By Jeff Portnoy
First, a triva contest. Without looking on the internet, who can tell me what state Nichols State is in and/or their Conference? Its the Southland Conference and they are located in Louisiana. They are picked to finish 8th in the 13 team Conference which has been dominated in the past few years by Stephen F. Austin ( the school, not the guy who is considered the father of Texas). They won 10 games last year, but have four starters returning and a couple of transfers, including a 7 footer from Boston College. Their present RPI is 314 ( out of 351), but their strength of schedule is presently 21. Hope to see a decent crowd for Sunday night's game. By the way, the Women play at 5 so plan to make it a double-header
Compare that with our beloved Rainbow Warriors. The Bows RPI stands at 105 with a SOS of 287. And with the upcoming games other than the Diamond Head, don't expect either the RPI or the SOS to improve. Look at this cast of killer opponents over the next few weeks. Arkansas Pine -Bluff, UH-Hilo, HPU, and after the Diamond Head, Mississippi Valley State and Howard ( not your friend, but a school in Washington D.C..) There is an away game against Texas Tech on Nov 28. They are picked next to last in the Big 12. I am sure Coach Ganot will get the team to Lubbock early so the team can take in the sites.
Kidding aside, UH has a most favorable schedule pre-Conference. I doubt they will lose more than 2 games( ok, maybe 3 worst case). It should give them time to work on the issues ( free-throw shooting, interior defense) that plagued them last weekend. But there is joy in Aloha land over the quick 3-0 start. I am sure that there were those who are still upset that there was a coaching change and were waiting for a poor start to support their opinion after last year's 22 win season. But with the solid start, those voices are presently silenced.
Some teams in the Conference are off a good start. Long Beach had a big win against BYU, and Cal Poly, although they are 0-2. lost at UNLV by 2 and at UCLA by 5. Those are the type of games that the Big West needs to play. UC Irvine is also 2-0, and play in a major Tournament the next week as does Long Beach. The first Big West player of the week is our very own Roderick Bobbitt, an honor well -deserved. I don't think it will be last time he receives this award this season.
I am off to Maui for the Chaminade Tournament ( I know that's not the correct name, but that's how I see it). Some very good teams like Kansas, Vanderbilt, and Indiana. The rest of the field includes UCLA, St. Johns, UNLV and Wake Forest. Want to wish everyone a great Thanksgiving and hope the Bows go 2-0 next week. No Hoops Talk next week and the following week, the team plays on Weds. The next Hoops Talk will be on December 9th. I hope our loyal listeners can find something else to do.