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Diamond Head Classic is a Christmas tradition

The President of the United States, two undefeated teams, and a University of Hawai’i basketball team on a five-game winning streak are all creating quite the buzz around the 2013 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

The three-day, eight-team tournament is set to begin on Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center. Four games will be played each day on Sunday, Monday and Christmas Day.

The Warriors, who are off to a 7-2 start, will open against Boise State (8-2) at 8 p.m. on Sunday. Other opening day games: Iowa State vs. George Mason at 12:30 p.m.; Oregon State vs. Akron at 2:30 p.m.; South Carolina vs. Saint Mary’s at 6 p.m.

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Here is a brief look at each team:

AKRON
Record: 5-2
Head coach: Keith Dambrot
Top players: Demetrius Treadwell (6-7, Sr., F) is averaging 14.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game; Quincy Diggs (6-6, Sr., G) is averaging 12.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
Rundown: The Zips have been one of the top mid-major programs over the course of the last decade. They have won at least 22 games in each of the past eight seasons, including a 26-7 record and NCAA Tournament appearance last season. They started this season 1-2, including a 22-point loss at Saint Mary’s, but have since won four consecutive games.
Interesting to note: Keith Dambrot was the head coach at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School when Lebron James was the star player there.

BOISE STATE
Record:
8-2
Head coach: Leon Rice
Top players: Anthony Drmic (6-6, Jr., G) is averaging 18.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game; Derrick Marks (6-3, Jr., G) is averaging 17.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game; Jeff Elorriaga (6-2, Sr., G) is averaging 12.9 points per game, and is 33 for 55 (60 percent) from 3-point range; Ryan Watkins (6-9, Sr., F) is averaging 10.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Rundown: All five starters return from last season’s team that finished 21-11 and received a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos opened this season 8-0, but have since lost back-to-back games at Kentucky and against Saint Mary’s.
Interesting to note: The Broncos have three players from Australia, including starters Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic.

GEORGE MASON
Record:
5-4
Head coach: Paul Hewitt
Top players: Sherrod Wright (6-4, Sr., G) is averaging 16.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game; Bryon Allen (6-3, Sr., G) is averaging 11.9 points and 4.3 assists per game; Marko Gujanicic (6-8, So., F) is averaging 11.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Rundown: The Patriots opened the season with a 5-2 record in the month of November, but have since gone 0-2 in December. They have not played a game since December 8. Opponents are shooting just 25.6 percent from 3-point range against the Patriots this season. They finished 22-16 last season, and advanced to the championship of the College Basketball Invitational tournament.
Interesting to note: Since its stunning run to the NCAA Final Four in 2006, the Patriots have returned to the NCAA Tournament just twice in the last seven seasons.

HAWAI’I
Record:
7-2
Head coach: Gib Arnold
Top players: Christian Standhardinger (6-8, Sr., F) is averaging 18.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game; Garrett Nevels (6-2, Jr., G) is averaging 14.2 points per game and is shooting 55 percent (22 for 40) from 3-point range; Isaac Fotu (6-8, So., F) is averaging 13.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game; Keith Shamburger (5-11, Jr., G) is averaging 10.9 points and 4.2 assists per game; Brandon Spearman (6-3, Sr., G) is averaging 10.3 points per game.
Rundown: The Warriors have won five consecutive games, and are 5-1 in the Stan Sheriff Center this season. They are tied for 12th in the country in scoring offense at 86.4 points per game. Hawaii has never finished higher than fourth in the Diamond Head Classic.
Interesting to note: Gib Arnold was an assistant coach on the USC team that won the inaugural Diamond Head Classic in 2009.

IOWA STATE
Record:
8-0
Head coach: Fred Hoiberg
Top players: Melvin Ejim (6-6, Sr., F) is averaging 18.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game; Georges Niang (6-7, So., F) is averaging 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game; DeAndre Kane (6-4, Sr., G) is averaging 14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game; Dustin Hogue (6-6, Jr., F) is averaging 12.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, and has a .603 field goal percentage.
Rundown: The Cyclones are ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25. Among the teams they have defeated this season are Michigan, BYU, Auburn and Iowa. The Cyclones have scored 90 or more points in five games this season, and they currently lead the nation in scoring at 90.9 points per game. They also lead the nation in assists at 19.8 per game.
Interesting to note: All five Iowa State starters have already won a Player of the Week award from the Big 12 Conference this season.

OREGON STATE
Record:
6-2
Head coach: Craig Robinson
Top players: Roberto Nelson (6-4, Sr., G) is averaging 22.1 points and 4.4 assists per game; Devon Collier (6-8, Sr., F) is averaging 21.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game and has a .647 field goal percentage; Angus Brandt (6-10, Sr., C) is averaging 13.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Rundown: The Beavers have the top scoring duo in the country in Nelson and Collier – they are both ranked among the top 20 scorers in the nation. Oregon State leads the nation in field goal percentage at .537.
Interesting to note: The Beavers are 4-0 when President Barack Obama attends their games. Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson is the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama. The Obamas are on Oahu this week, so there is a possibility they will show up to watch Oregon State.

SAINT MARY’S
Record:
8-0
Head coach: Randy Bennett
Top players: Brad Waldow (6-9, Jr., F) is averaging 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and has a .626 field goal percentage; Stephen Holt (6-4, Sr., G) is averaging 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game; Beau Levesque (6-7, Sr. F) is averaging 11.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
Rundown: The Gaels have won at least 25 games in each of the last six seasons. The only other programs to match that streak are Duke, Gonzaga and Kansas. Among the teams they have defeated this season are Boise State, Murray State and Akron. They rank among the top 10 in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at .435. Saint Mary’s placed third in the 2009 Diamond Head Classic.
Interesting to note: Former University of Hawaii assistant coach Eran Ganot is in his fourth season as an assistant with the Gaels.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Record:
2-5
Head coach: Frank Martin
Top players: Sindari Thornwell (6-5, Fr., G) is averaging 13.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game; Tyrone Johnson (6-3, Jr., G) is averaging 12.0 points and 4.0 assists per game; Mindaugas Kacinas (6-7, So., F) is averaging 7.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
Rundown: The Gamecocks have seven freshmen, five sophomores, two juniors and two seniors on their roster. South Carolina’s only wins this season were against Longwood and Florida International; two of its losses have come against ranked teams – Baylor and Oklahoma State.
Interesting to note: Head coach Frank Martin had five consecutive 20-win seasons at Kansas State from 2007-12, but went 14-18 in his first season at South Carolina last season.

8 Comments

  1. Wow!

    Good to See David Maitlin and DHC Steppin’ Up…

    BETTER to See HAWAI’I also Step Up to Match And Overcome…

  2. Sorry — Late

    VERY Good Video,
    Good (Better than Average American) Understanding of Christmas
    Nice Solemnity And Humor…

    Maybe with the College Budget and Focused Daily Lives,
    they Don’t Get Wrapped Up in TV and Rampant Commercialism…

    Appreciate the TEAM Updates, too

    Mele Kalikimaka e Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

  3. Aussie Mum is in the house!!! Woot Woot!

    Happy to have so many families in the islands! See you all on Sunday! Game on!

  4. Dayton, and Valerie Schmidt(thanks for letting WI nation know Aussie Mum in Hawaii!), great that you all meet the families. Unfortunately, we cannot, being old and homebound.

    Dayton, thanks for interview videos with Valdes’ and Spearmans! Next, Fotus, Harpers, or any other ohana interview, video hilite. Very special place Hawaii, Mid Pacific, and having their loved ones over from Mainland USA and across the Pacific Rim!

    Team have to stay focused, get the win on Sunday, for your Ohana’s sake, and we UH fans. You can do it!
    Go UH MBB team!
    Uhfanzonly1.

  5. Mahalo Dayton for glimpse of Thunder from down Under’s Mum, great fan of Mike and the UH Rainbow Warriors. Hope all the families have safe time and happy time in Hawaii!

    Aloha UH Ohana!

    Uhfanzonly1.

  6. Merry Christmas – especially to you Uhfanzonly1!!!

  7. A Big Aloha to all the players family in Town. We arrived on Sunday 18 supporters from Aotearoa. Been out in La’ie enjoying the country side. Good to see you are in town again! Hope to catch up with all of you on Sunday. Take care Uhfanzonly1 and all the UHMBB supporters on this forum. Also shout out to D.M and Schmidt Ohana. Hope you all have a great festive season.
    GAME ON.

    GO THE MIGHTY WARRIORS

  8. Agree — Such a Privilege to share in this WI.com Forum with

    The Families of UHMBB

    AND Your sons are Bringing So Much Game

    AND So Much Class to The Program
    The ‘OHANA
    So Good for US UHMBB Fans

    All Year it’s Happy THANKS GIVING…

    and making for a Very

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, ALL!

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