The Big (little) West

December 27th, 2012
By

Hawaii basketball makes its first Big West league appearance this saturday against Cal State Northridge. Its time to take a look at the league so far this year and what we find is a league that is really struggling in non-league play and doesnt appear to have a dominating team like last year, for example, when Long Beach State was a near at large possibility.

Here are the facts. The league's record against Div 1 teams as it enters league play is a woeful 37-65. Yes some of the teams are forced to play " money games" against big time competition on the road, and a few of the teams have good wins against solid opponents, but the overall preleague record indicates a down year for the conference Nationally.

Some of the good wins: Pacific has beaten Xavier,St. Mary's;USF; and Nevada. UC Irvine has beaten Nevada, Fresno and USC; Cal Poly has the biggest win against UCLA, which was in the Top 25 at the time and is the only win a Big West team has against a top 25 team; and Long Beach defeated Fresno. Northridge comes in here with 9 wins, including wins against Tulsa,Pepperdine, who Hawaii lost to at home, and Utah. It has lost at UCLA, BYU, and Arizona State ( no shame for any of these road losses).

In the College Insider Mid Major poll, where they rank the top 25 mid major teams, Northridge is 32, behind such powerhouses as Stephen F. Austin, La Tech, and Florida Gulf Coast, to name a few, and Pacific received a single vote.

So let me be clear. The Big West is struggling this year. Only the winner of the Tournament will get to the NCAA's, and the winner of the League, if someone different, will go to the NIT. The league RPI is 15, however, thanks in large part to the quality of the opponents.

The preseason media poll had Long Beach first with 13 first place votes, with Fullerton in second with 6 first place votes. Irvine got one first place vote. Hawaii was picked 4th, Northridge 8th. Long Beach has been struggling, but gets two good transfers eligible for Conference play. Fullerton has had some tough losses, including at Washington by 2.

Hawaii plays the first three Conference games at home. After Northridge, its Fullerton and then a woeful Riverside team ( 2-8, and lost at USC by 44, at Pepperdine by 22, and scored 30 in a loss at Fresno. They are young, and you would assume will continue to struggle, at least on the road). These first three games are critical in determining where Hawaii stacks up in the league. At home, they need to win all three against two teams they will be competing with for the upper division and one team that everyone will be favored to beat at home.

It will be an historic night saturday. be there

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.

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3 Responses to “The Big (little) West”

  1. Seawalker:

    It was a bad mistake to rooster out Riley, especially since he wanted to stay. At least he could produce a 20-win season now and then. What, Riley even coached teams to back-to-back WAC titles. If Riley's trademark is to fling his jacket to pump up the team, Gib should take his shoes off as a rallying-cry. Come on Gib, let's get this show on the road. A winning season is not good enough. We need to go to the NCAA's come tournament time. If there's back court trouble on the time, then fix it. If the team is centered on Vander, then fix it. Don't really care about hearing about the problems. Want to hear the solutions and measure the results. What happened to the CA recruiting with the new conference? We need a Hot Rod Aldridge episode again where someone comes off the bench and just goes unconscious and shoots the lights out of the ball. Ahhh... just remembering the good times.


  2. Curtis:

    Dr. Portnoy, The scores for the Diamond Head classic: Lowtoner 6, Curtis 8, Che 7, Chicken Grease 7, 'Bowballer 8. Tiebreaker Curtis. Congratulations. @


  3. Curtis:

    The above results were based on these winners: day 1: Ind.St., SD St., Zona, Miami; day 2 : Miss, SD St., UH, Zona, day 3: SanFran, Miss, Ind. St. and Zona. Che called 135 right on the nose but he was one game behind. And 'Bowballer tied for the lead but failed to name his tiebreaker zero to infinity. Exciting contest,exciting times. Happy New Year to everyone and I hope to get my hands on my Big City Diner and Kiss My Grits $20 certificates so I can party like it's 1999. Aloha.