Interesting tidbit about Hawaii’s 77-59 win over Montana State last night, which made UH coach Gib Arnold a winner in his first game: the last UH coach to win his debut was … you guessed it … Gib’s father, Frank Arnold, in 1984. The elder Arnold beat Cal State Fullerton (coincidentally, UH’s opponent tonight) 79-76 to start what would be a four-win season.
Riley Wallace succeeded Frank Arnold in 1987 and lost at Vanderbilt, 91-62.
Bob Nash, Wallace’s successor, lost a heartbreaker to San Diego, 73-72 in 2007.
Some thoughts from last night’s win over the Bobcats:
>> Now everyone knows about Bo Barnes. He can flat-out shoot. Good to have that with Zane Johnson struggling, but don’t expect Johnson to put up another 0-fer night anytime soon. Arnold didn’t.
>> My wingman Jason Kaneshiro pointed out that Barnes’ 19-point effort was the most by a player in his UH debut since Matt Lojeski dropped 20 on Michigan State to open 2005-06. Especially impressive when you consider Barnes is a true freshman.
>> Didn’t mention Bill Amis in the game story, but he did a little bit of everything last night (seven points, seven boards, an assist, a block and two steals). He’s still a focal point in the offense, but his outside shot wasn’t falling last night. Don’t worry about him.
>> What frosh forward Trevor Wiseman did off the bench, with five offensive rebounds in just 18 minutes, is exactly what he does in practice every day. He crashes the boards relentlessly.
>> As you can see, there’s a lot more freelancing in this offense than we’ve seen in well … forever. As one player put it this preseason, no longer is the team dependent on a motion offense to create shots for them.
>> Pleasant surprise to see point guard Anthony Salter out there coming fast off a heel injury, especially for the amount of minutes he played (18). UH could really use the extra body in this three-games-in-four-days tournament.
Should be an interesting matchup with Fullerton tonight (7 p.m.) as the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic rolls on. The Titans, a smallball team — their tallest player is 6-foot-7 — lost to Central Michigan 70-67 on a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.
It was a bitter loss to start their season; CSF had the ball with 18 seconds left and looked to bleed clock. But CMU drew a charge on Titans guard Perry Webster with about 5 seconds left as he drove to the basket. The Chippewas called timeout, dribbled the length of the court and kicked to Jalin Thomas on the right angle for an open 3 to just beat the buzzer.
Watch out for Fullerton. When they were here two years ago, the Titans had a guy you might remember by the name of Josh Akognon, who dropped a Stan Sheriff Center-record 41 points in a win over the Rainbows. No Akognon this time, but CSF has enough quick players to be a threat.
See you at the game. If you can’t make it tonight, don’t forget about the 11 p.m. matchup with Central Michigan on Monday. That game is a Blackout game; wear a black shirt.