Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball
Search

Warriors ready for “huge game” on the road at Utah State

The Hawai’i basketball team may be ahead of Utah State in the current standings of the Western Athletic Conference, but the Warriors are well aware of what awaits them in Logan, Utah, on Thursday.

Hawai’i, which is 11-8 overall and 3-2 in the WAC, will play a road game at Utah State on Thursday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (Hawai’i time). Utah State, which has won or tied for the last four WAC regular-season championships, is 10-10 overall and 2-3 in the WAC.

“I don’t see them as being down,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “Maybe they’re not as good as they have been. Last year they had four seniors who had been together for 100 games. They still run the same stuff and they still run it really well. The Spectrum is a tough place to play. They’re a very good team. It’ll definitely be a huge game for us and we have to play our best basketball or we won’t even have a chance against them.”

Although the Aggies are “just” 8-2 at home this season, the Spectrum remains, by far, the most advantageous home court in the WAC.

Earlier this season, the Aggies had two long winning streaks snapped. In December, they had a 33-game home winning streak halted by Denver. Earlier this month, Nevada stopped Utah State’s 33-game home winning streak against WAC teams (a streak that dated to 2006).

Utah State still leads the WAC in home attendance, with an average of 9,884 per game, including one of the most innovative student sections in the country. Hawai’i has an all-time record of 1-8 in Logan, with the only victory coming in 2004.

“They still pack that place and make it difficult for any team that goes there,” Arnold said. “It’s a great atmosphere for college basketball, but it’s definitely a difficult place to play if you’re not the home team.”

Utah State continues to run an efficient offense that is dependent on teamwork and multiple looks. The leading scorer is Preston Medlin, a 6-foot-4 sophomore who is averaging 14.8 points per game. He is also grabbing 4.2 rebounds per game and leads the Aggies with 44 3-pointers.

The lone returning starter from last year’s WAC championship team is 6-1 senior point guard Brockeith Pane. He is averaging 12.5 points and 3.5 assists per game.

Morgan Grim, a 6-7 forward, is contributing 9.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game; Kyisean Reed, a 6-6 forward, is averaging 9.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Brady Jardine, a key contributor last season, was supposed to be the team’s top post player, but he is out for the season with a foot injury. He played just three games this season.

Hawai’i has three players averaging double-figure points, led by senior guard Zane Johnson at 15.8 per game. He also leads the WAC with 3.3 3-pointers per game (59 total in 18 games).

Utah State’s veteran head coach Stew Morrill is aware of Johnson’s shooting prowess. “He’s a better athlete than you think and he’s bigger than you think,” Morrill said. “He gets a lot of his shots off because he gets them off quick. There are plays were they run three screens for him, they’re going to do everything they can to get him open.”

Vander Joaquim, Hawai’i’s 6-10 junior center, is averaging 13.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, and could have a size advantage against the Aggies. Utah State has been going with a starting lineup featuring the 6-7 Grim as the biggest player.

The Warriors also have 6-7 junior Joston Thomas, who is averaging 13.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and 6-7 sophomore Trevor Wiseman, who is contributing 7.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Also, senior point guard Miah Ostrowski leads the WAC in assists with 6.3 per game.

“They look awfully talented, awfully good on film and what they do is come in a play a variety of defenses to try and keep you off balance,” Morrill said.

HAWAI’I VS. UTAH STATE

When: Thursday, January 26, 4 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Logan, Utah
TV: Live in Hawaii on OCSports (channel 12 or 1012)
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Internet: Live video streaming on www.espn3.com

(WarriorInsider.com file photo courtesy Brandon Flores)

6 Comments

  1. Go Bows! We are there with you in spirit at Utah State. Kick some okole’.

  2. OK guys, team play, everyone contributes and let’s get outta there with a W.
    Go Warriors!

  3. big game for nevada same time

  4. it would probably help IF Nevada and NMSU can split …

    This Hawai’i Team is probably playing better than the one that Beat Utah State in the NIT @ Utah State … 40 + Minutes (36 wasn’t enough @ Nevada — of course)

    Go ‘Bows !

  5. Vegas has UH as +9 dogs.. Good, let everybody underestimate Gib and crew..

  6. It’s Warrior Time!! Time to take care of business!!! Give them 40 minutes of Hell Warriors !!

Leave a Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Supporters