Tag Archives: College Basketball

Denver escapes with 78-72 victory at Western Illinois

After Saturday’s clunker at North Dakota State, there were some concerns about which Denver (16-10, 8-5) team would show up on Tuesday night at Western Illinois (8-16, 5-8). At halftime, the answer seemed to be pretty clear. Unfortunately for the Pioneers, there was still another half to play, and what a wild half it was. Continue reading Denver escapes with 78-72 victory at Western Illinois

Two-game stretch critical for Pios to protect conference standing

Denver (15-10, 7-5 Summit) is likely out of the Summit League regular season title hunt, trailing South Dakota and North Dakota State by 2 games with 4 games to go. But, the Pioneers still have an excellent chance to remain in 3rd place –  a great accomplishment for this program on the rise. Continue reading Two-game stretch critical for Pios to protect conference standing

When Good Isn’t Enough – Pios Fight For First

After Saturday’s thrilling last-second overtime win against Summit League favorite Fort Wayne, what did NBA superstar Chauncey Billups say to his brother, head coach Rodney Billups? “Great game”? Nope. “Great coaching”? Nope. Continue reading When Good Isn’t Enough – Pios Fight For First

Denver Goes Deep For 93-69 Road Win

Good teams win games they are supposed to win.

Denver (14-9, 6-4) did just that tonight in Tulsa, Oklahoma where the Pioneers got contributions from their bench (20 points), shot a blistering 58.9% (vs. 43.4%) from the field, clobbered ORU on the boards (36-26) and shot 68.6% (11-16) from downtown to put their stamp on the game and sweep ORU in Summit League play.

A late first half surge seemed to fuel the romp.

Continue reading Denver Goes Deep For 93-69 Road Win

Dunk and Hamilton are latest (rare) members of DU first round draft club


For the first time in Denver Pioneer soccer history, an MLS team selected a graduating  Denver soccer senior in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, not once, but twice. Right back Reagan Dunk, a two-time all-American and the most decorated player in Denver history, was selected 13th overall by Real Salt Lake, and two picks later at #15, Denver midfielder Sam Hamilton, an native of Evergreen, Colo., was selected by the hometown Colorado Rapids.

These draft picks mark a high water mark in player development for the Denver soccer program. The Pioneers had six players selected in previous MLS drafts, but none of them were first round selections.  A first round pick is validation that players produced at DU were not only good enough to be selected in the top 15 of all college seniors this year, but also shows prospective recruits that Denver is a now a truly elite place to develop as a player. This should really help DU in recruiting top players with professional aspirations.

First round draft picks from the five major professional sports at DU are quite rare. Dunk and Hamilton are the latest members in a very elite club of only six DU athletes in all of major American professional sports to be first round draft selections.

DU Hockey has 112 players drafted by the NHL over the years, but has had only four first round NHL draft picks in its 65+ year history. Craig Redmond was first at #6 in 1984, Joe Colborne next at #16 in 2008, Beau Bennett was selected at #20 in 2010 and current Pioneer Henrik Borgström, was selected 23rd in the 2016 NHL Draft.

DU has never had a first round pick in the NBA draft, although some 15 DU players have been selected over the years, the highest of whom was Byron Beck, a second round draft pick in the 1967 draft who had his number retired after a long and productive career with the Denver Nuggets in the ABA and NBA.

DU has also never had a first rounder in the NFL Draft, either, although seven Pioneers were drafted by NFL teams prior to DU dropping the sport in 1961. The highest DU football draft pick was Greg Browning, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 6th round of the 1945 NFL draft.

Pioneer baseball, which ceased at the varsity level in 1998, also has 16 overall players drafted by Major League Baseball teams back in the day, but no first round selections. The highest regular-drafted player in DU history was Dan Schatzeder, a third round pick in 1976, who went on to a 15-year Major League pitching career, whose career highlight was being the winning pitcher in Game 6 of the 1987 World Series with the Minnesota Twins.

Welcome to the club, Reagan and Sam.

Go Pios.

The Pioneers Need More Daniel Amigo

Photo: Daniel Amigo has been one of DU’s surprise stars this season

Fans have had 15 games to see the season unfold for DU Men’s Hoops. No doubt, the biggest surprise has been Daniel Amigo, on both the offensive and defensive end. He is the Pios’ second leading scorer with 14.4 points per game and leads the team with 7.6 rebounds per game. He’s accomplishing this in only 24 minutes per game on the floor. In short, he’s one of the most efficient players in the Summit League. Amigo is ranked 48th in the country in field goal percentage (55.2%). He scores more points per minute (offensive efficiency) than Fort Wayne star John Konchar (.6 vs .45 points per minute). Konchar is shooting an astounding 70.5% from the field and is 4th in the nation in field goal percentage. But. there is a problem.

Simply put, Denver needs more than 24 minutes per game from Daniel Amigo. Continue reading The Pioneers Need More Daniel Amigo

2-game stretch an important measuring stick for Denver Men’s Hoops

Over the next four days, Denver men’s hoops (9-5, 1-0) will have a chance to get an early view of how they stack up in the Summit League. The Pioneers play a home game against a solid South Dakota team (10-7, 1-1) on Wednesday night and a Saturday game against league favorite Fort Wayne (11-4, 1-1) on the road. Continue reading 2-game stretch an important measuring stick for Denver Men’s Hoops

Puck Swami: Is the men’s soccer team making the 2016 College Cup DU’s greatest sporting achievement?


When Denver centerback  Kortne Ford (above/Photo by David Grooms) carved open the Clemson backline to convert Alex Underwood’s cross to score the game-winning goal in Dec.2’s NCAA Soccer Quarterfinal with a minute left in the game to book a first-ever DU berth in the College Cup, it set off a big celebration for every Pioneer fan.

I would argue that it may have been one of DU’s greatest collegiate sporting achievements of all time.  Here’s why: Continue reading Puck Swami: Is the men’s soccer team making the 2016 College Cup DU’s greatest sporting achievement?

Pios Beat San Jose State, 74-69, for Rodney Billups’ first career victory


The Pioneers gave coach Rodney Billups the game ball after his first win as a college head coach. Photo: University of Denver

The Denver Pioneers shot an excellent 56% on the road, and including a blistering 9 for 10 from the field in the final ten minutes of the game to hold off a determined San Jose State Spartan team at the San Jose (Calif.) Events Center, 74-69.  The win, which was close for the duration, was Rodney Billups’ first career win as the Pioneers’ head coach. The victory was clinched by a pair of Thomas Neff free throws in the final two seconds, as SJSU had cut the DU lead to three points with 1:13 left.

Denver leveled its season record at 1-1, while SJSU from the Mountain West Conference, fell to 1-2 on the young season.

While the Pioneers blew out San Jose in shooting percentage (56% to 40%) and rebounding (36-26), the game was close all the way (never more than a eight point differential either way) due to the Pioneers’ propensity to give up turnovers, as DU gave away 21 balls, while the Spartans only gave away 13 on the night. For a Pioneer team learning to play a fast, new style of basketball this year, turnovers will likely be a part of the Pioneers’ identity for the foreseeable future as the players adjust to the new style.

Super Sophomore Joe Rosga led the Pioneers with 15 points, 11 of which came in the second half.  The Pios were also able to get a clutch bench performance from redshirt junior Duke Douglas, who had a career high 12 points, including 5-5 from the field, a dunk with 6:40 left which sent the Pioneers on the clutch shooting tear down the stretch, and a big steal in the final moments. Junior Jake Pemberton helped steady the backcourt with a solid 10-point outing, and Australian Abiola Akintola chipped in with six points in his first-ever Pioneer action.

DU’s Christian Mackey had the go-ahead basket for DU with 8:17 left in the game and had a total of six points filling the lane when starting center Daniel Amigo (7 points) ran into foul trouble and had to sit for large chunks of the game. Jake Krafka (4 points) and Brad George (2 points) also cracked the scoresheet for the Pios for the first time in their careers.

The Pioneers return from California to face Utah Valley University of the WAC on Wednesday,  Nov. 23 at Magness Arena.