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Gary’s Hoop Scoops: Jan. 14

January 14, 2020

I’m ok, are you? I’m talking UH Basketball of course.  After starting Big West play with a split on the road last week, I’m ok. You always hear that a championship team needs to win all their home games and split their road games. I’m not big on sports cliches, my biggest unfavorite is, “Whoever wants it the most will win”. So I’m not a big believer in the winning all home games and splitting the road games, but that does indicate something about a teams outlook.

I like that UH won their first road game at Cal State Fullerton last Thursday 75-69. It was a game that could have gone either way at the end, even though it shouldn’t have been that close. The ‘Bows had a 16 point lead and then with a little over a minute left, only lead by one, 69-68. Then Steady Eddie did what he does, hit a key basket with 1 minute left to get a little breathing room.

What I look for in these games is that more than one player contributes to the win. It’s hard winning in the Big West with only one go-to guy, or only one player bringing his A game. Eddie had 25 points, on 10-15 shooting. Drew Buggs had a great scoring night with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists. Do you remember what I wrote last week? I said that a big X factor for UH would be the 5 position, the center. And Bernardo Da Silva came through, with 10 points and 10 rebounds in only 19 minutes. Foul trouble kept him from playing more. That kind of performance is encouraging.

I was hoping for more of the same Saturday at Irvine. You hear basketball is a game of runs, and that’s what the game was. Unfortunately Irvine had more of them, 16-0 to start the game and 16-3 after UH closed to within 4 at 50-46. Irvine has size and out rebounded UH, 49-34, that was a big difference.

So here we are at the beginning of a 4 game home stand, with Cal Poly on Thursday and UCSB on Saturday. Both teams are 1-1, just like UH. I see Poly as the worst team in the Big West. The Mustangs probably won’t qualify for the BW Tournament again, which kind of makes it a game that you can’t lose, especially at home. Saturday brings in UC Santa Barbara, who somehow lost at home to Long Beach State last week, but I feel that they might be the most talented team in the league, besides our ‘Bows, of course. Their guard, Max Heidegger, and big, Amadou Sow, could be Big West first teamers so I’m hopeful that we can get 2 W’s this week. Watch how Hawai’i defends Sow. Can Da Silva slow him down? Will they use Raimo or Colina in relief and can they be effective? Buggs vs Heidegger will be another big matchup to watch for.

Hopefully fans will show up in larger numbers. No more excuses of Football is still going on or it’s around the holidays. Let’s get more than 5,000 every game from now on. That’s not too much to ask for, is it? I mean, we have a really good team, right? And we still have our Head Coach, unlike another team here. Wait, too soon?

By Gary Dickman