Hoops Talk

Will the Third Time be the Charm?

February 18th, 2014

Ok, first credit where credit is due. Four straight road wins, something UH hasn't been able to do in four decades. Yes, three of the wins came against teams ranked 300 or worse in the RPI, but some of those teams have won a few Conference games against the league leaders.  Some timely outside shooting and consistent play from Issac and Christian contributed to the two road wins last week, although Fullerton again showed what an athletic talented guard can do to UH inside. A missed free throw probably cost Fullerton the game, but if you cant make a free throw with the game on the line, at home, you deserve to lose.

But once again UH finds itself with a chance to score a big home victory against one of the better teams in the league. They couldnt get it done against Santa Barbara or Long Beach, but there is no more margin of error this week against league leading Irvine. The Anteaters come here knowing that had they beaten UH at home back on Jan 25th, they would be sitting pretty in the league race. And if they lose again here on Thursday, they cannot afford to lose the next two games, at Northridge and home against Santa Barbara. And for Hawaii, they cant afford anymore home losses. Hawaii beat Irvine, in part, by moving Issac out of the paint and into the short corner where he scored at will. UH essentially neutralized Mamadou Ndiaye, and the hack a Ndiaye exposed his poor free throw shooting when it mattered most. Irvine has some complimentary scorers, and they have only two league losses, but I think Hawaii steps up this Thursday and does what it couldnt do the last two home thursdays, that is beat one of the top three teams in the league.


Face it, after this week, Hawaii has to go to Santa Barbara and Long Beach. The chances of winning either of those games is not great so Hawaii needs the wins this week to compete for the top three spots in the tournament.  Quality wins remain an issue for the Rainbow Warriors. Despite a 18-7 record, their RPI stands about 150 with a strengrh of schedule above 200. Road wins against two of the bottom feeders in the league add to the win total, but it will take a win against Irvine to show that UH is ready to compete with the League leaders. If you plan on going to one game this season, this is the one . Anything less than 8000 will be a disappointment.

Its pretty clear that UH will hit the 20 win mark this year. Two of the wins have come against non Division 1 opponents so I would like to see 22 wins overall before the Tournament. It wont be easy, but it is doable. You dont want to play Cal Poly or Northridge in the first round of the Tournament, so a second place finish would be the goal. Down two games in the loss column to Irvine and one to Santa Barbara, Thursday's game is huge. Nice to say that with only three weeks left in the season.

These are my personal views. How about yours?


Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Will the Third Time be the Charm?”

  1. Drew:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the last time UH played Irvine on the road, Rozitis didn't play due to some academic issue. With Rozitis in the line-up this time around, UH's odds should improve. Purely observation, but it seems like UH is a more stout defensive team when he's in the game.

  2. Annoddah Dave:

    JP: It has been awhile since we have had nearly a 20 win season in BB. I am hopeful. How come no one has come up with a travel package for the Big West Tournament? I guess only a few fans are interested in seeing them "on the road". Or no one wants to take a chance that they fall on their face late in the season. Or both? I am hoping they end up playing on the Saturday night of the Tournament. Meanwhile, they need these 3 home games. Go Bows!

  3. Hoosier:

    Can't argue with the low ranking of the opponents on the road. However, look around this year and see how many high RPI teams are upset on the road against teams they should beat. UH last two wins were in the "should beat" category and sometimes those are the hardest games to pull off. And when you win, the reaction is "meh, look at who you beat". I give the team credit for doing what they needed to do. Now they need to win out at home. Finish strong this season going into the tournament. Past few years have seen a nose dive over the final 5-6 games. This team needs to reverse that trend.

  4. K-Bay:

    TIME To WIN Back-to-Back Thursdays...

    Give it ALL You Got 'Bows!
    Shut Down Defense & Shoot Lights Out...

    AS Noted Above,
    FINISH This Season STRONG!

    THAT WILL Further Distinguish This Team...

  5. Hoosier:

    Alas, it looks like "pretenders". solid fourth place team in the Big West. Lost three home games to teams in front of you and now need to go on the road against two of those teams again. I am worried that this season will end as other seasons with UH going into the BWC tournament having finished the season losing perhaps 3 out of their last five games. The team plays hard but the reality is they are right about where they should be in the conference. I just am not sure that fourth place finishes in the Big West is what the fans envisioned when UH joined the conference. Can Gib hire Jackson Wheeler back to go get a Lojeski, Gibson, Kuebler, so that we can have more than one player who can hit consistently from three? The program is making progress but should be able to compete for a title every year when you look at the SSC, facilities, etc. If I am a recruit I want to go where I have a shot at going to the postseason, not sitting at home watching it on television. I can hear that clock ticking.

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