Feeling the pressure
The Hawaii men’s basketball team was able to handle the biggest team (aside from itself) in the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic on Friday night, prevailing 76-64 over Maryland-Eastern Shore.
The next two opponents, including today’s contest against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, will present a different sort of challenge.
UAPB and Houston Baptist, guard-oriented teams, will likely look to test the Rainbow Warriors’ ability to bring the ball upcourt cleanly — especially after UH faltered in that aspect late against UMES.
As I type this, Houston Baptist is eviscerating UMES in the prelude to the UH-UAPB game. Should the ‘Bows get past the Golden Lions tonight, they could be in for quite the test in the ESPN midnight game. The Huskies have a rotation of speedy, athletic guards that get into their opponents.
Jace Tavita had about a good a debut as a UH fan could have hoped for against UMES. He’ll need strong follow-up outings today and Monday if the ‘Bows are to take the OHRC title.
It will continue to be a steep learning curve for backup points Garrett Jefferson and Manroop Clair. Their D-I debuts at PG weren’t highly convincing, but Jefferson is still very useful for his defensive prowess and Clair, if he finds his comfort zone, can space the floor with his 3-ball.
I’ve been asked plenty if Brandon Spearman could be handed the keys to the offense at some point. I wouldn’t expect it in this tournament. But keep an eye out for it if bringing the ball up continues to be an adventure.
UH may face pressure from defenses all season long when they see the struggles to bring the ball up court cleanly. They will also have problems against small speedy guards who will hassle the point.
Game 3 could present problems with very quick, athletic guards….
BUT the team knows about this…interesting to see how they respond…
Jace got picked once dribbling up the court, I liked Jefferson’s speed when he brought the ball up the court at time, man, can he blow by the defender but it’s to be seen if he can do that against a better team/defender. As far as The Roop, he may have a hard time handling someone in his face all the time unless he goes one-on-one with the defender looking to shoot.