Riverside review

The good news for the Hawaii men’s basketball team is twofold.

First, it’s still exceptionally early in the Big West Conference season. Being 1-2 after Saturday’s 66-62 letdown at UC Riverside doesn’t mean UH can’t finish in the top four.

Second, as long as the ‘Bows finish in the top eight and make it to the Big West tournament, seeding doesn’t matter all that much. We saw that last year with Cal Poly, winning as the No. 7 seed. It’s all about who’s playing well at that point of the season.

Those things being said, the Riverside loss was pretty disappointing from a UH perspective. The Rainbows got up 13 early with their ball pressure, but weren’t able to keep it going late in the first half and for most of the second. A game after going for a career-best 34, Aaron Valdes was bottled up to the tune of 1-for-12 shooting.

It’s clear UH needs help in the halfcourt. Getting Garrett Nevels back, possibly for the coming week’s two games at home, as well as Negus Webster-Chan should allow the ‘Bows to shoot better than 35 percent overall against a team like UCR — improved from last year but not exactly a defensive juggernaut.

UH did have its chances in the final few minutes, but a couple questionable calls and missed looks doomed the ‘Bows. It was just exceedingly tough for UH to score if Riverside got its defense set.

It was the first win for Riverside over Hawaii in three years of Big West play.

Being 1-2 at this point is concerning when you consider these first three games were favorable, schedule-wise. It only gets tougher from here with league leader UC Davis coming on Thursday and preseason favorite UC Irvine following Saturday. After that, it’s four straight road games during the heart of league play.

If UH is to make a stand, the coming week is a good time to do it.


  1. RunBows January 18, 2015 5:46 pm

    Brian: Agree with you on all accounts…Still, this team, to put that kind of pressure and get steals, deflections, and runouts… They did miss some layups after the turnovers.. they have to covert those too.. what, they been turning over the 3 BWC teams they played some 18 or 19 times a game which is great, however have to convert.. I think Aaron, being the hometown guy, he thinking too much, at SSC arena, a couple breakaways he had, he would flush that ball.. well it happens…Good to hear that NWC is feeling much better, horrible viruses going around, and Garrett that Warrior, Leader, and Champion.. if he has to shoot, catch, and rebound, assist with left hand dominant , he will.. Such a great example and tough as nails.. Nevels healthy.. I think UH would be 3-0 definitely at this point.. Correct.. If UH can , and they have ability with NWC and hoping G Money.. will set them up at 3-2, with the two consecutive 2 game road swings..
    Can UH MBB finish 8-8 or even 9-7… or 10-6…I think they can With All guys healthy..Brian one, thing this MBB team with Benjy at the helm, they are very exciting to watch, just need to be really good in half court defending AND half court offenses.. when they can set good.. slow down and close out, they will win BWC games on the road.. hey only 3 games in 13 more, and maybe 3 more after that.. Lot of season left !!

  2. oldyobo January 18, 2015 8:37 pm

    Just a few percentage points higher in shooting and UH blows out these teams. As I said before, key to this year is Nevels, Webster-Chan, and Valdes scoring consistently every game. Team’s defense and determination not a matter of concern.

  3. hapahaoleboy January 19, 2015 8:32 am

    Quick question on the calls: Could the officials have reviewed the inbounds play where the UCR player clearly stepped on the line in the video replay? I believe it happened with less than 1 minute left in the game, and the correct call could have been a real game changing moment for the Bows.

  4. entrkn January 19, 2015 11:29 am

    … and, in fairness, we have point out the string of one-way bad calls down the stretch by the refs that guaranteed the win for UCR.

  5. islandman January 19, 2015 1:11 pm

    Brian, do you do any other imitations besides for Jovanovic, i think, which you did on the B Curran Show today ? It was very good and could be your second avocation.

  6. Brian McInnis January 19, 2015 6:22 pm


    It’s a good question because it’s an uncommon play. But I don’t believe they can review it, and especially not once play resumes. No question that was a huge moment.

  7. Brian McInnis January 19, 2015 6:27 pm


    Ha, thanks for the feedback, I’ll keep it in mind in case I’m ever in the market for another line of work. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing … I’m not sure I could do other guys on the team very well — or even Stefan for anything more than that one line. He’s got the most distinctive style of speaking on the team, that’s for sure. Although other guys in the last handful of years, Standhardinger, for example, also had pretty memorable accents.

  8. islandman January 19, 2015 7:17 pm

    7. Can you do like Rich Little’s Nixon ? Maybe Rich was before your time. I know Nixon was.

    Also, learned from Bobby, Jankovic is pronounced Yonkovich or something like that.

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