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Warriors’ strategy for Vegas: Keep playing fast

Appropriate for a contest in Las Vegas, the Hawai’i basketball team is expecting the action to be fast and furious when it plays its first road game of the season at nationally-ranked UNLV on Saturday afternoon.

The Warriors are 4-1, with the only loss by one point in overtime against now-No. 22 Illinois. The Runnin’ Rebels are also 4-1, and are ranked No. 20 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 24 in the Associated Press Top 25.

The game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. (Hawai’i time) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

“I think you try to play to your strengths,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “So far, we’ve been able to score in transition. We’ve been able to rebound and get our big guys to start the break … we’re going to continue to try to do that. And we know that they do the same, so it should be a really up-tempo game.”

Although both teams like to run fast breaks, the spotlight matchup will be in the post. UNLV’s leading scorer is Anthony Bennett, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound freshman who is averaging 19.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He is originally from Canada, and was a McDonald’s All-American at Findlay College Prep school in Las Vegas last season.

Hawai’i’s leading scorer is 6-10 senior Vander Joaquim, who is averaging 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

“It’s always good to play against good players,” Joaquim said. “From what I heard, their 5 man (Bennett) is pretty good, but we just have to go out there and play basketball.”

Both teams have a variety of other options. The Rebels have four players averaging double-figure points. Mike Moser, a 6-8 junior forward, is averaging 12.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game and is considered an All-America candidate. Freshman guard Katin Reinhardt is contributing 11.6 points per game and leads the team with nine 3-pointers. Senior point guard Anthony Marshall is averaging 10.8 points and 6.0 assists per game. He had 19 points, 13 rebounds in UNLV’s 74-69 win over the Warriors last season in the Stan Sheriff Center.

“They have a great center who can jump out of the gym and everybody on the team likes to take 3s,” said Hawai’i assistant coach Scott Fisher, who has been scouting the Rebels. “They like to push it up. They’re one of the top teams in the country in scoring in the first eight seconds of the shot clock. I think they’re deserving of their ranking, but I don’t think they’ve played a team with a frontline like ours.”

The Warriors also have four players averaging double-figure points. In addition to Joaquim are junior guard Brandon Spearman (15.2 points), junior forward Christian Standhardinger (15.0 points and 6.4 rebounds) and senior forward Hauns Brereton (13.0 points, 6.2 rebounds).

In addition, freshman forward Isaac Fotu is averaging 8.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, and senior point guard Jace Tavita is averaging 3.4 points and 8.0 assists per game.

“We got off to a good start, we’re 4-1,” Tavita said. “But this is a big test for us, so I’m excited.”

The Warriors’ last game was on November 20, and they have had seven practices since then to prepare for the Rebels. They departed Honolulu on Thursday night, and will practice in Las Vegas on Friday afternoon.

In contrast, UNLV has played three games in the past week – including an 83-79 home loss to Oregon on November 24, and an 82-57 blowout victory over UC Irvine on November 28.

The Hawai’i travel roster includes 13 players (redshirts Dyrbe Enos, Keith Shamburger and Aaron Valdes did not make the trip).

GAME INFO

When:
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m. (Hawai’i time)

Where: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) – Las Vegas, NV

Television: Live on TWC Sports – Channels 218 (SD) and 1218 (HD).

Streaming Video: None

Radio: 1500 AM The Buzz will carry the game live.
Audio Webcast: Available on ESPNHawaii.com

Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com

13 Comments

  1. Does Coach Gib have any eligibility left for his free throw shooting?

    As for UNLV, this is one of the more talented UNLV teams as far as potential in recent memory. Still yet, Coach Gib (from the paper) seems to be confident about this trip. We do have the pieces to be able to compete. It will depend on which Hawaii team shows up on the road in a tough environment.

    I think foul trouble is going to be a key. Their top big, Bennett, gets to the line almost 9 times per game in only 25 minutes. We will need for Vander and our bigs to stay out of foul trouble.

    Another key is going to be limiting turnovers. UNLV will implement an aggressive on-the-ball pressure. They forced 15 turnovers against UC Irvine, who typically doesn’t turn the ball over much.

    Anyhow, it should be a fun game. Go Bows!

  2. Keep the unforced turnovers to a minimum and get them free throws thru the hoops.
    GO WARRIORS!!!

  3. UH MBB team: Play super D, rebound on O and D boards, take care the ball, and shoot well,
    The first 3, can keep you in the game , the third(shooting well from field and FT line) can bring you guys a great win for this season..Either way, effort, effort, unity, all in…play with heart..

    Win or lose, keep it competitive!!

    Go Warriors!!

  4. Rainbow Warriors. Remember, be quick, but don’t hurry. Sound fundamentals will help win the game. Good luck tomorrow. I will be watching.

  5. Hope Coach don’t get emotional in crunch time and start thinking strategy instead!

  6. Holy crap.. We are getting EXPOSED.. I guess we really aren’t as good as we thought we were.. I really thought we had a chance against UNLV..

  7. JUST Letting The Team Know How Much MORE They Need to Step Up…

    Vegas Projected 20 Point Gap …

    NEED To Improve to Get Into that Chasm …

    I Definitely Would Have Liked to See Better…
    I AM (So Far) Disappointed, BUT Not Surprised…
    Poor Shots, Didn’t Bring Quickness, STANDING Still

    20 Points is DO-Able for A Young, Improving Team…

    See IF They Can Narrow The Gap in the Second Half…
    How Much Can They Improve TODAY, In The Next 20 Minutes…

    i LIKE To Remind Fans (Because IT IS Apropos)
    That One of the Best UH Teams started their First Road Trip Losing Three Games By an Average of 50 points…
    BUT Was Among Best By End of Season…

    Traveling EAST IS A Bear…Lessons MUST Be Learned…
    Better to Learn This NOW than During BW Season…

  8. Dayton has a busy day so here’s a quick look at the first half. At the half: UNLV 49, UH 27. Stanhardinger leads all scorers with 11 points. Jefferson is 3 for 3 for six points. Team shooting 35.7 percent (10 for 28), and has missed all 10 3-point attempts. Hauns and Vander each shooting 1-for-6. Team has 12 turnovers. Anthony Bennett leads UNLV with 10 points. UNLV shooting 58.8 percent (20 of 34, including 5 of 7 from long range. Rebels have 12 assists and 25 points from reserve players.

  9. Eagle, I fondly recall the team that started their first road trip of the season by losing by an average of 50 points (at the Great Alaska Shootout).. Unfortunately, I don’t see a Trevor Ruffin on this team.. He singlehandedly willed the team into the NCAA Tournament..

  10. Final score: UNLV 77, UH 63. Stanhardinger led way with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Vander added 12 points and 9 rebounds. Jefferson sparked the comeback, adding 8 points and 5 assists. UH shot 36.8 percent (21 of 57); they were 1 of 15 from 3-point range. Freshman Anthony Bennett led UNLV with 14 points.

    UH trailed by as many as 26 (49-23 late in the first half), but scored the last four points of the half and the first five after intermission, closing to 49-32 on a driving layup by Stanhadinger.

    UH went on another run — outscoring UNLV 15-6 and closed to 57-47 on Brereton’s free throw with 10:06 to play.

    After falling behind by as many as 14, UH twice closed to eight — the last at 2:58 on a pair of Vander free throws.

    UNLV eventually pulled away, breaking rhe press and hitting dunks and free throws.

    Dayton will have a complete report later tonight.

  11. A POSITIVE…guys made a comeback, got within 8,,,UNLV, more athletic and talented..TO’s about same for both teams..

    Kudos for Garrett Jefferson, leading a charge to make it respectable game..

    Going in, we all knew it would be tough..I thought..final score , don’t lose by 20 or 30 pts..they come up short by 14, 77-63…

    Well, UH MBB team has 5 more games in the State of Hawaii before, Dec 31 2012, end of the year..if UH MBB team can finish year at 9-2, 8-3 or at worst 7-4…good start before BWC play..Hey , new team , first road trip against a top 25 team…UH MBB , as long as get healed, get well and get better..should be competitive in the BWC..

    Guys, we welcome you back home tomorrow..go to work on Mon or Tues.. and get ready for Pepperdine next Sat Dec 8 2012!!

    Still have 24 more games before BWC tourney and possible post season play!!(trying to stay POSITIVE!!!)

  12. Sorry fellow UH MBB fans..UH has SIX more games in Hawaii to finish out 2012 year…Pepperdine, Chaminad on Molokai, DH Classic 3 games, and Cal St. Northridge on Dec 29 to start BWC play!!

    A POSITIVE…guys made a comeback, got within 8,,,UNLV, more athletic and talented..TO’s about same for both teams..

    Kudos for Garrett Jefferson, leading a charge to make it respectable game..

    Going in, we all knew it would be tough..I thought..final score , don’t lose by 20 or 30 pts..they come up short by 14, 77-63…

    Well, UH MBB team has 6 more games in the State of Hawaii before, Dec 31 2012, end of the year..if UH MBB team can finish year at 10-2, 9-3 or at worst 8-4…good start before BWC play..Hey , new team , first road trip against a top 25 team…UH MBB , as long as get healed, get well and get better..should be competitive in the BWC..

    Guys, we welcome you back home tomorrow..go to work on Mon or Tues.. and get ready for Pepperdine next Sat Dec 8 2012!!

    Still have 24 more games before BWC tourney and possible post season play!!(trying to stay POSITIVE!!!)

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