‘Bows light it up on Star Wars night
In a period devoted to running through the halfcourt offense in practice on Thursday, Rainbow Warrior center Stefan Jankovic had an open look from the top of the key, pump faked and stepped inside the arc.
Although the jumper zipped through the net, UH coach Eran Ganot called over and motioned for Jankovic to go ahead and shoot the 3.
On Sunday, Jankovic came out firing and drained two 3-pointers in an early run that spurred UH to a 99-74 win over Nicholls State on Star Wars night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
“It’s not just coach,” said Jankovic, who entered the game 1-for-8 on 3-point attempts this season. “I got Aaron (Valdes) in my ear, Rod (Bobbitt). They’re all obviously encouraging me to shoot the ball and take open 3s.”
Most of Jankovic’s production came from closer range and he ended the night with a career-high 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field. As a team the Rainbows hit 10 of 23 attempts from beyond the arc with seven players hitting 3-pointers.
“I thought they shot it well in practices,” Ganot said. “The first three games we were inconsistent there, but today it was good to get a balanced 3-point shooting effort.”
UH shot 66.1 percent overall with a season-high 26 assists on its 39 made field goals. Bobbitt had his second double-figure assist total of the season with 10 to go along with 11 points. Jankovic and Valdes, who scored 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting, had three assists each. In all, 10 of the 13 UH players who saw action had at least one assist to fuel a UH attack with five players scoring in double figures.
“A big thing you always want to look at is assists,” Ganot said, “baskets and how many came off assists. … Sharing the ball it gives us great energy and we play as a team.”
The Rainbows also drew energy from a crowd of 4,388 with the full student section waving green lightsabers on Nicholls State free throws.
“(Performance Analyst Jamie Smith is) doing a great job getting them out there,” Valdes said. “So it was a lot of fun feeding off their energy out there.”
UH swept its season-opening homestand to go 4-0 for the first time since 2010 and Ganot said the theme nights have “been effective in creating a good home court and I think that’s been a factor in terms of us getting off to this good start.”
“I’m going to continue to thank the crowd because even in that 11 p.m. game (last Monday’s win over Nevada) it was a factor for us. The crowd gives us energy in this arena.”
The Rainbow Warriors take their first road trip of the season this week and face Texas Tech on Saturday in Lubbock.
WE WANT KYLE!
You Grinches ! You stole their chances of winning the game!!!