By Jeff Portnoy
The Road Trip started as expected. An easy win over Davis. Lets face it. Davis is a bad team. It lost at home to Riverside, another bad team. But UH put togther a strong team effort with all five straters in double fiqures. Shamburger found his stroke , as did Spearman, and the trio of Nevels, Fotu, and Stardhardinger all performed well. Cant say much for the bench. They hardly played.
Its get much tougher tomorrow. The game against Irvine will really tell us exactly where this Rainbow Warrior team stands in Conference. Irvine is not an NCAA tournamnet team, but it is tall, athletic, and at home. It is one of the top three teams in the Conference, at least so far. A road win by UH would go along way to justify the increasing optimism about how far this year's team can go. A loss, at least one that is competitive, will tell us that this team has a ways to go to be in the elite in the Conference.
With four consecutive home games against quality Conference teams coming up, a win tomorrow would give UH a real chance to be at or near the top of the Conference at the turn. A loss would not end the season, but would put the team under 500 after 5 games.
I think UH will give Irvine a game. I dont predict a win however. Irvine is undefeated this month. Its " homecoming", and the 7'6' Mamadou Ndiaye stands tall in the middle. Last night aqgainst Northridge, he had 10 points and 10 rebounds.One key to the game will be can UH continue its hot shooting. Irvine is 12-0 when it holds opponents to under 40% field goal percentage. Another key is the physicial condition of Irvine foward Will Davis. He hardly played last night and if he out, big advantage to UH.
Should be a good game. And it should tell us a lot more about how good this UH team will be entering February.