Hoops Talk

Just The Facts Ma'am

February 24th, 2014

With only one game this week, i though i would review UH's 19-8 record based upon the opponent's RPI. There has been so much discussion about Hawaii beating the bottom teams in the league, losing to the better teams, the team's non-conference schedule, and the team's RPI that i did a little research and these are the facts.

First, I used the Pomroy ratings which almos everyont says is the most accurate of all the RPI services. According to Pomroy, Hawaii's RPI is 133 ( out of 355). Its strength of schedule is 269 overall and 300 non-conference ( pretty poor).

Uh has beaten four teams with a higher RPI. St Mary's ( 62); Irvine ( 92), Oregon State (111), and Western Michigan ( 130).  Six of its eight losses have come to teams with better RPI's. Missiouri, Boise, New Mexico State, and Santa Barbara, Irvine and Long Beach in the Conference.

Hawaii has 14 wins against teams with lower RPI's, including teams with RPI's from 170 to 315, with most of these wins coming against teams in the bottom one third. These include two wins against Riverside ( 267) and Davis ( 315),  and single wins against Fullerton ( 234) , Northridge  ( 243) and Cal Poly ( 194).  Two wins have come against Div 2 teams, Chaminade and Hilo, who are not included in the RPI.

Hawaii has two  losses aginst teams with lower RPI's. Cal Poly and Northridge, both on the road.

So what conclusions can we draw from this class. Its that Hawaii has beaten up on weak teams, and has struggled against better teams. Hawaii has two games left against higher RPI teams, and teams ahead of the Rainbows in the Conference, Long Beach and Santa Barbara, both on the road, and then the final home game against Fullerton.

If Hawaii manages to win one or both of the road games, its RPI would improve slightly. Losses would not significantly hurt the RPI since both of these teams have better RPI's than Hawaii. A Fullerton loss wont improve the RPI. A loss would hurt it somewhat.

The league has only two teams in the top 100. Long Beach might sneak in, but if does, Irvine might fall out. So its clear that no Big West team is getting an at-large bid to either of the two real post season tournaments, the NCAA and the NIT. The regular season champ will go to the NIT and the Tournament champ to the NCAA. If its the same team, maybe the second place team makes the NIT. And frankly, i hope we dont play in any of the  buy-in tournaments. In year four of the present regime, I would hope both they and the fans expect we either play in a real post season tournament or we say goodby to the seniors at Senior night.

Do I think the weak schedule has hurt the Bows in the big Conference games the last three weeks. I dont, but i do think a stronger pre-conference schedule is preferable to one with teams that dont help our RPI nor our post season chances. Yes, it helps the team get to 20 wins, but I think better competition makes you a better program in the long run. And maybe, just maybe, its an answer to why fans are not coming out like I would expect . Yes we have no natural league rivalries anymore and yes there was a State High School Tournament, and yes, the better games were on Thursday nights, and yes, you can watch the games at home on TV, but these are poor excuses for a program that will average just about half an arena for the season with an exciting brand of basketball, two of the better players in the league, and a likley 20 win season.

Meanwhile, the Long Beach game is for third place. Win, and I like our chances to finish third. Lose, and its possible we could slip to 5th. Of all the teams in the Conference, I think Long Beach is our worst match-up. Their guards are more athletic and quicker than our back court, and they have some talent in the paint. We will have to fiqure out some way to stay in front of their guards and have some second line defenders in the paint to win this game


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 | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Just The Facts Ma'am”

  1. Believer:

    Good article. much better than Ferd Lewis and his HATER attitude. I do however like 19 - 8 versus a 14 - 13 one if we had played a tougher preseason. Most people do.

    We are not Kentucky or any other big time school . Please accept UH for what it it and enjoy. Just ask Norm Chow. He'd settle for 6 -6 record against a weak schedule than 1 - 11 like this past year

  2. pumpkinraider:

    We need more positive people behind the basketball team. They put out an effort much more than teams in the past. I go to majority of the games they are worth the price of admission. Next year my spouse will retire and we are thinking of changing our season tickets to basketball instead of football. I used to listen to your radio program but your co host is too negative on Gib. He puts in the work Ben Jay better get the contract done. Now you are a regent so no excuses, before we get another Nash, we already have a Chow.

  3. Jman:

    Pumpkin raider. Jeff and cohost are not anti UH if you listen to their program they are expressing opinions as they should and are entitled to. Difference of opinions is called free speech. Jeff is a long time supporter of UH sports. Chill out pumpkin head

  4. jeezy33:

    Come on Pumpkin, this article is just pointing out the facts. If Hawaii football scheduled UC Davis, Lamar, Idaho, Eastern Michigan, and UMass, Hawaii might win 7 games.

    This article is just pointing out the facts. People get excited because the offense can score. But they score a lot due to the pace they play at and lack of defense. This team shoots poorly, takes bad shots early in the shot clock, plays bad defense more times than not.

    I think Jeff would agree that if the 1st year team under Gib with Bill Amis and Miah played this years team, Amis team would win 6 out of 10 because that team played better D.

  5. Hapahaoleoboy:

    @Jman - Maybe you should read what @pumpkinraider actually posted before telling them to "chill out". He/she said nothing negative about Jeff or either of them being "anti UH", just that Jeff's co host is negative about Gib Arnold (not the entire university). A little reading comprehension goes a long way.

  6. jeff portnoy:

    appreciate the comments. Both the radio show and this blog encourage folks to weigh in, whether they agree with me or not. I will let jackson respond to the comments about him on the radio show tomorrow, but i think if you are a loyal listener, you know he is often right with his facts, even if folks sometimes dont agree with his opinions. And I can assure you, he wants the program to succeed.

  7. Hoosier:

    Fotu is worth the price of admission. I know I will miss him when he goes. Love to see a young man develop his game like he has. Rest of the team has promise with some of the redshirts and other recruits coming in. As I have said before, UH basketball is a terrific value for your entertainment dollar. Family friendly, no drunken fans beefing, exciting. I don't mind Jackson's opinions. His views have a bit more credence after having coached and recruited at this level for years. Do you think Gib could send Jackson on the road recruiting? Just have him scour the country for 6'4" - 6'6" guards who can drain three's? He was pretty good at finding those guys before. On a serious note, regardless of the outcome of LBS and UCS games, fans can come out for the final home game and show appreciation for this year's effort. And then next year hopefully UH will upgrade the schedule and only play DII teams as exhibitions.

  8. zzzzzz:

    Doesn't your analysis suggest the Bows are playing to their potential, but not overachieving, or perhaps overachieving a little? They don't have any bad losses-- all losses are either to higher RPI teams, or on the road, and we all know that traveling east is harder than traveling west, which suggests they aren't beating themselves.

  9. K-Bay:

    Which Actually IS Pretty Good...
    Thereʻs Nothing So Common As Athletic Inconsistency And Performing Below their Capabilities
    Shows a Level of Maturity for a Relatively Young Team

    SOME Would Suggest that getting Players to Perform to their Potential IS Good Coaching
    Performing Above their Level Might Be Great Coaching
    THAT Opportunity Exists in The Next Couple of Weeks...

  10. hoosier:

    Tough loss at LBSU. this is an interesting team, conference, and year. For those who say UH could win BWC tourney, I absolutely agree. On the other hand, they could also be one and done judging by how close these teams and regular season games have been. One of those instances where anyone could come out of the tourney. Whoever gets hot for three days will be dancing. I hope it is UH but anything can happen. I cannot see going to any of the pay to play tournaments. Returnees should start working on their games so that next season they can separate themselves from the pack. Good luck and Go Bows!

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