Denver vs Omaha Preview and Prediction
Denver vs Omaha Preview
The opening day of Summit League play features games throughout the conference, including two teams who are looking up at their competition.
Despite being picked to finish third in the conference, the Denver Pioneers (5-9) are not thought of as a true contender this season. Their opponent, the Omaha Mavericks (6-7) were picked to finish eighth out of nine schools–showing just how little the Summit League media thinks of the roster.
The Mavericks kick off league play with a three-game home stand against Denver, Oral Roberts and North Dakota State. The last time Omaha had three straight conference games at home was back in 2016.
Friday marks the 14th meeting between Omaha and Denver, with the Pioneers leading the all-time series, 8-5. DU won the most recent matchup, 94-78 last February.
Omaha’s rare streak
A three-game winning streak doesn’t seem lengthy, but for this Mavericks team it is. It is the program’s longest since a five-game streak Feb. 16 – March 6, 2017.
All five Maverick starters scored in double figures in their latest victory against Rice, led by a double-double from Mitch Hahn, who had 18 points and a season-high-tying 11 rebounds with 7-of-15 shooting. Zach Jackson hit 8-of-12 from the field en route to 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and JT Gibson was 6-of-10 for 13 points, three boards and three helpers.
Over the first 13 games this season, Zach Jackson has a team-best 18.4 points with 3.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He ranks 49th nationally for total points (239), is the fourth-best scorer in the Summit League and also ranks third among league players for free throws made (48).
The Pioneers are led by three upper-classmen. Creighton transfer Ronnie Harrell Jr who averages 13.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
All-Summit League performer Joe Rosga averages 12 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
Finally, there is junior guard Ade Murkey who scores 11.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per night–he does all of that in just over a half (averaging 21 minutes per game).
LINE: -7.5 Omaha
Dan’s Bet: +7.5 Denver
Score Prediction: Denver 77 Omaha 74