A Whole New Game For UH Hoops

Bobby Curran
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Friday - December 01, 2010
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The University of Hawaii Men’s basketball team will take an entirely new look on the road. UH will bring a perfect record and an up-tempo style to Cal Poly and BYU this week, and those folks will have to look twice at the name on the jerseys just to make sure their eyes aren’t playing tricks.

Gone are the plodding flex-motion offense and the seven-man rotation. Also history are the consequent fatigue and marginal play late in games. Last week against Central Arkansas, first-year head coach Gib Arnold used 12 players - in the first half!

Having to go a month or so without senior forward Bill Amis due to a foot injury, UH will miss its leading scorer and rebounder, but could benefit later from the extra reps some of its young players will get.

Fans are getting their money’s worth at Stan Sheriff Center - the team plays incredibly hard. It would sure be nice to see the house packed for the upcoming Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

* A funny thing happened on the way to the Rainbow Wahine’s 11th straight WAC tournament title. The team that hadn’t lost a single set all conference season long was swept by Utah State. What was most surprising was that this edition has been extremely good at avoiding complacency and has rarely played at less than its highest level.

By the time you read this, UH will have been assigned to a distant regional, and the only things that will be affected are the seeding and team pride.

The trick will be for Dave Shoji to turn the surprising defeat into a post-season resolve. This unit is too good to flame out early in the NCAA tournament.

* Sources say that while SMU hasn’t been entirely ruled out to be Hawaii’s opponent in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, it isn’t likely to be chosen.

While the Mustangs are one of six possibilities (although UTEP is even less likely), it seems that Tulsa and Central Florida are the frontrunners.

Apparently there is considerable resistance within the Conference USA to send SMU again this year, and bowl owner ESPN Regional may decide not to alienate them two years in a row.

UH fans are likely to turn out well, but SMU could very well be a sellout.

* The New York Yankees and iconic shortstop and team captain Derek Jeter are still miles apart, but it looks like the Yankee brass is committed to an offer based on good business rather than rewarding past performance. The Yankees have offered $45 million over three years, and encouraged Jeter to explore his options if he feels he can do better.

Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, described the club’s offer as “baffling.”

No shortstop older than 34 has ever received more than $5 million per year and Jeter will turn 37 in June.

Reportedly, the Cincinnati Reds are interested. I can’t imagine what it would do to Jeter’s reputation if he left New York for a couple million more.

Expect that eventually the two sides will come to an agreement.

The Reds? You’ve gotta be kidding.

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