By Jeff Portnoy
well i am back from my trip to North Carolina where I got to see Duke play and beat Georgia Tech and Carolina lose to Miami. Duke lacks a solid inside game and will strugggle against big teams while Carolina lacks good perimiter shooters. Put these two teams together and you have a top ten team.
Meanwhile, the Rainbow Warriors are off to a 1-2 start, losing both games on the road and winning one at home. The two road loses were disappointing, but the lose at Cal Poly was no surprise , while the loss at Northridge could easily have been a w but for questionable calls and some poor decision making in the final minute.
The win saturday night against Riverside doesnt really tell us much. Riverside is awful. Yes i know they came from way back to beat Davis at Davis ( our next opponent), but frankly, these are the worst two teams in the league. But a positive sign was the way UH came out ready to shake off the road loses in pounding Riverside from the first minute and never really letting up.
But to compete for the Conference crown, you have to win at least half of your road games, and not lose more than a game or two at home. The team now goes out on the road to Davis and then Irvine. A loss at Davis would be hard to explain while a win at Irvine would be huge. Irvine is one of the top three teams in the Conference. They have 3 7 footers and at the moment is undefeated in Conference play.
Stardhardinger and Fotu, along with Nevels, have played consistently well in Conference play so far. Spearman has been up and down, while Shamburger has really struggled from the field ( although he showed signs of coming out of it Saturday night).
After this two game road trip, the team is home for four consecutive games against some of the better teams in the league. My guess they will come home from this trip 2-3, and they will need to win at least 3 of the four home games to have a shot at competing for the league lead.
Now that we are deep into Conference play, the blog will come out several times each week. Would love your take on the team so far. As i said previously, the non-Conference record was just about what i had thought. But until this team shows me it can win on the road, I am not yet ready to predict post-season ( at least in a real tournament).
The usual disclaimer. I am a member of the UH Board of Regents, but the views here are my personal views only