By Jeff Portnoy
Since my last blog, UH played Missouri tough in Kansas City before losing by 12, and destroyed UH Hilo in what was not much more than a scrimmage. Frankly one game against a Pac West team is more than enough and the RainbowWarriors still have a game against Chaminade on Kauai in December. These games do nothing to help Hawaii's RPI and although i understand playing one of these on a Neighbor Island, that's about all that can be justified.
Meanwhile I am on Maui for the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Frankly, its not the best Maui field in recent years, but my alma mater Syracuse is here along with Baylor and Gonzaga as the favorites.
In Monday's games, Arkansas plays Cal and Syracuse plays Minnesota. In the bottom half of the bracket, its Chaminade against Baylor and Dayton against Gonzaga. I expect Baylor and Gonzaga to come out of their bracket easily along with Syracuse and Arkansas .
Meanwhile UH will play New Orleans wednesday and Montana Friday. Neither shoud pose
much of a challenge. New Orleans started the season ranked 348 out of the 351 teams in Division 1 and although Montana whipped UH last year in Missoula, they are not the same team this year and the Rainbows should win this one by at least ten.
Folks keep asking me how good is this year's team. My answer is i dont know. They beat the three teams they were supposed to beat, lost to one they were supposed to lose to, and lost to New Mexico State at home, a team that is good, but not great. The games leading up to the Diamond Head wont tell us much, but the opening game against Boise will.
I still think the team needs more than one outside shooter and teams are scoring too easily once they break the press, which has been effective. Team free throw shooting seems to have improved and the team is going to the line more than their opponents. With Spearman back,there is some depth in the backcourt, although the frontcourt remains thin. Meanwhile the Big West is struggling against decent competition so in the early going, the League does not appear very strong nor deep.