2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • DU’s Joe Scott offers advice to new Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich

    Thu, June 28, 2012 by David Ramsey with 6 comments

    I asked Joe Scott what message he would offer to new Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich.  Scott was hesitant at first, but finally relented.

    Scott is perfect person to offer advice. When he arrived at Air Force in 2000, the Falcons were one of the worst D-1 basketball programs in the nation, if not the world. As the Falcons headed into the 2003-2004 season, the team had lost 296 of 364 conference games.

    Scott and the Falcons buried the past in 2003-2004, winning the Mountain West regular-season title, earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament and starting a four-season era in which Air Force ranked as a regional power.

    Now, the Falcons are back near the bottom after losing 52 of 62 conference games.

    Here’s what Scott offered as words  of encouragement to Pilipovich:

    ” The only advice I would ever say is, you’ve got to be yourself. What is your plan? You got to have great belief in your plan and execute it every day. It’s about your plan and your vision. It’s about the guys who go and execute it with you every day. That’s what we did when we were down there. That’s the way I played. That’s the way I did it at Air Force.

    You’ve got to know who you are. You’ve got to  have that vision. You can’t make excuses. You can’t say, ‘Oh, that’s OK’ or ‘That’s not important.’  It’s got to be take no quarter. It’s got to be no excuses. You don’t do that because you’re concentrating on the end result.

    I think no matter where you are, you should always be optimistic. I think that what I just said about a plan equals optimism. We have a way. That equals optimism. In a positive mater, you’re always saying,  ‘We’re going to do it. We know we’re going to do it.’ I don’t optimism comes from concentrating on the end result. That’s where pessimism occurs, when you’re concentrating on the end result. That’s the way we tried to do it. It takes time, you’ve got to do it your way. That’s tough to do in this day and age, but no matter what it’s still what it’s all about.”

    Next: Scott wonders if anybody remembers him in Colorado Springs


  • DU’s Joe Scott talks about playing Air Force in basketball

    Tue, June 26, 2012 by David Ramsey with no comments

    I believe, strongly believe, Air Force and Denver should be playing against each other in basketball every season. For some reason, that isn’t happening.

    I recently visited with Joe Scott at his DU office.  Scott, of course, led Air Force to the 2004 NCAA Tournament, the highlight of a remarkable (borderline miraculous) revival of the program. He left following the season to coach at Princeton, his alma mater.

    I’ll be posting highlights of the interview on the blog this week. Scott also offered advice to new Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich and talked about the future of former Colorado Springs Christian star Nate Engesser, who will play for DU next season.

    Gazette: I think you should be playing Air Force every season.

    Scott:   I think you can say that, but I don’t think it’s just an Air Force-Denver thing. There’s only x amount  of places where we can get in a bus and play somebody. We play csu. We play Wyoming. We used to play Northern Colorado. I still want to play Northern Colorado. I don’t know why we’re not.

    I would play Air Force, but it’s not simple. What is our home and home standpoint? Do we need an away game? Everyone wants a home game. You know that. Who else are you playing?

    Next: Scott offers advice for Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich.



  • Let’s make this clear: LeBron is no Michael Jordan

    Wed, June 20, 2012 by David Ramsey with 2 comments

    Received a call from a disgruntled Gazette reader last week. The caller was under the impression that I believed LeBron James, who is on the brink of leading the Heat to an NBA title, was the equal of Michael Jordan, who is the greatest basketball player ever to inhabit our planet. (Or any other planet.)

    I did make a passing comparison of  LeBron to Michael when writing about the greatest skywalkers in NBA history. The list also includes David Thompson, Gus Johnson and Julius Erving. Here’s the column about LeBron that bothered the Gazette reader who called me. (I predicted, by the way, LeBron and Heat would beat the Thunder in The Finals.)


    But I never said LeBron is Michael’s equal.

    Jordan carried the Bulls to six NBA titles. Jordan captured the attention and  imagination of fans all over the world. Jordan lifted the NBA to heights never before seen and not seen since his departure.

    LeBron is only 27. He has plenty of years to add to his legacy.

    But let me make this perfectly clear:

    I do not consider LeBron to be Michael’s equal. I don’t consider anyone to be Michael’s equal.