Gameday: at Cal State Fullerton

Hawaii basketball has a chance at some rarefied air today at Cal State Fullerton.

If the Rainbow Warriors (3-0 Big West) prevail, they’ll be 15-2, matching the 2001-02 team for the best start in modern times. The only better start in program history? The Fabulous Five squad of 1971-72, which won 17 games before taking its second loss. (Note: Only the all-college era counts in my book, so the 1947-48 team that started 22-0 with wins over the likes of Liberty House and Maid Rites doesn’t pass muster.)

UH has started 4-0 or better in conference play only three times in program history. Those seasons are 1981-82 (5-0); 1993-94 (4-0); and 2001-02 (6-0).

The Rainbows are closer to being back to full strength, with Roderick Bobbitt expected to return to the starting lineup against the Titans. UH is a 7.5-point favorite.

Aaron Valdes did some shooting without the boot on Friday, but still sounded doubtful to play today after I spoke to assistant coach John Montgomery about it last night.

Fullerton (8-7, 1-1) is dealing with its own attrition issues. Two players, Lanerryl Johnson and Rashard Todd, have left the team, according to a CSF spokesperson. Johnson was the team’s leading scorer on last season’s moribund squad, and averaged 9.5 points through 10 games this year before things apparently went south.

The Titans now only list 11 players on their roster and are said to have some injury issues. Word was they only practiced with seven players on Friday, but they still have their top guns, including Air Force transfer Tre’ Coggins, who is coming off a 41-point outburst against CSUN.

Pepperdine transfer Malcolm Brooks and true freshman Khalil Ahmad are the other offensive threats.

“The key is taking away those three guys,” Montgomery said. “Their bigs inside are bangers and rebounders, defenders. So really all their scoring comes from the perimeter and transition.”

Director of operations Jamie Smith and his themed game nights will be featured as part of ESPN3’s lead-in to their streaming game coverage today, starting at 3:30 p.m. HST.
The link can be found here.


  1. CJ January 16, 2016 12:43 pm

    Brian, who is this?

  2. kaimiloa January 16, 2016 1:22 pm

    Brian, any idea who this @giovannig32 is? He announced his commitment to UHMBB recently.

  3. cappie the dog January 16, 2016 10:36 pm

    Sal Tummalu is a mediocre free throw shooter at best.

    But in clutch time, he went 4-4.

    This is what Terry Houston would do. Make free throws when it really mattered.

  4. cappie the dog January 17, 2016 3:15 am

    I was hoping that the Auburn victory over Kentucky would give Hawaii a boost in the RPI.


    Scheduling Mississippi Valley State may come back to haunt Hawaii.

    Thank goodness for UC-Irvine. Low-fourties. That’s Hawaii’s ticket into at-large consideration.

  5. cappie the dog January 17, 2016 6:55 am

    Predictions for Monday

    1. Hawaii moves from #16 to #9 in the College Mid-Major Poll.
    Pollsters were just waiting to see if Hawaii could get the job done on
    the road. Two conference road victories coupled with the close Okla-
    homa loss will give the ‘Bows a significant boost.

    2. 33 votes in the AP. 17 votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Hawaii will
    be unofficialy the twenty-ninth best team in the nation.

    UC-Irvine had a good week, so the Big West Player of the Week should come from the Anteaters, and Jankovic’s numbers were unspectacular against UC-Riverside. However, I like Stefan’s offensive efficiency in that game. 15 points on seven field goal attempts. I hope Big West voters realize that a game-tying three on the road trumps all.

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