In most years, Hawaii men’s basketball might take a single road trip to the mainland during nonconference play. Sometimes no trip at all.
Not so this year. The Rainbow Warriors are challenging themselves with two separate excursions to the mainland to take on Illinois (Nov. 18) and Oregon (Dec. 7), interspersed between 12 nonconference home games.
Combined with some respectable foes coming in, and only one Division II opponent, this has the potential to be one of the better Rainbow Warriors’ schedules in recent years. The season opener is Nov. 8 against Florida A&M in the 55th Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.
The last time UH played on the home courts of two Power Five teams in the same season was 1987-88, when it opened at Vanderbilt and followed the next day at Kentucky. (UH lost to them by a combined 56 points.)
“It’s been a priority for us to play tough road opponents in hostile gyms and we have taken it up a notch with two in the same season,” UH coach Eran Ganot said in UH’s release. “While we know these games will be challenging, we’re looking forward to it and believe it will prepare us as we move along in our schedule, particularly in the Diamond Head Classic and in the Big West.”
UH is 5-5 all-time against Oregon, and 0-2 in Eugene (the last trip there came on Feb. 1, 1975, a five-point Ducks win). UH has won the last five meetings, though the teams haven’t played since 1999. The Ducks made the NCAA Sweet 16 last season with a 25-13 record and KenPom.com score of 28 among 353 Division I teams.
UH is 0-7 all-time against Illinois, with the most recent meeting the Fighting Illini’s memorable 78-77 stunner in overtime at the Stan Sheriff Center on Nov. 16, 2012. UH has made one trip to Champaign, on Dec. 8, 2008, a 10-point win for the Illini. The Big Ten school went 12-21 last season but was still strong in KenPom at 84.
Some other schedule notes:
>> UH is playing at a Pac-12 school for the third straight year (Utah in 2017, UCLA in 2018) after not doing so for the previous 17
>> UH is hosting two West Coast Conference schools in Pacific (Nov. 11) and San Francisco (Nov. 29)
>> UH is not playing Division II neighbor Hawaii Hilo for the first time in seven years, although Hawaii Pacific makes an appearance in the Sheriff on Dec. 1
>> There are four first-time opponents on the schedule: Florida A&M; South Dakota (Nov. 9); Samford (Dec. 15); and Maine (Dec. 29)
>> Some previously reported dates were slightly off; the season-opening Rainbow Classic extends to Nov. 11 for UH, not Nov. 10, and the home date against New Orleans is Nov. 24 instead of Nov. 25.
>> UH opens Big West play against Cal State Fullerton (Jan. 9) for the third time in four years, and two times over that span on the road
Here’s the full schedule:
RECORD: 11-6 overall, 2-1 Big West
|10/30/2019||Chaminade (EXH)||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 83-66|
|11/8/2019||Florida A&M||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 65-52|
|11/10/2019||South Dakota||Stan Sheriff Center||L, 75-81|
|11/11/2019||Pacific||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 72-67|
|11/15/2019||Portland State||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 83-75|
|11/18/2019||at Illinois||Champaign, Ill.||L, 53-66|
|11/24/2019||New Orleans||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 79-71|
|11/29/2019||San Francisco||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 85-75|
|12/1/2019||Hawaii Pacific||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 58-41|
|12/7/2019||at Oregon||Eugene, Ore.||L, 64-89|
|12/15/2019||Samford||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 94-73|
|12/22/2019||UTEP||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 67-63|
|12/23/2019||Washington||Stan Sheriff Center||L, 61-72|
|12/25/2019||Georgia Tech||Stan Sheriff Center||L, 53-70|
|12/29/2019||Maine||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 91-51|
|1/9/2020||at Cal State Fullerton*||Fullerton, Calif.||W, 75-69|
|1/11/2020||at UC Irvine*||Irvine, Calif.||L, 60-74|
|1/16/2020||Cal Poly*||Stan Sheriff Center||W, 65-61|
|1/18/2020||UC Santa Barbara*||Stan Sheriff Center||8 p.m.|
|1/25/2020||UC Davis*||Stan Sheriff Center||7 p.m.|
|2/1/2020||Cal State Northridge*||Stan Sheriff Center||8 p.m.|
|2/6/2020||at UC Santa Barbara*||Santa Barbara, Calif.||5 p.m.|
|2/8/2020||at Cal Poly*||San Luis Obispo, Calif.||5 p.m.|
|2/12/2020||Long Beach State*||Stan Sheriff Center||7 p.m.|
|2/15/2020||UC Irvine*||Stan Sheriff Center||7 p.m.|
|2/20/2020||at UC Riverside*||Riverside, Calif.||6 p.m.|
|2/22/2020||at Long Beach State*||Long Beach, Calif.||2 p.m.|
|2/27/2020||Cal State Fullerton*||Stan Sheriff Center||7 p.m.|
|2/29/2020||UC Riverside*||Stan Sheriff Center||7 p.m.|
|3/5/2020||at UC Davis*||Davis, Calif.||5 p.m.|
|3/7/2020||at Cal State Northridge*||Northridge, Calif.||5 p.m.|
|All times Hawaii time; schedule subject to change|
|*—Big West Conference game|