Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Exhibition game against HPU on November 1

A year ago at this time, the University of Hawai’i basketball team had10 newcomers and zero players with starting experience on the roster.

This season, the Rainbow Warriors have 10 experienced players and six players with starting experience on the roster. How it all plays out remains to be seen.

Before the regular-season begins on November 10, the Warriors will get one warm-up game – an exhibition contest against NCAA Division II neighbor Hawai’i Pacific. The final result and statistics for the game will not count toward the season.

Hawai’i will host the Sharks on Wednesday, November 1, at the Stan Sheriff Center. The exhibition will start around 8:00 p.m., following a women’s game between Hawai’i and UH-Hilo that is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

All seats for the doubleheader are general admission, with prices ranging from $5 (students) to $10 (adults).

“We only played a Green & White scrimmage, so now that it’s finally time to play another team, and it’s a local team, too, super excited,” junior guard Sheriff Drammeh said.

Drammeh is one of five returnees who started more than 15 games last season. The others are guards Leland Green and Brocke Stepteau, and forwards Jack Purchase and Gibson Johnson. The Warriors finished 14-16 overall last season.

“It’s way different,” said Johnson, who was a junior college transfer last season. “At the start of last year, not only did we not know what was going to happen with the season, but nobody really knew their role. There wasn’t even a whole lot of Division I experience.

“Coming back this year, I think we’re a lot more experienced and a lot more confident in what we can do.”

What’s more, forward Mike Thomas is back for his senior season after sitting out all of last season due to a wrist injury. He started all 34 games as a junior, during the team’s Big West Conference championship season in 2015-16.

“Having to bring my true, honest game to every single practice has been tough, but it’s been exciting and exhilarating,” Thomas said.

HPU had a memorable year of its own last season, finishing 29-3 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. However, the Sharks lost all five starters from that team, and only two of the top 10 scorers from last season are back. The Sharks were recently picked to finish seventh (out of 14 teams) in the Pacific West Conference preseason poll.

There will be a familiar face in an HPU jersey. Larry Lewis Jr., who was a reserve guard for Hawai’i last season, transferred to HPU for his senior season.

Lewis and Johnson were roommates last year at UH. They stay in contact with each other, but Johnson said: “He’s trying to keep it on the low; he doesn’t want to give away too many secrets. You can’t blame him, though. We’re just excited for the match up.”

Hawai’i vs. Hawai’i Pacific
Wednesday, Nov. 1, 8:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Television: None
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Live stats: www.HawaiiAthletics.com
Doubleheader: The Hawai’i women’s basketball team will play Hawai’i-Hilo at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets: All doubleheader seats general admission ($10 – adults; $8 – senior citizens; $5 – youth). Parking is $6.


  1. Dear WI, 30 minute videos of games and practice would be great. But if you are interviewing the players, you might as well just write it down. There needs to be an overview of video production. Make it worthwhile for the fans that can’t get to the games, let alone sit in on practices and follow the team. Where’s the shooting, where’s the defending, where’s running up and down the court? Where’s the basketball?!? Where’s the basketball?!?

  2. There are good game videos and the interviews are good too where we can see the players.

  3. You can also see most of the games on TV.

  4. For sticking with us through thick and thin, Mike Thomas is the man.

  5. Mike Thomas is the man. Double down on that!

    Islandman, I don’t have access to Hawaii TV. I gather whatever I can : ), whereever I can get it : ) As always, Go Bows !

  6. akuhead, sorry. Where are you ? You don’t have access to streaming ?

  7. 6-9 Kamaka Hepa to Texas, on Halloween.

  8. MT is awesome.

  9. Possible starters, per article today.
    Buggs PG
    Green SG
    B Thomas SF or 3 position (Sheriff, Avea, Jack in the mix)
    M Thomas PF
    Johnson C

  10. That might be the possible starters, but not for long.

    My starters are:
    Drew Buggs PG
    Drammeh G
    Avea 3
    M. Thomas PF
    Johnson C

  11. That might be the possible starters, but not for long.

    My starters are:
    Drew Buggs PG
    Drammeh G
    Avea 3
    M. Thomas PF
    Johnson C

  12. 6-9 Hepa will playing in the Iolani Classic in December plus the No. 1 ESPN recruit 6-7 R J Barrett will be playing too.

  13. Brian McInnis‏Verified account @Brian_McInnis 4m4 minutes ago

    #HawaiiMBB starters vs. HPU will look familiar to last year:
    Brocke Stepteau, Leland Green, Sheriff Drammeh, Mike Thomas, Gibson Johnson

  14. Stanhardinger, member of the Long Lions of the Eastern Sports Club, home arena the Southorn Stadium. Who knew? For a while, I lived near the Southorn arena. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. Probably not a lot of words that I actually can spell so when I see Southorn spelled like that, well its one bothers me. Hmmg, British. I had shot some freethrows on the outdoor courts there, but had know idea they even had a basketball league that played inside. And Standhardinger! Everybody goes to the computer stores next door. But never went inside that building. Arena!? Who knew? Now I know.

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