By Jeff Portnoy
well alot has happened since the last blog. Yes, I have been apponited to the Board of Regents. I hope to contribute in many ways, not the least of which is to discussions regarding UH athletics. No, i will not be giving up the blog although i will have to be careful of avoiding conflicts on basketball issues like coaches contracts. And i will continue with the radio show and game braodcasts.
Maui, as always, was great fun. My undergraduate alma mater, Syracuse, ran thru the field. It wasn't the strongest field (there were only two games where both teams were ranked), but it was a competiive field, at least on paper. Chaminade held its own for some of each game, but lost pretty badly at the end. I will say that they are much better than Hilo, and if they can hit their three point shots for two halves, they could make a game of it when they play UH in two weeks in Lihue.
Meanwhile the Rainbow Warriors won two games. The first, against New Orleans, was not much more than a scrimmage. You can see why the Privateers are one of the worst teams in Division 1 as they return to Division 1 basketball. After the pounding UH gave both Hilo and New Orleans, thier offensive stats are somewhat inflated.
The game against Montana was a different story. After jumping out to an early lead, Montana crawled back to a tie early in the second half by playing solid half court basketball, but UH got its running game going and won fairlly easily. Standhardinger had a monster game and Fotu , even with his wrist injury, helped UH once again dominate in the paint. The team still has, in my view, some offensive issues, particularly in the half court. Shamburger continues to struggle from the field, but is giving UH a steady hand at the point. Nevels appears to be the only consistant outside shooter, although Enos may have the nicest three point touch. And Spearman appears to back at full strength both offensively and defensively. The role players have giving the team some solid minutes. When hawaii can dominate the boards, they are tough to beat. It remains to be seen what happens when they have to play a half court game
The road will shortly get much tougher. After this wees's road game at Northern Arizona and the game with Chaminade, the Diamond Head Classic should give us a good indication of where this teams stands going into Conference play. Northern Arizona just lost at home to UC Riverside, and although it is on the road, at some altitude and proabaly snowy and cold, this is a game UH is supposed to win. Ditto Chaminade. But the first round opponent in the Classic is a very good Boise State team, and depending what happens in that game, either St. Mary's or South Carolina the next round. Boise is easily the best team the Rainbow Warriors will have faced all year ( unless they wind up playing Iowa State in the Classic).
I predicted UH would be 5-2 at this point and 7-2 going into the Classic. I have been correct so far on all games and am pretty confident on the next two. We'll see