Gameday: Howard

Hawaii plays a guy named Howard tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Last time Howard of the MEAC graced the Stan Sheriff Center, Hawaii laid down a 35-point beatdown on the Bison, thanks to an Aaron Valdes triple-double and a 31-point effort by Roderick Bobbitt.

Don’t expect it to be quite as lopsided this time around. Howard has two dynamite scorers, R.J. Cole and Charles Williams, who combine for exactly 40 points per game. Last time around, it was guard James Daniel III, who averaged 29, but he’s now a graduate transfer at Tennessee.

UH (8-4) is favored by 15. But the Bison (3-12) have played a road-heavy schedule (0-11), and won’t fear the atmosphere. They’re coming off their first win over a D-I team, UNC-Wilmington, on a neutral court in El Paso, Texas, last Friday.

The Rainbow Warriors are switching things up coming off their loss to Princeton in the Diamond Head Classic fifth-place game. Brocke Stepteau, who’s been UH’s most consistent player, steps into the starting lineup tonight in place of struggling Leland Green. It’s the first time this season UH is starting its two point guards, Stepteau and Drew Buggs, together.

They’ve played together increasingly this season, so it’s not like it’s something totally brand new. When UH has found success this season, more often than not it’s been when Stepteau’s been on the floor. And Buggs has come along strong with his ball distribution, finding teammates in some tight spaces of late.

The Bows are 3-0 coming off losses this year and are 15-0 all-time against MEAC teams.

Also, UH is 1-0 this season against teams with a person’s first name. It turned back Troy, 72-67, in the finale of the Rainbow Classic.

After this, it’s on to the Big West.