Warriors trying to stay in game shape
The Hawai’i basketball team has only one weekend without any games this entire season. This is it.
To make up for it, the Warriors conducted an intrasquad “situational scrimmage” on Saturday afternoon. In particular, they worked on late-game situations, playing with a lead in the second half, and defending fast breaks.
“With us having 9, 10 days in between, I wanted to get a little bit of a game-like situation,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “You normally would play a Saturday game, so I wanted to keep our game legs.”
The current 10-day break between games is the longest break of the season for the Warriors. Their next game is scheduled for Saturday, December 1, at No. 18 UNLV.
The Warriors are 4-1, but have found ways to make the second half of the games exciting by allowing the opponents to get close. It has cost them only once — Illinois rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to hand Hawai’i its only defeat.
“We were ahead in all of our games, we just have to finish them and seal the deal,” junior forward Christian Standhardinger said. “That is what we will keep working on and I think we will get better.”
During one part of the scrimmage, Arnold stopped the action to explain that patience can be a key teammate when playing with a double-digit lead.
To make the scrimmage even more meaningful, Arnold started it after the team went through two tough hours of practice. “We wanted to scrimmage at the end when our legs were a little tired, but still be mentally and physically strong,” Arnold said. “I thought the guys did a good job.”
The scout team of Keith Shamburger, Dyrbe Enos, Michael Harper, Aaron Valdes and Caleb Dressler formed the “opponent” for the scrimmage. All the other players rotated on the “Hawaii” team, with Arnold in control of the substitutions.
“You always want to stay in game shape,” Standhardinger said. “I think we got a lot better today in practice and in the scrimmage.”
The scout team did its part, running-and-gunning at every opportunity. “We have a real good scout team with Keith Shamburger being as good a guard as any guard we’ll see this year running that,” Arnold said.
Shamburger said: “Days like this we want to beat them. We know who they have coming up. They have UNLV coming up, that’s a ranked team … we have to give them all we got so they can get ready for UNLV.”
Arnold said the scrimmage was still part of a self-improvement process for the Warriors, and the game plan for UNLV will be implemented in the coming days.
UNLV defeated Iowa State, 82-70, on Saturday to improve to 3-1.