Pot of Gold Waiting for the Rainbow Warriors?
Hawaii is in the midst of a four-game skid and according to GT Bets, the Rainbow Warriors were a whopping 12-point home favorite over their conference rivals from long Beach State when they tipped off on Wednesday of last week. Hawaii had just lost their two previous tilts on the road against UC Santa Barbara (76-66) followed by a grueling 79-75 overtime setback to Cal Poly.
However, now they were back at home inside the friendly confines of the Sheriff against one of the weakest sisters in the Big West. It was a good time to face a bad team and the Warriors needed a win, not only in the standings but for a morale boost. But when the dust settled, Hawaii fell 50-49 and was unable to generate any offense against a team that allows an average of 76 points per game. Defensively, it was a gem, but where there’s no offense there can be no victory. Junior guard Drew Buggs was hot off the heels of setting the team’s career assists record the game before but had little in the gas tank as evidenced by his 0-for-6 shooting performance and five turnovers.
Head coach Eran Ganot was visibly shaken after the brutal loss yet understanding when it came to Buggs’ surprisingly lackluster performance, “Like any organization or group when one guy is down, others have to step up. And it can’t be all on Drew. He comprehends the administration duty, and he’s gotta be better. I’m certain he’ll possess that and has, similarly as I am. Be that as it may, we likewise have a group. Along these lines, when that happens once more, since it could hapHe comprehends the initiative obligation, and he’s gotta be better.
pen, our entire soul can’t be directed by that.”
Ganot further remarked, “Conviction is 100%. On the off chance that you’re delicate, at that point you clearly didn’t have a conviction. We’re not going to lose that conviction and conviction. We might be experiencing something, yet it’s battle, or flight. We would be advised to battle.”
While those were comforting words at the end of a disastrous outing, the team’s following game against conference leader UC Irvine did nothing assuage the sting of their ignominious defeat. After a first half that saw the Warriors keep pace with the Anteaters, trailing by only a point, it was all Irvine in the second half as Hawaii fell, 70-63, and lost for the second time to the conference’s top team.
What’s Next for Hawaii?
As things stand, the ‘Bows are 5-5 in conference play and 14-10 overall. The landscape has shifted dramatically since Hawaii reeled off four consecutive home wins only to see all of that work mitigated by their recent four-game skein. With six games remaining on the regular-season slate, there is gridlock in terms of seeding for the conference tournament. Unless UC Irvine implodes, the Anteaters will enjoy the No. 1 seed, as they did last season when they were crowned conference champs. But seeding 2-8 gets very dicey with the best record only two games better than the worst. Hawaii is right in the middle of things but if they don’t reverse course in a hurry then it could be a low seeding…or worse. Fans recall that UH was ousted in the first round of the Big West tourney last season when they were bested, 68-66, by Long Beach State.
The only silver lining after Hawaii’s most recent loss was the play of Drew Buggs who shook off the funk of his scoreless performance against Long Beach State and ended the night with 17 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. As we look into the near future, the ‘Bows will meet UC Riverside twice, a rematch with Long Beach State, a second matchup against CSU Fullerton (the Warriors won the first meeting, 75-69), and end the season against UC Davis followed by CSU Northridge.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>17 points, 7 assists & 4 rebounds for Drew Buggs in the matchup against UC Irvine <a href=”https://t.co/4AL1ak51wF”>pic.twitter.com/4AL1ak51wF</a></p>— #FunkHouse 🤘🏾🐇🏀 (@LBPolyHoop) <a href=”https://twitter.com/LBPolyHoop/status/1229072020299665408?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>February 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
If the ‘Bows can duplicate their efforts against the latter pair, in which they defeated both Davis and Northridge, then we can chalk up two victories there. And, in fact, all of these games are entirely winnable with the only formidable conference foe, UC Irvine, behind them. The next few weeks will tell the tale of whether Hawaii will reemerge or submerge at the season’s end.