Hawaii has so far feasted on its early season schedule. Now the meat gets a little tougher.
The Rainbow Warriors (8-3) will be fully stocked against Nebraska tonight in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic first round. They’ll need it against a Cornhuskers (6-3) team holding foes to under 40 percent from the field on the season.
The winner gets No. 11 Wichita State in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Hawaii-Nebraska tipoff will be closer to 8:30 than 8 … as I type this Wichita and Loyola Marymount are still wrapping things up just before 8.
UH hasn’t gotten to the semis since the first year of the event in 2009, when the likes of Dwain Williams and Jeremy Lay plied their trade for the ‘Bows. (Williams, incidentally, still has the DHC scoring record of 36).
Stefan Jankovic is good to go and Negus Webster-Chan is back from his ankle sprain. Look for Webster-Chan to reclaim his starting spot and Jankovic to come in off the bench for Mike Thomas.
About 10 years ago, the Stan Sheriff Center was rocking a sold-out white-out crowd in the NIT second round of 2004. I was writing for the Ka Leo student newspaper at the time. A big guy named Brian Conklin was bombing 3s for the Huskers against Julian Sensley and the ‘Bows, but UH held on, 84-83.
That was still the last men’s basketball sellout at the Stan Sheriff Center. If this one can be 50 percent as memorable, watch out.
Earlier today, I wrote about Nebraska sophomore Tai Webster, the son of former UH player Tony Webster.