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Warriors ‘travel’ to Blaisdell to face Chaminade

It has been more than 20 years since the University of Hawai’i basketball team played a game in the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena, but the Warriors don’t want to get caught looking back – or ahead – when it plays there again on Friday night.

The Warriors will face their NCAA Division II neighbor school, Chaminade, at 7 p.m. on Friday night at the Blaisdell. Hawai’i, which will be playing for the first time since December 6, is 7-3. Chaminade, which has already played twice this week, is 4-5, although it should be noted that this game will count only towards Hawai’i’s record (it is an exhibition game for the Silverswords).

ValdesHPU3

“It’s a pretty cool little gym,” UH senior guard Garrett Nevels said after the Warriors practiced at the Blaisdell on Thursday afternoon. “The floor is bouncy, the rim’s kind of stiff, but it’s cool.”

Although the Warriors have had the last two weeks to rest and recover from an opening stretch of 10 games in 23 days, they remain somewhat of a mystery going into the game against the Silverswords.

Starting forward Negus Webster-Chan missed the previous game against Brigham Young with a sprained right ankle, and he remains questionable for Friday’s game. He was able to practice with the team on Thursday at the Blaisdell, but that was his first extensive action in two weeks.

Sophomore forward Stefan Jankovic completed his final examinations earlier this week, but is still not expected to be cleared to play against Chaminade. He becomes eligible as soon as his grades for this semester are reviewed by UH officials.

“Guys just have to be ready to step up and play,” Nevels said.

The Warriors are led by sophomore forward Aaron Valdes, who is averaging 16.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, and also leads the team with a .586 field goal percentage.

“It’s been a while since we last played so we’re excited to be out there and play someone else,” Valdes said.

Nevels is next at 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, and junior point guard Roderick Bobbitt is contributing 97 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.8 steals per game.

Three other Warriors are averaging better than 7 points per game: Webster-Chan (9.2 points, 4.6 rebounds per game), Mike Thomas (8.2 points, 4.1 rebounds per game), and Isaac Fleming (7.8 points, 3.6 rebounds per game).

Like Hawai’i, Chaminade features a balanced offense. Lee Bailey, a 6-foot senior point guard, leads the Silverswords with 14.3 points and 3.6 assists per game. He is one of just 13 players in Chaminade’s basketball history to reach 1,000 points in a career. He was a first-team All-Pacific West Conference selection last season.

NevelsHPU

Three others are averaging double-figure points: 6-7 sophomore guard Kiran Shastri (12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds), 6-7 forward Kuany Kuany (12.3 points, 6.9 rebounds) and 6-6 guard Kevin Hu (12.3 points, 3.1 rebounds).

“It looks like they like to push in transition,” Nevels said of the Silverswords. “We just have to try and pressure them while they’re dribbling and try and force some turnovers.”

Chaminade ranked among the top teams in NCAA-II for 3-pointers last season, and are firing away again this season. The Silverswords are averaging 8.3 made 3-pointers per game, and 23.3 3-point attempts per game.

Shastri led the team with 93 3-pointers last season, and has already made 23 this season.

Neither team is very big. Chaminade has a 6-10 senior center in Frankie Eteuati, but he has missed the last two games due to injury, and may not play against the Warriors. Chaminade’s tallest starter is 6-9 junior Michael Louder, who is averaging 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

Chaminade is averaging 79.4 points per game while allowing 81.4; Hawai’i is averaging 72.9 per game while allowing 69.1.

“Now we can all just focus on basketball, so it’s good for us,” Valdes said of the end of the semester. “We can’t overlook this team, especially the way they can shoot it. We just have to prepare for them and after them we can prepare for the Diamond Head (Classic).”

— — — — — — —

Some notes from the Chaminade athletic department about Friday’s game:

* Chaminade is the “host” school for this game, which is why it is not part of the package for UH season-ticket holders. It is also the reason why tickets are not being sold through UH or at www.hawaiiathletics.com.

* Tickets are still available online at www.ticketmaster.com, or can be purchased in-person at the Blaisdell Center box office.

* A NCAA Division II men’s game between Hawai’i Pacific and Montana State-Billings will start at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, preceding the UH-Chaminade game at the Blaisdell Center Arena. Anyone with a ticket can attend both games.

* This game was originally supposed to be played on a Neighbor Island – as part of a recent tradition between UH and Chaminade – but it was moved to O’ahu after Pittsburgh asked to play UH on Maui.

* It is an exhibition game for Chaminade because the Silverswords already had the maximum number of games allowed on their schedule when this game was finalized.

Game Info
Who:
Hawai’i (7-3, 0-0 Big West) vs. Chaminade (4-4, 1-1 PacWest)
When: Friday, Dec. 19, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Neal Blaisdell Center (Honolulu, O’ahu)
Television: None
Streaming Video: None
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona and KTOH on Kaua’i.
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on espn1420am.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: $12 for adults, $8 for seniors (ages 60+), $5 for students.

9 Comments

  1. Rainbow Warriors, go hard, max effort, play to win…. Huge Game, it counts !!
    Score, efficiently, D up out to 3 line. shoot excellent from field and FT line, and close out game.

    Work Really Really hard.. And Hope the whole UH MBB team did great GPA , and passed all finals, so All the Fantastic Fourteen are ready for some great basketball heading to Silversword game and DHC/BWC play and Post Season tourneys !!

    Go Warrior Bows Rainbows !!
    🙂

  2. Nevels saying it would be nice to have a sold out crowd but I don’t think it’s going to be even close to one. Especially since it’s not part of the season ticket package. Would be nice if it came close but….

    Go Bows.

  3. 2800+. …. Blaisdell Was The Rainbows home arena for years.. great games, AND don’t know if the UH dorm maniacs will come out. Tickets not too expensive.. nice if have 3000, since Public and Private, colleges, I think all schools , Friday morning , afternoon, they will all be on Winter Break..
    Hey , Chaminade run and gun, shoot tons of three pointers.. UH trademark this year DEFENSE.. should be good game.. Maybe high scoring game.

    This team BigFan, at least at SSC when DHC, they deserve 5000+ at least to watch them.. what they had to deal with, with a lot of courage, and not giving up, and still winning ball games.. One of Best UH MBB teams through adversity I have seen in over 45 years !!

    Go Bows !!

  4. Travel ! Ok, get on the back of the moped. We’ll take you guys over one at a time. Hold on now ! Get one more moped coming !

  5. Alright, looking for some inspiration here. Finals are over. Time to focus on having some fun, getting down to putting in practice all the fundamentals. And looking forward to the new plays.
    The team should be more focused now than at any time of this turbulent season so far. We will be working on getting our team timing down. All things are coming together. And there is time for the coaches to coach the players, and work on everything that needs to be worked on. Time for the second half of the season to start.

  6. This is a exhibition game for Chaminade? I notice that they are already in there conference play so I am wondering if they even go all out for this game. I’m sure they want to beat there “big brother” of UH but they also have to worry about more important conference games. I bet they rest there injured guys and maybe even use some of the bench players more than usual.

    If Chaminade upsets this game it doesn’t even count for them! I hope that doesnt happen! UH have to be ready for anything and bring A game. Chaminade look like they got some shooters so can not let them get hot and everything else should be fine. I still think UH wins big!

  7. Don’t take Chaminade lightly. Play hard and get momentum going into the tournament.
    Go Warriors!

  8. Blaisdell was the place where Chaminade beat a UH team, coached by Larry Little, on Dec. 17, 1982, per newspaper. That same team defeated No.1 Virginia six nights later. After that game, UH vowed never to play Chaminade again at NBC.

    Chaminade hasn’t played at NBC since 2011 and the ‘Bows since 1994. Chaminade’s home gym is McCabe where i had incorrectly thought that they beat some of those big name teams .

    Negus probably will play tonight, per McInnis .

  9. Benjy coaching well, and Que, Autry, Loyd… if that first five is not playing defense and not smart on offense, Then NEXT five guys up… would not doubt if Dyrbe and Niko, Jovanovich play a lot.. whomever brings effort.
    Eleven UH MBB guys available with Negus at about 85%, trainer Jayson Goo, Jay.,., should be the MVP for last three years for UH MBB.. incredible job getting Spearman, Quincy, Jawato, Negus, Fotu, back to playing speed in very short time.. Jay Goo also monitors guys, watches them pre game as well, Knows when to pull them back, how to ice, heat, stretch and strengthen, Jay Goo invaluable UH MBB trainer for years and through several coaching changes..

    Shout out to Jayson Goo, UH trainer , one of the best in the Country !!

    Go Bows !! Aaron Valdes, Mike Thomas, Rod Bobbitt, Garrett Nevels, maybe Stefan Jovanovich? or even Brandon Jawato or Niko starting? Very sure, Benjy and team want to get Win.. since it counts toward won / loss record, so important..
    Quincy wrist injury… won’t handle ball as much, however defend, rebound and hustle to the rim..
    Maybe like against BYU… starters: Bobbitt, Nevels, Smith, Thomas and Valdes.. very athletic and can get after Chaminade , out on shooters, and get steals , passing lanes, and quick deflections.. that is how, UH can win game.. DEFENSE.. will always help you win games.. and Good Efficient Offense..

    DEFENSE.. will help UH win.. have to get stops ,.. then buckets..
    What think crowd attendance, once again would if I could.. homebound.. however follow live stats..
    if 3000+ show up Holiday school, off, crowd, would be unreal.. think lot of Holiday things going on around Blaisdell.. If 3000 attendance, would be great..

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