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Warriors prepared for Classic start

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Hawai’i basketball team as it prepares to open its 2012-13 season on Friday night. The Warriors will host Maryland-Eastern Shore on the opening night of the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The game is scheduled to start around 7 p.m., following the game between Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Houston Baptist. The four-team tournament will follow a round-robin format, with the tournament set to continue on Sunday and Monday.

Here are five questions that pertain to the season opener:

Q: Are the young Warriors ready to start the season?

A: Head coach Gib Arnold said the team is still learning the schemes on both offense and defense. He does not expect it to be a polished product in the opener, but is expecting to see hustle from his team.

“I understand it’s probably going to be a little sloppy at times,” Arnold said. “I talked to them today about I don’t expect precision, but I do expect effort and hopefully we’ll get sharper as the season goes along. But I do expect to have great effort.”

While much of the preseason hype has been about the eight freshmen on the roster, it is worth noting that the roster also includes four juniors and three seniors.

“When you’re a junior and senior and you’ve played in the program for a couple of years, it’s your time to lead and it’s your team,” Arnold said. “We’ll go as far as our leadership allows us to.”

Q: Is Vander Joaquim going to play?

A: Very likely, although he remains a game-day decision.

“He practiced with us three times this week and he did play some full-contact stuff today,” Arnold said. “He’s told me that he’d like to give it a go and doctors have said that he looks pretty good, too. I’m the third decision maker in that. I have to feel confident in that as well … we’d like to get him in, but we won’t make that decision until (Friday) night.”

Q: Who will be in the starting lineup?

A: Who knows? Arnold does not like to announce starters, and the practices have been closed this week. The starting five for last week’s exhibition game against Hawai’i Pacific were Jace Tavita at point guard, Brandon Spearman and Hauns Brereton on the wings, and Christian Standhardinger and Isaac Fotu in the post.

Others expected to challenge for starting roles include Garrett Jefferson, Brandon Jawato and Davis Rozitis. The return of all-conference center Joaquim also could shuffle things, if he is prepared to start.

Q: How good is Maryland-Eastern Shore?

A: The Hawks went 7-23 last season and were picked to finish 12th (out of 13 teams) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll. They scored a 76-66 exhibition victory over Salisbury (a NCAA-III team) earlier this week.

Junior guard Donald Williams led the Hawks with 18 points and hit three of the team’s 10 3-pointers. Troy Snyder, a 6-6 junior forward, added 14 points and nine rebounds.

“I’ve only seen them on stats, we haven’t seen any film,” Arnold said. “They’re very big, they’re very athletic, they like to shoot it in transition.”

Ronald Spencer, a 6-9 sophomore, had seven points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks. They also have two post players from Nigeria – 6-10 Francis Ezeiru and 6-11 Olatunji Kosile.

Q: Will the students show up for the game?

A: Let’s hope so. The Warriors have been working hard off the court to get their fellow students to attend the games at the Sheriff Center.

This week, the players went knocking on doors at the dorms to personally invite students to the games. The first 300 students to show up for the season opener will receive a free “Manoa Maniacs” t-shirt. The team also staged a pep rally at Campus Center (see video below):

(Photos courtesy Charles Simmons)

Hawai’i vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore
Game Facts
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.

11 Comments

  1. Guys have worked hard , go get em! Have a great and winning season warriors, should be exciting, some growing pains, however stick together, play D and in system..you can win that BWC tourney, it starts Friday Nov 9 2012 700pm HST at the SSC (Stan Sheriff Center)!!

  2. Game day at last! Let’s get it on!

    Comical second video. Lol @ Davis’s interview in the “fro”. Good stuff!

  3. Almost Overload…Three Games in Four Days after months without…

    Let’s Get it Started….

    Flash Yo’ Stuff /Bows!

  4. Hey Warrior fans around the world. looks like Friday’s game will be streamed for FREE.
    https://secure.oceanic.com/Streaming/

  5. ahhh, Rozitis has a Frotu!

    Let the games begin!

  6. Josh, great find.. Thanks for the link!

  7. Folks get the pizza’s and brew ready. I would think Vander is all hyped up wanting to play real bad moreso because of the 3 big men on Maryland-Eastern Shore’s roster, 2 from Nigeria and 1 from Chad. I wonder if he played against them prior on National teams?

  8. Ehhhh, I think I got one old Bulaia wig in the closet. Time for bust ‘em out and rock the Stanley.

    Fear the Fro!

    Let’s get this season started right!

  9. I goin check Goodwill fo one granma wig befoa everybody scoop em. MBB moa fun then Halloween.

  10. Have a good game tonite guys. 🙂

    GO WARRIORS!!!

  11. maybe you should have bought one for Halloween use and now could use it for UH’s bb season.

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