Young Roundballers Hit the Hardwood

The first day of organized drills began today.

Our 2015-2016 men's Pioneer basketball team is young, Not quite this young, but with six freshmen and only two seniors plus a red shirt senior, they have to be fielding one of the youngest teams in D1 basketball.

Joe Scott, never afraid to throw young players into the mix, has added some size to his line-up with four players  6'5" and over. One intriguing newcomer is 6'6" Abiola Akintola. He is a raw talent from Australia who arrives in Denver as the team's wild-card. Nearly all the freshman came with local, district and/or state recognition and can score points so the greatest challenge is going to be on defense. The point guard position needs to be solidified as well with the unexpected departure of veteran point guard Jalen Love.

Because of their youth, look for early game-to-game improvement. The first half of the season is going to be about players assuming their roles and getting comfortable with the speed and the physical play of D-1 basketball. Then, into the under-rated Summit League regular season with big, physical teams.

The Pioneers start with three consecutive days of games at the Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara, California beginning November 13th. No easy task for a Freshman laden team.

What are your expectations for the 2015-2016 Pioneers? In your opinion, how many wins do they need to make this a "successful year"?

Link to 2015-2016 Schedule:


awready said...

Jalen Love is the point guard that transferred out of DU after his junior season. Cam Griffin graduated.

I don't expect much, if anything, from the '15-16 men;s hoops team. Less than 10 wins. 6-5 and taller is nothing in the Summit. Summit teams are bruisers underneath. You need a front court with a 6-10-11 center and at least 6-7 forwards.

The last couple of seasons Scott's done nothing with the team. Awful. Their play has been boring and losing. Recruiting hasn't been good. Students can't relate to the style and the teams DU schedules, including the Summit.

5BWest said...

Good catch awready. I will make the edit with J Love. Thx

Anonymous said...

When DU is hitting the three point shots, getting the backdoor layups and sharing the team ball, the Princeton system can be very fun to watch - much more so than the sloppy college run-and-gun-lose-the ball-out-of-bounds-style that many DU opponents throw at us. But when the three ball isn't falling for the Pios and DU can't seem to get rebounds, its not so much fun, and hard to make runs when down.

There is little DU can do about scheduling and the league they are in. Duke and Michigan State hoops aren't coming to Magness, ever, and the quarter system is death to non-league game student attendance.

This year, the team will be young, but I really like Daniel Amigo's development as a 6-10 post option. Christian Mackey, Marcus Byrd, Bryant Rucker, Nate Engesser and perhaps Duke Douglas and Jake Pemberton should all be competent D-I players this year. With freshmen, you never know (with the 2-star recruits DU gets) if they can play at this level or not.

I agree that recruiting fell off the wagon for a bit and the assistants paid the price with their jobs. DU should have been better last year than they were. Brett Olson had kind of an up and down year, given he was picked as pre-season player of the year in the Summit, and the Pios have lacked athleticism up front since Royce O'Neale's shady transfer to Baylor in 2013.

Anonymous said...

We win ZERO games this year. Just kidding. I suspect we win 50% of our home games and maybe 1 road game. Hopefully the talent is better then I think it is and by year's end, we are a highly competitive team Summit League team.
Takes too long to Learn the Princeton offense which when run properly is beautiful to watch.

Anonymous said...

DU is very a young team this year, but could be dangerous by year end. Should be about .500 on the season. Scott will keep his job, since his contract is too big for DU to eat with two years still remaining. DU will be much better in another season from now, and that might be the team that breaks through to the NCAAs. If it doesn't, Scott is gone...