There’s snow on the ground at 7,000 feet in Flagstaff, Ariz. Hawaii will have to overcome the elements in addition to the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona today.
Tipoff is in about 1 hour at 2 p.m. Hawaii time. You can see the game on Oceanic Ch. 246 (that’s a premium channel) or streaming online for free at nau-tv.com or watchbigsky.com.
UH goes for the ‘Jackfecta today, with its women’s basketball (74-66) and soccer (1-0) teams having won in Flagstaff already this year.
The good news for the Rainbow Warriors: sophomore forward Isaac Fotu practiced on Friday, coach Gib Arnold said. That should clear the way for “The Fro” to play with his heavily wrapped right hand. Keep an eye on his willingness to go to his left. Chances are he’ll stay right around the basket and not look to take any midrange jumpers.
It’s also a big game for Keith Shamburger. The point guard will have his mother at the game, her first chance to watch her son play since his days at San Jose State two seasons ago.
The Walkup Skydome is listed at a 7,300 capacity, but I heard they close off most of the arena (also used for football) and play basketball on one side of the facility, similar to what Idaho does in the Kibbie Dome.
Other things to watch for will be the pace of the game and UH’s struggles with rim protection. NAU wants to slow it down, which might come across as counterintuitive for a team used to playing in altitude. But the ‘Jacks guardplay has been suspect at times, and they want to pound it inside. Center Davis Rozitis might see an expanded role; he leads UH with nine blocked shots. Fotu is second with eight.