Happy Halloween, all. Be safe out there, with kiddies or without, at the UH basketball game vs. BYUH or anywhere else.
At last, after a month of preseason practices, the Rainbow Warriors finally get to suit up against someone else for all to see.
(At least, all who don’t have other arrangements tonight, and I’m betting that precludes a lot of you.)
“I think it will be good for both teams,” UH coach Gib Arnold said. “I think BYU-Hawaii does a great job. I think Ken Wagner is an outstanding coach. His team’s older, actually older than us, and bigger than us, size-wise with their starting bigs.
“So it’s always a good test. We’ve scrimmaged them a number of times. That’s a winning program that always gives us really, really good games and I expect (tonight’s) going to be a great game.”
This one could become a 3-point shootout. The Seasiders boast several marksmen, and UH’s outside shooting figures to be improved from last year.
Junior guard Garrett Nevels, who could figure into that, still has his attention affixed to the regular-season opener just over a week from now vs. Tennessee State.
“It’ll be good, just to work on some of our sets, work on our new defenses. But I mean, I’m just more excited for Nov. 8. … I think we’re coming along great. We’re really getting our chemistry. We’re going to have a good season.”
“Since the summer I’d say we’ve learned each other’s games a lot more. We’ve all gotten better.”
Nevels knows this exhibition is a great time to showcase some of his shot-making ability. He hasn’t been quite as lights-out since the Green & White Scrimmage.
“That’s the thing I’m really trying to focus on, get my rhythm going so I can make the shots that I was brought here to make,” he said.
As Jeff Portnoy pointed out, this contest could really get bogged down with whistles and fouls because of some of the new NCAA rule interpretations designed to give further advantages to teams’ offenses.
It’ll be interesting to see how the teams adjust. Or as Arnold told his guys, “You adapt or you die.”
“It’s different with these new rules, hand-checking and everything,” freshman forward Mike Thomas said. “You can get away with a lot more in high school, but here it’s all chest and feet, really. It’s definitely different, but it’s better for us, when we adapt to it.”
The Rainbow Wahine basketball team had its exhibition against Hawaii Hilo on Wednesday night. While it was often sloppy, UH emerged with a 70-35 victory over its sister school.
Senior forward Diane Moore was impressive with 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting. With few options in the frontcourt to begin the season, she could have her chances this year.
Shawna Kuehu and Ashleigh Karaitiana also had very solid all-around games.
Several players were out. Freshman Briana Harris was ill, as was sophomore Marissa Wimbley. Kamilah Jackson and Pua Kailiawa had limited time coming off ailments. And Sydney Haydel, who was supposed to start, was a late scratch because a new earring could not be taped over.
So while UH will be challenged depth-wise this season without academically ineligible bigs Ashley Burchfield and Shawlina Segovia, the Wahine generally won’t be as shorthanded as they were on Wednesday.