By Brian McInnis
The Hawaii men's basketball team got to chilly Logan, Utah, this morning and prepared for tomorrow's Western Athletic Conference opener vs. Utah State.
UH flew to Salt Lake City then bused 2 hours to Logan. In the evening, they got in a 2-hour practice in one of the auxiliary gyms on the USU campus.
USU coach Stew Morrill is always a good quote, and he said some interesting things on a conference call with media this morning.
He sounded quite impressed with UH's 9-3 start to the season, and it didn't come off as coach-speak.
"They’ve got a lot of energy with their new coach, Gib (Arnold)'s doing a really good job," Morrill said. "A bunch of new players who are performing for them. I really like how hard they’re playing. ... They’re impressive to watch. They just have a number of weapons ... They’ve got a really nice balance of athleticism and skill and guys who can shoot the ball. You look at their stats, they’re impressive in every area. They’re definitely impressive to watch and prepare for."
Morrill has been with the Aggies for 13 years. That covers the team's move from the Big West to the WAC — the opposite move that UH is making in basketball in two years.
Boise State is leaving for the Mountain West after this season. Fresno State and Nevada are out the door after 2011-12. Utah State, for now, is remaining in what's left.
"I think it’s sad," Morrill said of the changes. "I think it’ll be sadder a year from now when we lose a couple more teams. It’s the nature of the landscape in college athletics. But I’m a little bit of a traditionalist and I just think it’s unfortunate. The WAC has been raided or whatever you want to say. It’s going to change greatly over the course of time. Everybody will be fine, everybody will figure it out. But it’s always a little nostalgic when you see things change."