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A Sheriff Center sellout is long overdue

March 22, 2004. That’s the last time the Stan Sheriff Center was sold out for a University of Hawai’i basketball game.

That’s 217 home games and nearly 12 years ago. Riley Wallace was still the head coach of the Rainbow Warriors back then, and Eran Ganot was in his first year as a volunteer assistant at Saint Mary’s.

To say this program is overdue for another sellout crowd is an understatement.

Bobbitt1_UCDavis

This Saturday – when the Warriors host Long Beach State in a Big West Conference game at 8 p.m. – would seem to be as good a time as any for 10,300 fans to fill the Sheriff Center.

If you still need a reason to attend the game, here are a few …

* The Warriors have a 16-2 record, including 14-1 in the Sheriff Center. The last UH team to have a better start to a season was the legendary “Fabulous Five” team of 1971-72 that started 17-1 and eventually earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. That team played before a sellout crowd for every home game at the Blaisdell Center Arena that season.

* The Warriors are tied with UC Irvine for first place in the Big West at 5-0. The Anteaters will likely be 6-0 after Wednesday, which means Hawai’i needs to win on Saturday to keep pace.

* A Big West win on Saturday would match the best start by any UH team in conference play (the 2001-02 team – which also advanced to the NCAA Tournament – started 6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference).

* Hawai’i is on an eight-game winning streak. The school record (against all-collegiate competition) is an 11-game win streak set by the 1973-74 team, led by All-American Tom Henderson.

* The Warriors lead the Big West in scoring with 80.4 points per game. The last UH team to average more points than that was the 1972-73 squad with the aforementioned Henderson leading the way.

Bench1_Howard

* Hawai’i has established a rotation of eight players, and all eight are capable of playing in the spotlight on any given night (although junior forward Aaron Valdes remains questionable for this Saturday with a turf toe injury). Besides Valdes, the others are Roderick Bobbitt, Isaac Fleming, Stefan Jankovic, Stefan Jovanovic, Quincy Smith, Mike Thomas and Sai Tummala. Each of those eight players has scored 13 or more points in a game at least once this season.

* Long Beach State is 9-12 overall and 3-3 in the conference. The 49ers will play a home game on Thursday against UC Santa Barbara before heading to Honolulu. They probably need to win both games to remain in contention for the regular-season title.

* The game will feature two of the Big West’s top point guards in UH’s Bobbitt and Long Beach State’s Justin Bibbins. Bobbitt, a 6-foot-3 senior, is averaging 13.2 points per game and leads the Big West in assists with 5.4 per game; Bibbins, a 5-foot-8 sophomore, is averaging 11.4 points per game and is right behind Bobbitt in assists with 5.3 per game.

* At least two other all-conference candidates will be on the floor in Hawai’i junior Stefan Jankovic (6-11 forward/center) and Long Beach State senior Nick Faust (6-6 guard/forward). Jankovic ranks fourth in the Big West in scoring at 15.6 points per game, and Faust is fifth at 15.5. Jankovic also ranks third in the Big West for field goal percentage at .577, while Faust ranks third in the Big West for 3-pointers with 54.

* Hawaiii5O: The UH bench crew has already been well-publicized, and they are worthy of the coverage. The television broadcasts don’t capture every routine of the Hawaiii5O crew, so the only way to see it all is to be in the arena.

* Two-for-one: Saturday is a basketball doubleheader, with the UH women’s team hosting UC Irvine at 5:30 p.m. Fans with tickets to the 8 p.m. men’s game can come early and watch the women’s game.

* Manoa Minions: Saturday is also “Cartoon Character Night” and the plan is to have the student section behind the basket dressed as Minions to distract the opponents. It should be quite the spectacle.

25 Comments

  1. Yes sir, let’s start a new streak. Number of sellouts in a row.

  2. Time Warner Oceanic tomorrow billion dollar company, be like K5..who used to buy black out football tickets…
    buy every single unsold ticket…have staff at SSC entrance and hand out freebies until everyone given away to fans going into arena..
    Also between now and game time announce on radio, online and cable tv..the free giveaways
    Tell , military bases, public schools, charities,
    Free tickets plus 10 dollars of free concession food..

    More than 11000 will show up guaranteed!!

    UH and partner have to go outside of the box..
    10300 sold..10600 in the arena!!
    🙂
    Jamies smith , matlin get hoppin!!
    🙂

  3. UH football fans, looks like recently hired Zak Hill is going someplace else.

  4. Transients …

    Especially IF Have Families…
    (Lack of) Income and HIGH Cost of Living are a Shock to Many
    Cultural Shock As Well…

    So Establishing a Stable AND Winning Staff May Take a Few Years…
    Even for Basketball…

  5. Too bad he’s apparently headed to a conference member school. Rolo can’t match what Boise State can offer in salary. Tough timing with NLI day a week away, and spring ball a month or so from now. Stutz? TC?

  6. Sorry, Dayton. Back to basketball. Tickets in hand for Saturday. Should be epic.

  7. I don’t like these 8pm tip-off games…in all likelyhood it’s going to be more like an 8:15-8:20 tip-off due to the women’s game. Then it won’t end up finishing until after 10. Call me an old fut but I just wonder why the women’s team can’t tip-off at 5?

    In any case, very excited for this Saturday’s game. Long Beach St. is no pushover and will make it very close. They’re 3-3 in conference but each loss has been very close. They have tons of talent and can really shoot the 3. If this was last season, I’d be worried. But with everything I’ve seen this season, I know the Coaches will have the players ready to go. If Valdes returns, I see a double digit win.

    That would be great to see a sellout crowd! I’d go if I could. Let’s GO BOWS!

  8. Lets not forget that Norm Parrish left the basketball staff right after getting hired and the team never missed a beat. I am a little bit worried that if Boise State wanted Hill then he must be pretty good OC. Maybe Rolo have to call his own plays now. If he do I just hope and pray he be like JJ and not Chow!

  9. Norm Parrish, the assistant coach who left Ganot in August, is having a terrible season as head coach of D-II Westminster College. His Titans are 4-13. I bet he has regrets leaving Manoa.

    Looks like there are still plenty of tickets available for the game against LBSU:
    https://ev9.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventInfo?ticketCode=GS%3AHAWAII%3AB15%3AB18%3A&linkID=hawaii&shopperContext=&pc=&caller=&appCode=&groupCode=BI&cgc=

  10. Parrish is at Westminster College (the Griffins) in Utah. His record is 9-8 (5-8). The other school with the same name is in PA.

  11. islandman, thanks for the correction. Still, considering our great season so far, I bet he still has some regrets leaving.

  12. Tavs … thanks. Many similar school and other names.
    Chuck … Parrish was at UH for 96 days, twice as long as Hill. Three seasons ago, Aaron Price was OC for 7 months before the 2013 season began

  13. UHF1 has officially lost it. You want Time Warner who pays for the TV rights to black out the game so they make no money then spend more money by buying tickets and food vouchers and giving it away for free? All I have to say is WOW.

  14. IsaacM, I have to agree with you about the late starts not being a good idea. I think the families with kids that live outside of town won’t go to the games if they know they going get home too late. You are right that on a Saturday UH could easy start the women’s game earlier. I would say have women at 4:00 and the men at 7:00.

  15. Oh man I just notice another doubleheader on the schedule for 2/11. UH playing UC Irvine and that will be game for first place! The women play first and the men at 8:00 but as IsaacM said the second game usually start 8:15-8:20. The worst part for this one is guess what? This game is on Thursday! People with work and school the next day not going to show up for this late game. I shaking my head again at this UH decisions.

  16. The last sell out was a LONG time ago.

    I’m sure they’ll get their biggest crowd of the season on Saturday – Long Beach State always has a very athletic squad – but whether or not they sell out is anyone’s guess.

    No matter, though, as long as the fans that show up are AMPED.

    Manoa Maniacs, LET’S RIDE!

  17. ChuckCheese, not so fast. We still have three games to go and we need to win them all, since UCI isnt about to lose to the scrubs they have upcoming.

  18. ripcurrent, agreed. As I mentioned before, last crowd was huge but it definitely wasn’t the loudest or most involved. It was kind of disappointing.

    the manoa maniacs have also been pretty lame this year. the student workers who are in charge of distributing props, organizing choreography, etc. haven’t been doing as a good job as in previous years. jamie smith’s presence in the student section is sorely missed.

  19. FWIW: If you take a quick look at the arena map, there are probably a couple thousand unsold seats in the upper level.

  20. Near 9000 plus would be fantastic..always have, even if sold out..people have personal matters
    Or catch on tube.
    LBSU… seems like lot of athletes…6’4″ to 6’7″… same skillsets..
    Nice if score close 101-99
    🙂

  21. The nose bleed section will be gobbled up in no time on game day. A lot of families coming. The food and beer concessions are going crazy. It’s a party atmosphere. Takes getting used to the big crowds, their standing in your way and always going up and down the stairs. But if that’s what winning is all about I don’t mind.

  22. LBSU in town,,…great , emotional game, lot on the line
    Matlin, Rich Sheriff , seriously beef up security when beer flows freely
    And game momentum swings…
    Don’t want fights or suspensions
    Grat college game, ready to rock!!
    🙂

  23. This game will be very close, if not, a sell out.

    This team is hot and needs to continue pressing on.

    Have to disagree with some of you about the late game time. Sometimes this needs to be done to bring in more fans for the women’s game too. It’s on a Saturday which are family nights for lots of families. Whether going to the movies, the mail, or a party this start time will still be prior to bed time for these kids. They will stay up late while being in an electrifying arena and crowd and watching a battle on the court.

    Go Bows!!!

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