Archive for April, 2012

basketball Banquet

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April 26th, 2012



last night, the basketball team and boosters held their annual end of the season banquet at the Hilton. As always, it was well attended and lots of fun .And, in my mind, its the official end to the 2011-2012 season and means the blog will go on summer recess ( except for the occasional blog if and when something important happens).

Coach Arnold gave his annual state of the team talk thanking the departing players ( even the transfers), and telling the folks about the returning guys and redshirts, along with the fall and spring signees, and sounding really optimistic about the 2012-2013 edition. We learned that there is one scholarship remaining which may or may not be filled, at least not right away, and that of the four recruits in last weekend, they got the " one guy they wanted".

I am still concerned about the point guard position, but it seems the coaches arent, and they count. I am also still concerned we dont have a consistant outside scorer, but only time will tell if one of the redshirts or new guys can fill that role.

Its been a fun year, admittedly filled with ups and downs. The second half swoon and the 16-16 record have to be considered a disappointment as well as the lack of any post season play. But the emergence of Vander, and the play of the entire team in the WAC Tournament were clearly highlights. The tranfers are an issue, but the redshirts and recruits hold solid promise. There were a few signature wins ( Xavier) and some disapponitng loses.

For me, i enjoyed broadcasting the gamnes with Bobbie once again on ESPN 1420 and Hoopstalk, the radio show, really took off. I want to thank Jackson for his co-hosting duties. I look forward to the return of Hoopstalk, the radio show, in October, as well as next season " behind the mike" as the team enters the Big West. And finally, to all of you who read this blog, thanks for your interest, support, comments, and even the occasional criticism. Cant wait for October 15. Aloha

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final radio show

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April 23rd, 2012



all good things must come to an end. at least for the season. The final Hoopstalk radio show is tomorrow ( tuesday) at 7 pm on espn 1420. I want to take this ooportunity to thank all of you who have listened to the show this year. Its been great fun and the audience is a large part of its success. It also helps to have guests like Jamie Dixon, Roy Williams, Mike Brey, Tommy Amaker, most of the WAC and Big West coaches, etc etc. We are looking forward to returning in October and we may have a special show or two as the final recruiting story gets written.

Rainbows expected to sign Brandon Spearman this week. He began his career at Dayton where he started two games, played in all 36 games, averaged about 11 minutes, and 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds. By his own admission, he did not get along well with his coaches style of play ( we did not see eye to eye" ). He was rated the 39th combo guard by Rivals coming out of High School. He spent last year at Indian Hills JC where he averaged 11.6 ppg. Some question as to what schools were actually seriously looking at him, but one source says the other schools were Detroit, San Francisco, Milwaukee, and N.Iowa. He likes to shoot the three, but at Dayton his three point shooting percentage was just over 30 percent. In any event, he looks to be a solid player who should add some needed depth to the guard position. Two more scholarships are available.

This column is also getting ready to hibernate soon. I want to thank all of you who took the time to read it, and especially those of you who responded. We may not have always agreed with each other, but i appreciate your opinions, whether they agreed with me or not. This is an independent blog, not associated or controlled by anyone at the paper or UH, and i intend to keep it that way. What we all want is a successful basketball program, on and off the court. Sometimes there are facts and opinions that are not always 100 percent supportive. But in the end, this blog encourages a full and frank discussion of UH basketball. Cant wait for next season in the Big West.

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Its Crazy Out There

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April 19th, 2012



The world of college basketball continues to amaze me with stories that just make you shake your head. just this week:

1. Indiana offers a basketball scholarship to an 8th grader. Yes, he is the brother of Indiana star Eric Gordon, and yes, he is already being recruited by Michigan State, Ohio State, etc, but give me a break. He is 14 years old. He expects an offer from Purdue as well.

2. 71 year old Larry Borwn is the new head coach at SMU. Yes, that Larry Brown. This will be his 12th coaching job, nine in the NBA. SMU's basketball program is about where its football program before June Jones, but come on, is Larry Brown the answer.

3. Kentucky's entire starting 5 declares for the draft. One and done is one thing, but this is riduculous. Yes they won it all this year, but is Kentucky simply the Class A minor league for the entire NBA. And can you discount that one or more of these guys might have had shoe deals and/ or agents before the tournament. Dont cry for Kentucky however. they have a top 5 recruiting class of a new crop of one and done.

4. Bo Ryan of Wiscconsin tries to limit where one of his players can transfer to until it became a big media issue and now that player can transfer to any school not in the Big Ten. Coaches can leave whenever and to wherever they want, but I guess players have to go only where their coach says they can.

5. The NCAA turns down UCONN and Toledo"s appeals that will prevent them playing in the post -season next year because their APR's are so low. Because of poor grades and transfer issues, these two schools academic scores are a joke, and i commend the NCAA for holding firm dispite much political pressure. I dont agree with alot of what the NCAA does, but i beleive we are still talking about college sports and " student athletes" ( ha ha).

And that's just this week. Hoopstalk tonight at 7:00 on ESPN. Our next to last show. dont miss it. We will be giving away some one of a kind Final Four items to thank our loyal listeners along with our continuing tour of the Big West and the latest recruiting news.

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A Look at team, as is

By
April 16th, 2012



One of the nice benefits of being a Booster Club member ( among others, you should all join), is to go to Board meetings and hear from the coaches. Yesterday, at a board meeting, Coach Fisher spoke about the returning players and the early signees.

Not surprisingly, he was very optimistic about the team's outlook for next season, even with the three recent departures. He told the group that the point will likely be manned by Stokes and Tavita, the Utah transfer. Tavita played in 60 games for the Utes and was selected to be the team captain before he decided to leave. His three year stats, however, are frankly not that impressive, averaging less than 2 points per game and about 2 assists per game in limited minutes. But according to Fisher, he has shown good leadership skills and a decent outside shot during practices. As you know, i am not a big fan of Stokes as a point guard, but it looks like that is going to be the tandom at the point. There is also the Israeli guard, Orel Lev, who arrived in January. He averaged 25 points and 40% from three for his high school, but my guess is that the coaching and competition in Israel is not comparable to most US high schools.

Inside, the team looks much stronger. Fisher told us that Vander will be back . But he will be trying to play in the Olympics for Angola ( if they qualify ), and i dont think its 100 percent certain that he will return. But ready to hit the floor for the Rainbow Warriors is 6-8 Nebraska transfer, Christain Standhardinger who averaged 8.5 points and 4.2 rebounds for the Cornhuskers and who i hear is the real deal. The team also signed 6-10 Caleb Dressler in November and he is rated either a three star or two star, depending on which rating service you want to follow. And then there is the New Zealand signee Issac Fotu, who still has to qualify, but could be a real steal for the Rainbows ( One Mainland coach told me he is very good and getting better).

We were told there are two scholarships available and that 4 players will be here this weekend. I do not believe any are point guards. They are a mixture of high school seniors, jc, and a transfer.Names are never mentioned, nor are schools- you know NCAA issues).

I still think the team needs a true point guard and a reliable outside three point shooter. Brrereton was inconsistent from outside as was Stokes. But it looks to me that the team's strength will be in the frontcourt. There is even some depth there. Lets see who signs in the next two weeks.

By the way, i know there has been alot of talk about all of the players leaving. Only one left out of 9 from year one. . Sometimes, players do not work out, both on and off the court. Sometimes, a player thinks he is better than the coaches think he is. And sometimes, coaches need to make room for someone who they think is better than what they have. That is the world of college basketball. Hopefully, we will see some better stability in the program after recruiting year three. But scholarships are on a year to year basis, and both the players and the coaches are free to make changes as they see fit. One concern i do have is will all these comings and goings impact the APR and possibly cost us a schorlarship or two down the road. We will have to wait and see

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tonight on Hoopstalk

By
April 12th, 2012



Tonight on Hoopstalk at 7 pm on ESPN 1420, we will continue our tour of the Big West with an interview with UC Santa Barbara Head Coach Bob Williams. We will also talk to our Final Four Contest winner Brandon Matsuoka.

As expected the first day of the National Signing period came and went without any UH signings. The next two weeks will tell us if Coach could find the point guard this team needs badly, along with one or two other recruits.

On the National scene, the big winners were Kentucky and UCLA as they snared the top two players available. Funny how UCLA, with all its issues, fared as well as it did, and we all know about Kentucky's success in signing the one and done players. Perhaps another big surprise is that Duke's recruiting class was not rated in the top 25.

By the way, i have brought back from the Final Four several items that were only available to the media ( Final Four guides, score sheets, etc). If you are a fan of any of the final four teams, you may want to listen tonight and next week to Hoopstalk as I will be giving things away as prizes.

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National Signing Day

By
April 10th, 2012



tomorrow is the beginning of the Spring National Signing Day for Basketball. I wouldnt expect any signings by UH tomorrow. Coach Arnold is on his way to Europe and you can expect some visits from potential recruits the next few weekends.

So what do we know " for sure". Hawaii has two signees as of now. They are Caleb Dressler a, 6'10' Center with a two star ( out of 5) rating, and Orel Lev a 6'4' guard from Israel with no rating. There are also a few prospects who have alledgedly been offered a scholarship, but who have not given a verbal committ. The appear to be mid major candidates looking at the other schools who are recruting them.

Gone are Miah and Zane ( eligibility), althgough there are rumors that Miah may petition the NCAA for another year, and Thomas and Miles, one to try to play professionally and then other to be " closer to home". Whether Garrett Jefferson stays is a matter of speculation.

So what's left in the cupboard. Of, course, Vander, Shaq, Wiseman, Rozitis, and Hans, along with some bench guys. Also waiting in the wings is Christain Stanhardinger, the Nebraska transfer. Enough in my mind to field a team, but not enough to compete for the top of the league, even in the Big West. The Rainbow Warriors need a pass first point guard who can score and play defense, a solid three man who can hit the three consistently, and another big man to take the pressure off of Vander. They also need a second two guard who can play defense and hit the outside shot.

Not sure you can find all these guys in high school, so a European player or two, and a couple of JC kids would help, but how many scholarships are left. Not sure if it will turn out to be 2 or 3. Anyway, Gib came here with a solid reputation as a recruiter. The first two classes have had hits and misses. This year needs more hits.

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The Big Hoopstalk Winner

By
April 3rd, 2012



Well the results are in and the winner of this year's big Hoopstalk NCAA contest, and the more than 400 dollars in prizes that goes with it, is Brandon. He had Kentucky over Kansas in the final and ended up with 48 points. Brandon email me at jportnoy@cades.com to arrange to pick up your prizes. By the way, Brandon, we would love to have you on the show. email me your phone number if you are willing. Thanks to all who played. Indiana looks to be the preseason favorite next year, but we will have to wait to see who leaves for the Pros

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at the half.

By
April 2nd, 2012



i like Bill Self. I said he deserved to be the National Coach of the year and he is. but what was he thinking tonight when he decided to run with Kentucky. This game was over right then in the first minute. Kentucky leads at the half by 14. It could worse. Kentucky lead by 18 late in te half. Davis doesnt even have a point. I guess the other guys are pretty darn good. he does have 9 rebounds and at least three blocks to go along with a team leading 4 assists. Kansas came from 13 down against the Buckeyes, but this isnt Ohio State

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almost game time

By
April 2nd, 2012



after four days of perfect weather, the thunderstorms have hit downtown New Orleans 2 hours before game time. What should have been a 7 minute media bus ride to the Dome took 45 minutes. You know the ticket scalpers are really unhappy, as are the t-shirt vendors. but the dome is filling up with what is expected to be a Kentucky home crowd. It will be all Blue.. interesting trivia fact. no matter who wins tonight, it will be the 10th straight year a team wearing blue takes home the crown. more at the half

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