A Strong Tournament
Ok. I have been telling folks I cant provide an opinion as to how good this year's team is until after the Diamond Head. Why? Because the first eight games didn't really tell me very much. Blow -outs against inferior and Div 2 squads, a last second miracle win against an average Nevada team, and a bad loss on the road to Texas Tech. But after last week's game, I now have an opinion. This team is pretty good.
Game 1, a big win over an up and down Northern Iowa team . Up by beating North Carolina and Iowa State, and down losing by 20 to New Mexico) who came in last at the Tournament). UNI lacks any decent frontcourt and rely totally on threes. When they fall, they win, When they don't, they lose. is that simple.
The came the game against Number 3 Oklahoma. The Sooners are very good. They have a great backcourt. Perhaps the best shooting guard in the country. But the Bows hung tough and if a loose ball or two, a missed free throw or two, o ran ill-advised technical on you know who, had gone the other way, UH would have had one of the biggest upsets of the year. That game proved to me UH can beat any Conference foe at home.
Then the nice win against an average Auburn squad that and had one really solid player. Unfortunately for the Tigers, he either shot them in or out of games last week. In the UH game, 30 minutes of shooting them out was not overcome by 10 minutes of shooting them in.
The Bows were led by Rod Bobbitt. I guess he likes playing Div 1 schools and being on ESPN. He was great. Deserved to make the All-Tournament team averaging 30 points in the last two games. Found his outside shot, and basically led the offense. Cant say the same for Valdes. He had a very poor tournament offensively. One thing about Aaron, however, he generally plays within himself and gives great effort on both ends of the floor.
Thomas continues to be a foul machine and it has to improve. When he finally got a few minutes to play against Auburn, after sitting most of the first two games with foul trouble, he showed what he can do if he stays on the floor. Both Stefans played well in spurts. Jankovic had a strong outing against Auburn and Jovanovic played well in limited minutes.
Fleming was hot and cold, but played hard with only a few on-court incidents, including the one very costly "t". Smith free throw shooting woes continue, but his defense was solid. He will never be a scorer for this team. And Tummala continued his streaky shooting, but got additional minutes because of Thomas' foul situation.
This week the Bows end Non-Conference with two easy games and they should go into League play with the best record in the league with only two losses. if you had asked me what I thought UH record would be going into Conference, I would have said 8-3. What did you all think? Has this team surprised you or is it where you thought they would be?
Finally, the NCAA sanctions have come out and everybody is talking about it. Too harsh? Is the team being punished for the sins of prior coaches and players? Is the NCAA a joke? Should UH appeal? Is Gib and his attorney really serious when they state he was " very pleased" with the results and that he was " vindicated"? The bottom line is that under his watch UH committed several violations and now will suffer the consequences for years to come. Its really sad, but lets stop talking about what to do about the sanctions next. lets move on and support this team and this program. Its is going to need all of our fan support. Under the new coaching regime ( and new AD), I know we can expect full compliance with NCAA rules, whether you agree those rules or not. What matters now is how this team comes together, and if last week is any indication, they will have a highly successful year