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Rupp ready to see old team from opposing bench

The Hawai’i basketball team is hoping that Louisiana Tech’s loss is its gain this week.

At this time last year, Kerry Rupp was the head coach at LaTech. Now, Rupp is in his first season at the Director of Basketball Operations at Hawai’i.

The Warriors will host LaTech in a Western Athletic Conference game on Thursday at the Stan Sheriff Center. The game is scheduled to start around 7:20 p.m., following a UH women’s basketball game.

Hawai’i is 10-7 overall and 2-1 in the WAC; the Bulldogs are 8-10 overall and 0-3 in the conference.

“All my emotions, if they’re going to be flowing at all, it’s going to be flowing for our guys,” Rupp said. “I think when you play a game like this, you want to beat your opponent even more so because of the relationship. It’s like when you play your best friend in a one-on-one game, you don’t want to be the guy that comes out of there on the losing end. I’m going to be cheering and my emotions are going to be very high, but it’s going to be for our guys.”

Seven current LaTech players and two assistant coaches were on the team last year when Rupp was the head coach.

“Personnel-wise, I have some insights into those players’ tendencies – things they do well, things that they struggle with,” Rupp said. “Those are the things I think maybe I can talk to (Gib Arnold) about.”

After Rupp left LaTech last year, he said he encouraged all of the players to stay there and play for new head coach Michael White.

“The best thing was for me to move on and those guys to move on,” he said. “They know if they ever need me when they’re done with their career, anytime in their life, if their family needs me, I’m going to always be there for them.”

Of course, now that Rupp is on the Hawai’i side of things, he said he is willing to offer some “advice” for the visiting Bulldogs this week.

“Get out in the water and enjoy the surf and the sand,” he said. “And the late nights, get out and see the stars and the moon about 1 or 2 in the morning.”

This week will be the first of two meetings this season between Hawai’i and LaTech. The next one, scheduled for February 25 at LaTech, could be even more interesting for Rupp because he said he still has several friends and family members in Ruston, La.

1 Comment

  1. “Get out in the water and enjoy the surf and the sand,” he said. “And the late nights, get out and see the stars and the moon about 1 or 2 in the morning.”

    Great advice for any visiting teams!

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