Roadrunners Run with New Number 1

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Posted Sun, Feb 10, 2013

PICK AND ROLL: Roadrunners’ junior guard Brandon Jefferson’s (3) floating jumper is far too familiar to RMAC opponents. [Photo courtesy of the MSU-Denver Athletic Department.]


DENVER — From professors, to students, to the campus itself, Metro State is home to numerous magnificent things. All of this gives every Roadrunner, past and present, pride in being apart of the MSU-Denver fabric.

Now, Metro State is home to something else great. That is the Metro State basketball team (17-0 overall, 13-0 in RMAC play), which is now the number 1 ranked basketball team in Division II and the team are creating a buzz around school.

This is the fourth time that the Roadrunners have been ranked in program history. The last time the squad was ranked number one was Dec. 13, 2011. This year’s team is off to one of its best starts in team history. This Roadrunner team features a very potent scoring attack, with all five starters averaging near double figures in points per game. The team also has a strong enough bench, plays hard-noised defense and excellent team ball. All this is apparent as Metro State is winning by an average of 20 points per game.

Eric Lansing is the head of the Metro State Broadcast Network and has seen a lot of Metro State basketball over the years. However, Lansing sees something special in this team.

“The starting five of this year’s team is by far the best I’ve seen in the seven years I’ve covered Metro State men’s basketball,” says Lansing about this exciting team. “The team’s biggest strength is its experienced and explosive guard play. The team carries senior guard Demetrius Miller and junior guard Brandon Jefferson, both of whom can score at will if needed.”

Both Miller and Jefferson have indeed been keys in the Roadrunners success this season. Jefferson is leading all scorers with 16.8 points per game; while Miller is scoring 14.3 points per game. The team’s forwards have also been doing their part with sophomore Mitch McCarron and sophomore Nicholas Kay averaging 14.3 and 9.8 points per game respectfully. This in addition to senior center Jonathan Morse 13 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, make this team impressive.

While the players have been impressive, many feel the same way about the coaching. Coach Derrick Clark is in his third season as coach of the Roadrunners. Clark was previously an assistant at Metro State under legendary coach Mike Dunlap; Clark then became an assistant at Air Force and the University of Colorado under Coach Jeff Bzdelik.

“I was privileged to see one the best coaches in America work on a daily basis. The lesson that I have learned under Coach Dunlap about, not only basketball, but life are invaluable,” says Clark about his learning experience from the now Charlotte Bobcats head coach. Clark also has much similar respect toward Bzdelik, now head coach at Wake Forest University.

“Coach Bzdelik was gracious enough to give me an opportunity at the division one level. The stuff I learned, basketball wise, have really helped me accelerate as a head coach,” Clark says. “Coach Bzdelik is also a great family man and always set a good example in that area.”

The basketball lessons Clark has learned from Dunlap and Bzdelik have been apparent on the court. However, the life lessons he learned from both his mentors are just as important.

“The most important lesson I have tried to teach my players is to be good citizens,” Clark says. “Their basketball life will end soon and they have to be a productive member of society. They also need to always be accountable for their actions. I want them to continue to grow as responsible young men.”

Between the play and the coaching many Metro State students are excited about this time Metro State basketball history. Senior Billy Williams sees this time as a great opportunity for the school.

“Gives the school notoriety,” says Williams of the team’s success. “Sports are sometimes overlooked, but both men and women are competitive.”

All this is making the Metro State campus a very exciting place to be around in Denver. This is why students should…“GET ROWDY!” in the words of Williams.

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About Davy Burke

Davy Burke is a broadcast journalism student at MSU-Denver. Davy is a big sports fan and enjoys watching, covering, and broadcasting sporting events. He is also passionate about writng any news story possible.

View all posts by Davy Burke

9 Responses to “Roadrunners Run with New Number 1”

  1. Grace Says:

    Go Metro!!! So proud of them. With all the work the coaches, players and even the fans put in, I’m so thrilled it’s paying off! “GET ROWDY!”

    Reply

  2. J.R. Johnson Says:

    Loved hearing about how coach brings more to the game than just what he’s learned on the court. It obviously paying off, 17-0 and ranked #1!

    Reply

  3. Aaron Lambert Says:

    Great read. As a new Metro Student, this is an awesome story describing the Metro basketball team and the successes they’ve had and are enjoying.

    Reply

  4. Austin Says:

    I love this story, particularly because I have note followed Metro sports, and this was very informational and interesting. As you mentioned in the story, it is exciting and this took a wonderful look at that.

    Reply

  5. SL Alderton Says:

    I LOVE the headline! It caught my attention right away. I would have liked to see more information about the story in the lead, though. Without the picture, I wouldn’t have known it was a basketball story until the second paragraph. But you had some really good quotes, and you did a pretty good job of making it interesting to a non-basketball fan like me. 🙂

    Reply

  6. Maureen Says:

    Good job on the interviews.

    Reply

  7. Andrew Says:

    It’s cool that they are doing so well. The headline is very effective, and it had good flow to. Good inclusion of all of the stats.

    Reply

  8. Emily Pennetti Says:

    Liked it a lot. Nice to see how they have played in the past and some overall stats.

    Reply

  9. Stephanie V. Coleman Says:

    Well written! Metro’s sport programs tend to get over-looked. I enjoyed this article specifically because you delivered more than just stats to the reader. Your interviews and information about the players/coach made it more interesting to read. Great story!

    Reply

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