A collection of 3-point-popping guys clad in green descend on the Stan Sheriff Center tonight.
I’m not talking about Hawaii. Cal Poly, the most attuned team to the 3-ball in the Big West, is the visitor tonight for the first game in a four-game homestand. The Mustangs shoot 37 percent from long distance as a team, and have attempted 400 this season (compared to 308 for UH).
UH (10-5, 1-1 Big West) has won the last five over the Mustangs (6-10, 1-1), who’ve tried to play more up-tempo in recent seasons while still maintaining coach Joe Callero’s ethos of taking care of the ball at all costs. CP is still elite in that stat, at under 12 per game.
CP played two projected Big West contenders, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton, tight last week. This game could be just as tough.
The guard tandem of Donovan Fields and Victor Joseph (both 6 feet or under) combine to average nearly 30 a game. They’re both prolific from beyond the arc, and Fields enters this game shooting 92.1 percent (35-for-38) from the foul line. Meanwhile, Joseph is coming off a career-high 33-point effort in an overtime loss to Cal State Fullerton.
For UH, Mike Thomas has been a beast around the rim of late, shooting 80 percent the last four games. That includes a 10-for-11 dunk-a-thon at CSUN. Drew Buggs’ 11 assists against the Matadors was the most for a Rainbow Warrior since Aaron Valdes’ 11 against Howard in the 2015-16 season.
UH should have Jack Purchase available off the bench after he tweaked his shoulder in last Saturday’s 19-point road win at Cal State Northridge.
For Cal Poly, regular starting forward Josh Martin is a scratch from the starting lineup.