Hoops Talk

Lots to Discuss

February 13th, 2012

As Hawaii gets ready for its " scrimmage" against Div 2 New Orleans tomorrow, two items are on my mind. The first is the Bracket Buster game on Saturday against Montana in Missoula. Not a good thing. Why? Let me count the reasons. First, UH has to fly to Montana to play the Big Sky leaders in a meaningless game. And then the team has to stay on the road for another week to play a huge game against New Mexico State and another important WAC game at La Tech. That trip would have been tough enough without having to play at Montana on Saturday. There is no upside. The game is not on TV, and frankly neither of these teams is playing for a signature win that might put them in the Big Dance.  Hawaii would have been much better off staying home for a week, getting some rest for the stretch drive, and preparing for the Aggies. And by the way, Montana is a tough opponent and doesn't lose very often at home.

The next item is the announced merger between the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA. I wont comment on how strong that new league will be in football. But it makes no sense to leave the UH basketball team out of the new league. Unless something changes, UH Basketball will remain in the Big West next year. Why? if its money, then someone needs to come up with a plan that will allow the basketball team to play in the same league as its football brother. UH is not Notre Dame where its football program and its other sports can be separated. I know there are a few others like Boise  who play in two conferences,  but UH sports need to stand united in a single conference to get the exposure , crowds and rivalries the basketball team needs to prosper.

If you want to have a big time basketball program, the administration has to stand behind it. Playing no name schools in high school gyms with no TV contract is not the way to do it ( yes, i know Long Beach State is good, and maybe San Diego State will join the Big West for basketball). 

The win against Fresno Saturday night wasn't pretty, but its a win. Teams in the WAC have figured out that they will not allow Zane to beat them, but he has to get his offense going if UH is going to have a legitimate shot at winning the conference tournament. Its pretty clear as you look at the remaining WAC schedules that Nevada will come in first, and Fresno, La Tech, and San Jose will finish at the bottom ( and probably in that order). UH is fighting New Mexico State, Idaho, and Utah State for seeds 2 thru 5. You dont want to face Nevada in the semis if you can help it, so ending up in 2nd or 3rd is the goal.

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.

Posted in 1 | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Lots to Discuss”

  1. jjay:

    Agree with you Jeff, UH Mens BB should be in the Mountain West and not in a conference where we will be playing in virtually inobscure Gyms not Arenas! Also ,why are we playing a non conference team like New Orleans in the middle of WAC season!????? Who scheduled this game? Did we really need it? On the verge of going to Montana?

  2. Lowtone123:


  3. eagle:

    Yup, Said it from Day One, Basketball and Football need to be in The Best League Available ...

    IF San Diego State joins the Big West -- and if they were smart so would BYU & Boise instead of The WAC -- The Big West Can Be a Good Conference ...

  4. JimmyHouse:

    I take the view of it doesn't matter whether they play Nevada in the opening round, semifinal or final, they'll have to beat them no matter what. I never understand why statements like that are made. Are you hoping that another team beats them and then UH won't have to worry about it. If you want to be a champion, you have to beat whoever is in your path, whenever you end up playing them. To say when a "good time" to play them is just nonsense. Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Kansas and the rest of the elite teams will play anytime anywhere. If they lose, then they weren't ready, but usually they are up to the challenge and that's what makes them elite. Don't shy away, face it head on.

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