Hoops Talk

A Strong Tournament

December 28th, 2015

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



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 | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “A Strong Tournament”

  1. Moanalua:

    Hi Jeff, I'd like to comment on the NCAA violations and Athletic Department's budget.

    There's a lot of criticism of Amanda Patterson and her position as compliance officer and her department's relationship with Gib Arnold. These critics need to step back and put themselves her shoes. If Amanda knew of the former coach (I'm not going to mention his name again, he's not our coach) and his staff's violations, addressed them, brought them to the attention of Ben Jay, but received no support from him, Tom Apple (or who ever was chancellor) and Upper Campus, the administrators who had the power to provide internal penalties and sanctions, what else could she do? She had the police powers, but didn't have the means to enforce them. The former coach could and would ignore any notices that he'd receive from Patterson. Why even talk to the guy when you know that it wouldn't matter what was said? I'd compare her to Marion Higa when she was the state's auditor. She uncovered problems in state government, but nothing happened because she didn't have enforcement powers.

    Regarding the UH budget. I Googled UH's 2016 budget and found it available online. I did some calculation, assuming that its the actual budget, and tried to compare the Athletic Department with the larger colleges in Manoa by looking at total revenues, less the money received from general funds, then subtracting the total from the Total Expenditure Projection. The Athletic Department generates revenue of $25.8 million which includes $2.3 million in general funds. In comparison, the Cancer Research Center (CRC), that Governor Ige would prefer to support, is projected to generate $5.1 million in revenue that includes $2.2 million in general funds and $2,1 million from Research and Training Revolving Fund, which I'm speculating is the cigarette tax. CRC is projected to lose $11 million more than the Athletic Department in FY 2016.

    The Athletic Department could be self sustaining if football team starts winning (possible) and if the travel subsidy was eliminated (not possible). UH administration and State government have an attitude towards Athletics as a financial drain. Instead, they need to do a 180 and look at Athletics as positive marketing tool for tourism. ESPN's broadcast crew were very complementary about UH and the entire State during the Diamond Head Classic. Having more national air time as the football and basketball teams improve is potentially a great marketing tool. DBEDT should be involved, but that's another topic.

    With the exception of UH's Research (VCR), looks like every school runs a deficit. I'm surprised that Shidler is running a deficit, considering their large endowment:

    Athletic Department (pg. 7): $25,751,514-$2,299,236-$29,086,249=($5,633,971) loss
    Arts & Humanities (pg 3): $17,073,903--$12,516,012-$18,404,056= ($13,846,165) loss
    Cancer Research Center of Hawaii (pg 9): $5,114,731-$2,209,945- $18,918,795=($16,014,009) loss
    College of Tropical Agriculture (pg. 10): $23,371,116-$17,787,123- $23,125,045=($17,541,052) loss
    Education (pg 11): $15,756,444- $10,233,803-$17,955,329=($12,432,688) loss
    John A Burns School of Medicine (pg 15): $40,075,022-$16,999,812-$42,298,259=($19,220,049) loss
    William S. Richardson School of Law (pg 16): $8,547,626-$5,455,336-$9,671,688=($6,579,398) loss
    Shidler (pg. 28): $11,766,270- $8,244,582 -$12,097,518=($8,575830) loss
    VCR (Research pg 39): $14,332,319-$2,049,281 -$7,000,174=$5,282,864 profit

  2. HawaiiMongoose:

    Moanalua, I agree 100%. The UH administration, governor and legislature need to develop a better appreciation for the value of athletics as a marketing tool. Like it or not, higher education is a competitive business. Universities all over the country are competing for tuition-paying students, for donated funds from foundations and individuals, for "star" faculty and for research grants. Many millions of dollars are at stake. Institutional image is a huge factor in conferring competitive advantage, and athletics which receives so much media exposure is a huge factor in creating institutional image. This is why schools all over the country are willing to subsidize athletics out of general university funds, typically at a higher rate than at UH. Our leaders need to wake up to this reality and start viewing spending on athletics as an investment with a return rather than some kind of handout to student-athletes and fans.

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