By Jeff Portnoy
The Basketball Bows take on Pepperdine Saturday night in what should be a pretty competiive game. After 4 wins against teams with a combined record of 4-33, and two loses to top 20 teams, Pepperdine presents an opponent much more similiar to what Hawaii will face once Conference play begins in a few weeks.
Pepperdine is 5-3 having beaten Washington State and UC Irvine, but having lost to Northridge and Utah Valley State. They present a contrasting style of play in that they play slow, scoring in the 60's, while UH loves to try to run. This will be a game where whichever team controls the tempo, will likely prevail. Also, Pepperdine is guard oriented, while UH tries to dominate you inside.
If you listened to Hoops Talk last night, you heard Coach Gib talk about Vander's knee and his continuing effort to get back in playing shape. The best example that he is not at full strength can be seen by the fact that Vander has a total of 2 blocks all season. He is struggling aginst good big men, primarily because he is still not in great playing shape.
Also, we spoke to one of the National Scouting Service folks about UH's two early recruits, Stefan Jovanovic and Michael Thomas. The word on Thomas is that he can be a bigtime player and a real " steal" for UH. He is a 6'6" high school senior from LA, and many schools are apparently sorry they did not get after this kid. UH outrecruited Boise and Santa Barbara. Jovanovic, on the other hand, can be calledf a " project". His main asset is apparently his height. he is a 6'10" C/F from Serbia. The scout called him an " Ivy League" type recruit ( I guess if its Harvard, that's not bad).
One thing Hawaii is going to have to improve on is outside shooting. After 6 games, 5 at home, they are shooting less than 30% from three. That wont get it done. They were 1-18 from at UNLV. On the other hand, they are outrebounding their opponents by 6 which allows them to run the floor and look inside for their offense.
Both Bobby and I are back together for Saturday's game. Hope you can make it