Gameday: Montana State
Hawaii had a few injury scares in the days leading up to tonight’s regular-season opener against Montana State, but should be at close to full strength on Day 1 of the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.
UH coach Eran Ganot named his captains before the game. They are senior point guard Roderick Bobbitt, senior guard Quincy Smith and junior forward Mike Thomas. Smith was a co-captain last year as well.
UH might be 14.5-point favorites, but the Rainbow Warriors’ coaching staff tried to instill the proper level of fear into the players during scouting. After all, UH had to scramble to come back from down 22 against Chaminade and win in OT.
Montana State, led by 5-foot-11 guard Marcus Colbert, is expected to try to hit UH with a heavy dose of 3s. But you never really know what to expect in an opener; the best you can do is look at some of last year’s film.
“I have a lot of respect for Coach (Brian) Fish and what he’s doing with that program,” Ganot said. “In his second year building it, I think their record (7-23) was very deceiving. Lost some tight games and they return three of their top four scorers and brought in a strong recruiting class. … They can really shoot the ball and return several of their best shooters. We’re ready for a great challenge and a great opponent.”
Forward Stefan Jankovic (left ankle) was back in practice Thursday. Smith (left wrist) has practice with a wrapping on his non-shooting hand. Thomas (knee) worked his way back into form over the last few days after missing the exhibition.
“The thing about this six-week (preseason) period, we were off and on when we had all our guys,” Ganot said. “It was a unique six-week period, but we’re hoping … they’ll all be ready to go.”
And guard Isaac Fleming has worked with the second unit. My best guess is he plays 15-20 minutes tonight.
“This week he’s re-acclimated himself and behind some of the other guys probably a little bit because of the reps,” Ganot said. “We’ll take it from there.”
The starting lineup should be Bobbitt, Smith, Aaron Valdes, Thomas and Jankovic. The second team recently has been Brocke Stepteau, Sheriff Drammeh, Fleming, Sai Tummala and Stefan Jovanovic.
Also, keep an eye out for some of the new NCAA rule changes. The 30-second shot clock down from 35; the expanded restricted area arc to 4 feet; no timeout calls for coaches during a live ball; and no five-second closely guarded rule are some of the main ones.
Looks like Long Beach Poly (Calif.) High senior guard Drew Buggs went through with signing his National Letter of Intent.
Officially part of The University of Hawaii Men's Basketball family! #Ohana ✍ pic.twitter.com/GFsfF0zReH
— Drew Buggs (@_DrizzyDrew_) November 14, 2015
Between Buggs and Matt Owies, that should do it for now for UH’s early signees. Be interesting to see if they can pick up a big man or two in the spring.
Brian, that was a great article this morning on Coach Ganot and his family. Enjoyed the insight of the man, the husband, the new father and brother. Wishing him a successful debut tonight and a great exciting season! Go Bows!
Get with it man…Change your blog pictures…We don’t want to see Bengy or Nevels on the front of the blog…They are the past and it is new time for the hoops team.
Why are you reluctant to change/update the pictures?….Surely can’t be because this blog is so busy.
Nothing but Crickets in here…Why is that?
Umm … thanks for the early morning feedback Poke.
Just so you know, I don’t handle that myself. Our web team is aware of it and will get to it. In the meantime, you’ll have to make do with the fact that there is a somewhat outdated small banner over these posts.
Appreciate it Willie. Thanks for taking the time to read it.