DENVER - SI.com columnist Andy Glockner included the University of Denver men's basketball team in his annual "luck column."
In addition to the Pioneers, Glockner listed Southern California (Pac-12), Saint Joseph's (Atlantic 10), Memphis (Conference USA) and Utah State (Western Athletic Conference) as the teams looking to bounce back after being "hampered by injury, inexperience or plain ol' injustice" last year.
Based on Ken Pomeroy's "luck" rankings - which had all five teams listed among the bottom 50 last season - as well as offensive and defensive efficiencies, Glockner predicts that the teams on this year's list could make the jump and "be very relevant come March."
The Pioneers lost four games in the final 1.1 seconds last season, and their final eight losses were by an average of 3.4 points.
"The graduation of sharpshooter Brian Stafford will hurt, but with Chris Udofia, Royce O'Neale, Chase Hallam and Brett Olson back, the Pios should have more than enough scoring out of Joe Scott's Princeton offense," Glockner wrote. "Coming off a 22-9 campaign, Denver will be a difficult assignment for the league as the Pios thrive in a system that controls the three-point arc on both ends of the floor. Denver was in the nation's top 15 in both highest percentage of shots taken from behind the arc on offense and lowest percentage of shots allowed from three defensively."
Last year, Glockner included Indiana, Iowa, Marquette, New Mexico and Saint Louis in his luck column. Four of those teams made the NCAA Tournament, where they won at least one game, including the Hoosiers and Golden Eagles which both advanced to the Sweet 16. The other team, Iowa, played in the National Invitation Tournament, advancing to the round of 16.
The Pioneers finished the 2011-12 season with a 22-9 overall record and an 11-5 mark in the Sun Belt Conference. The 22 wins were the most victories in DU's 89-year Division I history.
Men's basketball season tickets for the 2012-13 Denver Pioneers are currently on sale. DU continues its commitment to provide the community with the most affordable and exciting entertainment in the Denver metro area. Ticket packages start at $64.
Individual game tickets will go on sale in October with prices starting at $9 for adults. DU students get into the game free with their Pioneer Card.
For ticket information, please visit DenverPioneers.com or call the Pioneer Basketball Ticket Hotline at (303) 871-HOOP.