Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Cold shooting costs Warriors

Bring on Boise State.

That’s pretty much the focus of the Hawaii basketball team after a forgettable 59-44 loss to Idaho on Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

“We gotta just move on,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “I really hope that nobody gives up on this team. This team’s got a long ways to go, and we’re not nearly where we need to be. We know that. We’re disappointed. Disappointing loss. Real disappointing.”

The 44 points was the lowest output by a Hawaii team since 1998, and the Warriors shot just 29.4 percent from the field. The Warriors were especially off-target in the second half, when they went 6 of 27 from the field, including 0 of 12 from 3-point range.

Idaho led by five at halftime, but that lead was never threatened in the second half as Hawaii scored just 15 points after intermission.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well at all, I know I had a lot of open looks that didn’t fall and I know a lot of other guys same thing,” senior guard Hiram Thompson said. “Our shooting wasn’t there tonight.”

Hawaii dropped to 9-6 overall and 0-3 in the Western Athletic Conference. Idaho improved to 8-6 overall and 2-1 in the WAC.

No Hawaii players reached double-figure points, and Thompson led the team with nine points. He went 3 of 10 from the field, including 0 of 5 from 3-point range.

Zane Johnson went scoreless in the second half and finished with seven points. He entered the game as the WAC’s leader with 42 3-pointers, but he went 1 of 6 from long-range.

“Hiram goes 0 for 5, Zane goes 1 for 6 from the 3, and Bo (Barnes) 2 for 7, those guys are all good shooters,” Arnold said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen even a practice where they’ve been a combined 3 for 18. I hope that doesn’t happen again.”

Arnold also credited an aggressive Idaho defense that allowed few open shots.

“Their defense was great,” he said. “That’s a team that came in there with a defense-first mentality.”

But Hawaii also fared well defensively, as Idaho shot just 43.8 percent from the field (21 of 48). The Warriors also forced 21 Idaho turnovers, but could recycle it into just 14 points. The Vandals also out-rebounded Hawaii, 40-28.

“I thought defensively we did some good things,” Arnold said. “We just couldn’t make anything fall offensively, and had our worst night, offensively, which was tough because you hope if you keep a team in the 50s, you can usually win those games.”

Overshadowed in the loss was the return to action of senior forward Bill Amis. After missing the last 10 games with a stress fracture in his right foot, he not only played against Idaho, he started and logged 29 minutes. He finished with six points and two rebounds.

“Bill came in and had a lot of rust … he was struggling a little bit,” Arnold said. “But I thought I had to play him just to get him back.”

Hawaii shot 37.5 percent from the field in the first half, and trailed 34-29 at intermission. A costly turnover came just before halftime, as Hawaii was working for a final shot. Instead, Idaho’s Shawn Henderson stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a layup that gave the Vandals the five-point advantage at intermission.

The Vandals then opened the second half with an 8-0 surge to increase their lead to 42-29 and maintained it the rest of the way.

Arnold had some praise for senior center Douglas Kurtz, who had four points and four rebounds – all off the bench in the second half, when the other Warriors were struggling.

“I thought Doug Kurtz came in and did a nice job defensively and did some good things in the low post,” Arnold said.

Kyle Barone led Idaho with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, and Jeff Ledbetter added 14 points and nine rebounds.

The good news is the Warriors will not have much time to mope. They will continue WAC play by hosting Boise State on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The Broncos are 3-0 in the WAC after a 102-101 four-overtime victory at San Jose State on Thursday.

Photos by Brandon Flores. To view more photos and purchase copies, please visit www.brandonfloresphotography.com


  1. “The Nash Residuals”

    How can you not be ready for your conference home opener vs. a mediocre team?

    Nash continues to haunt us from his coaching grave.

    I understand – expectations need to be tempered with a young team. The staff obviously will take some responsibility for this, but it is a glaring example of the Nash Residuals: Amis and Thompson have little to no leadership nor accountability because they come from the doldrums that was the Nash years (I’m leaving Kurtz out of this).

    Granted, both are seemingly nice guys and right now are injured (both probably shouldn’t be playing but have to), so the challenge of leading increases; but they never were shown how to emotionally and psychologically prepare for conference. As a consequence, the other 8 or so new guys are not learning and knowing “the Hawaii Way” because it doesn’t exist (yet).

    There is a collective squishiness about this team. They didn’t even have classes this week! With no one to pull a cup check or order a code red at a time when it was sorely needed, the Bows’ wa’a slowly sank while no one grabbed the bailer.

    In time, that will change. Arnold will, judging from the vast improvement he’s made in the program’s culture already, toughen this team up. But we as fans must insist on better preparation from the staff and players.

    Maybe Coach Roese should start frantically waving a towel when we need a stop…

  2. Gib can’t go blameless on this one.. In fact, I put the biggest blame on this loss on either:

    a) his coaching

    b) his motivating skills

    The team is digressing quickly.. Easy to blame the Nash holdovers for this loss, but during the beginning of the season, it was the Nash holdovers that shined the brightest. So what’s different now that conference play has begun?

    All of the teams in the conference have had ample time to scout their opponents. UH’s recent opponents have clearly scouted UH and made adjustments.. The last two horrendous losses lead me to believe that UH has not done so in the same manner..

    Recruiting-wise, Gib has shown us that he can get the job done.. In terms of Xs and Os and/or motivating his players, my opinion is that his ability in those areas, although still a work-in-progress, leave much to be desired..

  3. I don’t want to start doling out blame right now. I think Hiram did a fantastic job leading them against Utah State and he genuinely tried to pick the team up and make a comeback against Idaho. There are definitely issues at both ends of the court, but I hope they don’t start losing confidence in Gib or themselves. The team that played their hearts out on the road against Utah State is not the same team that lost Thursday. I hope they can correct their mindset because they are physically capable of winning these WAC.games.

Leave a Response

Login or fill in the fields below to comment. (New user? Register)