Basketball Bows Give Fans Hope

Bobby Curran
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Friday - March 09, 2011
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When the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team takes the floor in Las Vegas this week in the WAC tournament, it brings some accomplishments with it that represent a huge turnaround for the program. First, just qualifying for the tournament itself. Coaches and media alike picked UH to finish last.

Second, a winning record. It has been four years since the team has finished on the right side of the ledger.

Third, a shot at a 20-win season, which hasn’t been done since the 2003-04 club went 21-12.

This team goes into the tournament believing it can win, and has shown it can play with anyone in the WAC. And while the double-bye format makes it extremely difficult for a team seeded fifth through eighth to secure the NCAA automatic berth (you need to win four games in four nights), no WAC opponent can look at this team and say there’s an easy win. In fact, top seed Utah State may well regard UH as the team it would least like to play because the Rainbow Warriors are the only team in the conference to take the Aggies to the wire twice.

Maybe the best quality of this UH team is that it has brought hope back to Hawaii fans, the conviction that the team is good and getting better, and before long we can talk about UH getting a bid to the Big Dance.

* Every year about this time we get reports from the NFL Combine on which of the draft hopefuls have performed well in various tests of prowess. UH receiver Greg Salas and running back Alex Green ran well in their 40 yard dashes, each about 4.5 seconds. They scored well in other tests, including the shuttle run, T-test and vertical jump.

One of the tests administered is an intelligence aptitude exam known as the Wonderlic. Athletes are subjected to a written, timed test. The maximum score is 50, achieved only once many years ago by Harvard grad Pat McInally. This year, Alabama QB Greg McElroy scored a 48, a record for signal callers. NFL execs test everybody, but seem most concerned with the scores of quarterbacks. Many believe that a good score (mid-20s and up) is helpful in dealing with the complexities of modern-day defenses. Not all QBs who’ve been successful score well. Dan Marino had a 13, Donovan McNabb 14. Vince Young initially scored 6, was allowed to retest and logged 15. Joe Montana notched a 43, Aaron Rodgers 35.

Here are a few Wonderlic test questions:

1) Paper sells for 21 cents per pad. What will four pads cost?

2) A train travels at 20 feet in 1/5 second. At this same speed how many feet will it travel in three seconds?

3) A boy is 17 years old and his sister is twice as old. When the boy is 23, what will be the age of his sister?

Correct answers: 1) 84 cents. 2) 300 feet. 3) 40.

Even if you got all three right, the 49ers will still want to see you throw the ball.

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