Archive for November, 2012

Stokes Arrested

November 30th, 2012

On the eve of UH's game at UNLV, comes word of the arrest of former Rainbow pointguard, Shag Stokes, on 5 counts of Burglary in the Second Degree. Stokes, who transferred last semester to Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, ( 10 minutes from my old hometown) has been suspended from the team along with three other team-mates also charged in the breakins.

Police alledge that Stokes and the others have committed a minimum of 6 dorm robberies in which laptops, cellphones, and cash were taken. They suspect many other robberies will be reported.

Stokes started several games for Hofstra this year after receiving a hardship exemption permitting him to avoid having to sit out one year .

What can you say except perhaps it was best he left before getting into serious trouble at UH. Obviously, he is not guily until he either pleads or some court determins his guilt, but what a sad situation.

Tomorrow, UH goes for only its second win ever, on the road, against an AP ranked team. The only other time UH won such a game was in the 2004 NIT against Utah State. Its road record against ranked teams is 1-30. As an aside UH's overall record against AP ranked teams. all time, is 18-99. Hopefully number 100 will not come against a very good UNLV team. On our show Weds night, Riley Wallace, who was here to watch UH play Illinois, and lives in Las Vegas and has watched several UNLV games, predicted UNLV by 15 because of their talent in the back court, and Bennett and Mosher upfront( even though Riley stated he would be rooting for the Bows).

My prediction is UNLV by 8. I think we will give them a game, but UNLV, at home, with their talent, will be hard to beat unless UH plays a perfect game ( few turnovers, match UNLV on the boards, and make 75% freethrows).

Posted in 1 | Comments Off on Stokes Arrested

Back from maui

November 27th, 2012

Spent last week on Maui at the Tournament. Some observations. Illinois won the Tournament to almost everyone's surprise. After Butler beat UNC, Butler was the favorite, but credit Illinois, they won the final game as easily as they won the two previous games with great guard play and three point shooting. One question that everyone asked was whether Hawaii's loss to Ill was a function of how good Hawaii is or whether Ill was jet lagged. I think it was some of both as there is no doubt that the Illinois team i saw in Maui was not the same team i saw during the first half in Honolulu. On the other hand, the Bows were up 16 at one point and our frontcourt dominated Ill for most of the game. A few less turnovers and made free-throws and its a Rainbow win.

North Carolina was the clear favorite going in, but Butler played a perfect first half before almost losing a 29 point second half lead. The Tarheels are young and not tough, but have tremendous talent. It will take a while before they play to their capacity. Butler has two great guards and play very smart. They could surprise in the Atlantic 10.

Frankly, the rest of the field was weak. One of the poorer Maui fields i can remember. USC, Miss St, Texas are all struggling, but how about the great Chaminade win over the Longhorns before they got crushed the next two games.

I wasnt here for the North Dakota win, but you cant be happy with a 4 point win over a team that was down by 20 plus points in the first half and is a newcomer to Div 1. We have seen Hawaii lose big leads in every game this season, although in 4 of the games the lead was large enough to survive with a " w". But its a disturbing trend based somewhat on poor free-throw shooting and a lack of constant guard play, along with a few inopportune shots early into the shot clock.

This weekend Hawaii will play the best team it will face all year, unless they wind up playing Arizona in the Diamond Head. Beating UNLV in Vegas is never easy, and this Runnin Rebel team is very good, even with the loss to Oregon at home. They have a strong frontcourt and one of the best fowards in the nation in Mike Moser. But they may have to play without Freshman foward Anthony Bennett who was rated the number 1 power forward. He is injured. It is the only non-conference road game for the Bows, and it will be a real test. One thing for sure. We will see exactly how good our frontcourt is.

Hoopstalk returns tommorrow night at 7 on ESPN 1420. With a little luck, we hope to have Jay Bilas ( he will be calling the Duke-OhioState game earlier that evening).

Posted in 1 | 2 Comments »


November 17th, 2012

The basketball Bows did alomst everything they could to defeat Illinois last night, but missed freethrows and turnovers converted into points contributed to a last second heartbreaking loss.

There is much good news coming out of this effort. The team played hard and together, and the frontline dominated this Big Ten team. Spearman made good on his desire to let Ill know they made a mistake when they didnt recruit him with a 20 point, 9 rebound effort, many of the buckets coming on dribble drives to the basket ( the one shot he missed, however, a dunk late in the game, will stay with him for a while).

Vander was Vander. Dominating the inside, he scored 22 points and had 11 rebounds. he could not be stopped. And the 14 foot turn around jump shot that sent the game into overtime will join the ranks of last second shots by UH that fans will long remember.

Speaking of the fans, 7500 of them watched a great college basketball game. The students continue to show up, and the place was rocking.

The game did expose some continuing issues in the backcourt, however, The athletic and very quick Ill guards constantly blew by the defense and either scored on layups or were fouled. After missing a ton of threes early, Ill made the big threes down the stretch and in overtime as the Bows perimieter defense was exposed. Turnovers converted into points ( 16 into 21 points), and missed freethrows down the stretch ( 17-31) ultimately dooomed the home team.

But what we learned is that edition of the basketball team is exciting and talented. They will be a force in the Big West. The frontcourt is as good as advertised. The backcourt remains an issue, but for the most part, Tavita ran the offense competently with 7 assists ( however 5 turnovers). One thing is pretty clear on the negative side, however. There is no solid backup point guard and on nights when Jace gets into foul trouble, as he did last night, the team will struggle.

But all in all, a great effort by the basketball Bows. They showed the basketball world that could stay with, and probably should have beaten, a Big Ten Team. Illinois will not win their Conference, but they are a solid team with a few very good players. and UH stood toe to toe with them for 44 minutes and 58 seconds. Way to go Bows

Posted in 1 | 6 Comments »

Observations on games 1 and 2

November 12th, 2012

Two games, Two wins. No Surprise.

The basketball Bows won their games Friday and Sunday fairly easily, as expected. Houston Baptist, tonight at 11, should be more of a test.

Friday night, the Bows dominated the boards allowing the team to run the break. The transition game looked solid behind Fotu's 15 rebounds and Hans' 24 points. 9 assists from Tavita overcame 21 team turnovers, some during garbage time with the second teamers almost losing a big lead.

Sunday was a different style of game with the Bows having to play alot of half court offense. Solid three point shooting ( 11-24), an effective zone defense, and Vander's domination of the paint in only 19 points led to a 27 point win. Jace had 10 assists, but 6 turnovers, (the team had 17), Fotu's game was not up to his initial performance, and there was a clear lack of a solid backup point-guard.

Standhardinger had two solid performances. Brereton is averaging 20 points per game and i believe he is the most important weapon from the perimeter on this team and will need to score 15 plus points everygame. As advertised, the frontcourt is going to be very good ( just wait till Fotu developes his offensive game), but the backcourt will have its isuues, especially if Tavita gets into foul trouble, or gets injured.

But all in all, two solid performances against weak opponents. Tonight will tell us more about where this team is early in the season, and Friday night's game against an Illinois team picked 10th in the Big Ten ( 12 teams) will be the real early season indicator of how good this team can be.

Houston Baptist is quick and athletic. They love to press and will run ten guys at you. They have an uptempo offense and some skilled players. Like UH, they have won both their games this weekend. They present a match up problem in the back-court, but I expect the Rainbow Warriors to dominate the game inside. The team will need to do a better job of protecting the basketball however. The big question , playing at 11 pm, is which team handles the late starting time better. The crowd should be relatively small, but very loud with students permitted to sit courtside. I love it

Posted in 1 | Comments Off on Observations on games 1 and 2

Let the games begin

November 7th, 2012

In the old days, the Rainbow Classic was one of the best tournaments in college basketball. Folks here in Hawaii and around the Mainland couldnt wait to see teams like North Carolina, Duke, Michigan, Indiana, etc. Those days are long gone. We now have the Diamond Head Classic over the holidays, and the Rainbow has been relegated to mid November with teams few have heard of. This year is no exception.

Friday, the Classic begins with Maryland-Eastern Shore, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Houston Baptist. Maybe someday they will be replaced by Maryland, Arkansas, and Houston.

It would be a real eye-opener if the Bows dont win all three of these games and by significant margins. Even with a young and inexperienced team, these three opponents really shouldnt offer much of a challenge. But its a good way to get the season off to a 3-0 start.
Friday's opponent, Maryland-Eastern Shore , is picked to finish last in the always tough Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. They were 7-23 last year, and have won 34 games in the last four years. Sunday's opponent is Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Golden Lions are members of the SWAC and had a 11-22 record last year. They are picked to finish 9th in the 10 team league.They also banned from post season play because of low APR scores.

Hawaii should have Vander back, although he is not yet in game shape. Look for him to get increasing minutes, but i dont think Coach will jepordize his full recovery against this competition. Should be an opportunity for lots of guys to get some game experience and to experiment with different lineups. Look for Fr Manroop Clair ( G) and Orzen Pavlovic, a 6-8 G from Croatia, to get into the mix.

Fun fact. Issac Fotu wears number 42. Know why? sound it out.

Tonight on Hoopstalk an interview with Notre Dame head Coach Mike Brey. Tune in.

Posted in 1 | Comments Off on Let the games begin

Its Time For UH Basketball ( and this blog)

November 5th, 2012

Well, it seems like yesterday that i signed off on the blog as the 2011-2012 season ended on a somewhat disappointing note. A 500 record and some late season loses made many of us look forward to this season.
Much has happened since then. Several players left the program prematurely, the Athletic Department has no permanent AD, ther have been some coaching changes, several new players have arrived, and the season will begin in earnest this Friday.
Watching several of the players this summer, and attending the HPU exhibition, some things appear obvious in the early going. On the positive side, we are going to have a very good frontcourt. Vander is back, although still recovering from the injury that has kept him off the court for weeks, and redshirt Christian Standhardinger and newcomer Issac Fotu will provide the Bows with one of the better frontcourts in the Big West. On the concern side of things, the backcourt looks less than steller at this point with no true point guard and questionable outside shooting. Their are also are questions in my mind about perimeter defense and free throw shooting ( particularly from the guards). Rebounding and inside offense should not be a problem.
Brereton appears to be the most consistent shooter going into the season, but the Bows will need Brandon Spearman to carry some of this responsibilty.
This weekend's games are all against weak opponents and offer the Bows a relatively easy opportunity for a quick 3-0 start.
Its a new league and its a league that is guard dominated if you have listened to the Big West Coaches we have had on Hoopstalk so far this radio season ( every Wed at 7 on 1420 ESPN), so guard play will be critical to the Bows success, or lack thereof, this season. Many of have asked me or called the show to ask how good will the team
be. My answer is consistent. Who knows? With all the new pieces, ask me again in mid December.
I will preview this weekend's games later this week. I will try to have a new blog entry at least three times a week. As always, i hope you will blog back. We may not always agree, but that's the fun of this blog. We dont have to.
I will be on the Bobby Curran show tomorrow at 8 to talk with my play by play partner how things look going into the season. jackson and I will preview the Weekend's games on the show weds.

Posted in 1 | Comments Off on Its Time For UH Basketball ( and this blog)

Recent Posts

Recent Comments