Kuebler has little
time to recover

The shooter wants to bust out
of his slump in time to beat Nevada

A short memory can be a shooter's best friend.

A day after one of the most frustrating evenings of his Hawaii career, Rainbow Warrior guard Michael Kuebler spent some extra time after yesterday's practice shooting his way around the 3-point line, trying to erase the memory of his struggles against Fresno State.

Nevada at Hawaii

When: Today, 7:05 p.m.

Where: Stan Sheriff Center


Radio: Live, 1420-AM


Tickets: Lower Level, $16 (single seats only); Upper Level (adult) $12; Upper Level (student, UH) $5; Super Rooter $8

Parking: $3

Kuebler made just three of 16 shots from the field and was 2-for-11 behind the line in the 'Bows' 69-58 loss on Saturday.

The solution -- forget it and keep on shooting.

"It just drags on," Kuebler said of watching shot after shot bounce off the rim. "You don't think it can get any worse and all of a sudden it does. You definitely just have to put it behind you and use it as motivation and inspire you to not let it happen again."

Just as Kuebler is looking to bounce back from a forgettable night, the Rainbows must also get past the disappointment of losing their Western Athletic Conference opener and focus on a Nevada team picked to win the conference crown.

The Rainbows will try to avoid losing back-to-back home games for the first time since the 2000-01 season when they host the Wolf Pack tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.

"They've always bounced back from losses and played hard," UH coach Riley Wallace said. "I'm just hoping we can get it all together and come back."

Kuebler entered Saturday's game shooting 51 percent from the field and 41 percent behind the 3-point line, and experience has taught him that a shooting slump can end with the next shot that zips through the net.

"Streaks can end fast, and if I can come out tomorrow and knock some shots down it'll be behind me," the senior said.

Kuebler has played a team-high 35 minutes per game and led the team in scoring in eight of UH's 11 games. The 'Bows lost two of the three games in which he wasn't the top scorer.

"He looked like he was tired (against Fresno State)," Wallace said. "He's got his family here, it's the holiday season and he plays a lot of minutes. It's not just the minutes, it's the pressure that's on him to have to score."

Wallace said he was pleased with the team's intensity in practice yesterday after being beaten on the boards 38-16. It was the team's lowest rebounding total since grabbing 16 against Brigham Young in 1989.

UH will face a Nevada squad that has bounced back nicely from its early-season struggles.

With four starters back from a team that advanced to the WAC championship game last year, Nevada was the consensus favorite to win the league title.

But the Wolf Pack were humbled early in the season by an exhibition loss to NCAA Division II member Humboldt State. Nevada played No. 1 Connecticut close before falling 93-79, but then dropped road games at Portland and Pacific.

The Wolf Pack have won five straight since then and posted a 75-61 victory over then-No. 6 Kansas on Dec. 21. But just as UH is looking to put its latest loss in the past, Nevada is finished reveling in its landmark win over the Jayhawks.

"Any time you beat a team that's ranked as high as Kansas and has the tradition that they have it's good for your program and gives you some confidence," Nevada coach Trent Johnson said. "But again, it's still one game. Our whole philosophy is to try to stay on an even keel and get better. One game doesn't make a season. ... You have to put that behind you and get ready to play the next game."

Nevada is looking to sweep a WAC road swing to start the conference season after routing San Jose State 74-45 on Saturday.

Nevada guard Kirk Snyder was selected as the preseason WAC Player of the Year and will be the center of attention tonight as he leads the Wolf Pack with 16.4 points per game.

Johnson said he's been happy with Snyder's ability to remain grounded despite his role in the spotlight. The coach added that the biggest difference in Snyder's game this season is his effort on the defensive end.

"For us, if you don't guard you don't play, I don't care who you are," Johnson said. "He's stepped it up."

Wallace said UH forward Phil Martin will draw the defensive assignment on Snyder tonight.

"(Martin) has to contest his shots because he's a good shooter, but he also puts the ball on the floor and goes to the hole really hard," Wallace said. "He's going to have to have some help.

"When (Snyder's) ready to play he's really good, and it's WAC time, so I'm assuming he's ready to play."

Nevada at Hawaii

Probable starters
Nevada (7-3, 1-0 WAC) Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Kirk Snyder (Jr.) 6-6 16.4 5.1 3.2
G Todd Okeson (Sr.) 6-0 9.6 1.6 3.2
G Garry Hill-Thomas (Sr.) 6-4 8.4 2.5 1.8
F Kevinn Pinkney (Jr.) 6-9 10.6 4.6 0.9
F Sean Paul (Sr.) 6-9 4.8 4.5 1.3

Hawaii (8-3, 0-1 WAC) Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Logan Lee (So.) 6-1 3.9 1.6 4.7
G Michael Kuebler (Sr.) 6-4 19.9 2.9 1.6
F Julian Sensley (So.) 6-9 9.4 7.4 3.7
F Phil Martin (Sr.) 6-8 13.4 5.9 0.9
C Haim Shimonovich (Sr.) 6-11 7.9 7.8 1.5

Notes: UH's 69-58 loss to Fresno State on Saturday was just its second WAC loss at home in the last 19 conference games at the Sheriff Center. The program hasn't lost back-to-back conference games at home since the 1999-2000 season. ... Nevada owns a five-game winning streak entering the game. UH had its six-game winning streak snapped by Fresno State. ... Nevada leads the WAC in blocked shots with 50. ... UH leads the series 7-6. Aside from one game played at a neutral site, the home team has won all but one meeting between the schools.


E-mail to Sports Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --