December 29th, 2014
With two wins tonight and tomorrow, the basketball Bows will enter Big West play with a record of 12-4. Ok, lets be honest, how many folks predicted that? Not me, although I was off by only the Pitt game.
The surprising early season run as been fun to watch and a tribute to a never say die coaching staff and team. It proves the old basketball adage that if you play good defense, you will be in almost every game. And when the Bows make threes ( like they did in the second half against Wichita State and against Colorado), they will be in every game.
Hawaii always plays well in the Holiday tournament going back to Rainbow Classic times, and this year was no exemption. The wins against Nebraska and Colorado, and the loss against Wichita ( a game Hawaii deserved to win), is just another example. Frankly, I don't think either Nebraska or Colorado will be any better than middle of the road in their respective conferences, and Wichita will go only as far as their outside shooting will take them, but these games helped Hawaii's RPI and certainly will help recruiting being on national TV.
The games this week should be relatively easy wins. You never know however, coming against weaker competition after the excitement and the challenges of the Diamond Head. But the Hawaii backcourt with Bobbitt, Fleming and Nevels ( assuming his injured hand does not keep him out,) along with the strong play of Valdes and the emergence of Jankovic, makes me pretty confident that even an average outing should not create any real issues .
How good is this team? We will see shortly once league play begins next week .Hawaii gets 4 of the first 5 games at home, and the road game is at Riverside. But I don't think anyone can say that this team has not exceeded expectations so far. Its not just the wins. Its the style of play that has fans buzzing. They create turnovers, make steals, and play hard on both ends of the floor. Do they have any flaws. Of course, They sometimes struggle in the half court, don't shoot well from the outside consistently, and lack depth, especially in the frontcourt. They sometimes lose focus, but that can be corrected. All in all, they have been a very pleasant surprise.