Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Men’s basketball raises expectations

The University of Denver men’s basketball team finished 15-16 with the youngest team in the nation last year. This season, the Pioneers return their top nine players, who contributed a combined 98 percent of Denver’s scoring and rebounding, and add three freshmen to the roster.

“This year, 12 guys know what they are doing and only three don’t,” says Denver head coach Joe Scott. “That lends itself to an environment where you can really make progress and improve and get better.”

The Pioneers were picked second in the Sun Belt west division behind North Texas this season. Senior guard and captain Nate Rohnert was selected to the preseason all-conference first team.

“It is nice to be picked high in these polls, but of course everything will be determined on the court once the season starts,” Scott says.

This season, Scott says the team will concentrate on being a better defensive team. After loosing several close games last year, he reasons the defense has got to get better; otherwise it’ll be the same team, only a year older.

Now in his third year as head coach, Scott recently signed a contract extension through the 2014–15 season. Scott has increased the Pioneers win total in each of his two seasons, including a sterling 21-6 record at Magness Arena.

The Pioneers will play 16 home games starting on Nov. 13 against Northern Iowa.

“One of our goals since we started here was to develop a challenging schedule with more home games to build and create our home court advantage,” Scott says.

The team’s tickets sales and attendance are up and they have piqued interest in the community. Now Scott says they have to reward the fans who come out to support the Pioneers.
“Our expectations are the only ones that count. Our guys know what we want to be good at,” Scott says. “By staying true to ourselves and to our expectations and to what Denver basketball is all about, we will improve.”

For more information, visit

Comments are closed.