By Brian McInnis
There was plenty to like in the Hawaii men's basketball team's first half last night against Fresno State. The timely return of 3-point shooting, offensive execution and rebounding was encouraging.
Almost just as much to dislike in the second half, when the Bulldogs nearly made up a 20-point halftime deficit. The shots stopped falling, but FSU didn't have quite enough and fell 62-52 to the Rainbow Warriors.
In the end, it's still a UH win, and the Rainbows are in much better position than they were a week ago. A victory against San Jose State (9-8, 1-5 WAC) tomorrow gives the 'Bows a solid grip on seventh place.
The Spartans' star guard, senior Adrian Oliver, is third in the country in scoring average (24.2 ppg), behind only BYU's Jimmer Fredette (25.8) and UConn's Kemba Walker (25.5). Oliver missed the last two SJSU games with a concussion, but has resumed practicing this week. The UH coaches are assuming Oliver is playing.
Also, SJSU freshman guard Keith Shamburger returns to the islands for the first time since spurning Gib Arnold's Rainbow Warriors for George Nessman's Spartans. Shamburger (11.2 ppg) averaged 20 points in the two games Oliver missed, a win at Louisiana Tech and loss at New Mexico State.
UH freshman shooting guard Bo Barnes, who returned to his early season form with 12 points on 4-for-7 shooting (all 3-pointers), apparently isn't the team's only shooter to reinvent himself.
Junior guard Zane Johnson is wearing No. 50 at practice today, though it's not a permanent switch. Apparently his usual No. 3 wasn't available. Number looks a little strange on him, must say.
Too early to tell if junior Miah Ostrowski has completely supplanted freshman Bobby Miles in the point guard rotation behind senior Hiram Thompson. Miles didn't play at all against Fresno, but we'll know more on this after tomorrow's game vs. SJSU.
UPDATE: Sophomore swingman Dominick Brumfield didn't suit up for the Fresno game because he was academically ineligible, and will likely be so again against SJSU.
The UH women's basketball team's game at San Jose State is no gimme. The Spartans, winless at 0-16 before last night's 63-61 victory against Idaho, got a much-needed breakthrough. SJSU improved to 1-3 in the WAC, while Dana Takahara-Dias' Rainbow Wahine are still winless at 0-4.
Pivotal game for the Wahine.