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UPDATED: Warriors roll past BYUH in exhibition

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With eight new faces and only three returning ones, the 2016-17 University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team still managed to produce a familiar result Thursday night with a resounding 97-74 exhibition victory over Brigham Young-Hawai’i.

A small-but-delighted crowd of about 1,800 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched Sheriff Drammeh scored a game-high 19 points, Noah Allen add 15 points and eight rebounds, and Leland Green contribute 13 points as the Rainbow Warriors faced their first competition in public since last season’s historic 28-6 campaign. The newcomers include Allen, Green and Gibson Johnson, who added 12 points and eight boards. Another newcomer, Matt Owies, scored 12 points and grabbed three rebounds. Jack Purchase, who sat out last season as a redshirt, contributed 11 points, six rebounds and five assists.

“Obviously, a good win,” UH coach Eran Ganot said. “We’ve got a young, new group — both in experience and age — and new to each other, and I think there’s been breakthroughs and natural progression in practice time playing against each other. And now, playing against another team in front of a crowd. I’m just pleased overall.”

There was much to be pleased about, almost from the very beginning.

The Rainbow Warriors jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the first four minutes and never looked back. Their first three baskets were made by newcomers Allen (6-foot-7 transfer from UCLA), Green (6-2 freshman from Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Johnson (6-8 transfer from Salt Lake Community College).

Green’s 3-pointer broke a 2-2 tie and sparked a 15-2 run capped by Allen’s 3-pointer that put UH ahead, 17-4, barely six minutes into the game. Two minutes later, the score was 24-9 and the Rainbow Warriors had made 11 of 16 field goals (68.8 percent) off of seven assists and out-rebounded the Seasiders, 13 to 1.

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“We’re really pleased in the way our team plays in terms of playing unselfishly and sharing the ball, that’s been a big part of what we’re about, and it’ll stay that way,” Ganot said. “We’ve got to find our identity defensively, especially defending the 3(-point goal). We got exposed in some areas there, it’s something that’s been coming, and it reared its ugly head there.”

After Hawai’i stretched the lead to 27-9, the Seasiders started to claw back and eventually closed it to 32-25 after Shad Watson’s baseline jumper with 4:19 remaining in the first half, but that was as close as they would get despite draining 16 shots from beyond the arc.

A layup by Purchase and mid-range jumper by Drammeh bookended an 11-2 run that put the Rainbow Warriors ahead, 43-27, with 1:14 before halftime.

Hawai’i extended the lead to 44-30 by intermission and BYUH could not close the gap in the second half.

Drammeh, the only active returnee who saw significant playing time last season, made his debut at point guard and looked mostly comfortable in finishing with three assists, three turnovers and two steals.

“I thought Sheriff did a good job,” Ganot said. “The thing that’s great about him is he knows what he’s doing well and he knows what he needs to work on. He’s being thrown in the fire in a tough position, with a new group, at the most important position. But we’re going to continue to work with him because it allows him to get better. When your team shoots 55 percent (from the field) with 21 assists, it starts at the point guard position. He’s become a student of the game, he really wants to get better and he takes pride in it. A lot is on his plate — we don’t use excuses for that, and neither does he — but I’m very pleased with his approach thus far.”

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For his part, Drammeh rated his performance as “solid.”

“It was a solid game and we came out with a win,” Drammeh said. “We always come out and try to compete. We treated this game like it like a real game.”

Allen, who played sparingly in three seasons at UCLA, said his UH debut “was a lot of fun.”

“It was good for to get out there as a team, in front of the fans, and do some of the things we wanted to do,” Allen said.

Ganot acknowledged there still is much work to do before the Nov. 11 season opener vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

“There’s a lot of things we need to clean up, but there’s been so much thrown at this group,” Ganot said. “There’s been breakthroughs and there’s been struggles, but our big thing is to fight through those and enjoy moments like this.”

The Hawai’i roster lists 15 players, but four did not see action in the exhibition: Mike Thomas (redshirting due to wrist injury), Drew Buggs (knee), Darryl Matthews (ankle) and Zigmars Raimo (suspended).

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

(Game photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)

CLICK HERE to view photo gallery

8 Comments

  1. A Lot of Good Things On The Court:
    Noah Probably Far Surpass Sai
    GRAD Impact of the Year

    From Where they ‘Started’ Tonight
    Almost Treat, NO Tricks, ‘Scary’ How Quick and High-Scoring ‘This Team Could Be
    Makes The ‘No-Shooters’ Start of Last Year ‘Hard to Remember’
    (Only Aaron Valdés returned above 33% from three)
    Despite The Clean Shooting Strokes ‘Everywhere’
    Already Better Continuous Movement, Spacing and Passing
    BUT That Option for ANY Player to Nail the Shot is Gonna ‘Burn’ and Frustrate A Lot of Defenses
    THIS Will Not Be The Only Irate Opposing Coach This Season

    We’ll see How Handle a few Lower Tier D-1 Teams
    Develop ‘US’
    Then Benchmark Progress & Issues VS Institutional Control UNC

    Reset, Rinse, Repeat,
    Upset Seton Hall, Princeton and/or I-State…

    Ido, very good footwork, foot quickness And Hands…
    Lookin’ Like Will Probably Surpass All-Conference Haim Shimonovic;
    With some muscle to support height;

    Off-the-Court
    Hope Zigmars’ “suspension” is very short;
    And That he (like Ido, young) is still growing…
    Wide, Physical, ADD Tall Would Be Better

    Also Good that Team has sufficient numbers to ensure Buggs and Matthews are Strong
    Before Risking Any Chronic or Extended Injury/Rehab;

    BIG IF… IF No Clue At All COInfractions Actually has Enough Intro-Spection, Class & Cajones
    To ADD UHMBB Back to Post-Season, Would MT Come out of Semi-Retirement?
    He’s Probably The Next Great Grad-Impact Player

    Good Set-Up, Good Game & Season Plan
    Go ‘Bows!

  2. akuhead2 re: prior day’s post, you were right the 1st time. UH plays SIU.

  3. This is the second validational team for coaching staff excellency!

  4. I liked our defense for the first ten minutes and then it slowly deteriorated and at the end of the second half it looked like a summer league game. YU-HI just wore themselves down and their lack of height sealed the deal before the game started. A lot of positives as noted above but they have to work on defense or we are going to pay the price.

  5. I agree that there were a lot of positives but it is still hard to take anything from this win because lets not forget the opponent. I have to say, that was not a good team for BYUH, not even for D2 level. All they wanted to do was shoot the 3 ball!

  6. Did anyone listen to the Artie Wilson show this morning? Just as I reached my destination, Artie was going over the talking points of the show. He was at the game last night and seemed to indicate that he wasn’t very impressed with the team. I’m curious as to what his assessment was.

  7. I think ‘Artie’ likes street-dog-fight ball
    More than Princeton Ball
    I Don’t Remember him being objective w.r.t. BN X&O, recruiting or skills coaching ‘Deficiencies’
    (Still Curious RE: What he was Picking Up on….)

    ——-

    Agree Defense Dropped Off — i think the Later-off-the-Bench Players Are Still Learning What it takes to Play D-1 Defense, REALLY THE Difference between D-1 and D-2, H.S., or JC…

    BUT That was a Pretty Good-for-Pre-Season First Seven on D
    Good Help Rotations and Body VS Hands Defense —
    MAYBE we can suffer Fewer Unnecessary Fouls / Trouble This Year…

    And BMc Reports that Zigmars ‘Suspension’ Ends By the First Game;
    A Good Wide-body rebounder (#1 @ Euro-Champs) ‘should’ help Team Effectiveness,esp. against First-Three #300- to #240-‘Rated’ Teams…

  8. Just looking at the video, first, I was impressed that Jack Purchase moved without the ball pretty well for a big man. That could come in real handy. Also, Noah Allen was like silk the way he shot the ball. So smooth. Nice. Both Noah Allen and Gibson Johnson have got the tear drop shot going on. This will be a very interesting offense. I guess we are still waiting to see how the defense will be against D1 competition. It hasn’t been said much out loud, but this appears to be a pretty complete team. Go Bows !

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