Gib Arnold has moved on. Sort of.
There was no denying the sting of the controversial last-second shot that cost Arnold and the Hawaii men’s basketball team a win at Cal Poly on Wednesday night. But the Rainbow Warriors (5-1) are in Salt Lake City now, preparing for a difficult game tomorrow at 1 p.m. (Hawaii time) against No. 21 BYU (7-0) at the Utah Jazz’s EnergySolutions Arena.
"We’re fine," said Arnold, who was a fraction of a second away from being a winner in his first road game as UH coach. "Obviously, you don’t want to lose one like that, and feel like we did enough things to win there at the end, and it went the other way on a pretty controversial call, but that’s the name of the game.
"We did enough things to actually be leading when the clocks hit zero. It was still a tough loss, though."
Arnold had a chance to watch the last-second — or no-second — putback by Mustangs guard Chris O’Brien, which came on Poly’s third attempt in the final 10 seconds and gave the hosts a 54-53 win.
"It’s real close, and if you stop it at the right time, it looks like it’s still touching his hands (at the buzzer), but I don’t see how a referee could see that," Arnold said. "I think if we had (a monitor) at the scorer’s table, it could have been overturned."
The Rainbows emphasized taking care of the ball in their practice in chilly Salt Lake City today — for good reason. UH had a season-high 27 turnovers against the Mustangs, offsetting 51.4 percent shooting from the field and a plus-10 margin on rebounds.
Salter situation tenuous
Junior point guard Anthony Salter’s days with the Rainbow Warriors are likely numbered.
Salter, who didn’t go on the two-game road trip and missed the team’s last two practices prior to it, said the reason for his absence was a disagreement with Arnold about playing time.
The 5-foot-11 transfer from Iowa Western Community College averaged 6.2 minutes per game in five contests at home. After getting 16 minutes in UH’s season opener, his playing time fell sharply.
"I’m a junior. I’ve never sat down as much as I’ve been sitting here," Salter said. "I understand I was hurt (with a foot injury in the preseason). I’m not going to get any experience or anything from sitting on the bench. … I just gotta be in a position where I can play, man. That’s the whole thing. That’s the bottom line. I definitely can’t be buried on the bench."
Salter said — and later tweeted — that he is weighing his options between sitting out a year to play at a Division I school, or playing immediately at a Division II school.
Arnold declined to comment on Salter’s status until he returned from the road trip.