’s probably a safe bet that about 85% of DU’s opponents must fly here to play us, and likewise, DU needs to fly its own mostly non-revenue sports teams to 85% of its opponents — a dynamic that puts a lot of pressure on athletic budgets and eliminates many opponents for cost reasons.
Then there is the mile-high altitude here, a factor that still scares a number of opposing coaches from flatter places. For example, in 2004, the University of Virginia men’s lacrosse team, ranked #1 nationally at the time, came out here to play both DU and Air Force, and lost both games. The Cavaliers’ coach publicly blamed the altitude for their stumbles, and the Cavaliers have not appeared on the DU home schedule since then. Who knows how many other opposing coaches privately loathe our altitude? Continue reading Puck Swami: DU and the Elusive Art of Sports Scheduling in Denver
The hiring of University of Maine Athletic Director Karlton Creech as DU’s new Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation looks to be a ‘safe’ hire for the University of Denver, likely to build incrementally on the legacy of the retiring Peg Bradley-Doppes, who spent the last 13 years in the position. Creech begins at DU on May 1, 2018.
DU wanted to hire a “sitting” AD and did just that. Creech will inherit a DU athletic program that is flying high as the best non-football athletic department in the country, but still faces many challenges going forward. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU’s Choice of Maine AD Karlton Creech is a “Safe Hire”
(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
Photo Courtesy University of Denver Magazine
LetsGoDU friend CD Dunks reminds us that there is no need to use the term ‘mid-major’. And the same goes for ‘secondary sport’ – i.e. any sport that is not called football or Power-Five conference basketball. The big question is: Has Peg Bradley-Doppes simply built one of the finest athletic department in the land? Continue reading Crimson & Gold touch propels Denver to national powerhouse status
Photo courtesy of omaha.com. Omaha’s Tre-Deon Hollins missed the potential game-winning shot.
They came within a single last minute shot of defeating South Dakota State University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Omaha native Tre-Deon Hollins hoisted a 3-point shot that was off the mark and the Omaha Mavericks fell 79-77. The Summit League auto-bid went to South Dakota State University – again. Continue reading Omaha’s near miss validates Denver’s course
Illustration: We used this same illustration last year and it still applies.
The DU men’s basketball team (16-13, 8-8 Summit) are facing an uphill battle in Sioux Falls, South Dakota when they face the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits (16-18, 8-8 Summit) on March 5th at 5:00 pm MT. While Team Rankings is giving DU an 11.13% statistical chance of winning three games and the championship, most prognosticators would say that is optimistic for Denver’s youthful squad. Few expect them to make it out of the first round.
So far, the Pioneers are 0-for-59 when it comes to Division I league championships.
There are, however, five reasons for hope: Continue reading Against the odds – Denver to face Jackrabbits in Sioux Falls again
Omaha used their quickness and speed to create turnovers (20 to 11) and steals (14 to 7) to defeat the Denver Pioneers at Magness Arena, 84-83, Wednesday night. Omaha’s Mitch Han scored with .7/10’s of a second left in the contest. Denver was fortunate to take the lead on a C.J. Bobbitt layup with .12 seconds remaining but the Mavericks responded by working the ball inside to Han as the clock ran down. With Daniel Amigo out of the game with five fouls, Denver could not stop the 6’8″ Han from delivering the knockout blow.
Turnovers and steals gave the Mavericks an incredible 16 possession advantage – too much of hurdle for almost any team to overcome. Continue reading Omaha Wins Possession Battle to Defeat Pioneers 84-83
The two universities founded by John Evans, Northwestern University and the University of Denver, have never made it to the NCAA basketball tournament. It has been 78 years for the Wildcats (20-7, 9-5 Big 10), the longest drought of any major conference basketball program. Members of the original 120 Division I teams to never make the NCAA tournament include Army, The Citadel, St. Francis (NY), William & Mary, and of course Northwestern. Denver’s futility is somewhat softened because the Pioneers were a Division II program from 1979 to 1998. Denver has whiffed all 59 years, though. Continue reading Evans Curse may be coming to an end
Photo courtesy of DU Athletics
Senior Josiah Dunn and redshirt junior Duke Douglas are making their final on-court appearance at Magness Arena Wednesday night.
Though they haven’t received major minutes on the court this season, both Douglas and Dunn are classic ‘glue guys’ who hold the team together by example – hard work, accountability, and cooperation. Both are widely respected for their experience and work ethic both on and off the court at DU. LetsGoDU caught up with head coach Rodney Billups and assistant coach Dan Ficke to get their thoughts on these two upperclassmen. Continue reading Upperclassman leaders play important role for Denver Hoops
IUPUI was 10 of 19 from downtown while Denver was 5-15 from beyond the arc to spell the difference between victory and defeat as the visiting IUPUI Jaguars defeated Denver.
In a rare Sunday afternoon matinee, both the crowd and the team were flat against an energized IUPUI squad that placed a premium on ball pressure. The Jags parlayed a 4 point half-time deficit (35-31) into a 52 to 37 point second half romp en route to an easy victory over the Pioneers. Denver also gave up 18 points in the paint during the second half as the Jags hammered the Pioneers from the inside out. Continue reading Jaguars Bombs Flatten Denver, 83-72