Hoops Talk

a heartbreaking loss

January 22nd, 2010

what can you say about last night's loss to New Mexico State?  You can say that once again turnovers killed the Bows.  Five from Petras Balocka, who frankly was lucky he didn't have 3 more as he looked like a deer in the headlights almost every time he touched the ball. And surprisingly, 7 from Hiram who is beginning to wear down from playing 38 plus minutes, getting physically abused and knocked to the floor several times a game, and really having no one else capable of handling the ball on a consistent basis. The Aggie pressure was intense, and once again the importance of solid  guard play was magnified by the play of Jahmar Young who made a great shot to win the game with under a second to play despite being closely guarded by Rod Flemings.

The Bows outside shooting was again suspect. Lay was 2-13 from the field, and Hiram was not much better. New Mexico State, obviously having watched film of Hawaii's shooting woes, played a surprising zone most of the night. I said at the beginning of the broadcast, and my opinion never changed, that i thought it was  a mistake for New Mexico not play man defense when they had a significant quickness advantage against a poor ball handling team. Yes i know they won, but they were, quite frankly, lucky to win as the Aggies did not seem very interested in playing defense for much of the game and had little interest in crashing the boards. Hawaii outplayed New Mexico for 30 minutes, and had a 12 point half-time lead, but a 16 -0 run to start the second half doomed the Bows. Once again, one good half and one not so good half led to the loss.

now its time to try to regroup for tomorrow nights game against La. Tech, a loser at San Jose. I blogged here earlier this week that i would not be a believer in La Tech unless they came out of this road trip with two wins. Now they may come out with two losses. La Tech has historically struggled out here when it was the second game of the trip. Yes, i know this is a better team, and Hawaii is coming off its most difficult loss of the season, and yes, still no Dwain Williams, who once again not only didn't suit-up, he didn't show up, but i think Hawaii has a solid chance to win this game. If they don't, it doesn't get any easier as 4 of the next 5 games are on the road where Hawaii lack of depth will really show its ugly head.

Utah State's win over Fresno last night is not a surprise ( at Fresno), but the 20 plus point margin is. Utah State appears to have solved its early season conference losses, and along with Nevada appear to be the teams to beat. Yes i know New Mexico St is tied for the conference lead with La Tech, but based upon Thursday nights games here and in San Jose, i am not convinced either of those teams will be there at the end.

finally, its beginning to look like the fans have given up on Hawaii, and that's wrong. Last night only 3000 showed up, and the ones who did cheered long and hard and saw the second exciting game in a row. Although the results are not what anybody wants or expected based upon preseason hype ( locally mostly), the team plays hard ( with occasional exceptions), and  although clearly undermanned and often not up to the skill level of some opponents, deserves your support. Not the 3000 who show up, the rest of us who sit back and gripe about the coaches, the losses, and the frustration of what appears to be another losing season. There is still time to come out to support this team starting with tonmorrow night. hope to see you all there.

fianlly a shout out to the site " Parsing  The WAC' " for acknowledging our blog and asking its readerssto book mark it. Its a great site for all you need to really know about WAC basketball, and I appreciate their support of my blog

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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