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Warriors need to play big to pull off big upset

The Hawaii basketball team wants to prove that it can be one of the best teams in America. To do so, the Warriors will have to come up big in Canada on Saturday, November 19.

Hawaii will face No. 22-ranked Gonzaga in the inaugural B.C. Basketball Classic at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (Hawaii time). It will be televised on ROOT Sports, which is available only through certain satellite cable providers.

“It’s pretty early to tell; our identity hasn’t been formed yet, but we’re in the process of forming that identity,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “I hope part of our identity is that we’re a tough team and we play hard and we take on challenges. We’ll see. It’s a great game for us early to see where we are.”

The Warriors are 1-0, while the Bulldogs are 2-0. Although the game is technically at a neutral site, Gonzaga will have the crowd in its favor. Three Gonzaga players are from Canada, including the two leading scorers – freshman guard Kevin Pangos and senior center Robert Sacre.

Pangos went 9 of 13 from 3-point range, and finished with 33 points and six assists in Gonzaga’s victory over Washington State.

“They got some pretty good guards, they’re young, but we gotta try and lock them down, stay in front of them and make sure they don’t get off too many 3s,” sophomore guard Garrett Jefferson said.

The bigger concern for the Warriors could be Gonzaga’s bigs. Sacre is 7 feet and 260 pounds, and is averaging 18.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Power forward Elias Harris, a 6-7, 240-pound German, is averaging 15.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

“They got two great bigs – two (NBA) first rounders,” Arnold said. “We’re going to have to be unbelievably physical. We’re really going to have to own the paint … we just have to match their physicality and we have to come to play. We can’t back down. If we back down, then they’ll crush us. If we stand and fight, then we got a chance.”

Arnold noted that the Bulldogs have shot 88 free throws in their two games so far (and made 66). Six opposing players have fouled out against Gonzaga in those two games.

“We have to be aggressive, but we have to be smart,” Arnold said.

The clash of centers between Sacre and Hawaii’s 6-10 Vander Joaquim is a particularly intriguing one. Joaquim finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in the season opener.

Sophomore forward Trevor Wiseman, who had 19 points and 16 rebounds against Northridge, will likely be matched up against Harris.

It should also be noted that Gonzaga surrendered 22 3-pointers to its opponents in its two games. Hawaii senior guard Zane Johnson finished with six 3-pointers and 24 points against Northridge.

Arnold was quick to point out that it will take a group effort for the Warriors to be successful, and he expects to rotate at least nine players into the game.

“Every guy here has to bring it when called upon,” he said.

5 Comments

  1. hey Garrett, you really got that Hawaiian smile! we love it. Coach said ‘now is the time to bring it!’
    wow! Joston, now you can see. you really looking like a Warrior out to battle; let’s giv’em (punish them).
    Haun & Davis, you were disappointing the last 2 games! this is the best time to redeem.

    TEAM remember: the harder we work, the luckier we get!!!

  2. Robbie Acoba from Side Street Inn on Da Strip said the Hawaii-Gonzaga game will be televised live there at 4 p.m. This is the “new” Side Street Inn on Kapahulu Avenue.

  3. n2o4joy, What part of this video made you think Joston looks like a “Warrior out to battle”? I just don’t see it!

  4. hi, Warriorfan:
    1st time we see him wearing his glasses, practicing his left-&-right-handed, close-to-the-basket shots..
    just trying my best to urge him to get going now. I’m sure he will get a few minutes chance to prove he is capable.
    with his glasses on, now he can see, enable him to perform!? (maybe the poor guy can see good & the ability to think rightfully all these time. it’s a change however).

    ..otherwise, if he going to ask for transfer now, will he be able to getting full 2yrs eligibility yet?

  5. i think the glasses is just a fashion statement..he likes attention

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