Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball
Search

Warriors ready for in-state “road” trip

If it involves flying on an airplane, riding on a bus, and sleeping in a hotel, then it must be considered a road trip.

The Hawaii basketball team’s next two games will take place in the state of Hawaii, but on different islands, so the Warriors are treating it like any other road trip.

“We’re looking at it as a road trip, and we’re going to do everything we normally would do on the road,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “Having the games on other islands is great, but we still have to fly to get there, and play in places that we’re not familiar with.”

First up is a game against “little brother” Hawaii-Hilo on Friday. The game will be played at Kealakehe High School Gymnasium in Kailua-Kona – which is on the other side of the Big Island from the UH-Hilo campus. Technically, it is a neutral site for both teams, but UH-Hilo is considered the “host” for the game.

“We’re going to their island, I’m sure they’ll have a lot of fans, and we’re going to have to play our best to get a shot to win,” Arnold said.

The Vulcans are a NCAA Division II team with a 4-2 record this season. They rely on a balanced attack, with four players averaging double-figure points.

Terrell Mack, a 6-foot-4 junior wing, is averaging 15.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. UH-Hilo’s top post player is Zachary Wilde, a 6-6, 226-pound forward who is averaging 13.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He is coming off a double-double performance of 20 points and 16 rebounds in a loss to BYU-Hawaii earlier this week.

Kiel Myers, a 6-6 forward, is contributing 10.7 points per game, and Mychael Hearn, a 6-1 guard, is averaging 10.3 points per game.

Former UH-Manoa assistant coach Jeff Law is in his 14th season as head coach at UH-Hilo.

“UH-Hilo is well-coached,” Arnold said. “You’ve got two or three really quick guards and their bigs are a little smaller at 6-6, 6-7, so hopefully we’ll have a size advantage.”

The Warriors have been relying on a rotation of 10 players recently, and six of them are 6-6 or taller, led by 7-foot Davis Rozitis and 6-10 Vander Joaquim.

The Vulcans do not start any players taller than 6-6. UH-Hilo’s only “tall” player is 6-10 Michael Melonas, who is averaging 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as a reserve.

“We’ll try to do our best,” Rozitis said. “I think lately me and Vander have been playing really well … and the team is winning so we’re going to go over there and do some work.”

Zane Johnson, a 6-6 guard, leads the Warriors in scoring with 15.4 points per game. He has made 20 3-pointers this season. Freshman point guard Shaquille Stokes is contributing 10.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, and Joaquim is averaging 9.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

Despite the difference in height, the Warriors are vowing not to overlook the NCAA-II Vulcans.

“We’re going into this like it’s any other game,” junior Hauns Brereton said. “We can’t let up on any team. The ball goes in for any type of player if they come in playing hard, so we have to make sure we bring it.”

The Warriors and Vulcans have played numerous times in exhibition games in recent years, but this is the first time in 21 years that the game will count on the record for both teams.

Hawaii-Manoa vs. Hawaii-Hilo

When: Friday, December 16, 6:05 p.m.
Where: Kealakehe High School Gymnasium, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Tickets: $10 general admission
TV: none
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Autograph session: Players and coaches from both teams will be signing autographs in the gym after the game.

(Photos courtesy Brandon Flores)

11 Comments

  1. WarriorInsider.com would like to welcome our newest sponsors …

    Ameriprise Financial

    and

    Chris Dias, Attorney At Law

    WarriorInsider.com will be providing coverage from the Big Island and Maui thanks to travel sponsorships provided by Ameriprise Financial and Pacific Risk Solutions.

    Mahalo!

  2. Are there any plans to televise the next two games? I’m especially interested in seeing them as I expect coach Gib to tinker with different combinations in an attempt to solidify his lineup strategy and get his players focused for the Diamond Head Classic. Would be interesting to see how he mixes and matches and what rotations work best.

  3. Good deal! Looking forward to your reports.

  4. UH-Hilo game will NOT be televised.

    Game on Maui on Sunday against North Carolina A&T will be on OCSports (channel 12).

  5. Thanks, appreciate the info!

  6. Thanks Sponsors! Nothin’ like getting the heads up info on this website. We’ll look forward to the coverages from the neighbor islands.

  7. See you in Kona

  8. Dayton-Looking forward to the EXCLUSIVE updates by Warrior Insider!

  9. Is the entire team already in Kona? I had to visit UH Manoa and walked by two players… one of them a possible starter. Hope my eyes were fooling me.

  10. Your eyes were not fooling you. Some of the players had to complete final examinations on Friday morning and will join the rest of the team in Kona on Friday afternoon.

  11. Whew, thanks Dayton!

Leave a Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Supporters