Can Hawaii recapture the magic at UC Irvine?
The Rainbow Warriors will likely have to do it shorthanded, although there’s a chance Benjy Taylor could get some minutes from both Aaron Valdes and Mike Thomas. Isaac Fleming is still doubtful.
However, the second-place Anteaters could be pretty shorthanded as well. The 7-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye has played in only two Big West games with foot problems, though he’s supposedly nearing a return. Alex Young went out with a foot injury against UC Davis three games ago and John Ryan was injured in UCI’s upset loss to UC Riverside last week. That’s two of Russell Turner‘s rotation big men and one of his primary playmakers.
UCI is still dangerous, however, with the athletic Will Davis II and guard Luke Nelson. Travis Souza is a deadly 3-point shooter and Jaron Martin scored 13 points in the last meeting with UH, a 78-72 Anteaters win.
Keith Shamburger helped UH get the last word last time at the Bren Events Center. Isaac Fotu also played huge with 30 points.
It’ll be someone else’s turn to step up.
The game is being televised on Fox Sports Prime Ticket (Oceanic 228 or 1228).