The week that was supposed to cure the Hawaii basketball team’s ills instead magnified them.
UH found ways to continue its slide into unprecedented territory under third-year coach Eran Ganot, dropping home games to the eighth- and ninth-place teams in the conference, UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge.
The Rainbow Warriors (13-10, 4-6 Big West) shot a season-low 33.3 percent in one, and allowed a season-high 65.1 percent in the other. They own their longest BWC losing streak of five.
In a word, ouch.
This team is clearly not as good as its Big West record through five games (4-1) indicated. But it’s not as bad as what it’s showed since (0-5), either.
Team focus and synergy was clearly down last week, even with the lineup shakeup against Riverside (UH went back to its regular starters vs. CSUN). Today, the team responded with an energized practice. Will that start the comeback process toward a winning, or even .500, conference season? Possible, but the ‘Bows will certainly have to earn it with four of their final six regular-season games on the road. They still have to play second-place UC Irvine (8-3) twice, including this Thursday at the Bren.
UH has already allowed three conference opponents to shoot better than 60 percent (at Long Beach State, vs. Cal State Fullerton, vs. CSUN). There’s no single-game record for an opponent’s shooting percentage in the UH media guide, but you can bet CSUN’s 65.1 percent (more than double its efficiency in UH’s win at the Matadome last month) is in the neighborhood.
For the Rainbows’ part, they seemed, at times, hesitant to pull the trigger on open shots last week, making the lack of a true scoring No. 1 option glaring.
Eran Ganot will undoubtedly address some of these matters on Call the Coach Show on 1420-AM radio tonight.
Got a ❓ call OR text 296-1420. pic.twitter.com/W9HmmjtZMv
— ESPN 1420 AM (@ESPNHonolulu) February 12, 2018
If things don’t go their way this week, well … one more loss and they’ll have their longest slide since the nine-game late-season stretch of Bob Nash’s final year of 2009-10. Of course, Ganot is in a different class of job security under David Matlin right now, so that’s really where the comparison ends.
For comparison’s sake, here’s some low points at home in recent years:
>> UH scores 45 then 52 points in losses to Illinois State and Utah in the 2016 Diamond Head Classic
>> The NCAA Tournament ‘Bows of 2015-16 inexplicably have a six-game winning streak snapped at home to UC Riverside
>> Vander Joaquim walks out of the Stan Sheriff Center mid-game of 69-65 loss to Air Force in 2013 CIT
>> UH gives up 102 points to Cal Poly in 2010 BracketBusters game, prelude to Bob Nash’s ouster as coach