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Lessons learned on the road

Despite going 0-2 on its first Big West Conference road trip last week, all was not lost for the Hawai’i basketball team.

The Warriors were in it until the closing seconds of both games – a 68-64 loss at UC Irvine followed by a 76-72 loss at Long Beach State. Head coach Gib Arnold noted that those two teams were predicted to finish ahead of Hawai’i in the preseason polls.

“On paper, this looks like the toughest road trip, and we were right there with the ball with seconds left in both games,” Arnold said. “I think as we go back and look at the film and see what we can work on we’ll also be please with some things.

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“This is a good team and we’re playing hard. That’s all you can ask the guys. Hopefully next time the ball will bounce our way and we can execute down at the end.”

The Warriors are 9-7 overall and 3-2 in the Big West – just one game behind first-place Long Beach State.

Last week was the first Big West road trip for Hawai’i, and only the second trip to the mainland of the season (the previous trip consisted of just one game at UNLV).

“We now know what it takes to hang in there on the road to close games,” junior forward Davis Rozitis said. “As coach says, boys can win at home, but it takes men to win on the road. Now we know what we have to do win on the road. We have the winning formula, we just have to execute.”

Turnovers were again the bane of the Warriors’ losses on the road. They committed 17 turnovers in each game, including fatal mistakes in the closing minutes.

On the other end, the Warriors continued to dominate the boards, as they have out-rebounded each of their five Big West opponents so far.

Hawai’i also staged late rallies in both of its road games, and relied on contributions from numerous players. “If we play with this intensity, we can do anything,” senior Jace Tavita said.

The Warriors will also get a chance to avenge both losses. They host Long Beach State on February 7, and UC Irvine on February 9.

“Yeah, we’re going to have these games highlighted on the calendar,” Tavita said.

But the Warriors will first have to focus on two other Big West teams. Hawaii will host Pacific on Thursday, and UC Davis on Saturday.

20 Comments

  1. UH Men Basketball team, you have 13 more games in regular season. First thing, take care of these two at home. Make sure, handle the ball well, close out, make your weak areas, i.e. FT shooting, turnovers, decision making your strengths. Next time on the road. You guys can be 2-0, instead of 2-0. Don’t ever give up. Gib and staff have done a great job with you guys. Your Attitude, Energy, Passion and Execution is coming to the fore. So close, and you would be 5-0 coming home .

    Fans, are backing you, the real ones. Some question coach, and other stuff. Just concentrate on what YOU guys have to do to win regular season and Big West tourney. You have a large following. Relax, enjoy your college experience, have a pizza and check out a movie. Then, put into practice, scout, individual and team skills. You guys are the most united and supportive team that Gib has had in the past 3 years, and UH has had in maybe the past 5 years.

    Still, lot of Basketball to play. Love the effort, the first hand reports of WI, and kimo k. and TribeV, especially, since those 2 fans follow you guys on the road!. Hey, welcome back to Hawaii, and go out and tell your fellow students, the maniacs to come out and cheer you on. I will. Warriors, from 1 through 12.

    P.S. Love the use of Ozren P. He gets more playing time, his BB IQ and skillset is coming to the fore. Jace, being strong with the ball and running offense and physical defense, cannot ask for anything more. Jawato, B., lights out 3 shooter, I think one of the best athletic and skilled 3 ball shooter UH has had in years. The Bigs, be big, and Coach, love your passion and your families support, the true ohana.

    These next 13 games, warriors, attack, you are reaching that level of play, steady, and close out ability, every facet of game, do well, by end of regular season, without question, you can be top 3 seeding, if not win the regular season and hopefully the Big West Tourney and go dancing.

    Welcome back to the Stanley(SSC)!

  2. I make mistakes too! sorry had to repost and edit, you can be 2-0 not 0-2 next road swing!

    UH Men Basketball team, you have 13 more games in regular season. First thing, take care of these two at home. Make sure, handle the ball well, close out, make your weak areas, i.e. FT shooting, turnovers, decision making your strengths. Next time on the road. You guys can be 2-0, instead of 0-2.

    Hauns welcome back, can see your game coming back too, We need you. Manroop, keep your head up high, and eat well, sleep well, do well in class, and work with strength coordinator, I can see coach using you as extra ball handler and especially as a wing/SG. You will help team win some ball games. Imagine, with you and Jawato, and Ozren, Hauns, Spearman, hitting a couple of timely tthrees per game to stretch defense, will make UH hard to beat, complete inside , out, offense, hard to defend.

    And lastly, at home or on the road, stretch the lead, in final 5 min, of game, if you have it., then close out, take care of ball, good decision making, by now, 16 games into season, it will become second nature. You guys are what you are, so work the best with what you got. I have seen teams with good chemistry, work so well together, they beat the North Carolinas, Kentuckys, of the NCAA BB world, because of great team work and effort and execution!. You warriors, are similar, GREAT teams, executing really well, firing on all cylinders, can beat teams with superior athletes, although, I know you guys are good athletes and smart students, you can do it. !

  3. good teams win on the road

  4. hawaiifan09, ditto! We are not a good team yet, we are an average team trying to be a good team.
    We lost some teams due to bad foul shooting, we lost some games due to poor coaching decisions. In the last game we lost from the 3 point line and at the foul line, not turnovers. Yes, turnovers are an issue, but that’s not the reason we lost. Look at the stats. We didn’t do a good enough job defending the 3 pt. line. Long Beach made 10s, what did we do in return? And at the line, we lost big time.

    We could have used Clair’s offense but he didn’t even play. I don’t know why, and I don’t know what’s the deal. Clair started the prior 5 games and played a lot of minutes, before the Irvine game. In Irvine, he only played 2 minutes. I don’t get it. What did he do wrong? Was he under the weather. Nobody has said anything. Anybody know? I want answers, because he could have made a difference in these last 2 games. Winning and losing is a very fine line and yet at the same time there is a big difference in emotions.

  5. Derek and Hfan:

    One thing, we try to stay positive on this forum, just my reason,cheer on guys, recognize their outstanding class achievments etc, recruits and their families, and current players and their families read your posts, just have to stay positvie, we could lose potential athletes if we go negative.

    09 and Derek, must be what happens in pracitice, matchups and illness. I think maybe kimo k., TribeV., might know, I don’t know, why Clair not play , why Isaac not playing to capability on road, and Christian not at his 17 ppg average on road.

    Maybe Dayton will have update on why guys did or did not play. All Coach and guys who do and do not play are concerned about? Winning. It doesn’t matter who plays. I think Clair, maybe ill, or physically cannot match defensive intensity in game, who knows?

    Just know this, with Gib this year,
    ALL the guys 1 through 12 have to be ready. I am sure not one of them from Vander to Manroop, Christian to Garrett,

  6. These are the starters for thursday, vs Pacific,: Vander, Fotu, Jefferson, Jawato and Spearman.
    Backups are Stanhardinger for Forward 4 and 5 position, Rozitis ,and Hauns. That’s it.

  7. jjay

    For the energy, get out and go on D and O, I like that 3 guard Jawato, Spearman and Jefferson with 2 Bigs. And , Gib can mix in whomever after that. Probably reaching Big West Tourney time and post season, rotation will tighten up.

    Key thing jjay, Derek, Hfan9, team has to get a WIN, starting this Thursday against Pacific, and a good WIN, from start to finish, then go out and get UC Davis, get ready for the road. I would be completely shocked, if Hawaii cannot get 2 wins at home. I think they can, and then go out for 4 games or road, and try to split or better.

    Pretty resilient group, the team, and according to fans and family that were close to team on Cali road trip, coaches doing everything they can, just a matter of guys executing and finishing, close out games.

  8. Sorry guys but UHMBB will split next two games! Mahalo.

  9. UH must take care of business during the next home stand. Pacific is a good team and UH needs to play to beat them. Davis should be an easy win.

    Like I said before, 15 turnovers seems to be the threshold for UH on road games. At home they can get away with it a little more.

    Just FYI to UH and the athletic dept… USC just fired its coach, Kevin O’neil today. UHAD Ben Jay, you better meet with Gib and strengthen his contract NOW. You can bet you first child that USC will be contacting Gib’s agent in the near future to discuss the coaching vacancy.

    I’m sure the USC coaching search committee (when formed) will notice Gib’s progress with UH and his ability to successfully recruit to UH (a very tough place for recruit for). Also, Gib has spent a handful of years at USC as an assistant so I’m sure he’s familiar with he current athletic department staff.

    I knew Gib was going to be great for reviving UH basketball, and I absolutely know bigger programs will notice. I was hoping that Gib could go 4-5 years before being courted, but USC is the one school that could pluck him away earlier because if his history there.

    Its on Ben Jay and the BOR to step up and be proactive. It would be devestating to the program if UH fails to secure its coach (ex. June Jones situation). Gib’s contract needs to be restructured so there’s a big buyout clause in case Gib received an offer he can’t refuse. I think Gib has earned a raise and UHBOR can slip in a new buyout clause when a new contract is formed. At least UH will than have the money to find a quality coach to continue Gib’s progress in the event Gib leaves for a bigger job.

  10. Dallan,

    Well, so far, as for picking a favorite to win in Big West games this year. One of the Network NCAA MB sites interesting. They picked Irvine and of course LBSU over UH in Cali. They got the favorite to win right. The part they didn’t get right was how much Irvine and The Beach would win by.

    Pacific is 1-4 on the road this year. One loss to a major program Gonzaga was on the road. Pacific averages 32 rebounds a game, so UH Bigs and rebounding advantage again. I have to look at that NCAA site, history of games at home against Big West teams this year. So, UH 3-0 at home. I would say, UH favored by a few points in both games.

    Ultimately, it is not NCAA favorite/ underdog predictors, that determine game outcome. Really it is the team. Unless, UH is really flu stricken , with the major top 6 all injured or ill, I would say UH has great chance to sweep.

    It has been rollercoaster ride, however, gang(Dallan), it is only , 5 games into season, and UH had chance to be 5-0 at this point. UH, sure they could split, however, I think they will play well. Take your blood pressure before going to game!(just joking)

    They are home, and , even making comebacks, or someone having awesome games, and with the X factor 3 ball scoring of B. Jawato. I like UH’s chances, to have a good oppotunity to win a lot of their home games this year.

  11. playhoopsa it’s good to stay positive and try to keep the players/fans motivated but this isn’t grade school ball….this is D1 ball…..money is involved and if something isn’t right it needs to be fixed….im not saying this is a lost season but the university should really be keeping an eye on new head coaches…..I believe gibs future will be based on next season which we think will be a good team but no vander and thomas and valdes are unproven….I could see a couple players leaving also which in my eyes doesn’t look good after a good amount of players ditched out on GIB

  12. Everybody is entitled to your opinion and all opinions should be respected, whether positive or more critical. I like to call it a spade is a spade. Just tell the truth and the facts. Unfortunately, some people don’t like negative comments. I call it an opportunity to get better. This is Division I BB. I buy season’s tickets. I expect a winning product for my money.

  13. One of the USC bad loss caught my eye, can’t help but wondering that when their HC will be let go!

    PAC-12 salary ranged 1.1m – 3.4m.
    Would be surprised they’ll let HC’s name out for considerations!

    A five-yr, 2.xm contract will make five kids very happy $ rich!

  14. I guess we all want the same thing, no matter how we feel, for the MBB team to be successful in school, on the court and in college life and after college.

    A lot of negativity in world. Very sad. Just trying to keep student athletes and their families with something to keep their spirits up.

    And, I think the team are good kids, they will do well. Same with Gib, Benjy, Brandyn, Fish, Chris and staff. Kudos to academic advisors as well.

    Mahalo and Aloha.

    P.S. UH team go get that Big West Title, We ALL want you guys to do well, and we will be their to cheer you on!

  15. Gib is well paid at Big West level , we cannot compete salary wise with the Pac 12,Gib still working on building a successfull program , we need to see the fruits on the tree ripen yet, Big West title, Ncaa bid, a history of success at the D1 head coaching level. USC is going to go after a seasoned proven head coach at a high level division college, ACC, Big East . Possibly Jamie Dixon, you never know.Pat Haden knows what he wants.

  16. Big time programs don’t have much patience for losing. It’s understandable. There’s too much money involved. Not to mention the boosters, alumni, students, faculty, etc. It’s a business. Losing is not tolerated.

  17. jjay,

    You’re right in that UH cannot compete with PAC 12 salaries but what UH can do is protect itself be increasing the buyout amount if Gib decides to leave. UH would have to give Gib a raise and extension to get the buyout in the new contract, but I think Gib deserves a raise with the work he’s done to rebuild the program.

    If there is a steep buyout to terminate Gib’s contract, it does a couple things:
    1. it increases the likelihood Gib stays long term
    2. It deters other programs from taking Gib
    3. Should another program take Gib, thn UH will have the extra cash to find a quality replacement that can continue UH upward trend.

    In the end I think Gib will eventually end up at a big program, because he’s a superior recruiter, but I was hoping that would be after 5-7 years. USC is the one program that could take run at Gib.

    What I’m saying is that UH needs to protect itself and its assets. I hope the athletic department and the BOR learned a lesson on how the June Jones situation was handled.

  18. Gib still needs to prove he’s a consistent winner, just year three ,we have won no titles yet, also recruiting success will be based on his recruits this year and how they pan out next season, who stays who goes is still another question once the season is over. There was a bunch of changes in goings and comings this past season.

  19. Onward to Pacific ,winning will take care of a lot of doubts.

  20. Recruiting is a lot like selling a house. You can paint it and make it look lovely on the outside but if the plumbing, electrical, and other internal systems are not up to par you won’t get the kind of success you wanted. So it goes with UH. As great a recruiter Gib is, if you don’t got the money in upgrading his and assistant coaches pay, facilities, better travel budget, etc, you can’t expect great things to happen overnight. So with the limited funds the road to success will be a slower one. But Gib is doing the right thing in putting sweat equity into the program by going the extra mile in recruiting and coaching. The quality is improving but we still got a lot more bricks to lay before we can make the jump from Kaimuki (unranked) to Kahala (top 100).

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