Joe Scott asks for student support in DU’s final games
Fresh off their huge win over Utah State (video embedded again above, because it’s so awesome) and completion of their 7-2 league road record, the Denver Pioneers moved into the Mid-Major Top 25 yesterday, according to College Insider, checking in at #21. Saturday’s BracketBusters game at Northern Iowa will determine whether the Pios stay in — and move up — those rankings, and more importantly, could be crucial for possible NIT selection or NCAA seeding down the road. (A win would be Denver’s first against the RPI Top 100 — on the road, no less.)
But the Pioneers’ regular season will ultimately be defined and judged by what happens after the visit to UNI, in their three consecutive, regular-season-ending home games — and Coach Joe Scott is asking the DU student body to come out in force and support their Pios:
Denver determines its final place in the WAC standings with home games against third-place New Mexico State on March 2; fourth-place Texas-Arlington, March 7; and conference-leading Louisiana Tech, March 9. The WAC tournament is March 12-16 in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena.
"We’re playing nothing but good teams from here on out," Scott said. "We’re talking about playing two of the teams that are right with us in the standings."
Scott is hopeful that the DU student body will increase its attendance at the three vital games.
"I’d like to think that will happen," Scott said. "If our students come out, it will be a great boost for our team."
I hope the students take Scott’s words as a challenge, and provide an atmosphere like they did for the Middle Tennessee game last season. ESPN may not be coming to town, but these games are just as important, if not moreso, as that televised Sun Belt showdown.
You know what to do, DU students: treat NMSU, UTA and LaTech like hated hockey rivals. Support this team, dammit!
P.S. I just checked the hockey schedule. The final series of the hockey team’s regular season is the same weekend as the UTA and LaTech games. The Magness Arena schedule looks like this:
Thursday, March 7: Basketball vs. Texas-Arlington, 7:00 pm
Friday, March 8: Hockey vs. Alaska-Anchorage, 7:37 pm
Saturday, March 9: Basketball vs. Louisiana Tech, 5:00 pm
Sunday, March 10: Hockey vs. Alaska-Anchorage, 12:07 pm
That’ll be a lot of court surface transitions in 72 hours! More importantly, this creates a golden opportunity for the student spirit folks at DU to promote a massive weekend of athletics and school pride. Final exams begin March 14, followed by Spring Break, so this will be the last full, “free” weekend of the winter quarter for DU students. They should make it a big, weekend-long party, much like they did with the MTSU game and the Colorado College hockey series that it was sandwiched between.
Support the Top 10-ranked hockey team as it concludes its regular season and heads into the playoffs, and support the basketball team as it fights for a conference title. This can work. And if a win over LaTech clinches a WAC championship or co-championship (which requires the Bulldogs to lose at least one other time first), there will be a perfectly justifiable reason to storm the court again.
Get to it, Pios!