Hoops Talk
May 6th, 2016

Now that the banquet is history, the season is officially over for me. Recruiting is underway, and commitments continue to come in with hopefully others on the way.

It was a spectacular year on the court. Some issues off the court. I think the entire season, both good and bad, can be summarized by looking at the banquet.

The bad. Bobbitt, Valdez, and Jenks not present. Jenks you can understand. Graduated, working our for the pros, etc. The other two reflect their attitude towards the program and their coaches and team-mates. I don't know whether either of them has even tried to return to school this semester ( I am told Bobbitt has been gone for weeks). Another issue. Will their departures negatively impact the APR?

Now the good. A wonderful banquet. 350 folks at 150.00 each. Great video and well deserved awards. Kudos to all the award winners and particularly to Quincy Smith, who won the inaugural Riley Wallace Leadership Award. Nice to see Eran and the coaches naming such an important award after Riley and for also naming a new award after Bob Nash and bringing back the Art Wooloway award after Arnold did away with it.

Also great to see so many former players in attendance. Eran has said many time he wants to re-energize the history and tradition of UH Men's basketball and outreach to former players is a big step in that process.

So the historic year comes to an end. The memories will last a life-time. Next season is filled with challenges, not the least is the pending post-season ban ( still awaiting the result of the appeal) and the loss of almost the entire starting lineup and two important off the bench guys .Less than 10 points per game remain, and there are pukas everywhere. So don't expect a repeat of this year. But I know that Eran and the staff, as happy as they are with the success of this year's team. are looking forward to putting their stamp on future teams, both on and off the court. Although the immediate future may have a few issues, the long term future is very bright.

That's all for me until October. Thanks to all of you who read this blog, and especially to those of you who took the time to respond on line. Based upon comments I receive, I know that the blog is read by many and I appreciate it. Have a great summer.  Aloha

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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April 11th, 2016

We now know who is leaving and who is staying. The staying is easy. Only Mike Thomas. But frankly, his commitment to the program demonstrates his character and why of all the folks saying good-bye, he is the best student-athlete of the bunch in my opinion. Mike has made great strides on the court and will be the heart of next season's team. Thanks for staying

Now onto the guys who have decided to leave. First Jankovic. I have no problem with his decision. He will graduate and he has a real solid chance of making good money in Europe ( no he is not ready for the NBA). European basketball love the big man who can shoot, and he fits that bill.

In my mind, his leaving has little to nothing to do with next season's sanctions. I think he would have been gone in any event. As the Big West player of the year, he has nothing left to prove.

Aaron's decision to leave is a little more problematic. He says he is going " pro", but where? In my mind he is not top-level European material, although he could play pro ball in a lower classification league in Europe or in Asia. He can and will make a decent living, but look what he could have accomplished had he stayed. He would have had a solid chance to be an all-league player and show some consistency in his play. Yes, he had some great games this season, but he also struggled against some of the better three men in the league. If he does graduate this spring or summer I understand the decision, but without a degree, I don't.

Then there is Jovanovic. Are you kidding me? A mediocre player who has limited skills other than his height decides to leave because the Bows may be ineligible for post-season and where does he go, to a sub-500 Loyola of Marymount team that has about as much chance to go to post-season as I do. Yes he has impr0ved each year, but he is still a role player who struggles to score and rebound. At least at UH next season, he might have had a chance to fight for a starting position.

And then there is Filipovich who apparently has decided to give up basketball and seek his degree closer to home. Must be something more there, but good luck Niko. Hope you get that degree.

So the team has three returning players. the afore-mentioned Thomas, Drammeh, and red-shirt Auburn transfer Jack Purchase. Drammeh showed he can be a productive player and with more playing time, hopefully will develop some offense to go with his defense. Purchase is a 6'9 Australian who will get a real chance to start. Two guards have committed to the program, but lets face it, the coaches have an enormous recruiting challenge ahead of them. But if I was a an incoming Freshman who wanted playing time at program headed by a great coach, with fans who adore their team, a 10,000 seat arena, and a chance to win my Conference every year, even with one year " off", UH would be my first choice.  Your thoughts?

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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April 4th, 2016

Kris Jenkins with a shot for the ages. A three with no time on the clock when the ball goes thru the hoop. What a game. Only the wrong team won ( I know, don't be  bad loser). After the two junk semi final games, this is one no one will forget. good nite

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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April 4th, 2016

Villanova has made 4 free throws in the last few seconds. Carolina has 13 seconds to make a three to tie. did someone say the game was coming down to the last possession. ITS GOOD. we are tied with 5 seconds to play

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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April 4th, 2016

Carolina has cut the 10 point lead to 1 with 1 minute to play. Villanova ball

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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April 4th, 2016

Yep

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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April 4th, 2016

Down ten with 5 to play, its crunch time for the Heels. You can feel it slipping away. Villanova is has some foul trouble but Carolina has really not been able to capitalize as the Wildcats are scoring almost every time down the court. They need a few stops

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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April 4th, 2016

If Carolina doesn't come back to win ( and they trial by 5 going to the line to shoot 2), they can look to Kennedy Meeks subpar performance. Only two points for the Carolina big man with 7 minutes left to play.

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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April 4th, 2016

this one has the feel of a game to be decided in the last minute. Villanova has taken the lead by three with 12 minutes to play. Carolina has not even attempted a three so far in this half. Credit the Wildcat defense.

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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April 4th, 2016

Villanova shoots 58% but Carolina is 7-9 from three. Jackson and Berry are a perfect 6-6 from three. Carolina is outrebounding the Wildcats by 6 and has assisted on ten of its 15 baskets. Both teams have turned the ball over 6 times. Villanova has balanced scoring with 5 players with either 6 or 7 points. As I earlier mentioned, the Heels are led by Berry's 15 points with Jackson chipping in 9. Carolina's big men have a total of 7 points. Nobody on either team has more than 2 fouls.

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

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