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Warriors look to bounce back against CSUN

Negus1_Osumi

One game into the Big West Conference regular season, the University of Hawai’i basketball team already has some catching up to do.

The Warriors surrendered an all-important home game in a 61-57 overtime loss to Cal Poly on Wednesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. They will have to make up for it on Saturday night, when they host Cal State Northridge in another Big West game at the Sheriff Center.

Hawai’i is 12-5 overall; CSUN is 4-12. Both teams are 0-1 in the conference, as the Matadors come to Honolulu off a 71-61 loss at UC Davis on Wednesday.

If the opening nights of games in the conference proved anything, it is that any team has a chance on any night. The first four games of the regular season featured two overtime games, and the largest margin of victory in any game was the 10-point win by UC Davis over CSUN.

The Warriors will be looking to get back on track offensively after shooting just 32.7 percent from the field and being held under 60 points for only the second time all season in the loss to Cal Poly.

It might help on Saturday to be playing a CSUN team that is 0-8 in road games this season, and ranks last in the Big West in scoring defense, with opponents scoring 71.8 points per game.

The Matadors have been struggling since the start of the season, in part due to a lack of depth after losing six players for what has been reported to be academic reasons. It is not known if or when the players will become eligible. The Matadors have been down to using just seven players in recent games.

Still, CSUN is a dangerous team with two of the best statistical players in its program history in the starting lineup. Stephan Hicks, a 6-6 senior wing, is averaging 17.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, and is already the program’s all-time leading scorer with more than 1,700 career points.

Stephen Maxwell, a 6-7 senior forward, is averaging 15.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, and was a first-team All-Big West selection last season. He is the program’s all-time leading rebounder with more than 800, and is fifth on the career scoring list with more than 1,500 points.

What’s more, Tre Hale-Edmerson, a 6-7 junior forward, is averaging 5.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and is the program’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 122.

MikeThomas1_Chaminade

The Warriors will not be lacking for motivation, as it was the Matadors who knocked Hawai’i out of the Big West Tournament last season.

It is interesting to note that five current Matadors (Hicks, Maxwell, Hale-Edmerson, Landon Drew and Aaron Parks) saw significant action in the Big West Tournament last season, while only two current Warriors played significant minutes (Garrett Nevels and Quincy Smith).

Nevels, Hawai’i’s lone senior, is expected to miss his second consecutive game with a hand injury. Without him against Cal Poly, the Warriors went with a starting five of junior Roderick Bobbitt, sophomores Mike Thomas, Aaron Valdes and Negus Webster-Chan, and freshman Isaac Fleming.

Valdes leads the Warriors in scoring (15.2), rebounding (6.2) and field goal percentage (.506). Fleming is scoring 9.3 points per game, followed closely by Bobbitt (9.1 points, 5.8 assists), Webster-Chan (9.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 28 3-pointers), and Thomas (8.5 points, 4.1 rebounds).

Sophomore big men Stefan Jankovic and Stefan Jovanovic, and junior point guard Quincy Smith are all expected to be in the rotation.

Big West Conference
Wednesday/Thursday Results

Cal Poly 61, Hawai’i 57 (OT)
UC Davis 71, Cal State Northridge 61
UC Riverside 84, Cal State Fullerton 78 (OT)
Long Beach State 88, UC Irvine 82

Saturday’s Games
UC Santa Barbara at Cal Poly
UC Riverside at UC Irvine
Long Beach State at UC Davis
Cal State Northridge at Hawai’i

Game Information
Who:
Hawai’i (12-5, 0-1 Big West) vs. CSUN (4-12, 0-1 Big West)
When: Saturday, Jan. 10, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, O’ahu
Tickets: Lower level – $26; Upper level – $18 for adults, $16 for senior citizens, $5 for students. Parking is $6.
Television: Live on OCSports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
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 HawaiiAthletics.com

18 Comments

  1. Personally, I think tomorrow’s game could be the most important game of the season. It is a must win game. We cannot lose 2 straight at home out of the gate.

  2. The important thing is to just play our game – fast breaks, high intensity, scrappy. And it has to be done from tip off. We have to stay mentally strong. The guys can’t just be content with a marginal lead, but they have to finish them off. Forget the pre-season. We’re 0-1 and that’s all that matters now.

  3. When I first read that CSUN might only have 7 players for tomorrow’s game my first thinking was that we should press them the whole game and run and gun but then I counted that we might only use eight guys so not that much difference and might backfire. The key might be which team stays out of foul trouble.

    Derek you might be right about this game being the most important because can not lose any more home games. BUT if you look at the Saturday schedule there is a good chance that only one team will be 2-0 after this week and thats the winner of the Long Beach and UC Davis game.

  4. Benji was offered around $190,000 for a one year extension, per Brian M. Gib’s first year salary was $240,000, then went to $344,000 after only the first year, or a 43 % increase .

  5. Agreed, TAVS, Derek and ChuckCheese… this CSUN game HUGE.. win and Hawaii at worst one game out of first place, lose and 2 games behind..

    Plus,.. It is so very true, the First Sixteen games, were pretty special.. and UH won 12 out of 16 of them, National recognition and good showing in ESPN DHC..

    Now, Benjy has to keep team together, heads, minds and hearts. that is why yesterday NO practice, just watch and break down video.. so all guys , the eight that saw action could see what went wrong..

    Agree, I personally think.. guys are exhausted from that murderous first 16 games pre BWC and the 8 games in 12 days, including being away from SSC for 6 of those games. guys sick/ flu and untimely injuries, seems like the guys NEVER have the 12, All healthy and free of sickness at One time.
    However, Nevels ain’t crying, still trying to work on his cardio, running and practice handle ball with left hand, plus shooting.. The guy is a leader by example.

    Don’t think this team.. if It is the one, and I was afraid of this.. believing the hype and attention from 2014 .. 12-4 record.. probably, thought, step out on court, make some lazy passes, not adjust or attack the glass, and Play good defense.. scrap as TAVS says.. that is why they fell behind by 12.
    Poly wasn’t that much better, though, killed UH on the boards by 10.. UH stay even or win rebound battle, they can win, 9-11 games in BWC.. HOWEVER ONE GAME < ONE WIN AT A TIME.

    Benjy, very focused.. I like that.. work with team.. NO distractions, effort, execute.. and get as Many Wins as possible, not end of BWC world.. team playing The Top level best in March BWC tourney will win it.. who can they ask about that? Cal Poly.. last 8 games, last 6 games, of BWC regular season MOST important.. be playing super well, and all guys healthy.

    Just hope, I know a lot on this forum, contributors, or readers of comments, go to SSC games.. hey keep on cheering, for those who cannot go.. we can hear you.. from Sandy Beach to Serbia..
    I hope 6000 will show up.. this team Deserves it.. the near 4900 in attendance Wednesday, very special.. and they don't want to go away disappointed.. Fans are too good as well as team.. is better than what they showed..
    I look for Q, Bobbitt, Fleming to have good games, Janks and Jovanovich figuring it out, REBOUND and play sound defense.. AV and AT and NWC. just ball.. Play as a team, junk yard dog, fight and Finish Strong.. Team will not quit.. just have to get better, REMEMBER fans… BWC conference play, any Conference in the nation., everyone knows scout on every team.. So UH be ready..

    Be 1-1, and going after Riverside in Cali next week !
    No excuses.. just win guys….. and figure out you plays.. execute,, Play Akamai !!
    🙂

  6. islandman: UH admin playing games again.. at least $215,000.00, you know BWC season and finish so important for Benjy’s future,,, with the recognition UH MBB is getting or has gotten because of Benjy, the staff and great team.. kind of a slap in the face.. He taking the good approach, just concentrate on winning as many games, and going NIT or NCAA dances.. his agent will bang something out with UH admin..
    As I see it.. if after first 8 games, let’s say UH is 6-2? They overall record 18-7, with momentum, pretty much on track for 20 win season.. so that is great, UH MBB to consecutive 20 win seasons.. if UH goes to a Post Season tournament.. maybe NCAA.. what, MBB ends up with 24-27 wins?
    And UH does not offer a 2 year minimum deal at say $250,000.00 per year, with 2nd year able to add on another year because of added goals met, similar to, but not same as Gib;’s..
    Now, JMO, fans, not fact,,..opinion only.. if Benjy still goes 20 wins.. and ends up in CBA, CIT.. he probably would have calls from other mids, who have seen what he did, in an almost impossible situation, and Still had team win 20 games.. they would hire him for 3 year guaranteed deal.
    Now, hear, from radio.. people..if Benjy not part of that OTHER thing, clear to go.. maybe they are awaiting that.. I don’t think Benjy would have stuck around if He Were Part of that Other thing.. I am forbidden to mention it here.. So I won’t !!

    Main thing Benjy, do best coaching and managing of team, in your life, which you are.. and get team winning and confident in BWC.. the other things, a guaranteed, say 2 year 500K deal, would sound, okay.. a 3 year better.. JUST CONCENTRATE ON GETTING THE CSUN WIN FIRST..
    Let agent handle negotiations… UH admin.. should appreciate what Coach Taylor, the parents of and the young BB guys have done, and WE UH MBB fans, The good ones.. Appreciate All that Benjy and MBB have done to get us excited for UH sports again.. WIN and good things will come !!
    🙂

  7. Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  8. Run these guys all night. Press them to exhaustion ! No mercy !

  9. Hire Benjy three years $900,000. Why not. Predictions here say he will be hot commodity around the country. Administration- wake up and sell the farm for Benjy!

    PS. Enough with the excuses! Nothing from Pitt or Nebeaska about missing or tired players. And any hype is coming from some on this forum.

  10. Hawaii has to start off fast tomorrow night and just keep it going.
    Go Warriors!

  11. Pupule… I think 2 years would be the best compromise… somewhere in the vicinity of $300,000 a year… besides, Benjy’s got some family bills to pay.

  12. I’d say give Benjy a 3 year contract with a small raise to begin with like $210K/year with incentives(approx. a 10% raise). Let’s see how much Benjy wants to be a hc in Hawaii. If it’s all about money, I say let him Go

  13. Runbows? Thoughts?

  14. Two Stephs vs two Stefs; CSUN’s all-time scoring leader, Stephan Hicks,all-time rebounder, Stephen Maxwell plus all-time leader in blocks, junior Tre Hale-Edmerson.

  15. I just noticed that Verbal Commits is saying the Quincy’s brother, Kendall, is transferring to Northridge and would be eligible to play next season…would make for an interesting show down between the brothers.

    I still remember the sting of our early exit from last year’s BWC tournament at the hands of Northridge. Most of his first string will be playing tonight.

    Givem Hell!.

    GO BOWZ

  16. Don’t think anyone forgot that painful loss to CSUN that shut down our season. Players should be up for this one. Like Samson said, “Now they really made me mad.” Jawbones will be flying tonight!

    Wondering when will Nevels be ready? Our defense get puka without him.

  17. Big game tonight! A lesser opponent that plays bad on the road but a conference opponent nonetheless. Northridge is a dangerous team so the Warriors cannot take a single second for granted. I’m actually happy w/the way we opened the season cuz now the ‘bows know they can’t take ANYTHING for granted! I think they come back out on fire tonight and will light up the scoreboards for 90+. Let’s GO BOWS!!!

  18. CSUN over Wahine 53-46 . Megan Huff not too bad, 15 pts ( 6 for 14 FG), 9 rebounds, 5 BLOCKS, 2 steals, 2 TO’s in 32 minutes as a starter .

    UH Men’s VB player Davis Holt for shot blocker in basketball ? He had 6 block assists yesterday.

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