Well, another week, and two more wins for the University of Hawaii Basketball team, who now have an impressive 6-2 record for the season.
I was very impressed with the win on Friday night vs San Francisco, who came to the Stan Sheriff Center with a 7-0 record and was the third-highest scoring team in the country (averaging 89 points a game). I really liked Hawaii’s defensive effort. They held the Dons to just 59 points with three minutes left in the game before USF scored some meaningless points as UH won, 85-75.
For a change it wasn’t Eddie Stansberry who was Hawaii’s leading scorer (but “Steady Eddie” did score 21 points). Drew Buggs was outstanding on both ends of the court, and had a game-high 25 points and 6 assists. Drew makes things look pretty easy at times. I haven’t seen a team that can stop his dribble drives to the basket; he’s been unstoppable so far. Also, I was happy to see Zigmars Raimo continue to be a force in two areas we didn’t see last year: free throw shooting and passing. Zigs had 9 assists in the two games, and is shooting close to 80% from the free throw line.
A pretty good-sized crowd enjoyed the Black Friday victory for what I think was the most impressive win of the season so far.
On Sunday, Hawaii hosted D2 Hawaii Pacific University. Not much of a road trip for HPU. I’m always impressed with how hard and how well coached HPU is. This was a weird game in that it started off low scoring (it was 4-2, UH, after seven minutes). The crowd never really got into it, and to be honest, UH was a little flat in the first half. But a big second half for the Bows got them an easy 58-41 win. Only one player for both teams finished in double figures, and you guessed it, it was Steady Eddie with 15 points.
It gets a lot tougher this week, with a road game vs No. 8 ranked Oregon in Eugene. The Ducks have a great point guard in senior Peyton Pritchard, a four-year starter. I want to see how Drew Buggs plays vs the best point guard he’s faced in his career so far. I also think Oregon has the ugliest court in the country. They tried to be creative and different, but to me it looks like a duck got sick on the court. I’m sure you’ll agree with me.
After the Oregon game, it’s back home for the rest of the month. The Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic is coming up soon, and that will be a real tough test for the Rainbow Warriors.
One more observation: I don’t recall a team running so many backdoor plays as UH has been doing this season. I’ve been told by the coaches that teams are pressing them, which in turn gives them backdoor opportunities – and they’re making the most of them.
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