Everyone enjoying some March (now April) Madness?
Despite an unusual Final Four composition, ultimately it was a couple of No. 1 seeds that made it to Monday’s national championship — North Carolina and Gonzaga.
When UNC held off Oregon in the Final Four on Saturday, the Tar Heels became the first Hawaii opponent to reach the national final in the same season since 1992-93 — when UNC won it all. The Heels beat UH 101-84 in the Rainbow Classic third-place game on Dec. 30, 1992.
This year’s Heels didn’t look particularly sharp in beating UH 83-68 at the Stan Sheriff Center on Nov. 18, but you have to take into account Roy Williams’ team was coming off a lengthy plane ride after a game in Chapel Hill. At the same time, they probably underestimated their opponent and UH played solid in order to make it a game pretty much the whole way. UNC went on to win the Maui Invitational.
As I reported in today’s print edition, Princeton is replacing Utah State in the 2017 Diamond Head Classic. Not a bad deal for the DHC; Princeton is coming off a championship Ivy League season, while Utah State has struggled of late in the Mountain West.
Also, UH shooting guard Brian Garrett told the Star-Advertiser he has elected to transfer to a school where he can get an opportunity to play his senior season. Garrett walked on in Manoa last summer out of Cañada College and showcased an impressive (if unorthodox) jump shot.
However, he never managed to crack into the rotation, appearing briefly in six games in 2016-17. Garrett said he’s looking at schools both back in his native California and some of the D-II variety locally.
Best of luck to him.
Word is UH has been courting primarily junior college players to fill its two scholarship openings, with an eye particularly on point guard and center positions.
However, there’s a notable exception. Reports had UH offering 6-foot-1 point guard Marcus Shaver Jr., who just wrapped up his senior season at Shadow Mountain High in Arizona. Shaver has a Hawaii background; he played at Maryknoll in intermediate school before going off to the mainland.
— Gregg Rosenberg (@GreggRosenberg1) March 29, 2017
Interestingly, Shaver signed with UC Santa Barbara during the fall. He got his release recently after Bob Williams was dismissed after his 19th season at UCSB. Joe Pasternak, Arizona’s associate head coach, has been tapped to lead the Gauchos, according to reports.
Here’s a video of Shaver.
Here’s what UCSB wrote about Shaver back in the fall.
Also of interest, Cal State Northridge point guard Kendall Smith is leaving the Matadors as a graduate transfer. Quincy Smith’s younger brother put up 16.8 points, 4.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game as a redshirt junior, albeit on a team that played below its talent level pretty much all year.
Thank You CSUN you will always have a special place in my heart. To my Coaches & Teammates I thank you for the impact you've had on my life! pic.twitter.com/C25wYASgR7
— Kendall Smith (@Ken2Smoove) March 31, 2017