HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warriors basketball team is preparing for a road series against California State University, Northridge this weekend, determined to put on a strong showing after a rough two losses to Cal Poly last weekend.
In a season unlike anything seen before, head coach Eran Ganot continues to remind the ‘Bows of the message he’s preached from the beginning of the season.
“At the forefront of it the message has been to be most improved team in the league and I think you could say going into the last two games we were going in that direction, we lost two games,” Coach Ganot told reporters. “Are we as far off as we thought, no, so I don’t think you need so much of an overhaul and there are not many modifications you can really make when have eleven guys, but I do think we can do what we do better.”
Due to injuries and opt outs, the Rainbows are down to just 11 active players, who have bought in to coach Ganot’s message as they begin the last quarter of their season.
“Mindset just stays the same as it’s been when we first came here in August, Just lock in and do what we do and take care of business,” Freshman Biwale Bayles said. “Nothing really changes because we’ve lost a few games, our coaches make sure that everything just kind of stays the same as we tweak the little things here and there in practice, but the mindset obviously stays the same.”
As a freshman, Bayles has played plenty of meaningful minutes for the home team, using it as a lerning tool, as he plays through his first year at Manoa.
“I just think these experiences will help us and you talk about Biwale, he’s playing as a freshman big minutes and going against really tough players, were talking all league players and he wants and relishes those match ups.” Coach Ganot said. “Sometimes just going through it, he’s had more good than bad and good players make tough shots, but I just love the fact that he and this group continues to step up everyday and meet the challenge, maintain that faith that we’ll get over the hump moving forward.”
Even the Australia native says he can see his maturation happen as the ‘Bows head to the mainland to take on Matadors, saying his comfort level is at an all time high.
“I feel a lot more comfortable compared to when I was coming into the season.” Bayles said. “I’ve got a couple games under my belt and I just feel like the game is kind of slowing down a bit, I feel like i’m starting to make better reads, you know with each practice and each day i’m just continuing to try and improve in that area and just do whatever it takes to make my team win.”
Bayles and the ‘Bows take on CSUN this weekend on Friday and Saturday — both games tip off at 2:00 p.m. Hawaii time on WatchESPN.