Picking up the pieces
Now we find out what the level of resolve of the Hawaii men's basketball team really is.
After getting hammered on their 10-day, three-game road trip to Montana, New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech — showing only fleeting moments of competitiveness in each — the Rainbow Warriors have a chance to make things right at home before the WAC tournament.
UH can finish anywhere from third to sixth after the final two games this week against Idaho and Utah State on Thursday and Saturday. The Vandals (7-5) and Aggies (6-6) are right there with UH (6-6).
Was it just tired legs that killed the 'Bows on that trip, or deeper issues? Prior to it, they were 3-2 on the road in the WAC.
The 'Bows' top three scorers — Zane Johnson, Joston Thomas, and Vander Joaquim — haven't been clicking all at once. Johnson in particular has struggled of late, though he showed signs of snapping out of it with 11 points and a few 3s against the Bulldogs. Thomas barely played in the second half of that game and was ejected/fouled out of the previous two on the trip. Joaquim has been the team's best player, but his temper has also flared up at inconvenient times, particularly during the pivotal LaTech five-point play that killed UH's chances of a comeback.
The team is surely glad to be home and could realistically sweep these games and finish its last WAC run at 8-6. But if recent struggles are not put to rest, those numbers could easily be swapped heading to Las Vegas.