Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DU Students: Magness Arena-Thursday Nite B There

(above) DU wants to pack the Student Section on Thursday night at Magness Arena

The University of Denver Men's Basketball team kicks off the 2010-11 home opener Thursday night when the Colorado State Rams visit Magness Arena. DU coach Joe Scott wants to see Magness Arena hopping with students hanging on every fast break and big shot produced by the Pioneers.

Come out to Magness Arena on Thursday night and Go Crazy.

26 comments:

dggoddard said...

It only takes a half dozen DU students to get off their butts to pull in 500 students to these games.

A little creative Dorm Storming and some cool student-centric events at the games is all it takes.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Sadly, I doubt anyone will take that initiative. (Please, someone, prove me wrong).

Another way to get students to games would be to play against teams I've heard of. If you play a JV schedule, you'll get JV crowds. Trouble is, none of the established programs will play at Denver, and neither will any of the Mid-Majors. Why not? Because we haven't made the NCAAs in years (have we ever?). Make the NCAA's and I'll consider going. Until then, I'll prefer to use my weekends to ski or go watch the DU hockey team play against the top college teams in the nation.

puck swami said...

Duke isn't coming to Magness anytime soon, but there are some good pretty hoops teams coming here to Magness, based on recent NCAA tourneys.

Utah State was an NCAA tourney team last year (and a regional/future WAC rival). Arkansas-Pine Bluff won the SWAC auto bid to the NCAAs last year, and Sun Belt champ North Texas went to the dance last year.. Cal State Northridge went to the tourney in 2009. And CSU is a regional rival from the Mountain West. These aren't JV programs. They are all legitimate mid-majors.

Granted, the Sun Belt teams don't get Denver people excited here. but DU will join the WAC in 2010, and the regional recognition will go up.

Brendan Loy said...

If you play a JV schedule, you'll get JV crowds. Trouble is, none of the established programs will play at Denver, and neither will any of the Mid-Majors

Just to second what puck swami said, this is, I'm sorry, just completely ignorant.

Colorado State is a much improved, up-and-coming program in the Mountain West.

Utah State is one of the very best mid-majors in the entire country -- I have no idea what "neither will any of the Mid-Majors [play at Denver]" could possibly mean, given that Utah State is coming. Moreover, the Aggies are a FAR BETTER team than a bigger regional "brand" like, say, Colorado or Utah or Nebraska, which might impress you more. This is an absolute scheduling coup.

Portland has been right up there with Gonzaga and St. Mary's (which DU also plays this year, but on the road) in the WCC. They're #17 in the Mid-Major Top 25. (Utah State isn't ranked because that particular site doesn't consider the WAC a "mid-major" conference, which I guess makes Utah State one of the "established programs" in their eyes, though I think that's a bit silly.)

Northern Colorado was a surprise Big Sky contender last year, and will be a contender this year, assuming they aren't too devastated by the loss of their coach, who just got hired away by CU (a sure sign of success at the mid-major level, unfortunately). They're a quality team.

Arkansas Pine Bluff, as puck noted, went to the NCAAs last year as the SWAC champion.

Alcorn State is terrible, I'll give you that. And CS-Northridge is nothing special. But the rest of the home schedule, are you kidding me?! That is a GOOD schedule for a team in Denver's position. They're in a low-major conference. It's not like Kansas and UCLA and knocking down their door. To call that a "JV schedule" is just sheer nonsense.

DenverGoldJersey said...

haha going to du basketball...
i have papers to write

thats my ringing endorsement of DU basketball
see everyone on friday for Bemidji

Anonymous said...

"It's not like Kansas and UCLA and knocking down their door. To call that a "JV schedule" is just sheer nonsense."

Ok, great. Call me when Kansas and UCLA start knocking on our door and maybe I (and the rest of the DU student body) will care slightly about basketball here and show up.

The fact is, many of the people who came here did so for the mountains and the education. Hockey is our sports team and will remain so until they stop doing positive things on the ice.

If we wanted to go somewhere with a good basketball team, we would have. We chose mountains and hockey. That's how it is.

It's great that we play St. Mary's. When they or Gonzaga show up at Magness, I'm sure you'll see some people in the stands.

Fact is, we started out 0-3, and the closest we came to winning was 11 points.

You'll see a lot of crimson in the stands on Thursday, though. Of course most of that will be unoccupied Magness seats...

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Anonymous said...

Dan, who let you back in the house?

dggoddard said...

Denver is a "major league" sports town with 7 pro franchises and the 21st largest metro population in the country. Compounding the problem is that a vast majority of the population have moved to Denver from elsewhere.

DU is a small school, many students and alums are from out of state, there is little sports tradition at DU outside of hockey and then there's the skiing/mountains/outdoor activities available.

These facts are indisputable.

DU can't get into the Mounatin West or the Pac-10, so they'll have to make do with the WAC.

If you can't fill the barn with customers, fill it with students. It works for many high schools. Most people are burned out with pro sports and spoiled athletes. Sooner or later if DU hoops games are fun, the word will get out.

puck swami said...

I understand how some students might not be attracted to a mid-major basketball schedule, but that doesn't mean you won't have a good time if you go... And it's free for students.

If you are a Denver student, I believe you owe it to your classmates to get out there and support them and be a part of the tradition. That's what being part of a university community is all about -- whether it's the hockey team, the hoops team, the orchestra, or May Days, or any other performance on campus-- stretching yourself and supporting your classmates is the right thing to do.

Just because DU isn't playing Duke doesn't mean they aren't worthy of your presence at the games...

Anonymous said...

Finals are Friday and Saturday at DU. Students will pack the Library Thursday and Friday night.

Anonymous said...

Please don't insult our intelligence trying to hype up Utah State and Arkansas freaking Pine-Bluff. You can argue all day whether they are JV or mid-major, the fact is, nobody wants to see these teams because they won a weak-conference tourney and made it to the NCAA's.

There are some things you cannot change, no matter how much you try. Nobody will ever case about DU basketball, and the administration will waste untold dollars trying to make them relevant. Instead those monies could be spent on the programs that really matter at DU; Hockey, Gymnastics, Lacrosse, Golf and Skiing.

dggoddard said...

The Pioneer Post Blog has a very good no-holds barred look at DU joining the WAC entitled, "Is DU Too Excited About Joining The Wac."

Check it out...

http://www.brendanloy.com/lrt/2010/11/is-denver-too-excited-about-joining-the-wac/

Brendan Loy said...

Glad you liked the post, dggoddard. Thanks.

Anonymous, I'm not saying you have to go to the games. I'm not saying you're a bad person if you don't go. If you aren't interested in seeing Denver play against quality mid-major competition, that's fine. That's your prerogative. But don't misrepresent the level of the competition. That's all I'm saying. If you're only interested in showing up when Kansas and UCLA come to town, then you'll obviously never be a DU hoops fan, since that's never going to happen. And again, that's fine, that's your prerogative. But to call the schedule they're playing "JV," and say none of "the Mid-Majors" will play them at Magness, is just factually inaccurate. All I'm asking for is accuracy.

And to the other Anonymous (or maybe it's the same person? I'm not sure) who said, "Please don't insult our intelligence trying to hype up Utah State and Arkansas freaking Pine-Bluff" ... again, you're displaying ignorance of the topic here. I don't mean that as an insult, it's just a fact, as someone who follows mid-major basketball. I'll grant you "not hyping Arkansas Pine-Bluff," as they're the defending champ of a bad conference. But Utah State is a whole different animal. The Aggies are one of the best mid-major programs in the country. That's a fact. Just because you don't hear about them as often as Gonzaga because they aren't as hyped by ESPN, doesn't mean they aren't a top-notch mid-major program. They are leaps and bounds ahead of the Arkansas-Pine Bluffs of the world. If you're uninterested in seeing Utah State play, then you're clearly uninterested in seeing mid-major basketball, period. Which, again, is fine. Jbe honest about it. Since Denver is never going to play in a BCS conference, you are just incapable of being interested in this team because you regard all mid-major hoops as unworthy of your attention. Fine. But don't blame your lack of interest on DU's scheduling. They've scheduled well.

Brendan Loy said...

P.S. "It's great that we play St. Mary's. When they or Gonzaga show up at Magness, I'm sure you'll see some people in the stands."

Utah State is a better basketball program than St. Mary's. RPI over the last 5 years:

Saint Mary's: 35, 48, 36, 122, 30. Average: 54.

Utah State: 30, 23, 71, 45, 46. Average: 43.

Anonymous said...

Memo to DU students: get off your asses and go support the basketball team!!

Anonymous said...

Denver was a terrible minor league hockey and baseball market (except on 4th of July fireworks).

Even the University of Colorado & Colorado State have trouble drawing fans.

puck swami said...

DU wants to be a national level school in everything it does, and if you look at how far most DU sports teams have come in the last 10 years at the D-I level, it's a great success story. Most of them are already there, and they've done it travelling great distances in far flung leagues and still graduating 80 percent of the kids with a 3.2 average GPA.

I love hockey more than anyone, but I also know that as good as hockey is, it's also a regional sport with a limited national appeal. Winning 10 NCAA hockey titles in a row would probably still generate less national interest in DU than one men's hoops run to the Sweet 16.

Is DU delusional? I don't really think so. Look at what they've done so far in D-I in only 10 years. It's a steady rise in almost every sport.

DU needs a national brand because there aren't enough rich propective students in Colorado to sustain the place over the long term. DU needs to be national, and as the number of national incoming freshmen is falling due the baby Boomlet tailing off, DU is in fierce battle for the full-pay students from around the country.

Being relevant in men's hoops would help get DU's name on the national map in ways our other sports can't reach. Being relevant in hoops is also where the TV exposure is and the money is. If Butler and Gonzaga can do it, is there any reason DU can't? Last reason, our hoops RPI was 131, which is top half of D-I. If they can win enough to get into the top 100 or so, it changes the scheduling and recruiting dynamic....

I know that some fear hoops' rise will doom hockey. I don't see it that way. Hockey has it's 5,000 -6,000 per game and a great tradition. DU will continue to invest in it, but bringing up another revenue producing sport could help take the pressure of hockey to be the only producer.

Tim in Los Angeles said...

I believe it was winter quarter 1970 - DU Basketball was ranked nationally. The coach was Stan Albeck and the team cracked #20. Games were played in the old DU Field House, next door to the old DU Arena. CSU came to town, and they were a good team that year. I remember going to the game (one of the few I attended) It was a sell out, televised locally and I don't remember who won. DU was hoping for an NCAA bid as an indie, but alas, missed the dance. HOwever - good team, good crowds.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they move the basketball games to Hamilton? The smaller venue will make the crowds seem bigger and louder. Also, then we don't have to pay for the Magness crew to convert the ice to a basketball court every 5 minutes, thus saving us thousands and thousands of dollars (not that I would ever expect that to cause tuition to go down, but maybe the school would use that money on something DU students actually care about: Signing Gwoz).

puck swami said...

If you are Joe Scott trying to build a top 100 hoops program and you have a 7,200 seat newish arena or a 2,800 seat bleacher gym, what do think is going to impress a recruit? DU needs to keep working on building a hoops crowd in Magness. Playing in Hamilton Gym looks and feels like a high school game and reinforces a small program image. Pretty soon, I think DU will be averaging 3,000 per hoops game and the Hamilton question becomes moot.

Also it doesn't cost that much to convert the ice to hoops. Many of the conversion crew are already on the DU payroll and working on other maintenance projects.

Brendan Loy said...

This is a great discussion. Lots of fodder for some blogging I want to do later in the season on The Pioneer Post about these very issues -- how to increase student/community interest, the inherent tension of buildnig a basketball team at a hockey school, etc.

Question: how much of the apathy in some quarters about DU hoops is related to the style of offense Joe Scott's team plays? It's not exactly flashy, to say the least. I wonder if more students would show up to watch a faster-paced, higher-scoring team, as opposed to a team with a slow, methodical Princeton-style offense.

dggoddard said...

College sports is about recruiting and winning. How you get it done doesn't matter.

If DU was serious about winning they'd pony up $1 million per year for a name brand head coach.

Gwozdecky and Tierney are two of the top paid coaches in their respective sports and the results speak for themselves.

DU doesn't have alumni donors who throw around the cash that is needed to make a big-time splash in hoops.

Anonymous said...

Brendan, excellent question.

I can only speak as a student when I say,

1. The majority of students at DU probably don't know what a Princeton offense is, let alone the fact that Joe Scott uses that particular style.

2. I do, however, think that if we had the ability to score with any team in the country that you would have more interest. Look at how VMI does things. Quickly looking at the stats, I see they took an average of 73.1 shots per game last year ( http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/statistics/team/_/stat/scoring-per-game/sort/avgPoints/year/2010 ). DU averaged only 43 shots per game ( http://www.denverpioneers.com/fls/18600/stats/MensBasketball/2009-10/teamcume.htm?DB_OEM_ID=18600 ). The NBA has the shorter shot clock because no one wants to watch a bunch of passing and time-wasting.

I don't think we have the kinds of athletes to play that kind of exciting offense, and it's tough to foresee any great players chomping at the bit to play at an unproven program in the Sun Belt of even the WAC.

That said, the ultimate remedy for lack of interest is winning. Look at the Chicago Blackhawks. 4 or 5 years ago, you couldn't give tickets to a Hawks game away. Now, you can't find a nosebleed seat for cheaper than $100. And people are eager to fork that money over. Why? They got good players and became a championship program. I think getting to the NCAA Tourney should be considered DU Basketball's Stanley Cup.

dggoddard said...

Just a reminder that the Hoops game will be on TV tonight if you can't make it out there.

Odds are that no matter what cable or dish system you have, you should be able to upgrade to the "Expanded Fox Sports" package and see many DU hoops and hockey games. It can cost as little as 5-10 bucks per month.

Be interesting to see and hear the crowd tonight.

puck swami said...

Student crowd will likely be small tonight due to final exams. DU's students are serious about school. Would expect as many or more CSU fans here as Denver fans, considering CSU is twice the size of DU and 80% of the Alumni are on the front range, and CSU is a state school with a larger casual fan base.

DU thinks it can get to the NCAA tourney under Scott for $400K per year. That's a pretty good ROI if he makes it.

Scott's program is not going to get top level recruits until the program at least 100 in RPI and regualr ESPN appearanes, and even then, it won't be Duke. Scott will take a bunch of mid-level gym rats and win by molding them into a team.