Team preview: Denver

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 4:48 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams.


Fourth-year Denver coach Terry Carroll talked a lot before this season began about Billups and Nicholson. You'd think the NBA finals were still under way. But Carroll wasn't referring to the NBA champion's most valuable player and the NBA's most visible fan.

He's talking about Rodney Billups (10.4 ppg, 5.0 apg), a 5-10 senior guard who led the Sun Belt in steals (1.9) last year in his first season out of Los Angeles Valley Community College. Rodney is the younger brother of the Detroit Piston's Chauncey, MVP of the NBA Finals. Yes, he parlayed that relationship into some good seats for the playoffs.

Carroll is hoping that Billups' front row seat into the Pistons' glory and the Los Angeles Lakers' demise provided a good view of what Detroit's teamwork and the Lakers' lack thereof can create.