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Warriors need to “play with heart” at home

The Hawai’i basketball team will find out this week if home is really where the heart is.

The Warriors finally returned to the Stan Sheriff Center on Monday afternoon for a brief, but intense, practice session. It was the first time in two weeks that the Warriors have been able to shoot baskets in their home arena.

“We just have to get better and get our legs back,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “Get lively again defensively and learn from our mistakes, and play with heart. I think that’s a big part of what we have to do.”

As a constant reminder for his players, Arnold smacked his own chest throughout the practice session and shouted, “It has to come from here!”

“We have two home games left, and we’re excited to be back,” Arnold explained. “It was a long road trip, but we’re back and playing in front of our fans, so we need to play with some heart.”

After an adverse road trip that lasted 10 days and resulted in an 0-3 record, the Warriors are 15-13 overall and tied for fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference. They will host third-place Idaho (16-12 overall, 7-5 WAC) on Thursday at the Sheriff Center.

A victory would put Hawai’i into a tie for third with Idaho (and possibly Utah State, which is also 6-6), and give the Warriors a tiebreaker edge over the Vandals.

Arnold said the downfall of the Warriors during the road trip was their uncharacteristic porous defense. Prior to the trip, the Warriors were limiting opponents to a .407 field goal percentage and had not allowed a team to shoot better than 50 percent from the field this season. During the trip, opponents had a .547 field goal percentage and averaged 97.7 points per game.

“We’ve been a pretty good defensive team in the past, but we weren’t good defensively this last week,” Arnold said. “A lot of it had to do with we were kind of tired and weary, but we’re at home now so we should be just fine.”

(WarriorInsider.com file photo courtesy Brandon Flores)

3 Comments

  1. True … The Heart of it, The Needed Consistent Goodness is Rooted in Defense …

    Also,
    Minimize Turnovers,
    Make Lay-Ups and Free-Throws
    Hit Open Shots

    BUT STAY IN Their Faces
    Deny Them the Ball
    Deny Them the Open Shot
    Keep ‘Em BELOW 40%

    WIN !

  2. Show up, people, let’s get OUR HOUSE rockin’. Go Warriors!

  3. Dayton what is the recruiting status of Isaac Fotu? I see him listed on the New Zealand Breakers roster with pro players.

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