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Warriors take on unknown Central Arkansas

Even in its own home arena, the Hawaii basketball team will venture into the unknown on Friday night.

The Warriors will seek to continue its season-opening win streak when they host Central Arkansas on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The game is expected to start around 7:30 p.m., or approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of a UH women’s basketball game.

Central Arkansas is 1-1, and the Bears have been difficult to prepare for because of several reasons. First, they have a new coach in former NBA standout Corliss Williamson. Second, the Hawaii coaches were not able to obtain video of the Bears until Thursday afternoon.

“It’s a new coach, so his system is different,” said Hawaii assistant coach Walter Roese, who has been trying to scout Central Arkansas. “The biggest thing is we’re just getting one tape from them because … there’s no DVD’s of their team.”

The Warriors are preparing for a fast-paced game, as Williamson has promised to bring a full-court tempo to Central Arkansas, similar to the style he learned while playing for the 1994 national championship team at Arkansas.

“They are a very athletic team, they like to run, they will press full court for most of the game,” Roese said. “They’re a different kind of team we have not seen. They are athletic and they like to run.”

The leading scorer for the Bears is 6-foot-2 guard Imad Quahwash, who is averaging 21.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Chris Henson, a 6-8 forward, is contributing 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

“We know they’re a pressing team,” Hawaii forward Bill Amis said. “We’ve been working hard on press-breakers. We just know we need to play our principles on defense and we’ll be fine.”

The Warriors opened the season by winning three games in four nights, so confidence is running high – sort of.

“After getting three wins we were feeling pretty good, but then the coaches came in and said we have to keep getting better,” Amis said.

Junior guard Zane Johnson said: “We’re keeping a level head right now. We know that we got tougher tasks ahead of us. But we have a little bit of confidence. We don’t have our heads down or anything.”

Senior point guard Hiram Thompson leads the Warriors through the first three games with 18.0 points and 4.0 assists per game. Amis is averaging 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Freshman Bo Barnes is contributing 13.3 points per game and leads the team with 10 3-pointers, and sophomore forward Joston Thomas is averaging 12.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

Friday’s game will be the fourth game in a five-game homestand to open the 2010-11 season.

“We don’t lose home games,” Johnson said. “We just have to keep playing hard and I think everything will fall into place.”

(Photo by Brandon Flores)

2 Comments

  1. Well, it should be interesting. Looks as though the teams don’t know each other’s trends. So maybe it comes down to whose hot and whose not. Home court advantage?!? I think this feisty team can pull it out tonite. Go Warriors!!!

  2. Send “Big Nasty” home with an L.

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