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There are still two big games to play this week

The bags are packed, the flight is departing, and the University of Hawai’i basketball team is focused on continuing its record road winning streak this week.

While the official release of sophomore guard Isaac Fleming has already been overly discussed by fans, the Warriors, as a team, have remained quiet in the lead-up to the final two regular-season games. It is an indication of the importance of the task.

Smith3_UCDavis

Hawai’i will play at UC Davis on Thursday (5:00 p.m. Hawai’i time), and then at Long Beach State on Saturday (2:00 p.m. Hawai’i time).

The Big West Conference regular-season championship is still on the line, with the Warriors still in the front position to take it. Hawai’i is 23-4 overall and alone atop the conference standings at 12-2.

UC Davis is 10-17 overall and tied for fifth in the Big West at 5-9.

Hawai’i has won a school-record six consecutive road games, and it is worth noting that a key player sat out for five of those six road wins (starting forward Aaron Valdes missed three games, and Fleming missed two others).

Three teams remain in the race for the regular-season title: Hawai’i, UC Irvine and Long Beach State. Pending this week’s outcomes, the Warriors could finish as the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 seed for the Big West Conference Tournament.

Here are the basic scenarios to look for this week:

• Hawai’i needs to win one of its two remaining games to clinch the regular-season title and No. 1 seed for the Big West Tournament, March 10-12, at Anaheim, Calif.

• A victory by Hawai’i at UC Davis on Thursday renders the Saturday game at Long Beach State moot, at least for UH’s seeding purposes (there is still the matter of seeking revenge for the home loss to the 49ers last month).

• A loss by Hawai’i at UC Davis on Thursday turns the Saturday game at Long Beach State into a possible first-or-third situation for the Warriors. A win at Long Beach would result in the regular-season title, but a loss could drop them as low as the No. 3 seed.

• UC Irvine is in second place with an 11-3 record. The Anteaters host Cal Poly on Thursday, then play at UC Riverside on Saturday. UCI needs to win both games to have a shot at the title and No. 1 seed, and would also require Hawai’i to lose twice.

• Long Beach State is in third place with a 10-4 record. The 49ers play at Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, then host Hawai’i on Saturday. Long Beach needs to win both games to have a shot at the title and No. 1 seed, and would also require two losses by Hawai’i and at least one loss by UC Irvine.

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Wednesday’s Big West Game
Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton

Thursday’s Big West Games
UC Riverside at UC Santa Barbara
Hawai’i at UC Davis, 5:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Cal Poly at UC Irvine

Saturday’s Big West Games
UC Irvine at UC Riverside
Hawai’i at Long Beach State, 2:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Cal Poly at UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis at CSUN

46 Comments

  1. One win is a necessity, two would be icing on the cake. Great that we’re playing two very good teams going into the tourney.

  2. Agree. Good test. Monson and Les two good coaches. Wonder how they slow down Jankovic. They do other guys pick up scoring. Defense amd and rebounding key for both teams. Good games hopefully! Warriors go get one or sweep.

  3. I think we will lock it up against Davis on Thursday. Then, I hope someone has some tape of Faust’s obnoxious dance at the end of the game at Stan Sherriff as motivation for our guys before the Long Beach State game. I would LOVE to shut him down the way Irvine did, I found him very distasteful, I don’t care how talented he is.

    Go bows!!! Sweep the road. Has any team ever done that in the Big West?

  4. KelleyO.
    For a Hawaii team in WAC or now Big West. Never been done before. Overall with Texas Tech road game. Would be 7-1 which is really good!
    Go Warriors!! Cannot wait for Thursday!!

  5. Sorry Warriors would be 8-0 Big West road games. 8-1 overall with Texas Tech game included. 8 wins away from Stan Sheriff Center historic! Guys deserve it. Win with class. If lose . lose with honor.

  6. I think the last time a Big West team went undefeated on the road in conference play was Pacific, forget which year. Richie Scheuler mentioned it on a Hawaii road game he was commentating.

    Man, a road sweep right now would be awesome, but seeing how Davis gave UCI problems at Davis at home has me a bit concerned…I think though if we score 65 pts or more we should be fine. UCD are 1st in big west in pts allowed, but last in pts scored i believe.

    Let’s go ‘Bows, finish strong!

  7. Kaimukian, I agree, sweeping on the road would be humongous but main thing is we win at least one for that NIT.

    Not sure about the scoring 65 pts or more we should win part? Possibly, but what concerns me is that with Drammeh and Nikko likely being the immediate back ups to Bobbitt and Q, those guys don’t score. Especially with Drammeh. He has a looooong way to go before he’s a reliable and consistent scorer and I’m not even talking about a lot of scoring, just average about 6 pts per game would be good for now. Drammeh seems like he lacks confidence with the ball in his hands as he immediately passes when he’s given the ball, which is weird because he’s pretty fearless at taking charges??? anyway, I like Nikko in place of Drammeh at least until Drammeh can shoot and drive it to help out the offense.

    Also, let’s hope and pray that nobody get’s injured, especially Bobbitt, Q, or Janks. I think we could survive if Thomas went out as Tummala is pretty much equal coming off the bench, maybe even more valuable at times than Thomas, especially when Thomas is forcing his shot and if Tummala is in the zone with his 3s and rebounding, I’d play Sai more.

  8. KellyO,

    According to Bobby Curran and those close to the benches, when Long Beach played here in January, Isaac continually trash talked Nick Faust before the game even started… Isaac was actually the one who got Faust going that night… to the tune of 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 steals. It seemed that Faust was a man possessed.

    If you recall, Isaac and Valdes were both not 100% that night, allowing Faust to dominate the game without much resistance from Hawaii’s part. With a healthy Aaron Valdes, I don’t think Faust will run loose this week. If we can shut down Nick Faust, Long Beach isn’t the same team.

  9. Not sure why I feel so confident against Davis, I just feel like we match up well against them. We beat them twice last year when everyone else struggled against them, and handled them earlier this year. As I recall Janks and Quincy played really well and our defense had a bunch of steals. I hate when I feel confident though. It feels bachi.

  10. A win over Davis would give this team a conference title and an NIT berth, something a UH team hasn’t accomplished in a long, long while. That is the focus this week.

    kaneohe97: Respectfully, I think it’s obvious that Drammeh is playing because of what he brings on defense, and I’m not talking just his willingness to take charges. He hit two big FTs on Saturday (and also hoisted an ill-advised 3-pointer early in the shot clock) and in a previous game, he twice pulled up and sank a mid-range jumper. I don’t mind seeing him give up the ball to Janks or Aaron, or swinging it back to Bobbitt. He knows his limitations but also what his teammates can do.

    njacinto: I think Bibbins has been playing better than Faust lately; I think Faust had 3 points against Irvine. Bibbins was injured late in the first half against UH. He’s the guy who scares me because Valdes can stay with Faust but Bibbins is a tough matchup. (He was the PG on the same high school team with Niko and Jovanovich).

  11. This will sound bad but I really wish for a miracle that Cal State Fullerton can beat Long Beach on Wednesday and Cal Poly beat Irvine on Thursday so that will take the pressure off our guys.

    I can see Poly with a small chance to do it, but probably not Fullerton. Like I said that is wishing for a miracle.

  12. Kaneohe97, I agree…Everytime Drammeh picks up his dribble he looks confused, and I start yelling to pass it lol. Perhaps he’s more of a shooting guard than a pure point which it seems that Niko and Q play behind Bobbitt. Ganot mentioned that he likes to have at least 3 pure PG’s at any time, from what he learned at St. Mary’s. Harder to full court press, and hence why he uses Bobbitt and Q simultaneously.

    And yeah, 65 pts is a low total for a win, but as someone mentioned earlier that we put up 89 pts against CSUN here w/out Fleming, so I feel we can handle Davis. Just can’t let Fox have a massive game and we should be fine. They also have a good PG in Siler Schneider whom we have to contain also.

    Go ‘Bows!

  13. And ChuckCheese I agree! You’re not the only UH fan wishing ill upon LBSU and UCI this coming weak! haha.. Screw it, I hope UCSB collapses as well! lol

    Go ‘Bows!

  14. njacinto, your totally right that the key to victory over LBST is shutting down Faust. Yes, Bibbins is also a beast that needs extra attention but from what I’ve seen from LBST games this season is that if Faust is off or shut down then LB isn’t the same team and seem out of sorts.

  15. Hawaii has to come in hungry for that title! Uc Davis is a solid team with great ball movement.

    I feel if the Bows don’t take them lightly we should get the W though.

    No matter what happens on Thursday, I know Hawaii is going to be pumped and ready for revenge against LB!

    Let’s go Bows!

  16. Get the two road wins. Fine tune the team for the tournament. Get the homework done. And stay healthy !
    Go Bows !

  17. The 2 keys to UH winning on the road as they have done so far is shooting a good percentage and rebound well. Coach Ganot and staff do a terrific job in preparation.

  18. Two difficult road games this week. I do feel like both are very winnable, depending on which UH team shows up. We match up well against both teams so hopefully entire team has its head on right and are ready to go. At Davis, we need to get going offensively early and often. At Long Beach, we need to shut down Faust and play our game and we’ll be fine. What’s not fine is I have drill this weekend so I’m not sure how I’ll be making the 2pm Saturday tip-off (what the heck…). So I might miss my first game this year.

    UH can make history this week going undefeated in conference road play. I feel like they’re very capable and hopefully can put all of last week’s drama behind them. If any UH team could do it, this one would be it! Let’s GO BOWS!

  19. I hope to see SD be more aggressive offensively. Don’t be afraid to put the ball on the floor big guy. I also wonder if Niko is gonna get more pt today?

  20. tomorrow*

  21. VERY Good Point ON Team Potential to Make ROAD HISTORY….
    (BTW That Means ONE WIN Is NOT Enough This Week)

    ONE of Ganot’s Sterngths is Using ALL-Time BEST Performance Marks
    to KEEP Team Focused And Striving For Improvement…

    Tummala Noted it’s Easy During a Winning Streak to ‘Get Comfortable’ and Start Taking things for Granted…
    Placing KEY Challenges — NO Team Was Able to Do This — Front and Center
    Reminds Players (In THIS Moment) NOT to Take ANY Thing Lightly

  22. Most important Composure. Coach on down to grad assistant manager. Has been challenging past few weeks for Warriors. Respect officials calls. Adjust accordingly. Think officiating crews hav Hawaii under microscope. Tram leaders stay calm warriors can sweep!

  23. UH 7.5 favorite over UCD.

  24. Thanks for the line islandman. I did not get my numbers yet so was little bit surprised to see UH favored by that much.

  25. Irvine favored by 10 over Cal Poly.
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    xer21 posted this link on another board which has advice for players, which includes listen to your coach when you are on a team :
    http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/14836575/college-basketball-senior-class-2015-2016-imparts-advice

  26. islandman, too bad bigdaddy and isaac didn’t read the story xer21 posted before they decided to move on. oh well…imua bows!

  27. Who goes to the NIT if UH wins the conference and tournament?

  28. Islandman,

    Great article with plenty of great advice for younger players. Hield’s advice to not listen to family and friends over coaches left the biggest impression.

  29. 808rock and tavs … also, tommyball1 offered this advice, if it applies, show up on time for practices, games and on the court.
    ——————————————————————–
    In 2009-10, UCSB was the No. 1 seed, won the Big West tourney and went to the NCAA’s . The regular season CO-champion, the No. 2 seed,went to the CIT. Cal Poly, No. 2 seed, lost in the first round of the Big West tourney.

    In 2011-12, the No. 1 seed LBSU and tourney champ went to the NCAA’s. The 2nd and 3rd seeds went to the CIT. No. 3 seed UCSB lost in the finals of the Big West tourney. The No. 2 seed,CSF, lost in the 1st round.

  30. correction for 2009-10, the co-champion and No. 2 seed was Pacific and they lost in the quarter-finals of the big west tournament.

  31. Sorry, they lost the in the semi-finals of the big west tournament.

  32. Islandman,

    So if UH wins the regular season and tournament, no other BWC team would qualify for the NIT? Instead, a hypothetical co-champion could possibly go to the CIT?

  33. UC Davis seems to have a nice arena,looking at pictures. It seats close to 8,000, they had 4,573 attendance for the game vs. Irvine.

  34. Trent Schlom, i don’t know if he is an authority, but i think he said, on sports animals, it may be possible for a 2nd place Big West regular season team to go to the NIT this year. I’m not sure if that would come true.
    For the Wahine, it could be easier, coach Laura said she thinks they would probably go to the WNIT, if they didn’t win the Big West Tourney. They went to the WNIT in 2014, when they ended up 3rd in the regular season.

  35. warrior08, “Sheriff Drammeh big guy” bwahahaha. Yes, I agree he needs to be more confident with the ball in his hands offensively but he is no big guy. Hopefully he goes hardcore in the gym in the off-season and bulks up another 30 pounds of muscle mass. I read somewhere that he’s 6’3 weighing about 165? that’s like a skinny rag doll, big boys in the BW will smash him, especially considering he loves to take charges fearlessly.

  36. Steph Curry was listed at 185 at Davidson, so Sheriff only has 20 lbs to go.

  37. Darn. Beach beats Fullerton, 75-73, on Bibbins’ coast-to-coast layup that dropped with 0.3 seconds left.

    Oh, well, better to earn it than ask for help. Huge game tomorrow.

  38. TAVS, from what I’ve read if UH wins the regular season and BWT then the second place BW team will make the NIT since the NCAA recently took control over the NIT they have changed some of the formatting. Not 100% sure though.

  39. clyde..where’s the spoiler alert? I was planning to watch the replay of that game on ESPN3, LOL. Oh well, your right, I would rather earn it then get help. UH can do it!!!

  40. The NCAA took control of the NIT in 2005 and they give automatic bids to the conference regular season champions. No guarantee the 2nd place team in Big West will get invited to the NIT. Examples are 2010 and 2012,

  41. It looks like da beach isn’t playing so good right now.

  42. Remember it took us OT to pull off a victory in Fullerton, so idk if this game is really a good measure as to how these two teams are at this point in the season. Was rooting for Fullerton all the way though, winning on the road at this point is looking harder to do consistently. Just focus on Davis and take care of business!

    Let’s go ‘Bows!

  43. kaneohe97: Whoa, sorry about that.

  44. Isalandman,good article looks like every senior on that list played for the coach who recruited them not the coach who didn’t recruit them there is a difference in situation. We’re from the east coast not the west totally unfamiliar.

  45. Clyde: haha, no worries, i was just kidding around. I don’t mind spoilers as long as they’re not UH game spoilers 😀

  46. ” This should create things more effective.

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