By Jeff Portnoy
Hawaii hits the road this week for two games against two of the worst three teams in the League. Fullerton and Riverside have a combined RPI of 625. Tthey have a total of 5 league wins and are a combined 15-30. It is a relatively simple trip with a single flight to Southern California. So the Rainbow Warriors should pick up two easy wins, right? Not so fast.
First Hawaii still struggles on the road. This year they are 2-2 in Conference, and the losses have come in the Thursday game. Secondly, Thursday's opponent, UC Riverside, has beaten Cal Poly at home and has a 3 point overtime loss at home to Santa Barbara. Fullerton has beaten Santa Barbara at home. Hawaii is struggling to score from outside, and needs to find some offense from the guard position.
These games are critical to Hawaii's wanning chances of winning the Conference. A single loss on this trip and that chance is essentially over. Two wins, however, will give UH a decent shot of finishing in the top three. I think UH will beat Fullerton. I am not so sure about Riverside. After this week, Hawaii still gets to play league leaders Irvine here, and Long Beach and Santa Barbara on the road. That trip is a monster.
Despite an extraordinary weekend, Issac did not receive the Big West Player of the Week. That honor went to Luke Nelson of UC Irvine. It should have gone to Issac. Previous Hawaii winners have been Standhardinger in week one and Shamburger Jan 27.
These are my views and do not reflect the view of the Regents