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Warriors warming up in Fullerton for Big West Tourney

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The University of Hawai’i basketball team has been in the Fullerton, Calif., area for five nights as of Tuesday. It’s not exactly Hawai’i, but the Warriors would like to stay there another five nights.

To do so would mean that the Warriors will have to play three games in three days in the Big West Conference Tournament at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The winner of the single-elimination tournament will earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament.

“We’re ready to play another game,” head coach Benjy Taylor said. “It’s tough to get in a routine when you’re not at home, but we’re trying to keep the guys loose and relaxed because we had some extra days here in between games. We’re ready to get this thing started now.”

The Warriors will face Long Beach State in a quarterfinal game at 11:30 a.m. (Hawai’i time) on Thursday. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Prime Ticket (Oceanic channel 228 or 1228).

Hawai’i is 20-12 overall and the No. 5 seed in the tournament at 8-8; Long Beach State is 16-16 overall and the No. 4 seed at 10-6.

The Warriors arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday night, closed the regular season with a 91-70 win at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, and have stayed in the area ever since.

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“We’ll take it,” Taylor said. “We feel good about that win, getting us to 20 wins, and then we get a chance to rest our legs a little bit before the (Big West) tournament.”

The team took Sunday off so that some of the players with family in the area could spend time with them. Taylor noted that the full roster of players is as close to healthy as its been in a long time, and he’d like to keep it that way.

“We don’t need to be having any extra practices, any longer practices,” he said. “We had a bunch of guys sit out games in January and February, but the good thing about that is it saved some of their legs, and we’re going to need that to make a run here.”

It was back to business on Monday and Tuesday, with full days of academic study sessions and practice.

Cal State Fullerton, which did not qualify for the Big West Tournament, allowed the Warriors to use its facilities. “The guys at Fullerton helped us out, and the Big West does a good job of helping us schedule things, too,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he is also making sure to give the players continued free time in the evenings. On Monday, some of them went to watch an NBA game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves; on Tuesday, some of them went to a movie theater.

“We get one more practice (on Wednesday) and we’ll do what we have to do to get ready,” Taylor said. “We’re staying loose, but we’re not thinking about anything beyond Long Beach State right now.”

Game Information
Who:
No. 5 Hawai‘i (20-12 overall, 8-8 Big West) vs. No. 4 Long Beach State (16-16 overall, 10-6 Big West)
When: Thursday, March 12, 2:30 p.m. PT (11:30 a.m. HT)
Where: Honda Center (18,366) – Anaheim, Calif.
Television: Fox Sports Prime Ticket – Oceanic Cable Ch. 1228 (HD), Ch. 228 (SD).
Streaming Video: Available at www.foxsports.com/foxsportsgo
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: ESPN1420am.com
Live Stats: HawaiiAthletics.com

14 Comments

  1. Always my favorite time of the Year. Every team is playing like there is NO TOMORROW because that is true.

    Sure like our seeding and I do believe winning the first two games is very doable. Not only do we have healthy, rested legs for a change, but our depth and having the whole team playing at their best is going to make us dangerous.

    ADMIN ALERT – In case we win our first two games…is their any regard to hosting an NIT BID IF NECESSARY? I am sure the crowd would back it. I recall hosting Long Beach State and Stanford back in the late 80’s and the fans were wrapped around the Blaisdell Arena early in the morning waiting for tix.

    Benjy and this group deserve that chance.

    Meanwhile Bowz, it is one game at a time…make us even more proud.

    GOOOOOO BOOOOOWZ

  2. This team has the personnel to play 3 games in 3 days. We might have the deepest bench in the conference. Depending on whose hot will play the most minutes in the first game. If we get to the second round we just gotta see who’s playing well. Could be the ones that played well first game might not have a good second game due to tired legs or just poor shooting The good part about this team is the level of play does not drop significantly from starters to bench. That’s the kind of team that can do well in tournaments. But the key is you need to win that first game. I like our chances against LBS. Beyond that it’s take on all-comers and leave it all on the floor. It’s now or neva time.

  3. BACKBEAT:

    Funny, I thought you knew about the NIT scenario.. oh well, according the the pundits.. UH their only hope for post season, is to win the BWC tournament..
    CIT or CBI.. according to lame duck AD Ben Jay, and I am positive they have 50K available, to put in bid to host 2 home games for those tournaments if UH does not win the BWC touney and automatic NCAA bid.

    The NIT is owned by the NCAA.. The teams that draw, the big name left out of NCAA, would have first crack at that 32 team field, including BWC regular season champion who does not win the BWC tournament..
    Kind of sad, back in Riley Wallace Day… the magic number was 17.. then it went to 18 or 19 wins, to be considered as at large bid for NIT.. The tournament upsets,, upsets the NCAA field..

    I think AD , is putting in two bids to host 2 home games for NIT for MBB and WBB, which seems odd, being that media pundits, say, UH RPI and BPI not good enough to warrant at large bid to NCAA or NIT..

    351 NCAA teams, and a lot of conference tourney upsets.. upsets, the cart for 22 win teams like what UH would be if they fell in the Championship of the BWC tournament.. Pretty much All or nothing.. I think their only other hope .. the CIT or CBI, which lame duck AD Jay says UH will not pay to play… how can he say that, when he is a lame, duck? Have to have some private donor, come out of the blue.. a millionaire or billionaire, who loved the success of UH MBB and the feel good story of the year MBB NCAA.. strength through adversity .. to come up with money to host 2 home games for CIT or CBI.. Now.. Why did Jay say he put in bid for WNIT And NIT for men, I don’t know, he might have misspoke for the men’s side.

    Seems like it is All or Nothing post season wise for MBB team..

    Hey fellow fans, Chuck, servante , islandman, clyde, eagle.. correct me if I am wrong..I think UH would have to have been the BWC regular season champion to have qualififed for NIT.. ? could be wrong, unless. the Major P6 conferences,.their teams have .500 records or below, and a lot of those teams, will not make NCAA or NIT.. fields

    Just want, UH to win LBSU.. one game at a time..
    Heck.. I am closing up shop for the season.. NOW.. as servante alluded.. to .. UH MBB through the turmoil of this season, at 20-12.. if season pau NOW… I am satisfied.. no matter what RPI , BPI or SOS, 20 wins are 20 wins, no matter what league or level of BB play.

    Go Bows !
    🙂

  4. That’s what the commentators said, the Big West is a one bid conference for the NIT. Only the regular season champion gets in with its automatic bid.

    If the regular season champion wins the Big West tournament, then, in the past, no team from the Big West goes to the NIT. An example is in 2011-12, Long Beach won the regular season and the Big West tournament. The regular season 2nd and 3rd place teams, went to the CIT ( No. 2 seeded Fullerton lost in the 1st round of the Big West tournament and No. 3 UCSB lost in the finals to Long Beach St.).

    http://www.bigwest.org/sports/mbball/info/review/2011-2012/standings.asp

  5. The WNIT is different, they have a 64 team field vs. 32 for the NIT. Last year, two Big West teams went to the WNIT. In 2013, four teams went.

  6. If I heard correct on the radio a few days ago, Coach Beeman said Wahine are looking at the NCAA and not WNIT. BUT she mentioned that UH also put in the dates to reserve the Sheriff Center for Wahine to host games if they drop to WNIT.

    What does this mean for the UH men? I think it means that the only way UH goes to CIT or CBI is if they agree to play on the road. I am not sure the financials about that but I think if UH is asked to pay their own fare then administration will turn it down anyway.

    As many have whispered here and on other forums, Gib made his own enemies in the athletic department and now the program paying the price. Can not blame UH administrators at all for adopting Beeman and Wahine as the favorite child among the basketball programs these days but man it doesnt seem that long ago that picking any men’s postseason game over a women’s postseason game was a no brainer.

  7. Chuck…what stinks… Why punish the current coach , the staff, the families and especially the current MBB team, that had nothing to do with the Making Thine Enemies of Athletic and Upper campus, why punish the MBB team?

    Plus.. if you do the math.. and everyone knows.. UH MBB team , they are and always have been a program to Make Money , cover their expenses.. UH WBB program and Title IX, UH WBB because, they do not have 3000 season ticket holders.. or 2500, and total bought tickets per game of 5500 or so…they don’t make money..

    Pity.. especially for the MBB team.. as Benjy alludes to.. we in Hawaii, the fans, the media, some..don’t Appreciate and Love the MBB team as much as We Should..
    WBB.. expected to do well. and congrats.
    MBB.. with all the things they went through and still are going through.. They are the story of the Year in UH Athletics..

    You have to really look beyond the obvious.. This MBB program with Benjy and the Bows, and support of their families who encouraged 14 of their sons to stick it out.. Are The Champions.. and just hope.. that WBB and MBB treated equally.. well at least the money making one..

    Ben Jay, lame duck.. he should get out, as soon as , just hoping John McNamara or Matlin get the AD job, would be good choices.. kamaaina , by now.. they have Hawaii connections.. and John is current Associate AD, he knows Benjy and what he has done for benefit of MBB program.. his hire would help Benjy a lot..

    Go Bows.. tomorrow.. looks like do or .. not die.. live for another day.. only a game, life more important.. however this team will battle, never give up.. and that Makes Them the Western USA.. mid major team of the year.. without question.

  8. What a dis of a great job by the women’s bb team. Laura Beeman a terrific coach! Your gender bias is showing Runbows. Last time I checked they won BWC, have 21 wins with tough schedule. Don’t need to back men by dissing women. Auwe!!

  9. In the Women’s bracket, Fullerton is rolling : No. 7 seed Fullerton knocked off No. 6 Riverside on Tuesday, 71-59; then they knocked off No. 3 Cal Poly 55-48 today.

    They rest on Thursday, then play No. 1 seed Wahine on Friday.

  10. Even if Rainbow Warriors fall short against LBSU
    Benjy and the Bows
    Great Season !!

    We thank coaching staff…14 fantastic team members and greta ohana!!

    Mahalo Bows!!

    🙂

  11. way to go! Hire Benjy! Dis Laura! Ah, a TRUE bb fan is heard from again. U know u can root for both, right? Mahalo for making my seson. Hire RunBows!!!

  12. End of season here…wish team best
    AD LOCAL good
    hire Benjy
    he can recruit 6’9″ 248 big and 6’4″ 195 SG / wing JC
    with 2 or 3 years to play!!

    🙂

  13. I will be waiting for exactly those two recruits. Your crystal ball is working tonight! U even have weights and years of eligibility! All I can say is WOW!!! U da Man!!!

  14. It’s win or go home. At this time of the year there are 3 things are a must. 1) FG & FT % shooting, 2) turnovers, and 3) rebounding. The most to me, in my mind is #1. Hope the Rainbow Warriors can get hot like at Fullerton. We also shot the ball well at home against Santa Barbara but we gave up 98 points in a loss. Too bad, that night they shot the ball better than we did. Oh well, good luck men.

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