Hoops Talk

Vander and the Big ( Little) West

March 25th, 2013

Just back from San Jose where i watched Oregon and my alma mater, Syracuse, advance to the East Regionals. That makes sense. Send Syracuse to San Jose to play in the East First and Second Round and seed Oregon 12th.

But it didnt give me a chance to weigh in on two topics i have been blogging about all year, Vander and the Big West. First Vander. I dont care what anybody says, his classless act of leaving the Bench and the Arena during the game is inexcusable. End of story. I dont know what it says about both he and the program, but its not good. I dont care how " frustrated he was about his poor play in that game or his disappointing season", you play as team and you dont walk out on your team-mates. He has been a head case the entire time he played here, but folks were happy to look the other way so long as he was a dominating player. I believe the University allowed him to dictate his conduct both on and off the court (just count up his technicals and official's warnings), but i dont care how many rebounds and points you have, he will be remembered for his last act as a Rianbow, at least by me.

And all year i have been talking about how weak a conference the Big West was and some of you took issue with that. Well look how the Conference has fared in the postseason. Pacific, the Conference CHamp, loses by 29 to Miami. Long Beach, the regular season champ, lost by 56, yes that's right, to Baylor in the NIT. Cal Poly, who beat us twice, lost by 42 ( yes that's 42) to Weber State in the first round of the Riley Wallace Invitational and we lost by 4, at home, to an Air Force team that didnt have its best player ( leading scorer and rebounder) and then left here and lost by 21 to Weber State. Case closed. This league needs to improve, and fast, or become irrelevant on the National scene.

By the way, everybody is talking about how nobody knew anything about Florida Gulf Coast. If you listen to Hoopstalk, you heard their head coach as a guest on our show back in December after they had beaten Miami. Finally regular season show is this weds at 7. We will have a Final recruiting show in late April. and because of web issues, several entries into the Final Four contest never got posted until today. So we had 8 entries, and the contest will go on

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.

Posted in 1 | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Vander and the Big ( Little) West”

  1. poorboy:

    Jeff: With Vander , the Big West, Gib, APR, the coaching, recruiting, it is becoming self evident.You are right something has to impove dramtically with UH Men's hoops. Dilemma, for Ben Jay perhaps, Gib has winning record, and was invited to two, I know, CIT not an NCAA or NIT invite, however 2 out of 3 years, his team goes to post season tourneys.

    I appreciate on hoopstalk, you and Jackson inviting and talking to great coaches from around the country. Also, insight into the mind of Gib and program, by having Gib comment too. At this point, you might have to invite Gib on to your final hoopstalk program, before final four, or have him call in, since he might be on the recruiting trail. For the die hard UH MBB fans, and you and Jackson are included, the MBB program has reached a zenith.

    Vander, sort of like the Manti Teo episode, has to come out publicly and apologize to fans, coaches, the boosters, AD, and the State of Hawaii. Those scholarships are not cheap, and a lot of us held out hope that he would be a late round NBA draftee. Now, no way does an NBA team even have him on radar. If Vander, mans up, and apoligizes, it will be huge for his post UH career . Maybe, just maybe , overseas, Asia, Australia or low euro leagues, would give him a shot a employ. Without question, the character of the athlete, should exceed his athletic ability. I feel sorry for his family, and girlfriend if Vander does not make amends. Vander has to grow up, and fast.

    I miss Riley, the tough love, and consistency in his programs and with his athletes, Jackson, Jamie, Jeff, were some great assistants that he had, and they went on to success as well as helped to recruit very good young student athletes, some of the best that ever played at UH.

    Look forward to your final show Jeff P. You and Jackson, keep it real, objective, and a lot of the MBB fans appreciate that. Now, what happens to Gib, and program, anyone's guess. He does have Isaac Fotu, who will be very good, and Christian Standhardinger who will have a great senior season, as well as a healthy Spearman, so the core for improvement next year, MINUS Vander, will be much better, probably the attitude and cohesiveness of team will be good too.

    Hope UH MBB program will reach again the heights of Fab Five, Tom Henderson days, AC Carter teams, and the Savo/English, Kuebler teams, along with the NIT's, and NCAA invites!

  2. K-Bay:

    AGREE (Sometimes and itʻs getting to be more often, Jeff, so i think youʻre ʻlistening more and internalizingʻ your good intel). that Vander was a Niko Noga type player ( i woulda said "al" but HE was a First Team All-American).

    NEXT Ye

  3. hon2255:

    Hey Jeff, Vander will be remembered as a "Rainbow" cause he sure aint no WARRIOR ! WARRIORS stick with the team through thick and thin ,lose together , win together , get your degree Vander , the NBA will not draft you , at all. Aloha

  4. K-Bay:


    NEXT Season we might get to find out How Good, maybe how much better, this yearʻs team wouldʻve been without Vander -- i admire his improvement, how he became a credible shooter and how he overcome his hometown Angola environment to get here AND i donʻt think the First Two Gib Teams would have hit .500 or Better without Vander And May be even Josten & Trevor ... so THANK YOU, All + VANDER For That ...

    On the Neg Side -- He Often WAS A HOT HEAD and The Refs kept an eye on him for that -- this year it seemed worse in that his adjustments seemed less effective, but that was also likely injury-related. i Think He Was the Hold-Over from the Talent-vs.-Baggage Recruits that Gib admits he needed to pursue in the early years...

    NOW, without the Carmelo-Anthony-Type Offensive Movement-Freeze whenever the ball got into Vander and minus 2-1/2 turnovers per game (that didnʻt seem to improve as much as say Christianʻs) and probably better team and position quickness and ball movement all-around, we should see a better flowing offense...

    FGCU does look good (like an NCAA Version of OKC or Phi Slamma Jamma) and no matter what else they do, three wins over rated teams and a Sweet 16 has already cemented their legitimacy and probably "ensures" they can recruit high flyers ad infinitum (If they can retain their coach)...

    Thanks for the Shows, Especially Your Wisdom in retaining "Your Coach" (Jackson even if his PITT evaluation was Three Years Too Early, but Jaime got 10 More -- heʻs welcome to close out his career into retirement and challenge Riley or Gib for Winningest Coach)...

  5. jeffp:

    by the way, Irvine went down tonight in CIT to Oral Roberts

  6. rainbowbballer:

    Jeff, your insight to the weakness of the Big West is just too amazing. Just kidding, I enjoy your blog and your show. Please dont talk of Hawaii in the MWC, weak team cuz Weaker Coach, coach comment team build to battle Utah State, ??excuses galore.
    Jeff your talk show color guy, says if you extend Gibb, you cant move him out without paying him, what is your opinion extend or do not extend. It is time to really show us the money. The team has enough player talent, need the coach to show his talent.

  7. Curtis:

    Dr.Portnoy usually I agree with your comments but regarding Vander, I disagree. Was it classless ?..yes. Was it a mistake?..yes. One never turns his back on family and/or teammates...Affirmative. So do we banish Vander to the dark sides of the world? Do we vanquish Vander and even goes as far as preventing him from the team banquet? "No soup for you." He has anger management issues. If he hasn't assaulted anyone (yet) or made any terroristic threats I say he is a Rainbow Warrior "for life". "For life" sounds ominous. Surely I wish he will receive counseling and work on his issues. But throwing him "under the bus" (thump,thump,thump),is the easiest thing to do. Step 1: Someone needs to reach out to him. An assistant coach or someone close to him on the team. Step 2: Vander needs to apologize to his teammates. And to the coaches and to the fans especially the little guys who worship him on playgrounds. Step 3: Forgiveness. Laugh all you want but if that doesn't occur the program has major problems. If you take someone thousands of miles from home, and when he needs us, you turn your back on him? Yes he turned his back on the team. So burn all bridges? Gib gets his money. What did Vander get? A dorm room, free food, what else? It is big business. The movie __One on One__ describes college basketball. Did anyone go to practice and see what it is like. Does dictatorship prevail? Or were the rules diplomatically enforced? Or no rules and the inmates run the asylum? Which point to a bigger problem. Is there an athletic counsel? Team captains, kangaroo court for the team to police itself? Yes? No? My opinion is worth a nickel. With hindsight being 20/20 Vander should not have played this year. A redshirt year would have been a wise decision ...If we cared about him as a person more so than as a basketball commodity...1) to further his education and to work on his issues 2) time to rehab his knee. But the pressure is there to win...NOW...so he played this year. No coaching for the big man, or he couldn't pick it up. Coach Newell is a Hall of Fame coach, his teachings should be followed. Coach Wooden's teachings should also be followed. Coach Arnold's father Frank learned from coach Wooden. Coach Frank Arnold also encountered players with attitudes, consequently he decided to leave or got forced out. So does history repeat itself ? I agree with Coach Wheeler regarding an extension, if the contract is rolled over and Coach Gib Arnold is terminated after next season, the university is on the hook for $350,000 plus. Coach Arnold parlayed his first season into a payraise, because the powers that be at the university dropped the ball in signing contracts in an expeditious manner. And one last point, if Vander quits going to class, or he has withdrawn he hurts himself. Plus I believe he will hurt the school's A.P.R. More reason for an extension of the olive branch. I will get down from my soap box and let other readers respond. Aloha and goodnight. P.S.- Everyone should listen to the show, it's informative and quite entertaining like listening to the 3 stooges. Peace out.

  8. jeff waikiki:

    Vander at banquet wow maybe he can have Turkey Jeff p. can not wait wed hoopstalk 600 pm plug 1420? Jamie Dixon 10 ext really Go DUKE ,UCLA job open Jeff P.what is the deal with Grades are we losing scholarships ? Post season play? Will Ben Jay Ext Gib I guess he has to unless he wants his man in. so many ?? Will all players come back inside Info?please

  9. Hoosier:

    Enough about Vander. He is gone and time to move on. Impressive career numbers that did not translate into a ton of wins. Now we see Gib FINALLY admitting he needs some perimeter help with athleticism and 3 point shooting touch. Some reports are talking about one of the players from Mt. SAC. Have you looked at his season avg from 3 pt range? A little over 13 %. PLEASE do not bring this player in as an answer to our woes. No size (6 foot) and no range. Right, just what we need. Gib better comb the country for immediate, as in yesterday, help. As Poorboy says, I miss Riley and his teams' ability to set screens on offfense and fight through them on defense. To say this team was built for the WAC is weak and should have never been uttered. Bottom line is one recruiting year was lost when no one qualified and then we had to settle to fill the roster. No more room for misses. Go get the right pieces and coach 'em up. Some decent pieces in place but some balance will make everyone better. Can't wait to see who turns up.

  10. hon2255:

    Agreed, we need quality recruits this time ,to step in right NOW, otherwise next season will also be disappointing.

  11. jeffp:

    tomorrow hoopstalk will be on 6 ( no Animal overdrive or whatever). Guest will jamie dixon. good comments all. appreciate the love ( and occasionally the nonlove). Will be at Final Four writing for the paper. Not sure who will wind up there. One thing for sure, Gib needs a STRONG recruting class. yes, we have some inside guys, but we really need shooters and playmakers and some athletes who can defend the perimiter. In this Conference we play in, with our facilites and budget, not to finish in the top 1-2 is hard to accept going forward. As far as the APR issue, stay tuned. Hopefully the rumors of a possible problem will prove just that

  12. fshnpoi:

    he walked once, he'll walk again. only one thing vander cares about...vander.

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