Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Outrigger Rainbow Classic begins on Friday

The University of Hawai’i basketball team will officially open its 2022-23 season on Friday, when the Outrigger Rainbow Classic begins at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

The four-team tournament will follow a round-robin format, with the Rainbow Warriors will playing three games in four days.

Hawai’i’s first opponent for this season is Mississippi Valley State. The Warriors and Delta Devils will tipoff around 7:00 p.m. on Friday. It will follow a 4:30 p.m. game between Eastern Washington and Yale.

The Warriors will also play Eastern Washington on Sunday, then Yale on Monday.

Hawai’i, which finished 17-11 overall last season, defeated Hawai’i-Hilo, 87-71, in an exhibition game last week. Senior guard Juan Munoz suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in that contest, but the Warriors can still be considered a deep and experienced squad.

Nine players are back from last season, including starters Noel Coleman, Bernardo da Silva and Kamaka Hepa. Coleman, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, scored a game-high 24 points in the exhibition win over UH-Hilo.

Hawai’i is 12-1 in its last 13 season openers, and Mississippi Valley State appears to be a good opportunity for the Warriors to add another victory to that total.

The Delta Devils were one of the worst teams in NCAA Division I last season, finishing with a 2-26 record. They were ranked No. 355 out of 358 NCAA-I teams in the final NET ratings for the 2021-22 season.

Mississippi Valley State is also coming to O’ahu off a 117-53 loss at No. 5 Baylor on Monday.

Here is a quick look at Hawai’i’s three opponents in the Rainbow Classic:

Mississippi Valley State (0-1)
2021-22 record: 2-26 overall, 2-16 Southwest Athletic Conference
Head coach: George Ivory (1st season)
Players to watch: Terry Collins (6-3, Sr., G) averaged 9.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game last season. Alvin Stredic (6-8, Jr., F) had 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting at Baylor. He is a transfer from Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Kadar Walker (6-0, So., G) averaged 5.8 points per game last season.
Notes: The Delta Devils have 13 non-conference games, and only one will be at home. Head coach George Ivory played at Mississippi Valley State in the 1980s. He is considered one of the program’s top point guards, and holds the school record for career assists.

Eastern Washington (0-1)
2021-22 record: 18-16 overall, 11-9 Big Sky
Head coach: David Riley (2nd season)
Players to watch: Steele Venters (6-7, So., F) averaged 16.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, and led the team with 86 3-pointers last season. Angelo Allegri (6-7, Sr., F) averaged 12.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, and was second on the team with 77 3-pointers. Ethan Price (6-10, So., C) was the Big Sky Freshman of the Year last season, averaging 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Notes: The Eagles lost at Santa Clara 84-72 on Nov. 7. Casey Jones, a 6-6 sophomore, had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. EWU was picked to finish 5th out of 10 teams in the Big Sky Preseason Coaches Poll. Head coach David Riley was an assistant coach at EWU for seven seasons before becoming head coach in 2021.

Yale (1-0)
2021-22 record: 19-12 overall, 11-3 Ivy League
Head coach: James Jones (24th season)
Players to watch: Matt Knowling (6-6, Jr., F) averaged 7.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game and had a .605 field goal percentage last season. Matthue Cotton (6-5, Sr., G) averaged 7.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game and made 44 3-pointers last season. EJ Jarvis (6-8, Sr., F) averaged 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season.
Notes: The Bulldogs won the Ivy League Tournament last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament (lost in first round). Yale has finished in the top three of the Ivy League standings every year since the 2012-13 season. The Bulldogs opened the season with a 96-41 win over NCAA-III team Sarah Lawrence on November 7. Matt Knowling had 20 points on 10-for-10 shooting in the win. Head coach James Jones is the winningest coach in Yale history with 352 wins.

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