Saturday, January 16, 2010

San Jose State versus Hawaii Sunday night

The drumbeat for more wins or else is beating loudly in and around Honolulu. One of the good guys in college basketball, Bob Nash, has struggled with recruiting both WAC level and complementary talent and the program still lacks a solid foundation of freshman and sophomores.

But there are individual talents.

Wing Roderick Flemings is quite the athlete and certainly has proven hard to guard with his dribble-drives. Paul Campbell has settled in as the 'big' in residence and his shotblocking and rebounding are helpful. Backcourter Dwain Williams has talent but hasn't yet figured out how to use it to make his teammates better. Point Hiram Thompson is finally healthy and enjoying a very productive season. Frontcourter Petras Balocka achieved a 20/20 double-double earlier this season and that doesn't happen to someone lacking skill.

Besides injuries, what seems to ail the Rainbow Warriros the most is consistency -- not having each player perform at his best each game.

WAC Schedule To Date

1/2/2010 Idaho L 52-59
1/4/2010 Boise State W 76-68
1/9/2010 @ Fresno State L 64-78
1/11/2010 @ Utah State L 54-98

The UH Starting Five

6-foot-10 Paul Campbell - he has never been a big scorer but has some point outbursts this season as well as being the top shotblocker with 25 on the season -- is shooting 60% from the floor but 49% at the foul line -- he has collected 38 offensive rebounds to 33 at the other end so blocking him out will be a necessity

6-foot-8 Petras Balocka - the top rebounder at 9 a contest, he is primarily an in-the-paint shooter

6-foot-7 Roderick Flemings - he is the top talent on the team but has been hit by a number of nagging injuries this season -- is averaging 14.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg. but shooting just 41% on the season, 27% on his threes -- he also has more TOs than assists

6-foot-0 Dwain Williams - averaging 14 ppg. so far while shooting 35% from the floor and 34% on a team-leading 90 trey attempts, has the possibility of shooting a team into or out of a game

6-foot-2 Hiram Thompson - He's finally healthy after last year's multitude of injuries and now scoring 9.5 ppg., rebounding at a 4.1 cxlip while having 68 assists to 35 turnovers -- Thompson is shooting 46% overall and 42% from long distance

The Cavalry

6-foot-7 Adhar Mayen - he does have 13 starts this season, averaging 7.1 ppg. while shooting 49%

6-foot-1 Jeremy Lay - a junior college transfer with a rep as a shooter ballhandler, he has compiled twin 28% shooting percentages overall and from three-point land as well as 30 assists to 31 turnovers

6-foot-6 Brandon Adams - the best athlere on the team but his offensive skills set is very limited

7-foot-0 Douglas Kurtz - playing just less than six minutes a game, his contributions have been negligible to date

The Hawaii Roster, by position

Petras Balocka C 6-8 250 Sr.
Paul Campbell C 6-10 215 Sr.
Douglas Kurtz C 7-0 265 Jr.

Note the home countries respectively of these three: Lithuania, Canada and Brazil respectively.

Adhar Mayen F 6-8 195 Sr.
Ji Xiang F 6-10 240 So.(China)
Brandon Adams F 6-7 220 Sr.

(redshirting) Aleksandar Milovic F 6-7 220 So. (Montenegro)

Hiram Thompson G 6-2 175 Jr.
Dwain Williams G 6-0 175 Jr.
Rykin Enos G 5-11 190 So.
Beau Albrechtson G 6-4 205 So.
Jeremy Lay G 6-0 185 Jr.
Leroy Lutu G 6-3 200 So.
Roderick Flemings G 6-7 210 Sr.

(redshirting) Zane Johnson G 6-6 210 Jr.

What To Expect

* Hawaii is viewing this match as its most critical to date (see cut-n-paste below) -- win and there is a vestige of hope, lose and both the spirit is diminished even more plus the extraneous noise gets louder

* Watch the rebounding differentials between the two squads -- can SJSU keep it close?

* UH has 55 more turnovers than opponents this season, plus 46 less steals and these are offensive efficiency killers -- can SJSU facilitate this trend?

* UH also has taken 100 more free throws than its opponents -- that will need to be negated

* We don't see a good UH matchup with Adrian Oliver -- Thompson has the best size in the backcourt but that focus will reduce his effectiveness at the point so does Bob Nash try Flemings?

The week in the WAC
Jeff Portnoy, Hawaii basketball color announcer
January 15, 2010

Since Hawaii's historic loss on Monday, there have been a few other games in the WAC of interest. Utah State appears to have righted its ship as it went to Nevada and won on Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, La Tech continued its winning ways by beating a game Fresno State team at home by eight. Finally, for the first time in 15 games, San Jose beat Boise to even its WAC record at 2-2 and continue the downward Boise spiral (the only WAC team the Bows have beaten is Boise). Its beginning to look clearer everyday that Boise, and sorry, Hawaii, are fighting for 8th place, although a win Sunday night at home against San Jose would bring Hawaii's WAC record to 2-3, tying San Jose.

Not much news on the home front this week. Practices have been closed as the team tries to regroup after a terrible road trip. Three home games coming up as the New Mexico State and La Tech come in next week.

A day doesn't go by without someone stopping me on the street or at a meeting to ask what's wrong with the team and/or is there hope for the rest of the season. All I can say is there are significant talent problems, aggravated by lack of depth, and at least on occasion, lack of effort on the part of a player or two. This team, as I have said before, is not good enough to win playing half-hearted basketball or one half of basketball, and needs all five players on the court to contribute. You can not overstate how critical Sunday night's game. A loss would be devastating; a win would give us hope. I am going to stay with hope.

No comments: