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Warriors look to pick up the pace at Cal Poly

The University of Hawai’i basketball team is an improved version of last season. A gauge of just how much better could be determined on Thursday, when the Warriors open their Big West Conference season at Cal Poly.

The game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. (Hawai’i time) at Mott Athletics Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif. It is the same little gym (3,032 capacity) where the Warriors suffered their biggest loss of last season, 88-59.

Hawai’i had a 10-9 record after that loss last season. The Warriors are 11-3 this season – the best start by a Hawai’i team in a decade – and have won nine of their last 10 games.

Shamburger1_Omaha

“We got killed by them the last time,” sophomore forward Isaac Fotu said. “We’re going to come out and hopefully change the outcome from last year.”

The Mustangs are also a different team this year, although not necessarily for the better. Cal Poly finished with an 18-13 overall record last season, and is 4-9 this season.

Hawai’i associate coach Benjy Taylor said the Mustangs are better than their record might indicate. He also noted that Cal Poly had a 13-1 home record last season (including 9-0 in Big West games) and are 3-1 at home this season.

“They’re a lot better than what they’ve shown,” Taylor said. “They shoot the ball a lot better at home, which is one of their strengths. We’ll have our work cut out for us up there. They do a good job of controlling tempo. They have good guard play and probably one of the best players in the conference in Chris Eversley.”

Eversley, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward, is averaging 14.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, and is second on the team with 19 3-pointers. He averaged 22.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in two victories over Hawai’i last season.

“He’s just very, very active,” Taylor said. “They’re always looking for him. He’s the head of the snake for them. If we can keep his numbers down – which he hurt us both games last year – we’ll have a good chance of winning.”

The other top scorers for the Mustangs are 6-4 wing David Nwaba (11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds) and 6-foot guard Kyle Odister (9.3 points, team-leading 29 3-pointers). The Warriors are also concerned about 6-9 forward Brian Bennett, who had 17 points and nine rebounds in the big win over Hawaii last season.

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The Warriors will counter with the same starting lineup that has produced a 9-2 record over the last 11 games: Keith Shamburger at the point, Garrett Nevels and Brandon Spearman on the wings, and Christian Standhardinger and Fotu at forwards.

Standhardinger (17.8), Nevels (13.6), Fotu (13.5) and Spearman (11.0) are all averaging double-figure points, and Shamburger is next at 9.9.

“They’re as good as anybody in the conference,” Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero said of the Warriors. “We’re going to have to play a great Cal Poly gam eon our home court to knock them off to start conference off.”

The game will also be a contrast in styles, as Hawai’i is the top scoring team in the Big West at 82.0 points per game, and Cal Poly is last at 64.9.

“We’re going to have to do a good job with temp and play our game,” Taylor said. “We can’t let them lull us to sleep and start walking the ball up … we need to control the tempo. That’s going to be very, very important for us. And then we have to make shots. If we make shots, they’re not able to get into a lot of things they want to get into, and then we can get into our press.”

Game 15 Tipoff Notes
Who:
Hawai’i (11-3, 0-0 Big West) at Cal Poly (4-9, 0-0 Big West)
When: Thursday, Jan. 9, 5:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: Mott Athletics Center (3,032) – San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Television: None
Streaming Video: BigWest.tv
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona and KTOH on Kaua’i.
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on espn1420am.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at GoPoly.com

12 Comments

  1. Business, trip, have to come back 1-1, or fantastic start 2-0, All five starters, plus 4 or whomever off the bench has to contribute, Very,very sure all BWC teams, have scouted, and prepared for UH’s pressure D, Gib has to have alternative defense, and offensive schemes, If UH can stay with Poly till last 5 minutes, and get even, or hold 2-3 pt lead with timely FT shooting, or win at the buzzer, we will take it. The Real Road to NCAA’s begins Now!
    Cal Poly 4-9, however they have winning record and ran the table at 9-0 last year at home. UH has to bring it 40 minutes of non stop good team basketball, I think this team, shoots well, and handle , cherish ball, can get victory, shoots, I kind of like the start of BWC , however, cannot, string together, 2-3 losses, have to win one, lose, one, win 4, lose 1, win 5, lose 2, etc, just keep it rolling on the W side.

    Go Bows!
    😀

  2. Get ‘Em ‘Bows
    FAST Start and Sustain
    Avenge Na Wahine Steal (in O.T.) by Cal-Poly

    Play Your Hardest, Best, Smart High-Energy Game
    Defensive Intensity, Shut Down Cal Poly
    Get The First WIN on the First Try

    Serve Notice to The Big West
    Prove ‘Bows ARE For REAL…

  3. Eagle, I hope , if the guys are rested, have good, very good shoot around, and stick to their hi tempo O and D, and hit shots, UH will win.

    Alway,s get nervous when guys , Hawaii Kane and Wahine teams go on the road, this is not in the cold, or elevation, they are not flying 7000 miles one way, plus the Cali athletes will have their ohana there to watch and cheer them on.

    Kind of busy nite tomorrow, so catch first half of stream, I hops about this time tomorrow nite, Eagle, we will be commenting on a GREAT WIN for the Bows. 1-0 in the BWC , and heading to Northridge to go 2-0 , that to a man, on this years team, is destroy or be destroyed, this years team has fighters, and winners.
    Go get the win guys, you are a good team, an can match and surpass, Cal Poly, whatever outcome, give 40 minutes of all all effort, and smart BB, Get the Win.
    Go Bows!!
    😀

  4. Love to see if Hawaii can run in transition after made basket by Poly, and after defensive stop, UH run warp speed, and finish at the other end. UH has proved, with their guard play, and having all the role players, actually All 14 guys affect winning. Ideally, would like to see UH up in the eighties scoring, holding Poly to shots, and score 70 or below, not get lullled into a slow down game.

    Eagle, one thing really obvious about the whole team for UH, outstanding conditioning from that beack 6 week workout, They run very well, hardly with their hands on knees and shorts, breathing hard, that could be key, and the subtstitution patter for Gib, he could go 10-11 deep, if close and he wants to close out win, he goes to that 5 starters, plus Quincy or Rozitis for defense of the bench, O for D.
    Go get a HUGE win Bows!
    😀

  5. We ‘OWE’ Cal-Poly a 40-Minute+ Taste of Our Best…

    Don’t Let ‘Em Stay So Close that Refs or The Timekeepers can Squeeze In or Deny a Game-Turning Basket or Tip-In …

    At the Site of Stolen Tip-In (should be Mandatory to Review Available Video(s))
    and BAD Blow-Out, that disclosed, Skill/Athletic, Defensive Deficiencies of the Past
    is Also A Good Place to Demonstrate How Far the Team has Progressed And Improved
    …Enough to WIN?

    Better Would Be a Complete Turnaround,
    Reversing or Evening Up Turnovers, Ball Control,
    Scoring Efficiency, Defensive Intensity and More…

    And WIN… To Allow/Set-Up Reversal of Last Year’s Season Sweep…

    That Kind of Reversal Would Put The League on Notice —
    GIB and The UH Program (Note DEPTH and Freshman Recruiting)
    Will NOT be Caught with its Guards Down Again

    Go ROAD Warriors…
    Go ‘Bows!

    WIN,
    AND Win Again…

  6. Warriors should roll tonight. They’re the superior team, no question about it. Big statement game tonight, let’s go BOWS!!

  7. Really excited, glad to see that Fotu is looking for revenge. Also happy that I can stream replays of every game (for free!) since I’m usually at work. Nice BW perk.

    Good luck tonight. 😀

  8. What’s up with all the cautious predictions? We’re gonna win both away games!

  9. come on guys ! down 14-4 1st half! not again! get it going!! play some defense!

  10. Cautious ? — Not Even Close…

    STILL Owe Cal-Poly A Better Challenge

    ʻBows Got To Step Up A LOT BY February 8 To Hang One ON Cal-Poly And Avoid Handing Them A (ʻNother) Sweep…
    i Expect UHMBB WILL BE Better in the Seccnd Contest…

    NOW Also Got To Be Better BY SATURDAY
    Historically, UH performs Better In the Second Game of a Road Trip…

    STILL Got To Learn How to START STRONG
    Then Play Through To The Win

    WIN Saturday (!) Just DO IT!
    Then at Home
    And Get to Practice/IMPROVE Total Road Trip Performance the Following Week…

    NOT So Easy As ʻWeʻ All Think…RESPECT Everyone, Fear No One…

    Letʻs GO, ʻBOWS!

  11. just horrible reminds me of watching previous years away games shaking my head the whole time

  12. “HORRIBLE” was Something I ONLY Heard from My Olʻ Boss when he was Really Upset/Unhappy…

    SO Apprropriate HERE AS far as iʻm Concerned…

    Coach on Post-Game said this was The First Game he was unhappy with the Teamʻs Effort…

    BUT I “Think” THIS TEAM CAN Learn and Step Up Faster Than Most Previous Teams…

    Weʻll See, Saturday…

    AND NEXT Road Trip (Two Weeks)…

    CʻMon “Supporters” — DID You Really Think it was ALL Gonna Be “Easy” ?
    This Still IS A Young Team…Especially Playing Together…

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