A neutral observer could have reasonably expected the Hawaii basketball team to go 3-1, perhaps even 4-0, through its first four games.
The Rainbow Warriors (3-1) did just that with Sunday night’s 85-68 defeat of visiting Northern Arizona.
Their only setback to this point was a 68-51 loss to North Texas. But that one was concerning, as UH looked a step or two slow against the most athletic team they’ve faced thus far.
Well, now we find out if that was an aberration. It’s also worth pointing out that UH got Sheriff Drammeh, one of its quicker players and better defenders, back for the NAU game, although he struggled to score in his return.
UH hits its toughest stretch of the nonconference schedule this week in the three-game Wooden Legacy at Cal State Fullerton, followed by the Rainbows’ second-all time visit to UCLA on Nov. 28. UH opens against Utah on Thanksgiving, then will play either Grand Canyon or Seton Hall the next day.
Here’s how KenPom.com rates each team in the Wooden field, plus 17th-ranked UCLA, among 353 Division I teams as of Monday night:
Miami (3-0) — 21
Northwestern (3-0) — 48
Seton Hall (1-2) — 57
Utah (2-1) — 71
Fresno State (1-1) — 111
Grand Canyon (3-1) — 132
La Salle (0-4) — 192
Hawaii (3-1) — 207
UCLA 4-0 — 39
Basically, the next four games could be quite the challenge. If UH comes back with a couple of wins, and a 5-3 overall record, that could be considered a good to great trip by reasonable expectations. But, as the numbers indicate, keep in mind this trip could prove harsh.