Archive for January, 2015

A road win and a little more controversy

January 30th, 2015

First, congrats to the team on a convincing road win they had to have. Northridge is a bottom feeder and you have to beat those teams, whether at home or on the road. A strong shooting was nite was nice to see, but the waters get deeper tomorrow as the Bows take on Long Beach. The Beach have talent but are up and down. Take last night. They needed OT to beat the worst team in the league, Fullerton. They will be much better at home, and it will take a complete effort by UH to grab a much needed win.

Some what over shadowed by the on court play, is the latest incident you all have read about. Smoking marijuana in a non-smoking hotel room may or may not be a violation of law, but no-one can deny its pretty stupid. Now folks can debate whether smoking a joint is " right or wrong", and certainly not unexpected these days. But do it in the parking lot.

The incident has cost UH at least 500 dollars in cleaning fees, but perhaps more importantly, there does not appear to have been any repercussions. Public statements by UH have been inconsistent and appear to have minimized what is clearly a significant rules violation. If there has been any discipline imposed, no one outside of UH knows about it.

Did this incident require a suspension? That can be debated. And I am interested in your opinions on this. But you have to wonder about what these guys were thinking. Did they think they wouldn't get caught. Smoke in a nonsmoking room, whatever you smoke, and you will get caught and you will have to pay a cleaning fee. Smoke marijuana and you are more than doubling the problem. In my opinion,  UH should have taken a stronger stance with these players. Hopefully the lessons are learned and the lack of action wont lead to more issues.


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a disappointing start

January 25th, 2015

the Rainbow Warriors have finished the first five league games with a disappointing 2-3 record. Losing two home games and a road loss to an average Riverside team is not the way anybody thought the Bows would open the league season. Frankly, these  first five games appeared to be the most favorable part of the league schedule and some were predicting a 5-0 start ( not me, although anything less than a 3-2 start was inconceivable).

What did the Bows in. Simple. Poor shooting. This team struggles in the half court. Its offense is primarily based on the defense creating turnovers leading to transition baskets. When it works like it did against Davis, Hawaii is tough to beat. When it doesn't, a loss is probable.

Take last night. Hawaii gets 16 plus turnovers and outrebounds Irvine, dominating the offense boards .But all that is overcome by 35% shooting with multiple missed layups and put backs. Poor shooting  led to the Cal Poly and Riverside defeats. Add some questionable decisions by Fleming in critical situations, and you have the recipe for defeat.

Are there positives. Of course. Nevels, despite some poor shooting nights, continues to demonstrate senior leadership. Valdez is the energizer bunny all over the court ( although some inconsistent offensive play is troublesome). and Bobbitt's ability to create steals and turnovers makes Hawaii's defense one of the best in the Conference. Jankovic is improving, and Webster-Chan has shown he can hit the three.

The problem now is that Hawaii goes on the road to play four games, including games against Long Beach and Santa Barbara and a return game against Cal Poly. Hawaii is already behind the eight ball with three losses as three teams have only one loss. If the Bows have any chance of competing for the league championship, they have to win at least two and probably three of these games, no easy chance.

Despite the poor start, the team continues to play hard. Their style has energized the fan base as last nights crowd of over 7500 proved. They don't quit, coming from 12 down late last night to get within one. On nights they shoot well, they will have the chance to beat any team in the league because their defense is consistently solid. They do need to make better decisions in late game situations, and some will excuse that arguing the team is " young". Maybe that was valid in December, but we are almost half way into the league schedule and Freshman have to begin to play like upperclassmen

Coach Taylor continues to say he and team are looking to improve each game leading up to the Conference Tournament. Its the usual coaches mantra and it makes sense. But seeding in also very important. You don't want to have to play the three best teams in the regular season to win the Tournament. Its not too early to begin to consider if Hawaii has what it takes to finish in the top half. Its hard to predict that right now. You have, on one hand, the convincing win against Davis and a solid effort against Irvine. Then you have the Cal Poly and Riverside losses. What Hawaii does on this road trip will give us a clearer picture of exactly where Hawaii stands.




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back in town

January 23rd, 2015

sorry for no posts the last two weeks, but I have been out of town ( Cuba).

While I was gone, the team posted a 1-2 record to open conference play. Frankly, a poor start. The home overtime loss to Cal Poly and the road loss to Riverside exposed some weaknesses that we have been talking about all year. A struggle to score in the half court and some undisciplined play down the stretch ( poor shot selection, bad clock management, etc).

But last night, the Rainbow Warriors played inspired basketball in a must win game against UC Davis. When UH combines its excellent pressure defense with a 50% field goal percentage, they will be very hard to beat. In my opinion, the team played its best 25 minutes of basketball last night in a game they had to win to remain competitive in the league. 18 steals led to 36 points off of turnovers, and UH exposed Davis' lack of athleticism in a dominating performance. Add 10 made threes to the mix, and it makes for an outstanding effort.

Was it perfect. No. Hawaii was badly outrebounded by a mediocre rebounding team, and a 26 point lead with under 8 minutes to play ended in an 8 point victory. Once again, Hawaii made some poor decisions down the stretch, but this time, their lead was so large it didn't really hurt. But some of the freshman need to grow up quickly before those mistakes cost the team a win or two.

Now Irvine comes to town. They were the preseason favorites to win the league, but until recently they have struggled a little bit. But they have played some tough road games, a three point loss at St. Mary's and a 2 point loss at Oregon, and they opened league play with a 3-1 record. They still have some injury issues, and it is not clear whether  7'6" Center Mamadou Ndiaye will play. I doubt he will. Without him, Irvine still has some solid players like Luke Nelson and Will Davis, but the Anteaters need the big man in the paint to thwart Hawaii's penetration . Without him, Hawaii's guards should be able to get to the hoop.. Irvine does come off a thirty plus point destruction of Northridge on the road last night.

Hawaii needs this game tomorrow. The " easy part" of UH's schedule was the first five games. Some thought they would go 5-0. A 2-3 record with two home losses will make it very difficult to compete for the top two or three spots. After tomorrow, UH goes on the road for four games, and against some of the stronger teams in the league( Long Beach and Santa Barbara and a rematch with Cal Poly). So its not too early to say tomorrow is a must win game. If they play like they did last night, they will win. If they play like they did against Cal Poly and Riverside, it wont be close.

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