Head coach Joe Scott’s team earned a share of the WAC regular season crown last year after posting an overall record of 22–10 and going 16-2 in conference play. The team went on to earn a spot in the National Invitation Tournament, the Pioneers’ first post-season selection since 2005.
As they play their first home game of the season Sunday against Stanford, the Pioneers return the nucleus of a squad that defeated Ohio University at Magness Arena for DU’s first-ever win in a national postseason tournament before falling to Maryland in a hard-fought second round contest in College Park, Md.
Denver returns its top two scorers from 2012–13 in senior captain Chris Udofia, who earned all-conference first team and all-defensive honors in each of the past two seasons, and junior point guard Brett Olson, who was voted All-WAC third team last season.
“We’ll have three new guys in the locker room, and we still have a lot of guys coming back,” Scott says. “For us, once again finding an identity with the new faces will be key. Cam Griffin will be better. Jalen Love will be better. Marcus Byrd will be better.”
Griffin, Love and Byrd all played significant roles last season, and they are expected to step into larger roles after the departure of Chase Hallam, who graduated, and Royce O’Neale, who transferred to Baylor to be closer to an ailing family member.
DU also welcomes Griffin McKenzie, a transfer from Xavier who practiced with the Pioneers last season but now regains his eligibility after sitting out last year due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Sunday’s game versus Stanford begins at noon; visit DenverPioneers.com for tickets and more information.