January 20th, 2012
what can you say about last night's bad loss to La Tech at home? Without Miah and Zane, the Rainbows were in for a tough night. And losing Vander to fouls with 5 minutes to play effectively ended the team's hope for a win. Coach Arnold knew they would not have Miah, but Zane's " flu" was unexpected. When you lose your best pointguard and your only legitimate outside scorer, even against a team like La Tech that had started the WAC season with three straight home losses and hadn't won a WAC away game in 12 straight tries, you know its not going to be easy. When your most effective scorer and re bounder causes a offensive charge call when he dribbles into the paint from 20 feet away, and then picks up a foolish 4th foul trying to guard someone 25 feet from the basketball, you compound the problem. And finally, when you make only 60 percent of your free-throws in a game where no one can hit a shot from 10 feet away, you will lose to an inferior opponent.
Having said all that, lets not take too much away from last night. A Hawaii team at full strength, or even a Hawaii team with a healthy Miah, would have won easily in my opinion. The way Hawaii had played the last few weeks makes that an easy conclusion for me. Unfortunately, a loss to La Tech at home hurts, and it is not easily made-up.
I think last night , however, was disappointing for another reason. It just looked like after Vander fouled out, nobody was able or willing to step up, except Joston, and La Tech figured it pretty quickly in the last 5 minutes that if they kept 2 or 3 guys around Joston, Hawaii had no answers. Even the Coach in our post game lamented the lack of poise and leadership down the stretch.
If anyone doubted how much Miah means to this team, watch last night's tape. Bobby Miles had a solid second half, but he and Shaq just dont run the team like Miah does. If anybody thinks there is another consistent outside shooter other than Zane, watch last night' tape.
Anyway, that game is history, and tomorrow is another day and a very important game against New Mexico State. These Aggies are undefeated in the WAC, just beat San Jose on the road by 16, and has one of the best players in the WAC in Wendell McKineswho leads the WAC both in scoring and rebounding. Not sure who get the task of defending him, but it wont be easy. I look for Hawaii to bounce back in a big way. They better, as their next three games are on the road , and if the Rainbows are going to compete for the top of the conference, another home loss wont help