Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Big West weekly review-preview

Photo courtesy Brandon Flores

Four weeks into the Big West Conference regular season, it’s still difficult to figure out a hierarchy. Yes, there are standings based on wins and losses, but COVID-19 issues have wreaked havoc on the schedule.

UC Irvine is currently listed in first place, but the Anteaters are “only” 2-0 (with two wins over UC Santa Barbara), and have yet to play a game in 2021.

Conference newcomer CSU Bakersfield is listed in second place and has been impressive early at 5-1 (and on a five-game winning streak), but the Roadrunners have yet to play fellow early contenders UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara (4-2) and UC Riverside (3-1).

Then there is the late arrival of UC Davis to consider. The Aggies have not been allowed to play any games since early December, but are expected to start conference play this weekend. UCD is 2-2 overall and have had eight Big West games canceled already. Barring any last-minute rescheduled games, the Aggies can only play a maximum of 12 conference games.

Here are the current standings:

Schedule guideline changes?

When the Big West Conference announced its regular-season schedule, one of the guidelines listed was that games canceled due to COVID-related issues would not be rescheduled. That appeared to change last week.

CSUN and Cal State Fullerton had a two-game series canceled on December 27 and 28. Due to circumstances with other teams last week, CSUN and Cal State Fullerton both happened to be free last weekend. They rescheduled a two-game series at Fullerton on January 16 and 17, and the results are now listed in the official standings.

If teams are now allowed to reschedule canceled games, it creates another layer of possibilities – and craziness – to this season. There are also questions that remain. Hawai’i, for example, had two home games against Cal Poly canceled. Would the Warriors now be willing and able to reschedule those two games on the road at Cal Poly?

Could this be the week?

As of January 18, all 10 upcoming games on the Big West schedule for January 22 and 23 have the green light to proceed. If it holds true, it would be the first week this entire season that a Big West team did not have a canceled game.

At least 50 games involving Big West teams have already been canceled this season due to COVID-related issues. In the Big West regular season, 20 games have been completed and 22 have been canceled.

Best game of last week

CSUN 86, Cal State Fullerton 85. The Matadors played without their two top players – T.J. Starks and Lance Coleman II – and still managed to win the road game at Fullerton. CSUN had a 12-point lead in the final minute, but Cal State Fullerton scored 18 points in the last 54 seconds to make it close.

Game to watch this week

UC Davis at UC San Diego. The Aggies make their long-awaited return to the court. They were idle for six consecutive weeks – resulting in 11 canceled games – due to government restrictions within Yolo County. UCSD has only played two Big West games (0-2 against UC Santa Barbara) and had six others canceled. The Tritons are in their first year in the Big West and are not eligible for the conference title.

This week’s schedule
Friday’s Games

UC Santa Barbara at CSUN
Cal Poly at UC Irvine
CSU Bakersfield at UC Riverside
UC Davis at UC San Diego
Hawai’i at Cal State Fullerton

Saturday’s Games
UC Santa Barbara at CSUN
Cal Poly at UC Irvine
CSU Bakersfield at UC Riverside
UC Davis at UC San Diego
Hawai’i at Cal State Fullerton

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