Unbeaten Basket Bows embark on first trip
By Fred Guzman
As happy as fans are – and should be – about Hawaii’s 5-0 start to the basketball season under new head coach Gib Arnold, the truth is that the Rainbows have compiled all of those wins at home against mediocre opponents.
That said, we’ll get a better idea of just how good this overhauled team is in the next several of days as UH embarks on its first trip of the season, starting with tonight’s game at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo followed by visit to BYU on Saturday.
Although Cal Poly fits the profile of the middle-of-the-pack teams from mid-major conferences, Hawaii has been beating up, BYU is coming off a 30-6 season and features pre-season All-American guard Jimmer Fredette, who averaged 22.2 points per game last season.
Based on its 2-3 start, Cal Poly would seem to be just what the doctor ordered for a UH team seeking to end an 11-game road skid. The Mustangs have lost to Division-II Cal State Monterey Bay and 73-57 to Montana State, whom the Bows recently beat 73-59. Cal Poly also is coming off a road loss to Sacramento State.
Although almost all of the players on Arnold’s revamped roster were not around at the time, the Mustangs beat the Bows 102-89 at the Stan Sheriff Center last season. But guard Lorenzo Keller, who scored 31 against UH in that game, is gone as are many other key players for the Mustangs.
By comparison, UH has four healthy players – Hiram Thompson, Joston Thomas, Bo Barnes and Zane Johnson – averaging in double figures. However, power forward Bill Amis – the team’s top rebounder and shot-blocker – remains out with a foot injury.
CONFERENCE UPDATE: The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is reporting that UH administrators are actively engaged this week in putting the finishing touches on anticipated moves to the Mountain West Conference for football and the Big West for all other sports.
UH vice president Rockne Freitas and athletic director Jim Donovan headed a delegation that met with the Mountain West officials in Colorado.
The newspaper reported that Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson has had conversations with member presidents the past two days and held a conference call with conference athletic directors yesterday.
Much of those talks apparently revolved around Texas Christian’s announced move Monday to the Big East and the Mountain West’s possible responses.
UH would be the 10th member of the MWC for the 2012-13 school year.
Meantime, UH confirmed that it has present requested information to the Big West in support of its proposed membership. The Big West Council is scheduled to meet Dec. 8 to review submissions and is expected to make a recommendation to the Board of Directors, which is composed of member chancellors and presidents.