DU Hoops Shocks Western Kentucky

(above) DU guard Nate Rohnert led DU into first place in the Sunbelt Conference with 23 points against Western Kentucky

From: Denver Post

by Mike Chambers

En route to what could have been the University of Denver's most important men's basketball victory in the past 10 years, the Pioneers never trailed Sunday in their 72-67 victory against perennial Sun Belt Conference power Western Kentucky.

It's no secret DU is exploring opportunities in closer-to-home conferences, but becoming one of the Sun Belt's top teams is a key step in finding a new league. And beating the Hilltoppers, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament the past two years, could serve as a large bargaining chip.

"At no point in time did we play as though Western Kentucky was a better basketball team than us," third-year DU coach Joe Scott said.

The Pioneers (12-5, 5-1 Sun Belt) won their 11th consecutive DU Basketball home game by shooting 67 percent from the field (30-of-45) and getting excellent performances from two of their three upperclassmen.

DU senior Nate Rohnert (23 points) and junior Rob Lewis (15) combined to make 16-of-23 shots at Magness Arena before a season-high crowd of 3,310 [read rest of article].


puck swami said...

Big win for the Pios and for the program.

This might vault the Pios near or into the top 100 in RPI (about 350 teams play D-I hoops).

Anonymous said...

DU shocks western kentucky? It's only shocking to people who haven't followed DU basketball for awhile. We have a very talented mens team who has a very real chance to go to the march madness tourney.
After all, we are in first place in the sun belt..

Anonymous said...

Well, they invested a lot of money into coach Scott and the program. (which of course was a must for D1 purposes)

Anonymous said...

We really need to not be using the Princeton offense. Passing the ball to death along the permiter and then forcing an ugly shot with 2 seconds left on the shot clock will not work all the time. DU is lucky to have such good shooters on the roster, but they won't be this hot every night. Our guards need to be able to attack the basket and the bigs need to be able to establish a presence down low in the paint.

dggoddard said...

Good to see people talking Hoops on here.


puck swami said...

DU picked Joe Scott to play a Princeton offense largely due to the types of players that DU can, (and can't) attract and the type of system required to beat teams with more athletism. Princeton offense makes it a possession game, which favors the team that makes their shots.

DU leads the nation in field goal percentage with one of the youngest teams in the country.

Good things are ahead.

puck swami said...

For those of you who haven't met Joe Scott yet, head to the Pioneer (accross from the Newman Center) for the coaches radio show on Monday nights at 7. He's a great guy and is usually happy to explain the coaching, system and recruiting philosophy after the show with anyone who is interested in the program.

Anonymous said...

DU should be able to attract a poing guard who can slash his way to the rim, though. I don't buy that Scott can't find a guy willing to take the ball and run at a defense. That doesn't mean an abandoment of the Princeton offense, but having as many options as possible is critical. There will be nights when the shots don't fall and at that point, we're kinda screwed. Our bigs aren't bulky enough to bang down low and our guards aren't fast enough to take it to the rack.

That being said, we're doing very well. We need to really work hard on recruiting, though...

UDenver20 said...

I agree with all!

Great to see DU hoops getting some support by this important cluster of Pioneer supporters.

Great to see this performance support a DU bid for membership in a better conference.

And for those who haven't seen it, this year's NCAAM basketball success didn't start with beating WKU. The Pios have been near or at the top of their SBC division for much of this season. Check out sunbeltsports.org.

Has Boone be at any of the men's basketball home games? If not, let's get him there!

Anonymous said...

Boone was at the first home game of the season and did a LeBron James impression with the hand powder thing.

puck swami said...

According to today's (jan 11) RPI rankings, Denver has cracked the national top 100 (347 teams)


Big time schools currently below DU include:
Iowa State
Oregon State
Penn State