Warriors wary of exhibition opponent
Ready or not, the Hawai’i basketball team will play its one and only exhibition game on Friday night. The Warriors will host NCAA Division II Hawai’i Pacific at the Stan Sheriff Center at 7 p.m.
“I wish we had about another month of practice,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “We got enough to play a game and we got enough play hard so we’re going to roll that ball out and see how the guys respond.”
The final result and statistics will not count toward the Warriors’ official record, but it still matters.
“My freshman year at Utah, we lost to a D-II team in our exhibition,” senior point guard Jace Tavita said. “So I know these teams come in full of energy … they’re really going to come after us.”
Arnold said he his coaching staff have purposely coached the Warriors at a slower pace than in recent years. There will be 13 players available against HPU, and only three of them saw game action in the Sheriff Center last season: senior guard/forward Hauns Brereton, junior guard Garrett Jefferson, and junior forward Davis Rozitis.
Senior center Vander Joaquim – the leading scorer and rebounder from last season – will not play due to a knee injury.
“The whole idea of an exhibition game is to go in there and do the best you got with what you’ve got in, even if it is limited,” Arnold said. “We’re going to look at some different lineups and some different things, for sure.”
Of the13 players available for Friday, seven are freshmen. One of them, forward Isaac Fotu, said: “Coach has gone over the plays a lot these past weeks and we’ve been doing a lot of reps, so I think I’m ready for … everything.”
For what it’s worth, the “first group” for most of the practice drills this week featured Tavita at point guard, Brereton and Brandon Spearman on the wings, and Christian Standhardinger and Davis Rozitis in the post.
The Sea Warriors have already played an exhibition game, and nearly pulled off a road upset of another NCAA-I program. Santa Clara needed a second-half rally to hold off HPU, 64-63, on Tuesday in California.
“They’ve got a couple of Division I transfers, some older guys – their team is actually quite a bit older than ours,” Arnold said. “Sounds like they’re very good. Having not seen them and just seeing their stat sheet, I was very impressed.”
Malte Ziegenhagen, a 6-foot-4 guard/forward from Germany, led HPU with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He made five of the team’s 13 3-pointers. Leif Rodney, a 6-8 forward, added 12 points and 10 rebounds, and 5-11 guard Kevin Attila added 14 points.
Hawai’i vs. Hawai’i Pacific
When: Friday, Nov. 2; 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, Hawai’i
Internet: Live stats available on HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Prices: All seats general admission. $7 (Adult), $5 (Senior Citizen), $3 (youth, 4-18). UH Manoa Students free. Parking $6.
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To view photos by WarriorInsider.com photographer Brandon Flores of each player in game uniform, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/warriorinsider
All of the players on the 2012-13 Hawaii roster were introduced on this site a month or so ago. Here’s another quick look at each player in game uniform (note that freshman Aaron Valdes still has not been cleared by the NCAA so he does not appear in the video):
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