Archive for December, 2010

some air out of the balloon

December 31st, 2010

ok, it was painful to watch. The loss to Nevada is a little hard to explain. The defense that has kept UH in every game was missing in action. Nevada scored virtually at will. If it wasnt for Vander, it would have been worse.

This is a bad loss. This loss to a Nevada team that was ripe for the taking continues UH's road woes and its steak of never having beaten Nevada in Reno. To compete fior the top half of the WAC you have to win all your games at home and split on the road. This loss puts UH in the position of having to beat both Idaho and Boise next week at home.

 Bill Amis worked out with the team and the  Bows will need a healthy Amis if it hopes to compete in the WAC. Affter several good games  folks  were thinking that this team would win 17-18 games and finish in the top three or four, but tonight brought a little dose of reality. It is still a work in progress.

dont forget hoopstalk moves to weds at 6 for the rest of the season. tune in ESPN 1420 for interviews with some of the nation's best coaches and wall to wall hoops talk with jackson and myself.  And keep the faith. Remember, this team is only one win away from matching last year's record.

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6 point underdog

December 31st, 2010

6 point underdog. are you kidding me? One team is 9-4 and has beaten Utah and Miss State. the other is 3-9. I know we have never beaten Nevada in reno. This is the year. How about showing a little respect for reality. happy new year.

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quite the effort

December 30th, 2010

The bows gave the Aggies all they could handle in its 8 point loss last night. It was a three point game with 30 seconds to go. What must be frustrating for Coach Arnold and the team was the lack of rebounding. UH had only 13 rebounds. Utah State had 18 offensive rebounds alone.

Zane had another great game with 24 points and 4 rebounds and continues to demonstrate his all around game. Hiram had 13 points and 9 assists.

 Yes, it was a loss, but Utah State  just doesn't lose at home. It was its 23rd consecutive home win, and I am sure UH"s loss was as close as anybody has come in almost  three years to beating the Aggies at home.

Now, the big game on New Year's Eve in reno. There maybe no such thing as a must win this early in the season, but this is a must win if UH is to challenge for the top half of the league ( or better).

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tomorrow on hoopstalk and game predictions

December 29th, 2010

on the show tomorrow, our last thurs at 6 show on espn 1420 before we move to weds at 6 for the rest of the season, Jackson and I will preview the WAC. We will also look at the National scene now that conference play has started in earnest.  Our guests will include Bernie Fine, associate head coach forover 30 years at Syracuse., and our own Gib Arnold.

 UH starts its season in a few hours in Logan against Utah State. Utah state looks to be the class of the WAC with only two losses and those against nationally ranked BYU and Georgetown. Hawaii has never beaten Utah state in conference play in Logan, but did spring the upset a few years ago in the NIT. Despite how well the Bows are playing, this would be a major upset.

On the other hand, the Bows play New Year's Eve in Reno against the Wolfpack. Hawaii has never beaten Nevada in Reno either, but this is probably the weakest Wolfpack team in recent memory. It has only 3 wins against 10 losses, and if UH has any chance of finishing in the top half of the league, this is a game it has to win. I say the streak ends and Hawaii starts league play 1-1 .

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sad news

December 27th, 2010

the death of former rainbow Chris Gaines is sad news  indeed. While he was here, and for a brief period thereafter, i got to know Chris well. He was a good guy  and one of Hawaii's greatest basketball players. His death from a heart attack at age 42 is disturbing. If you were a fan of the program 20 years ago, you will not forget his skills on the court and the enjoyment he brought to many of us.

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December 25th, 2010

ok, i admit it. i never thought this team would end their pre-WAC season at 9-3. Not after Bill Amis went down. And i bet not many of you thought so either. 8-4 or 7-5 seemed more likely.

What a tournament for the Bows. An 8 point loss to a Florida State team that beat 15th ranked Baylor. And two convincing wins over " name" teams. It was a coming out party for Zane Johnson who showed he is more than just a three point machine and what can i say about Hiram that i havent already said.

Now its on to Utah State and Nevada. A win in Logan will be very difficult. They are the class of the conference and rarely lose at home. But for me the key game is new year's eve in reno where the Rainbows have never won. But this is a weak Nevada team, and if the Bows are to compete for the upper half of the conference, they need to win there.

My guess is that the way this team plays defense, they will be in most games, even if the threes are not falling. I predict a 1-1 road swing, something that i think will show the conference this is a  team to be reckoned with.  Considering the Bows won only ten games last season, 9 wins before conference pay starts is a huge accomplishment.

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An Early Xmas Present

December 24th, 2010

Coach Arnold, the rest of the staff, and the players gave all Hawaii basketball fans an early xmas present with its signature win over Utah last night.  Hawaii controlled the game from its opening 10-2 run, and defeated a team that has already defeated fellow WAC members Boise State and Fresno.

What can say about how important Hiram is to the team. After two quick Bobby Miles turnovers, Gib inserted  Hiram into the game. he walked outt onto the court in obvious pain, limping from his back injury, and then proceeded to play 34 consecutive minutes leading the team to victory. Not everything he did will show up on the stat sheet like causing Utah to foul him on three consecutive positions late in the game or throwing a beautiful bounce pass to Zane for an easy lay-up.

Hawaii's pressure defense was outstanding. Utah made only one three in 14 tries and Hawaii constantly harassed Utah whenever they tried to get into the paint. And maybe for the first time all season, Hawaii outscored their opponent on  point after turnovers.

Now its on to Mississippi State with an 11;30 5th place game on Xmas. It will interesting to see what Miss St does with the two players who thought the Arena was converted into a boxing ring. Not only were the combatants team-mates, but room-mates. I don't see how they cant be suspended

Happy Holidays to all fo you, even those who take the time to disagree and criticise. Tha's what freedom of speech is all about. The common thread is we are all UH basketball fans

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Something to be proud Of

December 23rd, 2010

i know, there is no such thing as moral victories in sports. Yes, I know, we measure success in sports by wins and losses. But the Bows effort last night against Florida State should make us all proud.

Yes, I know we lost by 8. Yes, I know we were never really in position to win, although the team got as close as 6 late in the game. But against a deep and talented Fla State team that is one of the best defensive teams in college basketball, our squad of 7 played their hearts out, never quitting and giving Fla State all it could handle.

After the game, in a conversation with me and others, Fla State coach Leonard Hamilton paid tribute to Coach Arnold and his band of shorthanded men. He praised the effort of UH, and said that in time, this program will be very successful. Based upon last night's effort, who could disagree.

But now, UH has to put it all together and get a win tonight against Utah or last night's effort will be just a memory. Utah is a solid club, but beatable. How much is left in UH's tank. Can they continue to play tough defense. Will the threes drop like they did last night. Can the team avoid foul trouble? Is there a chance that Hiram will play?

Last night's crowd was great. It was large and noisy. They saw a team with great heart that never gave up. Hopefully, they will all be back tonight to cheer on the home team.

My picks today are Miss State over San Diego;Baylor over Wash State, although an upset is possible; Fla State over Butler ( iam the Fla State host); and the Bows over Utah.

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observations from day one day games

December 22nd, 2010

in a nutshell, Baylor really good; San Diego really bad; Washington State good; Mississippi State not very good.

Baylor could have won by 50. They are athletic, tall, have a couple of NBA prospects and deserve their top 15 ranking. San Diego, on the other hand, is close to a Division 2 team.

Washington State struggled with Miss State for the first half, then blew the game wide-open with deadly three point shooting. Miss State  did play without suspended future NBA prospect Renardo  Sidney. Sidney just became eligible after missing all of last year for serious recruiting violations elsewhere.  Washington State could give Baylor a game, but I think the Bears will be too strong down the stretch.

Tonight, Butler should beat Utah fairly easily, and Hawaii will be no match for Florida State ( sorry).

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Diamond Head Classic Preview and Predictions

December 21st, 2010

Game 1.  Mississippi State 7-3 vrs Washington State 8-1. Pick Wash St. Miss St has played a very poor schedule. Only quality opponent was in their last game against Virgina Tech on a neutral court and they lost by 31. Wash St beat Fresno by 13. Lost to a very good Kansas State team. They received three votes this week in the polls. Best player in this game. Klay Thompson of Wash St. PG. 21ppg and 5 assists.

Game 2. Baylor 7-1 vrs San Diego 2-8. The mismatch of the first round. All Baylor, currently ranked 15th. Undefeated until last game , a loss to Gonzaga. Best player. Perry Jones, a f/c averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds.

Game 3. Butler vrs Utah. The pick is last year's national runner-up Butler. They are struggling somewhat so far with losses to Duke, Louisville, and Xavier, but they may righted the ship with a 30 pont win at Stanford on the way here. Best Player Matt Howard 18ppg and 8 r/b. Utah has beaten Fresno and Boise however.

Game 4. Florida State 9-2 vrs Hawaii 7-2. Frankly, without Bill Amis and Hiram, this game may not be close. Florida State is a great defensive and rebounding team, although they sometimes struugle to score. Best player, Chris Singleton, 14 ppg and 7.6 r/b. Hawaii is down to 8 players. Unless they light up the floor from 3, and avoid 20 turnovers, it could be along night.

Who will win it all. What do you all think?  The chalk says Baylor over Butler. I like Baylor over Florida State. A disclosure. I am hosting Fla State.

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