Archive for January, 2009

Hanging with “Kahuna”

January 30th, 2009
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Spent some time with my pal Steve “Kahuna” Anthony today. Kahuna, who got his nickname from Chris Berman, is an Iolani grad who has worked at ESPN since the early 1980s, and has won several national Emmy’s as a director of SportsCenter and other ESPN shows. Poor guy is on a plane back to Bristol, Conn., right now.

We were with Kahuna’s dad, Joe Anthony, at the Sam Snead tavern at the Navy-Marine Golf Course. It’s a really cool place, with lots of Snead memorabilia. I mentioned that though Sam Snead is one of the handful of greatest golfers ever, if someone asks me to name the top five of all-time off the top of my head, his name doesn’t immediately come to mind for some reason. Here are the ones that do: Nicklaus, Palmer, Hogan, Woods … and the fifth spot open for debate.  I can’t rattle off the stats, and maybe others have better accomplishments, but these are the names I’ve been programmed to think of. Byron Nelson’s name came up too.  I’d like to read the thoughts of others on this.

Attention MMA fans

January 27th, 2009
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On Thursday, your Star-Bulletin will include a 16-page special section previewing this weekend’s big sports event on the mainland. No, knucklehead, not the Super Bowl (that one comes out on Sunday)! We’re talking Penn vs. St-Pierre in Vegas, baby!

Billy Hull leaves for Sin City tomorrow night to cover the action (and report on the sanctioned fights, too).

He will have some copies of the special section with him.

“The starting bid for each one is just a single black chip,” he joked.

Nah, if you’re nice to Billy, he might give you one.

Bolla responds to critics

January 26th, 2009
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I went to the UH women’s basketball game against Utah State. The Wahine didn’t play as poorly as in many other games this season, but still lost, 52-43. It’s the team’s eighth defeat in a row, dropping UH to 3-16.     

Brian McInnis will have a full report in the Monday Star-Bulletin, and I wrote a column on whether it is time to find a new coach. I asked coach Jim Bolla a few questions after the game. 

On improvement:

“I think the effort was there tonight. We’ve had spurts where we’ve had effort, I think tonight was the most sustained effort. I think, especially in the first half, we did a good job rebounding the ball. We had situations where we would shoot it, miss it, rebound it, and do it again. That typically has happened to us. Progress was made there. We just couldn’t get a shot to drop. We just missed too many layups, I think six in the first half.”

On the critics:

“I don’t mind, if people come to the game and pay to come, you can criticize me all you want. But these people that sit at home, don’t give the university a dollar, don’t know what’s going on at practice, aren’t here every day and understand how hard these young ladies are working. OK. You know, that’s just the way it is. And it’s not just here, it’s everywhere. It’s not something that’s a Hawaii thing, it’s anywhere. People want to see winners, and right now we’re not winning. But it doesn’t mean the kids aren’t practicing hard, aren’t playing hard.

“They played hard. You can’t fault them for not playing hard. But anybody who does that (criticize) I don’t know what to say to a person who does that.”

Has he heard people are saying the team has given up on him?

“That’s someone talking to someone else, someone who’s not around these kids every day, knowing how hard they’re working. And that’s fine. They can criticize all they want. If I went to watch them at their job, I’m sure I could probably criticize them about their job. They don’t have that luxury. I’ll put my coaching abilities against any one of these critics. OK. How many games have they won as head coach. It’s easy to criticize people when you don’t understand their job. All you see is what the end result is. You know, same thing is going on with Bob (Nash). I see Bob in the office early, I see Bob in the office late. I see him working with his kids, I see him breaking film down. It’s not that the effort’s not there. The results aren’t there. OK. It’s just the nature of the beast right now.

“You hear football got a late start. Well you know what, I got hired on July 17. I lost two recruiting years. It took four years for me to get a full-time staff. How far behind am I? So let’s get the real story out there, where we are.

“It’s easy to say in your fifth year you should be good. And I said, at the (preseason) press conference, I said that myself. We should be good. But you know what, when I have one assistant coach my first year and get hired in July, I didn’t lose one year, I lost two years recruiting. And when I don’t have a full-time staff, until going into my fifth year, of November my fifth year, is when I get my full-time coaching positions filled? OK. But you know what, it is what it is. I can’t change that. All we can do is work every day with these young ladies.

“People can say what they want to say. You know what, get your facts straight. I tell you what, 5,000 people come to this game, they can criticize me all they want.”

Has he met with Jim Donovan since the start of the year?

“No. No. Nope, not at all.”

– By Dave Reardon 

 

 

 

 

 

Jet lag … and other problems for UH hoops

January 24th, 2009
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Bob Nash isn’t one to make excuses. And I think we can all agree that tonight’s 67-51 basketball loss to Utah State was ugly. You can’t win making just four buckets in the first half, especially while your opponent is tough and efficient. Rod Flemings missed nearly the first five minutes of the game, benched for being late to a team meeting. The Rainbows fought back in the second half, but got pounded on the boards, 38-28, for the game, and that didn’t help either.  They were outplayed and outhustled by a good team.

But Nash does have a point that it didn’t help that the WAC scheduled UH to play at the road against Nevada and then here in Hawaii in less than 48 hours. That would be brutal even if the Wolf Pack and Aggies were among the WAC’s bottom-feeders … but they’re among the league’s best, and Utah State is now 19-1.

Nash hasn’t completely cooled off after criticizing the WAC during the league teleconference Monday.

“It’s suicidal to think we can play against teams like this back-to-back, to have to go to Nevada and back to Hawaii to play again (in the space of two days). It’s not like they’re  sitting in first class,” Nash said after tonight’s loss. “They’re laying around in airports trying to rest and not eating right.

“The  WAC says they’re trying to make everything fair. I don’t see them doing this as fair.”

–By Dave Reardon

Manti Te’o on Parade All-American team

January 22nd, 2009
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Paul Honda reported this weeks ago, but I bring it up again now because the Parade magazine announcing the team is in this Sunday’s Star-Bulletin.

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Also on the high school awards front, Leilehua senior Bryce Jenkins is the Hawaii Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year. Jenkins won three state championships in cross country. That, along with some success on the track,  puts him up there among the ten or so best high school distance runners in the state’s history.