Breaking Down Denver's Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Schedule

Eduardo Martinez

Breaking Down Denver's 2013-2014 Schedule


Denver's 2013-2014 schedule was released today, and here's a closer look at the Pioneers 29 game schedule.


Difficult Start:

Denver's first three games will be against California (at California), Stanford (at Magness Arena) and Harvard (neutral court, part of Great Alaska Shootout). California and Harvard both made last year's NCAA Tournament and won a game. All three of these teams figure to be in postseason contention at season's end. California and Stanford have the makings of being solid middle-of-the-order Pac-12 teams. California returns four starters from last year. They did lose shooting guard Allen Crabbe to the NBA, but he'll be replaced by McDonald's All-American freshman guard Jabari Bird. Stanford also returns plenty of players who made strong contributions from last year's 19-win NIT team. This will be coach Johnny Dawkins most experienced team since taking over in 2008. Harvard shocked the world last year when they defeated 3-seed New Mexico in the NCAA Tournament. Seniors Kyle Casey and Brandon Curry (both were generally regarded as Harvard's best players last year) return after a year long suspension. They'll join forces with double-digit scorer's Siyani Chambers, Laurent Rivard and Wesley Saunders. This Harvard team will likely receive top 25 votes in the preseason polls and has the talent to stay there throughout the season.


7-footer's Galore:

On December 21st, Denver welcomes UC Irvine to Magness Arena. On paper, this may not look like an exciting game, but take a closer look. UC Irvine went 21-16 last year, and made the CIT Tournament and won a game. It was their first 20 win season since 2002-2003. But that's not what makes this game intriguing. The Anteaters boast three players who are 7 feet tall or bigger. Denver's doesn't have a player taller than 6-9. And 6'6 senior Chris Udofia manned the center position a year ago. UC Irvine sophomore Connor Clifford, who stands in at 7 feet, figures to be the starting center. But he'll have (huge)reinforcements itching to sub in for him. Mamadou Ndiaye at 7-5 and 7-2 Giannis Dimakopoulos, both freshman, will be backups. Circle this date on your calendars folks. It'll give you a chance to see extremely tall basketball players, countered by some extremely athletic basketball players (Drick Berstein, Cam Griffin and the aforementioned Udofia) looking to dunk on those extremely tall basketball players. There just might be some posters/SportsCenter Top 10 worthy-plays made after this game.


Solid Games on the Road:

Denver has some tough games on the road during the non-conference portion of the schedule. The season tips off at California, then Denver heads to Anchorage for the Great Alaska Shootout where they will face Harvard, arguably their best opponent this season. Other notable road games include at Mercer on 12/7 and at Colorado State on 12/11. Denver then heads to El Paso, Texas for the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, where they face UTEP on December 29th. The non-conference schedule ends with a game at St. Joseph's on January 4th. These games will help prepare Denver for its inaugural season in the Summit League.


Summit League Initiation:

This will be Denver's first year in the Summit League, and they will embark on a 14 game conference schedule starting on January 11th at South Dakota. Denver has a good chance to win the Summit League in year one, if they can beat North Dakota State. The Bison return all five starters from last year's 24 win team. They're led by senior Taylor Braun, a high-scoring wing. NDSU travels to Magness Arena on February 1st, and Denver heads to NDSU on March 1st. These games will determine who wins the Summit League.


Nov. 12th- Denver at California

Nov. 17th- Stanford at Denver

Nov. 27th- Denver vs Harvard (Great Alaska Shootout)

Nov. 28th- Denver vs Pepperdine or Wisconsin Green Bay (Great Alaska Shootout)

Nov. 29th- Denver vs TCU or Tulsa or Indiana State (Great Alaska Shootout)

December 3rd- Southern at Denver

December 7th- Denver at Mercer

December 11th- Denver at Colorado State

December 15th- Wyoming at Denver

December 17th- Belmont at Denver

December 21st- UC Irvine at Denver

December 28th- Denver vs Alcorn State (Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational)

December 29th- Denver vs UTEP (Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational)

December 31st- St Francis at Denver

January 4th- Denver at St. Joseph's

January 11th- Denver at South Dakota

January 16th- IPFW at Denver

January 18th- IUPUI at Denver

January 23rd- Denver at Omaha

January 25th- Denver at Western Illinois

January 30th- South Dakota State at Denver

February 1st- North Dakota State at Denver

February 8th- South Dakota at Denver

February 13th- Denver at IUPUI

February 15th- Denver at IPFW

February 20th- Western Illinois at Denver

February 22nd- Omaha at Denver

February 27th- Denver at South Dakota State

March 1st- Denver at North Dakota State