By Jeff Portnoy
Last night, the Rainbow Warrriors ( i think that's the latest nickname) easily defeated an overmatched BYUH squad in a game that was not as close as the final score. Gib subsituted freely and the UH starting five was just way too quick for a slow BYUH team.
There were no surprises in the starting five of Standhardinger, Fotu, Shamburger,Nevels, and Spearman. But Spearman's night ended just a few seconds into the game when he left the floor with what appeared to be an ankle injury. He was last seen leaving the Arena on crtuches at the end of the game, not a good sign for a critical player who has the 3 spot locked up. He was replaced by Aaron Valdes who had a solid game with 8 points and 11 rebounds ( led the team in rebounding).
Standhardinger led the scoring with 27 points, but made less than 50% of his 19 attempts. One thing is certain. He will shoot from all over the court this year. He attempted 5 threes, making 2, and was not hesitant in taking the ball to the hoop (sometimes inadvisedly in my opinion).
Garrett Nevels had an outstanding game. He shot 11-17 and played aggressive defense. In fact the the team showed that it can effectively press as they caused 15 steals.
Shamburger did a solid job at the point with 11 assists with only 4 turnovers, but his offense contiues to struggle as he made only 1 of 7 from the field. The team had 19 turnovers against a non pressure defense and that will have to improve.
Issac had a very average game. He had only 8 points and only 3 rebounds. Dont expect that to continue. Off the bench, the team got solid performances from Quincy Smith ( the team does have some depth in the backcourt) and Mike Thomas. Against a small frontcourt, Rozitis chipped in with 7 rebounds and 7 points in only 12 minutes.
Hard to really get a good reading on the team from this one exhibition. BYUH is not the team it was just a few years ago, and it was the first " real game" for both squads. But there were encouraging signs of the uptempo, pressing, transition game Gib wants to play this year. One concern is the lack of real depth in the frontcourt and if Spearman is out for any lenght of time, that will hurt. Another issue down the road against better quality teams is the lack of height in the backcourt. But all in all, I am sure the UH coaches were pleased with the team's overall performance.
The season starts for real next Friday in a four team tounament where UH will play one poor team, one average team, and one pretty good team. It should give all of us a real clue as to how the team will perform this year. cant wait.