Archive for February, 2013

Big West Tournament Contest

February 27th, 2013

yes, i know the Tournament is still two weeks away,but its time for another really big contest on the blog and on Hoopstalk. Here are the rules. You are to pick how many games you think UH will win in the Tournament ( 1, 2 or 3). Then you need to pick the total points the Rainbows will score ( so if you pick one game, you would pick 60 or 70 or 80 points; if you pick two games, then the total for two games, etc). The winner will be the person who picks the right number of games and comes closest to the total score without going over.

Prizes? who knows. At least dining certificates to Big City Diner, Dave and Busters, and Kiss My Grits for at least 75 dollars. The contest will remain open until two weeks from today and will include not only folks who enter here, but also on the radio show for the next three weeks. You can enter up to three times by the end of the show on march 13th. You may want to wait until UH's seeding is known, but why wait . Once a point total is selected, it may not be duplicated ( so no ties).

If you are trying to fiqure out where hawaii may end up when the season ends a week from saturday, my best guess is anywhere from 2 to 4th. Dont forget, teams will reseeded after round 1 of the tournament depending on who wins.

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while i was gone

February 25th, 2013

i was cruising around the island last week. While i was gone, several interesting things happened to UH basketball.

First, they lost two road games at Pacific and Davis. Those loses eliminated any chance that UH could win the Conference, so the NIT is out. The losses emphasized the porblems the Bows have had with teams that play smart, have solid guard play, can hit the three, and can neutralize Hawaii's inside game with patient ball control.

Second, they lose Spearman, probably for the season. This is a big loss, as he has been one the most consistant Rainbows. He can penetrate, hit the occasional outside shot, and can play some defense. Without him, look for Fotu to move into the strating line-up as UH will play big the rest of the way.

Long Beach has clinched at least a tie for the regular season championship. They need one more win or one Pacific loss to win it outright, and either of these is very likley. But i still done think they will win the Conference Tournament. They are too inconsistant, and play without much court smarts. Their loss this weekend at home in the bracket buster to Stephen Austin proves that even if they make it to the big dance, they will be lucky to be seeded any higher than 14.

Third, Hawaii took it to an outclassed Northern Arizona team in our bracketbuster game. It is the very last bracklet buster game ever, thank goodness. I guess this meaningless game turned out to be important to UH as it gave Gib a chance to experiment with new line-ups in light of Spearman's injury, but the Lumberjacks are a poor team made even poorer with the absence of their pointguard who was out with an injury.

Looking at the last two weeks of the regular season, Uh stands a half game behind Pacific for second place, and is tied with UC Irvine for third, with Cal Poly and Davis right behind. Based upon the remaining games, I like the Bows chances of finishing no worse than third with a real chance to tie for second. Two home games this week. one against a weak Santa Barbara team that might not even qualify for the Big West Tournament, and then Senior night against Cal Poly, a team that destroyed UH at home, but really struggles on the road, followed by the final game at Northridge, also fighting to make the Tournament, along with road games for Irvine and Davis, make UH's chances for a top three finish very likely. Of course, if you are Coach Gib, you want to finish second so your contract gets rolled over.

Finally, the student participation continues to amaze. Star wars night brought out several hundred students and their enthusiasm is contageous. Kudos to everyone involved in bringing a real college atmosphere to the Arena.

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A Surprising, some would say, Shocking Defeat

February 15th, 2013

Last night's blow out loss to Davis was surprising to some, shocking to others. Its not the defeat itself that was so disappointing, its the margin of victory and the way it happened that has many shaking their heads.

First, Davis has one of the worst home records in the Big West, under 500. Second, the much smaller Davis team totally dominated the Rainbows ( oh i'm sorry, the Warriors) in the paint. Davis had 17, yes that's right; 17 offensive rebounds, outrebounded Hawaii by 9, and outscored Hawaii in the paint. Sorry folks, but that's not acceptable. Its a sign of lack of effort and hustle, something that team has not been known for.

Standhardinger, the Big West Player of the Week for the past two weeks, must have reading his press clippings as he had a horrible game, 6 points to go with 5 turnovers. And Vander not only got a technical , but scored only 8 points and had 2, yes that's right, 2, rebounds. Fotu was agin missing in action on the road with 2 points and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes. And once again, Hawaii could not defend the three as Davis made 11-19, following up on their extraordinary three point shooting in their win against Hawaii here last month.

So the loss means that Hawaii drops into third place, just percentage points behind tomorrow's night opponent, Pacific, but more importantly, now another half game behind first place Long Beach, and unlikely to catch the 49ers. Tomorrow night's game against Pacific will not be easy. They are very well coached, disciplined, and can make the thrree. Hawaii beat them by 8 here when Pacific shot 3-27 from beyond the Arc, something not likley to be repeated at home. They also very tough to beat there. But its a big game, with second place on the line, and we will see if the Warriors can suck it up and rebound from their second worst defeat in Conference ( score-wise).

Its crunch time for Hawaii as they fight to finish in the top three in Conference. We will see if they are up to it.

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February 11th, 2013

The Bows go out on the road after winning thier 5th straight this weekend beating UC Irvine after Thursday's impressive win over league leading Long Beach State. Hawaii played a perfect first half against the 48er's before LBS decided to play some defense in the second half creating 20 plus turnovers on 19 steals ( yes that's 19). But a 33 point halftime lead ( yes 33) was too much to overcome and Hawaii held on to win. Saturday's game was a give and take affair, but once again UH's frontline was too much for another Big West opponent. By the way, as i said last week, Long Beach is very over-rated, but nobody could have predicted the way Hawaii handled them in the first half

Christain Standhardinger continues his excellent play and was selected today as the Big Werst Player of the Week for the second consecutive week, the first time a Rainbow basketball player has done that since Anthony Harris was the WAC player of the week two consecutive weeks back in 1995-96. UH is doing a much better job handling the basketball as Tavita has settled into the point guard position. He still cant score and that can be a problem as the season progresses. Vander continues to dominate inside with Fotu providing strong minutes off the bench, and the team is managing to get some scoring from either Brereton, Jawato, or Spearman, although usually not in the same game.

UH now stands alone in second place, a game and half behing Long Beach and 1 game ahead of third place Pacific. It will be difficult to catch Long Beach, but second or third is clearly within reach depending on the outcome of this week's two road games at Pacific and Davis. I am predicting the opposite results of what happened when these teams played in Honolulu. You may recall that Hawaii beat Pacific 60-52 when the Tigers shot miserably, making only 3-27 from three and shooting 31% from the field. And Hawaii lost to Davis on a career night for Corey Hawkins who scored 40 points while he and his teammates shot 16-26 from 3. In that game, the Hawaii frontline scored 46 points.

Pacific stands in third place and needs the win against Hawaii. They shoot much better at home, play very discilplined basketball and i think will beat UH this time around. On the other hand, Davis has the worst home record in the Conference, and i would think Gib will devise a plan to keep Hawkins from going off again. So i see the Rainbows coming back home with a 1-1 road trip and a half game lead over Pacific for second place with three Conference games left, 2 at home. Its been a long time since a Hawaii basketball team was this high in the league standings this late in the season.

By the way, i am somewhat surprised and disappointed by the lack of bigger crowds at the games. You would think that with Hawaii playing well and winning, fans would come out, but maybe its the lack of name opponents or natural rivals that is keeping folks away. On the other hand, the student turnout and participation has been great. Credit everyone at UH from the administrators to the coaches for bringing a big time student presence to the Arena.

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Three For the Road

February 4th, 2013

For the first time in several seasons, UH has won three consecutive road games. After getting its butt kicked at Cal Poly, The Bows have come back to defeat Santa Barbara, Riverside and Fullerton. The wins at Santa Barbara and Riverside were not unexpected, but the comeback win at Fullerton was impressive.

Standhardinger continues to play very well ( the Big West player of the Week), and Tavita has secured the point guard position with solid play after weeks of experimenting with poorer alternatives. He still doesnt provide much offense, but his assists to turn over ratio continues to improve. My comments about Vander generated some responses, and yes he had two solid halves last week, but i expect more from him ( like two consecutive good halves, especially against these smaller teams).

One thing is becomming fairly evident. If UH's opponents make threes, UH probably losses. If they shoot 25 percent, UH wins.

Long Beach comes in here Thurs with a deceiving 9-1 record. Several of the wins have been by a bucket or two, including some at home, and Riverside took them into overtime. UH only lost by 4 there, and this game will go along way in seeing whether UH can challenge for the regular league championship. UH sits in third, and has 4 home games left with only three on the road ( all tough now that Northridge is turning things around). But i like the Bows chances this weekend. They have shown a resiliency and toughness all season, and the two road wins last week, coming back from double digit second half deficits, suggests that it has worked out the problems that plauged it in early to mid january, and has positioned the BOWS to make a run in finishing in the top 3 going into the Tournament. Should be a good crowd Thursday in a game with major implications.

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critical win

February 1st, 2013

UH's come from behind win last night was crtitical for their chances of finishing in the top half of the league. After being down by as much as 11 points with under ten minutes to play, Uh rallied to eak out a four point victory ( i might add i predicted a 4 point win weds night on Hoopstalk, but i never thought we would have to come from 11 down to win). UH outscored Riverside 19-5 in points off of turnovers and 16-4 in second chance points. UH outscored Riverside by 6 at the line overcoming Riverside's 10 threes ( a recurring problem for the Bows). But the Bows had a season low 8 turnovers. Once again, Standhardinger led the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but he got help from Spearman who had 15 points. Of some concern was Vander's mediocre effort as he had 10 points but only 2 rebounds. Tavita continued his ball handling improvement with 8 assists to only 2 turnovers.

The game tomorrow at Fullerton takes on some added intrigue as Fullerton lost by 10 at home to Northridge who didnt even have their best player. As i have been writing for weeks, Fullerton has been a major disappointment and seems to be unable to find itself. Thery will be favored and i think they will probably win, but give UH a real chance of an upset to win its third straight road game and place itself in the top three. I still think no one will catch Long Beach.

Thanks to all of you who commented on the debate question both on line and on the phone. It has generated lots of discussion. Its been an interesting season so far, and hawaii has 4 home and 4 away games left. With 11 wins against Div 1 teams, the team has a legitimate shot at 16-17 wins. The conferences poor RPI ( 19th), and the poor RPI and SOS of most of the Big West teams, including Hawaii, guarantees only one NCAA spot, and i doubt whther any of the lesser tournamnets will take any of the remaining teams, so UH right now is playing for seeding in the Big West Tournament with the chance to win the big prize.

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