Game day: UH at Long Beach State

Drew Buggs shot over Mason Riggins in last week's meeting between Hawaii and Long Beach State. / Photo by Andrew Lee, Special to the Star-Advertiser

For the second time in eight days, Hawaii and Long Beach State will meet in a basketball game. This time it’s in the Pyramid.

Both teams are seeking to rebound. The ‘Bows imploded in the past Saturday’s second half when UC Santa Barbara scored 45 points on 65.4 percent shooting (including 71.4 percent on 3s). The 49ers won their first two Big West games, then lost the next five. On Saturday, they fell to UC Irvine, 82-80. The 49ers have led or were tied at the 10-minute mark of each of their seven Big West games (UPDATE: That’s with the exception of the UH game; the Rainbows were up six with 10 minutes left.)

The ‘Bows have struggled with their 3s the past two games, hitting 12 of 50 (24 percent). The big three — Jack Purchase, Eddie Stansberry and Brocke Stepteau — are a combined eight of 30 (26.7 percent) in both games.

* * * * *

Pyramid power? Here’s UH’s take:

Zigmars Raimo: “You can’t really explain it. It’s a unique place to play. The atmosphere is always amazing there.”
Drew Buggs: “It’s a tough environment. It’s going to be a battle. It’s a place we really want to get a win on the road.”

And from the other side:

LBSU coach Dan Monson: “Part of (the 49ers past success at home) is we’ve had good teams. This year, we’re not as good, and we’ve lost our last three home games. The arena is nice, and we’ve shown we can win it if you play well. But we’re far from being able to mail it in because we’re at home. We’ve got to get ourselves playing better.”

* * * * *

More from coach Monson:
• On the eight-day turnaround: “There are benefits and there are negatives. You’ve got to focus on the positives. The benefit for us is it’s fresh in our memory. The second thing is the scout is fresh in our memory and the things that did not work out for us. The preparation is a lot easier. Guys are just one week removed from making the mistakes.”
• On trying to build toward the Big West Tournament: “That’s our job. Until that’s taken away, that’s going to be our goal. I think what’s shown is we’re not there. You can say we’re close, and I think we are, but the hardest step is getting over that last step.”
• On last week: “I think we rebounded the ball better. Again, it’s inconsistency. Against Hawaii, we really struggled offensively. We had a very poor night offensively. I thought we defended well enough to win, but you have to play both ends of the court. Saturday, we turn around and 48 hours later we score 80 points against Irvine and lose. We’ve got to put everything together.”

* * * * *

And a few words from UH coach Eran Ganot:
• On the schedule: “Every year we’ve played a team twice before we’ve seen another team once. Either way, you’re going to be familiar with each other because it’s conference play. We have to respond to a tough setback the other day. But that’s the nature of what we all sign up for.”
• On defense: “We’ve been good over the year mixing coverage. Point of attack and team, whether it’s a perimeter player or post, we’ve been beat up pretty good inside the past couple games. We have to take some ownership in terms of point of attack and one-on-one defense, and continue to mix in some support there. When there’s a balance of an attack, if they have a guy shooting around that post, where can you get help from? That’s a good challenge.”

* * * * *

Drew Buggs is from Long Beach and the game is in Long Beach:

“It’s home for me,” Buggs said. “It’s going to be fun. I’m going to have people there. I’m going to treat it like any other conference game. I’m going to go out there and compete and try to get a win.”

Buggs, who did not receive an offer from LBSU, said he has attended many games in the Pyramid.

“I grew up going to a lot of Long Beach State games. It’s fun to play somewhere that you’ve watched so many games. I played there in high school in the state regional championship game. I was a fan when (the 49ers) had Casper Ware, Larry Anderson and T.J. Robinson. I’ve been following Long Beach State basketball for a while.”

* * * * *

Buggs is expected to guard Deishuan Booker, who is averaging 25.9 points in Big West games. Booker is Harden-esque in inducing fouls. He averages 12 free throws in Big West games.


  1. justsomeguy February 7, 2019 9:11 am


  2. DaveLetterMan February 7, 2019 9:20 am

    Let’s go Bows!
    ST, can we get a list of the walk on recruits who committed recently?

  3. John McComas February 7, 2019 9:54 am

    Is the game on ESPN3 or ESPNU? Can’t find it listed on the schedule on line. Paper says it is. Suggestions, how to watch?

  4. ai-eee-soos February 7, 2019 10:01 am



  5. Warrior Lifer February 7, 2019 10:01 am

    A lot of people and articles have mentioned this game is on ESPN3. But the WatchESPN app doesn’t have the UH vs LBSU game listed on their upcoming TV schedule. It does have the UH vs UC Irvine women’s game on ESPN3 today listed. Is it confirmed that the game is on ESPN3, or is it just the women’s game that’s on ESPN3?

  6. Kahuna February 7, 2019 10:26 am

    My assumption is that maybe ESPN3 omitted the game. Both LBSU and UH’s press release seems to indicate the game is televised by ESPN3. Normally a school would not announce something like this they were told the game will be picked up.

    If only UH announced it, it could be passed off as a possible miscommunication but since LBSU have it in their release also, I am assuming it true.

  7. islandman February 7, 2019 10:35 am

    Why did Hulland not go on this road trip (apparently) and why was he the only player not to get some playing time in the last 2 games ?

  8. 808bowler February 7, 2019 12:21 pm

    Hawaii has 3 lbs walking on from here. Kila, kalani, and hoku arias. Nice get.

  9. 808bowler February 7, 2019 12:27 pm

    Nice to see local boy’s helping their home state with recruiting. Even tho they at UCF.

  10. 808bowler February 7, 2019 12:29 pm

    My watch espn app has the hawaii vs lbsu game listed. Starts at 5pm.

  11. islandman February 7, 2019 1:37 pm

    This has the game listed if the link shows up okay.

  12. islandman February 7, 2019 1:41 pm

    Click on “Upcoming “

  13. burro sabio February 7, 2019 3:03 pm

    Not sure what kind of level this AAF is, but Benny Fonua is on the Memphis roster, with Tom Mason as one of the LB coaches. Meffy is on the San Diego roster and Handsome Tanielu on the Salt Lake team.

  14. seewhy February 7, 2019 7:48 pm

    First Big West win at the Beach!!

  15. burro sabio February 7, 2019 8:32 pm

    Any win on the road is a great win.

  16. cappie the dog February 7, 2019 10:07 pm

    Maxhuni and Alberts were potential Hawaii recruits. I think Dan Monson is going to be fired. The crazy non-conference schedule approach does not work. Ask Pat Hill. Raimo continues to astonish, another double-double. 14-27 3-point shooting is amazing. Long Beach doesn’t play defense. Coach Ganot is making the case for “system players”. It was good to see Drammeh accept his bench role. 9 points is better than consecutive zeroes. Never put Brocke Stepteau in the corner again. Let him dance. The guy paid his own way for three seasons. He wants to be here.

  17. cappie the dog February 7, 2019 10:19 pm

    Amy Atwell had her second fluke Lane O’Connor game. It’s not a fluke, then. Her two offensive outpourings were remarkably efficient.

    First good game: 25 pts. in 16 min.
    Second good game: 19 pts in 16 min.

    And here is the crazy part. Between those two games, her point output was: 5,0,0,0,4,0. Just leave her in the game and eventually she’ll score, I guess. Her minutes during that stretch: 17,7,3,8,19,4.

    16 turnovers and they won. One player, who shall remain unnamed in three out of Hawaii’s last four possessions: threw the ball out of bounds, fouled the shooter, allowing the Irvine player to complete the traditional three-point play, and threw the ball off the hands of her teammate. She made the game more exciting than it had to be. But it doesn’t matter anymore. NCAAs. It can still happen.

  18. A-House February 8, 2019 7:36 am


    your previous post yesterday has many merits about local boys who were NOT considered very got-to get-athletes and they excelled at D1 and NFL

    still wonder why Jesse Sapolu has not made the hall of fame — I’d go back to Canton just to see his display.

  19. suckkabooya February 8, 2019 10:22 am

    Cappie (or Mr. Tsai)

    Monson’s approach was impressive few years ago but long term it may not be the best way to schedule. In your opinion what is the best approach? It cant be SWAC and DII. It also seems that despite UH being sort of “middle of the pack” (mediocre) they are the most consistent Big West team (everybody else seems so up and down every year compared to UH) but just unable to get over the hump (recruiting?). It seems so close. So Cappie, what would an ideal schedule look like where UH, with winnable matchups could qualify for NCAA’s (given they can win those) before BWC tournament. The WAC years seemed easier.

  20. islandman February 8, 2019 11:15 am

    Monson gets big money from his portion of the guarantees his school receives when they play the big name schools on the road.

  21. islandman February 8, 2019 11:22 am

    19. Even in Riley’s years , the only way to the NCAA tourney was to win the conference tournament.
    For the near future , the Big West is a one bid league.

  22. AllG February 8, 2019 4:29 pm

    Are the Kila and Kalani Grayshirting or are they Walk ons?

  23. cappie the dog February 8, 2019 7:12 pm

    Theoretical UH basketball schedule:

    You start the season on the road. You schedule two teams that you can win.

    Game 1: at Seattle
    Game 2: at Eastern Washington

    Next up: Rainbow Classic

    One middle-tier WCC school, one upper-tier Big Sky school, one outlier; hopefully a east coast school who wants to play in warm weather.

    Game 3: Santa Clara
    Game 4: Montana
    Game 5: Stony Brook

    If Hawaii is not invited to a tournament on the mainland, and the choice comes down to playing our sister school Arkansas Pine Bluff or going on the road, hit the road. Losing to a team with a RPI around 150-200 is better than beating a team who is sub-300. Hawaii should play at least one bodybag game, but since we no longer play Louisiana Tech, there is no need to cross the Mississippi River.

    Game 6: at Nevada
    Game 7: at San Diego State
    Game 8 Rice

    Hawaii has a relationship with those three teams. Rice is mediocre, but not horrendous. It would be a semi-breather, not a breather.

    Game 9: Toledo
    Game 10: Bucknell
    Game 11: Winthrop

    I’m not naming any Power 5 schools because I think it’s unlikely that they’ll show up in a non-tournament situation. These three schools are from the MAC, the Patriot, and the Big South. Winthrop is an outlier. Big South is near the bottom in the Conference RPIs, but the Eagles are perennial NCAA participants. The other two teams are from conferences who are superior than the Big West. You want to avoid the Southland, the SWAC, and the Mid-Eastern. Those conference members are desperate and will play anybody, and we have.

    And then you have the ESPN-run tournament.

    That is a well-balanced schedule.

    The regular season is meaningless for the men. Alabama A & M and Mississippi Valley St. are like a pile of rocks that Virginia Woolf carries with the hem of her dress, walking ever closer and closer to the lake.

  24. suckkabooya February 8, 2019 11:10 pm

    Thanks Cappie. Now I got a clearer picture and the gist (I think). Good balance and winnable.

  25. suckkabooya February 9, 2019 12:34 am

    If UH and Ganot can ever get over that “hump” and become the preeminent 2 or 3 programs in the Big West (get to the tournament every 2-3 years or so) then getting body bag games should be easy to get and profitable. Got to figure it out. It’s right there. Matlin should consider something like Cappie’s template schedule formula.

  26. cappie the dog February 9, 2019 7:19 am

    Everybody wants Hawaii to make the NCAAs. But what drives me crazy about the yearly schedules is that they take themselves out of NIT consideration before the season even starts.

  27. A-House February 9, 2019 9:16 am

    I see the No-clue-at-all [ NCAA ] is at it again by allowing the former Georgia QB who transferred to Ohio State to play without sitting out a year because, at one football game, he was the target of a racial slur — this triggered a guideline of health and safety of a player rule — geez, if Tua was a target and wanted to transfer to UH, would the NCAA grant him the same decision??? hell no!!!!!

    does UH have more scholarships available? how many and who reserved for?

    away recruits wear UH gear — who determines which recurit gets and how does UH send this uniforms to recruits?

  28. Warbow February 9, 2019 12:12 pm

    #25 why settle for every 2 or 3 years. That’s sounds mediocre. Fans shouldn’t settle for mediocrity being in this horrible conference. We should win it every year. I see Ganot has everyone settling for mediocrity to include his self.

  29. Whitey February 9, 2019 12:46 pm

    I believe the warriors are on the comeback because of the quality teams they have scheduled. They need to continue playing these kind of non conference teams cause this attracts the fans and generates more enthusiasm statewide. Playing patsies gives the impression that warriors are 3rd rated team. Winning or losing to quality teams is a trademark of good warrior teams in the past and generates tremendous crowds to Alohha Stadium. Not to mention revenues.

  30. suckkabooya February 9, 2019 1:22 pm


    I think it’s a process. I agree this Conference is horrible. It’s gotten worse over the past few years. Hawaii should have dominated this conference from year two (2014) at least. 10-8 (had Pacific 2013), 9-7, 8-8, 13-3, 8-8, 8-8 (split with every single team 2017-18, amazing weird). You can clearly see the “hump” that needs to be crossed. But you see Ganot has the potential to cross it. It’ right there, you can see it. One or two more Noah Allen types (not that hard to find really). Just need some program momentum. The template like what Cappie posted should be considered to advance the program. Hawaii is the most consistent team in the conference. Next step is to dominate it. Can, no can? I think Ganot (with some recruiting help) can do it.

  31. A-House February 9, 2019 1:55 pm

    holy moley, Andy!!

    opened UH mail and wahla — 2019 football season tickets are here!

    someone at UH athletic Dept finally got the initiative to start renewal early — not in April.

    only wish they had won the Hawaii Bowl — believe this would have had a tremendous impact on season tickets sales

    agree with all who posted that UH football is on the right track to regaining nationwide recognition

    wish list for 2020 recruiting is 2 or 3 BIG DL — frosh or community college or Power5 transfer — don’t matter — 6′ 5″ @ 325 lbs — strong, but agile with great lateral movement and leaping ability to knock down/deflect passes

    still hoping that the “artic blasts” from Canada is a motivational reason to transfer from Minnesota to UH — U know, the 6′ 10″ OL from Australia

    wait — any more scholarships to award for the 2019 class? latest DB “flip” is a good sign — BTW, article did not mention who he had committed to —

  32. Warrior Dave February 9, 2019 2:35 pm

    A House,

    We’re away visiting our Granddaughter but I too was shocked to receive a UH Football renewal notice via email. That means UH Volleyball can’t be far behind. Stay high and dry Hawaii over the next few days. We’re leaving the snow for high winds and surf.

  33. suckkabooya February 9, 2019 2:40 pm

    I think he flipped from Idaho. And not Boise St. Good solid with lots of potential.

  34. Stephen Tsai February 9, 2019 8:02 pm

    New post:

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