By Fred Guzman
When we last addressed this topic, there seemed to be widespread support for granting Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin a contract extension. A couple of more years at his current annual salary of $1.1 million seemed to be fair numbers.
McMackin, after all, guided UH to an unexpected 10-win season, a share of the WAC title and a No. 24 national ranking.
Since the Christmas Eve debacle at Aloha Stadium, there’s a growing sentiment that UH should take a wait-and-see approach before granting McMackin more job security.
Did watching UH get worked, 62-35, by Tulsa in the Hawaii Bowl change my opinion on this matter? Of course, it did.
But it was not so much the score as the way Hawaii played that bothered me. What we saw was a sloppy team that was not physically and mentally prepared for this game.
Before a partisan crowd of more than 41,000 and a national TV audience, UH laid a huge, ugly egg. Allowing 62 points and committing six turnovers says it all.
So the question becomes: Do McMackin and his staff have the right stuff to field a competitive team in a more competitive league in 2012? We’ll have a better idea after next season.
My revised resolution: Add another year at his current salary, assuring him of three years and $3.3 million. And reevaluate his contract situation at this time next year.
WAHINE HOOPS: Senior point guard Keisha Kanekoa is only 16 points away from becoming the 16th player in Rainbow Wahine history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. She will get a chance to reach that milestone during the three-day Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Invitational that starts tonight At the Stan Sheriff Center. UH will take a 4-6 mark and seek to end a 5-game skid when it faces winless Columbia (0-9) in a 7 o’clock game. Tomorrow, UH faces Cal State-Bakersfield (8-8) and closes out the tourney with a Thursday game vs. UNLV (5-6).
PREP ROUNDUP: An old MIL soccer rivalry is alive and kicking. After a lengthy drought, Maui High is back as a major player in the boy’s soccer front. Tonight, the resurgent Sabers take a half-game lead in the Division-I standings into their match againstthe defending champion Baldwin Bears.
The kickoff is set for a 7 o’clock match following a 5 p.m. girls’ match between the same two schools. Baldwin is unbeaten and seems to be on a collision course with Kamehameha to top honors.
Both Warriors’ teams are in action today, visiting King Kekaulie for key matches at 5 for the girls and 7 for the boys. The girls’ game is particularly important because Kamehameha is unbeaten and Kekaulike has only one loss on its ledger, that setback coming against Baldwin.
In MIL basketball, double-headers are on tap at Kekaulike, where Na Alii will host Baldwin and at Kamehameha, where the Warriors will entertain Maui High. Those games, ladies first, are scheduled for 5:30 and 7 o’clock tip-offs. Meantime, the Molokai girls will pay a visit to Lanai.
PREP RANKINGS: Three of the top four teams in this week’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser prep girls’ basketball poll are from the NI. Konawaena and Waiakea of the Big Island are 1-2, following by Punahou of the ILH and defending state champ Lahainaluna of the MIL.
Kona is 18-1 overall, with its loss a 69-45 setback against Brea Linda of California, the nation’s third-ranked team. Kona is 5-0 in the BIIF, outscoring league foes by an average of 79.2 to 12.2. The Wildcats have given up a total of 61 in its five league wins. But Waiakea will pose a major challenge. Kona beat Waiakea 42-37 on Nov. 12 in the Waiakea tournament. That’s Waiakea’s only loss of the season.
The Lunas have been nearly as dominant in the MIL, compiling a 7-0 mark and outscoring opponens by an average of 63.4 to 21.6,
Seabury Hall is the highest-ranked MIL boy’s team. The No. 10 Spartans are 8-3 overall and regarded as a contender for state D-II honors.