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Warriors looking for win outside WAC

There is no such thing as a meaningless game for the Hawaii basketball team.

The Warriors will play a non-conference road game at UC Davis on Saturday afternoon at The Pavilion in Davis, Calif.

The game – and travel — come at a seemingly bad time, as the Warriors have been making a recent move up the standings of the Western Athletic Conference.

“It’s not ideal, but we’re still going over there to win the game,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “It’s a chance to get better, a chance to win another game – and a game on the road at that – so we’re treating it like any other game.”

Hawaii, which has won five of its last seven games, is 14-10 overall and in sixth place in the WAC at 5-7. UC Davis is 9-16 overall and in last place in the nine-team Big West Conference at 3-9.

The game, which will start at noon (Hawaii time), is part of the ESPNU BracketBusters event, although it was not one of the games selected for national television broadcast.

In any case, the Warriors are venturing into unknown territory, as this will be the first meeting between the programs.

Hawaii assistant coach Benjy Taylor scouted the Aggies, and said they are better than their record might indicate.

“They’re a very dangerous team, very versatile,” Taylor said. “They’re one of the few teams we play this year that has more assists than turnovers, so they handle the ball and pass well.”

Mark Payne, a 6-foot-8 wing player, leads the Aggies in scoring with 14.9 points per game, and is also passing for 3.5 assists per game; Joe Harden, a 6-8 forward, is contributing 14.8 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game.

UC Davis appears to be a perimeter-oriented team, as it averages 20.5 3-point attempts per game (and makes an average of 7.8 per game).

Former Hawaii player Todd Lowenthal is UC Davis’ starting point guard. The 6-2 senior is averaging 2.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Senior forward Bill Amis leads the Warriors in scoring with 14.4 points per game, and is also grabbing 7.5 rebounds per game. Junior guard Zane Johnson is averaging 14.2 points per game and leads the team with 66 3-pointers. Sophomore center Vander Joaquim is contributing 8.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

Hawaii could be without two starters for the game. Senior point guard Hiram Thompson has an elbow injury and is not expected to be cleared to play; sophomore forward Joston Thomas has missed recent practices for personal reasons, and his status will be a game-day decision.

Junior Miah Ostrowski should step in at point guard for Thompson, with freshman Bobby Miles providing relief. If Thomas is not available, freshmen Trevor Wiseman and Bo Barnes will likely see increased minutes.

10 Comments

  1. As disappointing as Joston’s recent performances have been, this is not a good time to be losing a starter.. Wiseman is a serviceable replacement, but this really kills our depth..

    I don’t know, writing seems to be on the wall re Thomas.. Anthony Salter missed a couple of practices and poof, he was gone..

    Maybe UH just needs to re-evaluate whether it’s worth recruiting players that seemingly bounce from school to school.. As soon as playing time becomes an issue, poof, they’re gone..

  2. Yeah, bad timing to move from our comfort zone. It would be very disappointing if Thomas does not come back.):

  3. horrible, sometimes u think gib he might discipline a little to harsh idk, if josten leaves maybe someone else will too. doesn’t look good when players leave the program. recruits will find out. hope everything works out

  4. More room for Biggs!

  5. Yes, Joston would be a big loss, especially now when the team is playing well.

    I don’t expect him to play at UC Davis, but hope he returns for the remainder of the WAC season. Joston is a very emotional person (you can see it in the way he plays) so hopefully he just needed time to cool off.

    Assuming Hiram and Joston are out, the Warriors will have to get creative to pull out a win at UC Davis. My guess is Miah and Bo Barnes will see a lot of time together in the backcourt. That way, Zane could slide over to small forward to fill in for Joston and Trevor Wiseman can still play his energizer role off the bench.

    Vander Joaquim and Bill Amis will have to come up big (and stay out of foul trouble). Even without Hiram and Joston, Hawaii should have enough firepower.

  6. salter left because he didn’t fit in. too bad coleman was not mature enough to be his own man and left in salter’s backdraft. no loss, you don’t want those who don’t want to be here.

    joston thomas is at his own crossroads. ball’s is in his court. whatever happened, some say he had words with his coach courtside against nevada when he was pulled. that is something no coach or team should tolerate. can’t have anarchy.

    if you disagree with your parents…do you get up and leave home for good? or do you suck it up because tough love has its merits in the long run???

    joston needs to man up, be a man, and reinstate himself. sounds like the gibber is willing to do so. the team/program will go on. joston has more to lose at this juncture and his history of school hopping dating back to his sophmore year in high school just doesn’t look good. the time is now.

    and if he leaves…yup, refer to my first paragraph last sentence.

    this is a very forgiving town.
    make the right choice joston.

    .

  7. Wow, Salter gone, Coleman gone, and now Joston is on the fence because of minutes probably. Frikk, what the hell is up with these guys. You want to know why your minutes are getting cut? Think about it, your play speaks for itself… As talented and physical as you are, your production and type of baller you should be isn’t showing. Just do you and ball out and stop being a frikkin punani and crying about stuff. Seriously, that’s hella gayness to just pout and give up. Figure out the flaws Coach is seeing, work on it, bust your arse and get in the game. Wiseman is getting minutes cause dude just plays hard all the time. He makes mistakes but comes back and plays harder. I hate guys I played with who had that attitude like they think they automatically should be getting minutes when they wasn’t doing sheeit on the court. Pulease, you ain’t getting minutes cause you ain’t Kobe and you ain’t ballin like you should fool! Joston needs to just bring himself back down to earth and just work hard and play ball, plain and simple.

  8. IMO, Joston is the most explosive player on the court and yet is having a hard time fitting into whatever system they’re trying to run. He seems out of place at times but you can see the hunger in his eys. I think of his potential as something compared to what Julian Sensley provided for the team a while back. Sensley locked the weak side down big time. He could shoot the 3, drive-n-dish, or drive and finish (usually with crowd rousing dunks!) But he struggled when he didn’t have a good shooting guard and he couldn’t run the show by himself. If JT can stay patient and establish that inside-outside game on the weakside, with shooters like Johnson and Barnes, we could see some action from this team. Just wish he would stay because he’s dang fun to watch.

  9. Maybe this will be Dominic Brumfeld’s breakout game! If anybody should be pissed off and ready to bolt due to lack of playing time, it should be Brumfeld, not Thomas. Guy hardly gets on the court and still (I’m assuming) goes to practices and hustles.. Maybe if Joston Thomas stopped being so careless with the ball, he wouldn’t see his playing time get sliced up..

  10. Great win for Arnold, 15 wins, it feels like 30. If we finish strong this year, Arnold will have a shot to have more wins in 2 years than Nash did in 3! haha.

    Hopefully Josten gets his act together. Word was that on Thursday night he was fooling around in some pickup games on campus with Wiseman and Rozitis so I don’t think it’s a situation about whether he wants to leave since he was having a good time I heard. It might be more that he did bad on a test or something and needs to get his academic work done. Either way, we do need him.

    I may never get tired of Zane Johnson bombing 3s. Great game for him.

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