Nash lambastes Rainbows for lack of effort in defeat


POSTED: Monday, February 08, 2010

Hawaii coach Bob Nash wasn't most disappointed with the final score. Or the ongoing predicament the Rainbow Warriors face at the bottom of the Western Athletic Conference standings with their fifth straight loss.

It was effort—or a lack of it—that drew his ire in Saturday's 61-51 decision to Fresno State as the Bulldogs swept the season series and held the Rainbows (9-14, 2-8) to a season low in points.

After coming out of a heated postgame locker room meeting, Nash was asked if his team was devastated.

“;Well, we talked about that. We have no reason to be devastated because we didn't give effort,”; Nash said. “;If you give effort and you lost to them, that'd be something else. But when you didn't give the effort, that's when you have to look at yourself and say, 'Why not?' We just didn't give the effort, so we're not deserving of the win if you don't give the effort for 40 minutes. Every possession, every loose ball, all those things, that's all effort. You can control that. You can't control maybe your shot sometimes not going in, but you control your effort. That was a little disappointing.”;

One usual barometer of hustle, rebounds, actually went in UH's favor, 36-25. But Nash pointed out that many of those went to his team by default and the 'Bows didn't have the heart to hit the deck for loose balls at key junctures.

It was a win the Rainbows needed, especially with Fresno's best player, Paul George, out with a sprained ankle. UH's leader, Roderick Flemings, posted 21 points and eight rebounds, but nobody else scored more than eight.

Guard Jeremy Lay did what he could to swing it back to UH's favor with 1 minute, 41 seconds left. He hit a 3-pointer to make it 53-49, then stole the ball on the ensuing inbounds play and got fouled.

But he missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and Adhar Mayen and Brandon Adams both missed putbacks, and that was that.

“;I don't even know how to explain (our morale),”; Lay said. “;Man, I don't know. I'm not used to losing, so, five straight, I didn't even know it was five. I lost track. But we got to stay together. The morale of the team is we're still going to stay together. We're not pointing fingers at each other and all that stuff. We gotta get a win, however we can.

“;I should have made that free throw, but I can't dwell on that. We gotta start making our free throws as a team, all around. But there's a lot of things I wish I could take back in the game.”;

Perimeter play is of critical concern with Hiram Thompson still hurting from a bum shoulder. UH shot 2-for-14 on 3-pointers vs. FSU and had seven assists against 19 turnovers.

UH has six WAC games remaining to move out of a tie with Boise State for last place and qualify for the WAC tournament. Four of those games are on the road—where UH is 0-5 this season—including a stop in Boise, Idaho, on March 4 in the second-to-last league game.

The Rainbows depart for Ruston, La., on Thursday in their longest road trip of the season. UH meets Louisiana Tech (19-4, 7-2) on Saturday and makes the difficult transition to Las Cruces, N.M., on Sunday before playing New Mexico State (14-8, 7-2) on Monday.