Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Classic field in this year’s Diamond Head Classic

The annual Christmas week tradition of all-day basketball at the Stan Sheriff Center is here, and this year’s version looks to be quite the gift for fans.

The seventh annual Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic is set to begin on Tuesday, December 22. Four games per day are scheduled for December 22, 23 and 25.

The University of Hawai’i will host Northern Iowa at 8 p.m. on the opening night. Those are two of the seven teams that will bring winning records into the tournament this year, perhaps making it the strongest top-to-bottom field in the history of the Diamond Head Classic.


Leading the way is Oklahoma, which is currently ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Sooners are expected to remain at No. 3 when the new poll is announced on December 21, making them the highest-ranked team to ever participate in the Diamond Head Classic.

The only team in this year’s field with a losing record is Harvard at 3-6, and the Crimson are the defending Ivy League champs and fell just two points shy of upsetting North Carolina in last season’s NCAA Tournament.

This year’s field also has more than its share of individual talent, led by Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, who is a legitimate National Player of the Year candidate.

Every other team in the field has at least one “star” player. Every game in this year’s tournament will be televised nationally on one of the ESPN network stations. Here is a capsule look at each team:

AUBURN (5-3)
Southeastern Conference
Head coach: Bruce Pearl
Players to watch: Kareem Canty (6-1, Jr., G) is averaging 20.0 points and 5.8 assists per game. He has scored 20 or more points in five of the eight games this season. He also leads the team with 31 3-pointers, and has 46 assists against just 16 turnovers. Tyler Harris (6-10, Sr., F) is averaging 15.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. T.J. Dunans (6-5, Jr., G) is averaging 13.0 points per game. Cinmeon Bowers (6-7, Sr., F) is averaging 12.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, and has recorded a double-double in five of the eight games this season.
Notes: The Tigers do not have any noteworthy victories this season, although they do own an 81-78 road win at Coastal Carolina. Their three losses were against Colorado, Middle Tennessee and Xavier. Auburn comes to Honolulu off its worst loss of the season, 85-61, at Xavier. The Tigers are participating in the Diamond Head Classic for the second time. They placed fourth in 2011.

BYU (7-3)
West Coast Conference
Head coach: Dave Rose
Players to watch: Kyle Collinsworth (6-6, Sr., G) is considered one of the best all-around players in the nation, and is currently averaging 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. He set an NCAA record with six triple-doubles last season (one came against Hawai’i), and has two so far this season. Nick Emery (6-2, Fr., G) is averaging 15.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Chase Fischer (6-3, Sr., G) is averaging 15.5 points per game and leads the team with 27 3-pointers. Kyle Davis (6-8, Jr., F) is averaging 13.2 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, and has five double-doubles this season.
Notes: The Cougars are 6-0 at home, 0-3 on the road, and 1-0 in neutral site games. The three road losses were at Long Beach State, Utah and Colorado. The Cougars are ranked among the top 10 nationally in rebounding at 48.3 per game. This is the second consecutive year that BYU is traveling to Hawai’i for a tournament. The Cougars placed sixth in the 2014 Maui Invitational.

Ivy League
Head coach: Tommy Amaker
Players to watch: Zena Edosomwan (6-9, Jr., F) is averaging 12.7 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He has three double-doubles this season, including 10 points and 11 rebounds in a loss at Kansas. Tommy McCarthy (6-1, Fr., G) is averaging 10.0 points and 4.3 assists per game. Corey Johnson (6-5, Fr., G) is averaging 9.3 points per game and leads the team with 25 3-pointers. Evan Cummins (6-8, Sr., F) is averaging 6.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and leads the team with a .610 field goal percentage.
Notes: The Crimson had a 22-8 record and won the Ivy League last season. They lost to North Carolina by two points (67-65) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They have already played six road games this season, and are 1-5 in those games. Harvard won the last two eight-team tournaments it participated in – the Battle 4 Atlantis in 2011, and the Great Alaska Shootout in 2013.

HAWAI’I (7-1)
Big West
Head coach: Eran Ganot
Players to watch: Aaron Valdes (6-5, Jr., F) is averaging 18.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and has a .570 field goal percentage. Stefan Jankovic (6-11, Jr., F) is averaging 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, and has a .569 field goal percentage. Isaac Fleming (6-4, So., G) is averaging 12.0 points per game, including 16.8 per game over his last four games. He was named to the Diamond Head Classic All-Tournament Team last year. Roderick Bobbitt (6-3, Sr., G) is averaging 9.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game.
Notes: The Warriors are 7-0 at home, and their only loss this season came at Texas Tech. Hawai’i has an all-time record of 10-8 as the home team in the six previous Diamond Head Classics. The Warriors have never played in the championship game of the tournament, but have also never played in the seventh place game.

Mountain West Conference
Head coach: Craig Neal
Players to watch: Elijah Brown (6-4, So., G) is averaging 19.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. He has scored 20 or more points in six of the 10 games this season. Tim Williams (6-8, Jr., F) is averaging 16.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, and has a .589 field goal percentage. Cullen Neal (6-5, So., G), who is the son of the head coach, is averaging 14.9 points and 5.2 assists per game. Obij Aget (7-1, Jr., C) is averaging 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and leads the team with a .756 field goal percentage.
Notes: The Lobos come to Honolulu after suffering a 90-89 home loss to Rice on December 19. It was New Mexico’s first home loss this season. Among the Lobos’ home victories this season is an impressive 76-57 win over Northern Iowa. The Lobos’ three losses were against USC, then-No. 11 Purdue, and Rice.

Missouri Valley Conference
Head coach: Ben Jacobson
Players to watch: Wes Washpun (6-1, Sr., G) is averaging 16.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. Paul Jesperson (6-6, Sr., G) is averaging 13.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, and is shooting 44.8 percent from 3-point range. Matt Bohannon (6-4, Sr., G) is averaging 12.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, and leads the team with 27 3-pointers. Jeremy Morgan (6-5, Jr., G) is averaging 10.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, and leads the team with a .576 overall field goal percentage.
Notes: The Panthers finished 31-4 last season, and won a game in the NCAA Tournament. Among their wins this season are upsets of then-No. 1 North Carolina and then-No. 5 Iowa State. Their three losses were against Colorado State, Richmond and New Mexico. The last time Northern Iowa made a trip to Hawaii was 1983.

Big 12
Head coach: Lon Kruger
Players to watch: Buddy Hield (6-4, Sr., G) is averaging 23.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and is 24 for 48 (50 percent) from 3-point range. He has scored in double-figures in every game this season, including three games of 30 or more points. Isaiah Cousins (6-4, Sr., G) is averaging 13.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. He leads the team with a .545 percentage from 3-point range (18 for 33). Jordan Woodard (6-0, Jr., G) is averaging 13.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Ryan Spangler (6-8, Sr., F) is averaging 11.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, and leads the team with a .583 overall field goal percentage.
Notes: At No. 3 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, the Sooners are the highest-ranked team ever to participate in the Diamond Head Classic. The Sooners have won their last seven games by double-digit margins. The closest margin was an 84-78 road win at Memphis. Oklahoma was in Honolulu earlier in the month, when it beat Villanova, 78-55, in a Pearl Harbor-themed event on December 7.

Pac-12 Conference
Head coach: Ernie Kent
Players to watch: Josh Hawkinson (6-10, Jr., F) is averaging 16.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, and has a .615 field goal percentage. He has recorded a double-double in six of the eight games he has played this season. Ike Iroegbu (6-2, Jr., G) is averaging 13.3 points and 3.8 assists per game, and is shooting 60 percent (12 for 20) from 3-point range. Que Johnson (6-5, Jr., G) is averaging 11.2 points points per game. Valentine Izundu (6-10, Jr., C) is averaging just 4.8 points per game, but has blocked 30 shots in nine games, and has connected on 18 of 23 field goals (.783) in his limited minutes.
Notes: The Cougars are 7-1 at home, with the only loss against then-No. 12 Gonzaga. Their only road game resulted in a loss at Idaho. Washington State will open the Diamond Head Classic against No. 3 Oklahoma; the Cougars have an all-time record of 0-53 against teams ranked in the top three of the AP Poll. The Cougars are making their second appearance in the Diamond Head Classic. They finished second to Butler in 2010.

— — — — — — —


Tuesday, December 22
9:30 a.m. – Auburn vs. New Mexico (ESPNU)
11:30 a.m. – BYU vs. Harvard (ESPNU)
6:00 p.m. – Oklahoma vs. Washington State (ESPNU)
8:00 p.m. – Hawai’i vs. Northern Iowa (ESPNU)

Wednesday, December 23
9:30 a.m. – Consolation game 1 (ESPNU)
11:30 a.m. – Semifinal game 1 (ESPNU)
4:00 p.m. – *Semifinal game 2 (ESPN2)
6:30 p.m. – *Consolation game 2 (ESPNU)

Friday, December 25
8:00 a.m. – Seventh or fifth place game (ESPNU or ESPN3)
10:30 a.m. – *Seventh or fifth place game (ESPNU or ESPN3)
1:30 p.m. – *Third place game (ESPN2)
3:30 p.m. – *Championship game (ESPN2)

*Hawai’i could possibly play in these games only


All-Tournament package: Lower Level – $100; Upper Level – $70 or $60 (depends on seating section)

*Individual sessions: Lower Level – $26; Upper Level – $18 or $14 for adults (depends on seating section), $12 for senior citizens (in select seating sections only), $10 for students (in select seating sections only)

Day sessions on December 22 and 23: $10 general admission

*Each day of the tournament is split into two sessions (day and evening).


  1. Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  2. This is one of those dangerous fields that have all the teams that are pretty good but not great, except for Oklahoma of course. Oklahoma is the big favorite and will be very surprised if they don’t win the championship running away.

    UH really need to bring their A game every day in this tournament. I hope and pray UH get past N. Iowa so they get a chance to play Oklahoma but I have a bad feeling a game against Oklahoma could be real ugly if you know what I mean. My bigger worry is UH going 0-3 which would be unacceptable. It is not a stretch to say UH could lose to N. Iowa, then have to play Washington State and then maybe Harvard. I wouldn’t call either Wazzu or Harvard easy wins for UH.

    It is Christmas time! Might as well wish for a Christmas miracle and UH get 3 upsets in a row for DH championship!

  3. Opportunity knocks. Time to add to your resume. We need marquee wins and no better time to do it than on ESPN Diamond Head Classic national tv. It’s now or neva baby. We almost did it last year. Remember? Pretty much the same team but seasoned now and ready to step into the spotlight. The shooters need to come to alive to make this team go. And the crowd will be there to carry them. Make no mistake, this team has guts and knows how to dig down deep. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. And bigs please stay away from foul trouble. Easiest way to kill your team. And may the force be with you.

  4. If UH loses their 1st game, they play in Game 8 on Dec. 23 at 6:30 pm. If they win the 1st game, they play in Game 7 at 4:00. If you look at the bracket diagram on the DHC website, it’s hard to figure out all the 2nd and 3rd round pairs, without the schedule above. The Maui Invitational has a better bracket diagram.

  5. islandman, I think the reason for the complicated brackets is because they make arrangements for UH to play in the late games no matter what. Maui Invitational no need make arrangements for anybody not even Chaminade so it is a straight bracket. If you lose the first day, you play the early games the next day no matter what on Maui.

    With the DH tournament you can see that they move one consolation game to night time on the second day and that is for if UH lose the first game. Even on the third day there is a guarantee that UH don’t have to play the first morning game even if it is for the last place game.

  6. Potential for UH to win DHC…. bet 10-1.. would definitely move RPI up.. and towards a top 45 ranking.. one more pre BWC game …and that is winnable.. so pre BWC schedule.. UH would be at 12-1,.. the best record of any BWC team.

    Would be nice.. WE ALL can see it, read about it.. be in person or watching on media broadcast.. this Team.. either they will do really great.. cannot be half court slow down ball only.. if they get after it on D.. just keep pushing.. they can win.
    However.. still not addressed every guy seeing the court 75 percent or better from FT line. notice NBA to NAIA BB games.. the teams that win the FT shooting, most attempts.. and makes.. they are winning the games.. Of course the WBB team.. against Sac St.. wild.. Sac St.. shot and MADE tons of Free Throws.. and turned over UH 34 times..they could not shoot the ball well from field they lost..

    UH MBB team.. only about 8 guys deep.. maybe 9.. that can play at high level.. still afraid of guards.. the guards.. Flemming, Q, and Bobbitt getting into foul trouble..and for team to shoot 90 percent from FT line to win DHC and BWC titles..

    Shoot those Free Throws.. and push the ball.

  7. Reverse Psychology.. predict UH goes 1-2.. so what happens? UH goes 3-0 and wins finally the DHC crown..

  8. MY prediction UH goes 2-1 can do better if Ganot allow them to press the opposing guards 90 feet.

  9. I would like to see a little more pressure too but I understand where Coach Ganot might be coming from. We are not a deep team and it could get us into early foul trouble. Only Q is capable off the bench and if we start having to use Drammeh or Niko things could get rough.

  10. Chuck .. Thanks for trying to explain it.
    For those who thought that Amanda might be on the way out or wanted her out, she was promoted to assistant athletic director, still overseeing compliance at UH.

    ” … Paterson was born in Australia but raised in the UH system, first joining as a Rainbow Wahine soccer goalie and then ascending from student worker to compliance worker through years of hard work.”

  11. islandman:

    this is Hawaii, and UH admin.. wonder if poltically motivated , his push to make Amanda Assistant AD? She in theory, is One or Two steps away from being the next AD, if Matlin got sick or worse.
    NCAA thing? she involved , or clean? must be clean. . so UH pushes her Way out front..kind of slap to Davis and his dealing with her..oh well, UH can do what they want.. just not as many supporters of programs as there should be. Too much politics. AD’s should be , and compliance, effective in background. coaches and athletes and fans/ students out in Front Porch..

  12. UH might try to pressure if they start to lose contact. We almost beat Wichita St. last year via full court pressure. But if can stay in the game don’t see Ganot using it. He doesn’t like to gamble if he can help it. He’s going to stick to the usual game plan which is man defense. We match up well with this team as far as our top 5 vs theirs. But we will need high energy to fight through all the picks they will throw at us. Key is don’t commit silly fouls like Jankovic getting overly aggressive with his flailing arms. He can still get his shot off without that. He could have a monster game at the mid range and inside as they don’t have anyone that can guard him. But if we start only 3 guards they will have an advantage there. Our bench is question mark though a far as matching up. Still I like our chances.

  13. Emotional maturity, that top 5 , the starting five.. they keep emotions in check, don’t balk at offifcials, and lack of calls.. plus make free throws.. UH can win easily.. home court.. SSC.. with only 5600 in attendance, hopefully more, though winter break for students..

    Heck.. just play and have fun.. team been through so much , some , for 3 or 4 years.. so JUST play ball.. win or lose ..

  14. Bigdaddy94:

    This is, Does Isaac Flemming, and the team.. DO THEY REALLY want to D up for 40 minutes, get up and go.. get leads.. and just destroy teams? Or the disciplined.. half court.. break transition when they can..
    Any idea from your son? He want to D up and run… or grind it out?

  15. Uhfanzonly it’s not to many guards that can handle 90ft of pressure the whole game u better have a formidable backup. As a coach you gotta trust your players.Stats mean nothing when the lights come on you got it or you dont cream always rise.

  16. Isaac step up Big time last year DHC.. look forward to that again, along with Q and Rod..
    Puzzles me.. why Ganot pulling back the D for 90 feet?
    That is strength of team..

    Bigdaddy94… thanks for response.. at least we know. how guys feel..
    or supposedly how Ganot and staff.. are they really maximizing.. team , so they make that BWC title run? or just make sure guys graduate? or Both..

    I loved that pressure D, from last year.. that is what won them almost trip to NCAA tourney !

  17. CSUN played Bethesda,a Div III team, won 79-49 and Kendall Smith had a good game, per McInnis.

  18. bigdaddy94:

    Makes me wonder, with Isaac and then Rod out, taking care of personal issues.. whether, it is the scheme.. what Eran Ganot wants out of his guards..

    reel them in.. must be..

    Eran seems to be targeting.. that St Mary’s , San Antonio, not high flyers, get out on D, and go.. however that pick and roll, pick and pop, strong half court man to man, mixed with some zone.. however.. if Guards.. TWO major guys, Rod and Flemming.. and Q . cannot get after it.. hard to get wins against. better competition. BWC play.. those other 8 teams. if UH lays back. will be ready for the Warriors

  19. Good timing, or bad … NCAA set to announce its ruling on UH basketball tomorrow, according to Ferd Lewis.

  20. Earlier than expected.

  21. well WI MBB fan nation.. at least can RESOLVE this thing.. too long.. and maybe at UH, they get things straight..
    Admin, and powers at Manoa.. they know.. or have idea without a doubt..

    Hope it doesn’t impact our May graduates 2016 too, much…


  22. There was talk about Chance Kalaugher last week. For what it’s worth, he and his No. 2-ranked Kaiser team just got beat by Mid-Pacific, 39-38, in the Iolani Classic. Tim Shepherd’s son led all scorers with 16 for MPI; Kalaugher had 11. Think I like Kalaugher more as DE or TE than a SG.

    Light-Ness Prevails?
    Cross Yer Fingers…
    BUT UH Cleaned House…

    National Talk: BIG UNC Hammer Comin’
    They SHOULD Schedule Multiple UH Games —
    Maybe NO Post-Season for UNC for Awhile….

  24. Used to go all home games at blaisdell
    When Larry Little guided UH through 2 year ncaa probation and no post season..
    Gavin Smith…John Moore..twosome could score
    Gary Gray, Packy Ryan, George Ritter, Wayne Crowe endured
    Cliff Sanchez
    Tony Wells just had fun and plaed
    If UH no post season for 2 years..just guessing..no pressure..guys just get schooling done and enjoy playing ball
    Ncaa and NIT might be out of picture, however possibly CIT and CBI pay to play option..
    I think..
    Or ..what if UH gets slap on wrist?
    Curious as anything if Gib had any allegation dismissed?
    Best case, team still play for big and small dances
    8am tomorrow we know what ncaa rules..

  25. Would be ironic, or knowing UH Manoa…if newly promoted assistant AD/compliance officer
    Amanda Paterson is part of hammer dropping on her own athletic program oversight?
    Just doing job..
    I guess
    Probably team play harder..if backs against wall
    Like last year..

  26. Uhfanzonly1

    Upper campus needs her so she can watch their every move and then report what she sees.

  27. Hmmmm … part of ncaa ruling?
    Amanda administrative…more oversight…powers
    All programs under scrutiny right?
    Make sure..everyone on board
    What a horrible time , past half decade for UH sports

  28. Serious – Post season ban for 2016-17, per josh’s tweets . Scholarship reduction to 11 for 2016-17 and 2017-18, 3 yrs probation. Gib 3 year show-cause, Akana 2-year, etc.

  29. Penalties and corrective actions imposed by the panel include:
    A three-year probation period from Dec. 22, 2015, through Dec. 21, 2018.
    A three-year show-cause order for the former head coach from Dec. 22, 2015, through Dec. 21, 2018. If the former coach seeks employment at an NCAA member school, he must be suspended from all coaching duties for the first 30 percent of the season, not counting exhibition games. He must also attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar during each year he is employed by an NCAA school during the show-cause period.
    A two-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach from Dec. 22, 2015, through Dec. 21, 2017. If he seeks employment at an NCAA member school, both the school and coach must appear before the committee to detail why his athletic duties should not be restricted.

    A reduction of men’s basketball scholarships by two for a total of 11 during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The university may receive credit towards the scholarship reduction for its self-imposed one scholarship reduction for the 2016-17 season.

    A 2016-17 postseason ban for the men’s basketball program.
    A vacation of wins in which the men’s basketball student-athletes participated while ineligible. The university will identify the games impacted following the release of the public report.
    A prohibition of the men’s basketball staff from conducting on-campus prospect evaluations for the first five official visits of the 2015-16 academic year (self-imposed by the university).
    A reduction of the maximum number of countable athletic activity hours by one hour per week during the 2015-16 men’s basketball season (self-imposed by the university).
    A $10,000 fine, self-imposed by the university, plus 1 percent of the total budget for the men’s basketball program over the previous three years, imposed by the panel.

  30. Players can transfer without penalty, per Bobby C.

  31. wow, those are harsh penalties. and who suffers the most? the players and fans. and then at the end other end of the spectrum you have gib, Uhfanzonly1’s boyfriend, who’s living it up and making good money as a recruiter for the boston celtics.

  32. Reality is players can transfer out after this season and also what is the effect on commits and the potential commits ?

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