Mental block

A mental block. That’s gotta be it, right? How else to explain Hawaii’s ongoing futility against Cal Poly, a team with inferior resources, facilities — and a case could be made — talent?

UH’s 77-65 loss in San Luis Obispo on Thursday made it five straight since 2010 that the Mustangs have taken over the ‘Bows (albeit one that probably should have gone to UH, a controversial one-point loss in the BracketBusters return game in November of 2010).

What’s your take on UH’s ongoing struggles against Cal Poly? It makes for an interesting discussion, at the very least. I spoke to the Cal Poly beat writer, Joshua D. Scroggin, on Friday and media on the Poly side of things are just as puzzled at the one-sided nature of the series.

The ‘Bows have almost exactly a month to come up with a better game plan for when the Mustangs play at the Stan Sheriff Center on Feb. 8.

The Mustangs had lost four straight but came out on fire in the latest edition, knocking down their first four 3-pointers and six of their first nine from deep. Meanwhile, UH went most of the game unable to buy a trey (4-for-19).

That will have to change if UH has any designs on a split of this road trip by winning at Cal State Northridge (9-7, 1-0) on Saturday. The Matadors, under new coach Reggie Theus, play closer to UH’s ideal pace. CSUN has a trio of talented scorers in Stephan Hicks, Stephen Maxwell and Josh Greene. Greene burned UH for 37 in the Matadors’ season finale last year, in a game they had little to play for as they were out of contention for the Big West tournament.

Keith Shamburger
Keith Shamburger

UH can’t afford another scoreless game from point guard Keith Shamburger, who is likely still not 100 percent while playing through a hip flexor. If that means more minutes for Quincy Smith (seven points, seven assists at Poly), it might not be a terrible thing in the short term.

It was the first time in 78 career college games that Shamburger went scoreless (0-3 FG, 0-1 FT), including 63 contests at San Jose State.

Look for more on Theus, the former New Mexico State and Sacramento Kings coach, in Saturday’s edition of the newspaper.





  1. poorboy January 10, 2014 10:16 pm

    Brian, Over confident? Tired legs? Jet lag? Guys stayed up all night before?UH was on a roll, played, good teams, in NMSU, Missouri, Boise St., battled them well, won against a good St Mary’s team, and a very good Omaha team..
    You are right, UH has to play probably their best basketball of the season, thus far, to beat LBSU. Falls on coach, and seniors to freshmen. Must win game!
    I thought same, thing, if Shamburger, not up to par, not 100% , why not start, Quincy? Same with Spearman’s non production past two games, maybe, to shake things up, start at the wing, Aaron Valdes? Who knows, maybe Gib will have some changes in starters. Anything to get the W!

  2. poorboy January 10, 2014 11:01 pm

    Brian, after this loss, which resembled last few year’s losses, which UH on paper should have won last 5 games, played between the two, I forgot, UH is playing Northridge, tomorrow, NOT Long Beach St.!
    The UH fanbase, is still disappointed in loss.,good thing UH Men VB team had two great wins over Ohio St and Penn St!!
    UH has to play better, in every aspect, they have to get a lead, or stay even, then close out. Team should be rested.
    Still say, possibly start Quincy Smith and Aaron Valdes for Shamburger and Spearman, then, if they need the boost, Shamburger and Brandon S. can come in to close out game. Anything, pretty sure, Gib cannot sleep at nite, scratching his head, HOW did we lose this one? Cannot, play half step, all out WAR tomorrow in the Matadome. UH has to get the win, otherwise, the UH fanbase will start to rumble. Go Warriors, get the victory!

  3. Jman January 11, 2014 9:06 am

    The players should be pissed off at putrid play and come out an angry team today and play like the Warriors at SSC. Lets go Warriors Must win or else !

  4. Hapahaoleboy January 11, 2014 9:41 am

    I wouldn’t read too much into the Cal Poly game. Look at their in-conference home record. That claustrophobic gym doesn’t guarantee a win for Cal Poly, but it’s obviously an obstacle for visitors. I don’t know if the gym helps make Cal Poly play a level above their normal abilities away from home, or if the gym brings the level of visiting teams down, but their current streak at home is proof of the fact that Cal Poly is a formidable opponent for any visiting Big West team. Now, should UH lose to Northridge or Cal Poly in the Stan, then there is reason to question Gib Arnold’s coaching.

  5. Tiki808 January 12, 2014 3:00 pm

    work harder!

  6. Tiki808 January 12, 2014 3:09 pm

    Reggie Theus is bringing NBA style play to college. More for the game and dominance at 6-8. Who would know? him. Working harder is the only way they play. Maybe that can be their ticket to the pros.

  7. Derek January 14, 2014 5:35 pm

    Advice, or should I say reminder to the team, “BE QUICK, BUT DON’T HURRY.”

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