Hoops Talk

the wac begins

January 1st, 2010

Its time for the real season to begin. Tonight, UH opens its WAC season against Idaho with Boise to follow on Monday. If the Bows have any hope of competing for the middle of the WAC, and avoid the possibility of finishing last and missing the tournament (  i think they will avoid that disaster), they need to sweep this opening weekend.  Idaho had a surprising solid season last year, and come in with a 7-4 record, including a big win against Portland and a bad 30 point loss against Portland. They have one of the best guards  in Mac Hopson and solid guard play, but they struggle on the road. Boise has beatenortland, but lost at home to San Diego, who Fresno beat by  32.They come in here, however, with a 9-4 record.

Hawaii is at full strength ( that is as full as they can be without Bill Amis), and should have both Flemings and Thompson back. Williams is finally showing the scoring ability we all heard about, and Campbell and Adams may be coming around. So far, however, the same cant be said for Lay( despite his game against Northwestern State), and Mayen, who seems to have lost his confidence against UNLV.

It must be said that the WAC has been a major disappointment. Its non-conference record is terrible and it is ranked 14th in RPI of all conferences. It appears clear that it is another one bid league absent some team running the table and another winning the conference tournament. As in football, the Mountain West is a far superior league ( sorry Carl Benson).

Ok, here are my predictions on how the WAC will end up. Utah State, Nevada, La Tech, Boise, Idaho, San Jose, Hawaii, Fresno, New Mexico State. I reserve the right to change these predictions after week one. I am going to go out on a limb, and predict UH will sweep the games this weekend. Maybe its wishful thinking, but i dont want to think about the rest of the season if the opposite happens. Happy New Year and New Decade to all of you.

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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