Warriors open regular season on Friday
The Hawai’i basketball team had its test run last week. This week, the real race – otherwise known as the 2012-13 regular season – starts for the Warriors.
Hawai’i will open the regular season on Friday night, when it hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore. The game is scheduled to start around 7 p.m. as part of the opening night of the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center. Arkansas-Pine Bluff will face Houston Baptist in the opener at 4:30 p.m.
“We’re just trying to fine tune a few things on both ends of the floor, get a solid rotation,” associate coach Benjy Taylor said. “Just find out what defense works best with different lineups.”
The Warriors defeated NCAA Division II neighbor Hawai’i Pacific, 75-67, last Friday. Hawai’i led from start to finish, although the Sea Warriors made it interesting with a late run.
“We were able to see the flaws we need to work on,” senior Hauns Brereton said. “Make sure we hit somebody on the box out every time, make sure somebody is there to give defensive help, we were able to see individually what we need to improve. We each have our different goals to improve on and hopefully we can put that forward to the next game.”
Eleven of the 13 Warriors in unform saw action against HPU. Associate coach Taylor said the coaches “experimented” with several different lineups in the exhibition game, but will likely be more selective with the rotations this weekend.
Senior center Vander Joaquim – the leading scorer and rebounder last season – was not in uniform for the exhibition due to a knee injury. His status for this week remains questionable.
Maryland-Eastern Shore is somewhat of an unknown opponent for the Warriors. The Hawks finished with a 7-23 record last season, and are picked 12th (out of 13 teams) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll.
“They’re a brand new team for the most part, but they’re really big,” Taylor said. “Their inside guys are like 6-10 and 6-11. They’re long and athletic … don’t know much about them so we’ll just have to prepare for anything and everything. It’s the first game of the year so both teams will be going in blind.”
It will be the first of three games in four nights of the Rainbow Classic to open the season for the Warriors.
“I don’t think it makes a difference,” junior guard Garrett Jefferson said. “We’ve all played AAU basketball and you play three games in a day.”
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic Schedule
Friday, Nov. 9
Houston Baptist vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 4:30 p.m.
Hawai’i vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 11
Houston Baptist vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore, 2:30 p.m.
Hawai’i vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 5:00 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 12
Maryland-Eastern Shore vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 4:00 p.m.
Hawai’i vs. Houston Baptist, 11:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Hawai’i vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore
When: Friday, Nov. 9, 7:00 p.m. HT
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, HI
Television: Live statewide on OCSports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
Internet: Live video streaming is available on ocsports.tv; live audio streaming on espn1420.com
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM will carry the game live. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona, and KTOH on Kaua’i.
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: $26 (lower); $18 (upper-adult); $16 (upper-sr. citizen); $5 (upper-youth, ages 4-HS); UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Parking $6.
Promotions: Outrigger Hotels and Resorts will distribute 1,000 reusable tote bags and award up to $2,000 in the “Shoot for Loot” halftime promotion at each UH game. It’s a “Blackout” on Monday and fans are encouraged to wear black shirts during its nationally televised game vs. Houston Baptist. All seats are general admission that night.