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Warriors want to start feast early


If all goes according to plan, the Hawaii basketball team could have its own feast the night before Thanksgiving.

The table appears set that way, as a struggling Arkansas-Pine Bluff team enters the Stan Sheriff Center on Wednesday to play the Warriors at 7 p.m.

Hawaii is off to its best start in six years at 4-0. UAPB has started in the opposite direction at 0-4.

What’s more, the Warriors have won their four games by an average of 12.3 points per game, while the Golden Lions have lost their four games by an average of 35.8 points per game.

That’s not a typo. UAPB has reached 50 points just once this season, and its closest game was a 71-45 loss at Northwestern.

“We’re taking it like any other game,” senior point guard Hiram Thompson said. “We try to bring it each and every day, it doesn’t matter who we play. We’re just going to play like it’s a game and bring everything we got.”

Of course, things don’t always go as planned. The Warriors already discovered that this week when it was revealed that leading scorer and rebounder Bill Amis has a stress fracture in his right foot and will be sidelined for at least one month.

“That’s a huge loss,” Thompson said. “Bill’s a great player. But there’s guys here that are ready to fill in Bill’s shoes and everybody needs to step up.”

With Amis unavailable, head coach Gib Arnold will likely go with a variety of players to make up the difference. In particular, senior center Douglas Kurtz and true freshmen Bo Barnes, Bobby Miles and Trevor Wiseman are expected to play extended roles.

Hawaii assistant coach Brandyn Akana, who scouted UAPB, cautioned that the Golden Lions can be dangerous because they are “a free-wheeling team.”

It should be noted that the Golden Lions started last season 0-11, but still managed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament by eventually winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

UAPB is led by Allen Smith, a 5-foot-10 senior shooting guard. He is averaging 11.5 points per game and leads the team with 14 3-pointers.

“We have had players that we’ve played throughout the season thus far that are pretty good 3-point shooters, but he’ll be one of the best,” Akana said. “He’s going to be very key for us to make sure we get a person on him at all times.”

The Golden Lions also have a blossoming post player in Daniel Broughton, a 6-8 freshman. He is averaging 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, and is the focal point of their half-court offense.

Even without Amis, the Warriors have four players averaging double-figure points: Thompson is averaging 14.0 points and 4.0 assists; Barnes is averaging 13.5 points and leads the team with 14 3-pointers; Joston Thomas is averaging 12.5 points and 6.3 rebounds; Zane Johnson is averaging 10.3 points.

It will also be the final game of a five-game homestand to open the season for Hawaii. The Warriors will be on the road next week for games at Cal Poly on Dec. 1, then at Brigham Young on Dec. 4.

(Photo by Brandon Flores)

1 Comment

  1. 5-0.. Who woulda thunk it at this point in the season??

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