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Warriors host Chaminade in exhibition game on Wednesday

The University of Hawai’i basketball team will host Chaminade in an exhibition game on Wednesday, October 30, in what amounts to a final tune-up before the regular-season race begins.

It is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. The final result and statistics will not count toward either team’s record.

It will, however, showcase the Warriors’ response to what has already been a turbulent preseason. Practices started in late September, but the roster of available players has been a daily shuffle due to various injuries and other circumstances.

“Those are things that we can’t affect,” senior forward and co-captain Zigmars Raimo said. “What we can affect is our attitude and our effort … it was a great challenge for us, but right now, a lot of guys are healthy and that’s good. We’re ready to show what we got.”

Junior point guard and co-captain Drew Buggs missed nearly two weeks of recent practices due to the unexpected death of his mother. He returned to practices with the team on Monday, and is expected to play on Wednesday.

Ahmed Ali, a senior transfer guard from Washington State, withdrew from UH two weeks ago to seek treatment for a health issue.

Owen Hulland, a 7-foot sophomore forward, has been unavailable the entire preseason due to a foot injury. He will remain sidelined indefinitely. At least six other players have missed practice time during the preseason due to minor injuries.

“I think everybody knows their role,” senior guard Eddie Stansberry said. “Everybody is stepping up to the plate this year. They’ve been put in spots they haven’t been put in before. But that’s what these practices are for. We’re getting reps and we’re ready to go out there and compete. Getting these games like this exhibition are good for us – something early so we get prepared for season.”

The good news for fifth-year head coach Eran Ganot is that the Warriors are about as healthy as can be right now. The four players with starting experience from last season’s 18-13 team are all expected to play significant minutes – Buggs, Raimo, Stansberry and Samuta Avea.

Raimo averaged team-highs of 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds last season as the starting center. This season, he is playing more at the power forward (or “4”) position, while 7-foot sophomores Dawson Carper and Mate Colina are expected to share time at the center spot.

Buggs averaged 8.8 points, 5.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game last season, and will be counted on to have a similar all-around role. Stansberry averaged 11.3 points per game last season and tied for the team lead with 77 3-pointers. Avea averaged 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season.

Justin Hemsley, a 6-6 sophomore forward, received limited minutes as a freshman last season, but will play an expanded role this season.

Among the new freshmen, guards Jessiya Villa and Justin Webster, and forward Bernardo da Silva are expected to see action.

Chaminade returns two starters from last season, when the Silverswords finished 23-8 and advanced to the NCAA Division II West Regional.

The top returnee is Tyler Cartaino, a 6-6 senior guard/forward from California. He averaged 17.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season, and led the team with a .590 field goal percentage. He recently was on the honorable mention list for Street & Smith’s NCAA-II Preseason All-America Team.

The other returning starter for the Silverswords is Andre Arissol, a 6-2 senior guard from England. He averaged 8.0 points per game last season and finished second on the team with 52 3-pointers.

Chaminade head coach Eric Bovaird, who is in his ninth season with the Silverswords, also has three transfers from NCAA Division I programs: 6-8 junior forward Bill Awet, (SIU Edwardsville), 6-6 freshman guard Kevin Kremer  (Utah), and 6-foot senior guard Kendall Small (Pacific).

The regular-season opener for the Warriors is scheduled for November 8 against Florida A&M.

HAWAI’I VS. CHAMINADE
What:
Exhibition men’s basketball game
When: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
TV: None
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM/92.7 FM. Audio streaming available through Sideline Hawaii app.
Live stats: www.hawaiiathletics.com
Tickets: General admission for all seats – $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens (65-older), $5 for youth (ages 4-18). Parking is $7.

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