Schedule breakdown

Eran Ganot released the complete 2016-17 UH schedule on Tuesday. (Photo by Craig T. Kojima / Star-Advertiser)
Eran Ganot released the complete 2016-17 UH schedule on Tuesday. (Photo by Craig T. Kojima / Star-Advertiser)

Now that we have the complete Hawaii basketball 2016-17 schedule — barring a second Division II team being slotted in graduation week mid-December — why not break down the nonconference opponents?

Note: This is not about personnel breakdowns. There will be plenty of time to do that as the season approaches.

Nov 11: SIU-Edwardsville (Rainbow Classic)
Nickname: Cougars
Conference: Ohio Valley
2015-16 record: 6-22 (3-13 OVC)
RPI: 306
Series with UH: First meeting
Last meeting: N/A
Notes: The last time UH opened up with a first-time opponent was in 2012, against noted powerhouse Maryland-Eastern Shore. UH has won seven straight season openers. Edwardsville’s abbreviation is SIUE (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) … prepare to see that much more often in the coming months.

Nov 13: Texas State (Rainbow Classic)
Nickname: Bobcats
Conference: Sun Belt
2015-16 record: 15-16 (8-12 Belt)
RPI: 241
Series with UH: First meeting
Last meeting: N/A
Notes: The last time UH opened up with CONSECUTIVE first-time opponents? How about 2002-03, when the ‘Bows had Arkansas-Little Rock followed up by Texas A&M Corpus Christi? Those are still the only meetings to date with those squads. As for Texas State … it is one of a few of the 23 D-I teams in the Lone Star State UH has never played. The others are: Incarnate Word, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin (which UH could encounter in the Diamond Head Classic), Texas-Arlington, Texas-Rio Grande Valley (sort of, they’re now a couple schools including Texas-Pan American, which UH played), and Texas-San Antonio.

Nov 14: Florida Atlantic (Rainbow Classic, ESPN Tip-off Marathon)
Nickname: Owls
Conference: Conference USA
2015-16 record: 8-25 (5-13 CUSA)
RPI: 301
Series with UH: UH leads 1-0
Last meeting: Dec. 20, 1999, Hawaii 87, Florida Atlantic 60
Notes: Presumably this will be the annual ESPN Tip-off midnight game and the first of six national TV appearances by the Rainbow Warriors. This team is not to be confused with Florida Gulf Coast. A few years ago FAU joined CUSA, which sounds great except for the fact that CUSA is akin to the WAC in that its membership is almost completely new.

Nov 18: North Carolina
Nickname: Tar Heels
Conference: Atlantic Coast
2015-16 record: 33-7 (14-4 ACC)
RPI: 5
Series with UH: UNC leads 4-0
Last meeting: Dec. 22, 1994, North Carolina 88, Hawaii 76
Notes: Now we’re talking! Former coach Benjy Taylor deserves some credit for getting the ball rolling on this one, but also Eran Ganot for embracing it when he took over. Then UNC came within a buzzer-beater of winning the national title (and lost some key players to the draft, like always). It’ll be interesting to see the state of UNC’s ongoing academic probe by the time they reach our shores. As it stands, UH has been hammered infinitely worse for its relatively marginal infractions than UNC has been for decades of alleged fraud. Cue the Cleveland State lines. As positive omen for UH: The four losses in the series have been by increasingly close margins (20, 17, 15, 12).

Nov 22: Hawaii Hilo
Nickname: Vulcans
Conference: Pacific West
2015-16 record: 9-15 (9-11 PW)
Series with UH: UH leads 8-0
Last meeting: Dec. 8, 2015, Hawaii 86, Hilo 67
Notes: This marks the fourth straight season the sister schools are meeting up in a semi-official game (official for UH, exhibition for Hilo), and fifth time in six years. Before that recent spate, there was a 21-year gap to the last game in 1990. UH playing the local D-IIs as part of its regular-season schedule (Chaminade and HPU have also been in play lately) seems here to stay given present economic realities.

Nov 25: Troy
Nickname: Trojans
Conference: Sun Belt
2015-16 record: 9-22 (4-16 Belt)
RPI: 295
Series with UH: First meeting
Last meeting: N/A
Notes: The third first-time opponent! Ganot is making it tough on veteran basketball sports information director Neal Iwamoto, who has to find room for these teams in the media guide. Troy, UH’s fourth straight D-I opponent hailing from the South, is coming over from Alabama. No word if they’re bringing Brad Pitt.

Nov 27: Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Nickname: Golden Lions
Conference: Southwestern
2015-16 record: 8-25 (6-12 SWAC)
RPI: 310
Series with UH: UH leads 4-0
Last meeting: Dec. 2, 2015, Hawaii 75, UAPB 47
Notes: Was there ever any doubt? The Golden Lions love it here! If they didn’t get invited to come, you can bet they’d have shown up anyway. UH’s personal version of the Washington Generals (someone told me that line and I’m stealing it) will have played a game here five times in seven years once this one is in the books. Only the first meeting between the teams, back in 2010, was close — seven points. The rest have been blowouts upwards of 20 points.

Dec 6: Seton Hall (Pearl Harbor Invitational)
Nickname: Pirates
Conference: Big East
2015-16 record: 25-9 (12-6 BE)
RPI: 23
Series with UH: Seton leads 3-1
Last meeting: Nov. 27, 1994, Hawaii 96, Seton Hall 88
Notes: Ahh, storied Bloch Arena. UH is driving a few miles while Seton Hall is flying over from New Jersey. But Bloch, where UH hasn’t played since the pre-Blaisdell Arena era, has a sweaty, cramped vibe all its own, as spectators of last year’s four-team PH event can attest. There won’t be much in the way of the traditional fan base for UH, either, with seating in the 1,400-seat venue reserved for military personnel and special invitees. Clearly, Seton will be one of the toughest teams UH faces.

Dec 7: Princeton (Pearl Harbor Invitational)
Nickname: Tigers
Conference: Ivy League
2015-16 record: 22-7 (12-2 Ivy)
RPI: 47
Series with UH: First meeting
Last meeting: N/A
Notes: Fourth first-time opponent! That media guide is expanding rapidly. … This game might feel different than the Seton Hall game, and not just because of the 24-hour turnaround. It’s the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack in a storied venue that survived the assault. That’s pretty cool. Princeton, another team hailing from New Jersey, could be especially winded after the lengthy travel and playing on back-to-back days. Can UH take advantage?

Dec 22: Illinois State (Diamond Head Classic)
Nickname: Redbirds
Conference: Missouri Valley
2015-16 record: 18-14 (12-16 MVC)
RPI: 118
Series with UH: UH leads 2-1
Last meeting: Nov. 30, 1997, Hawaii 84, Illinois State 63
Notes: Second straight year UH opens up with a Missouri Valley team in the DHC, and third in a row they meet a team from the MVC in the DHC (Wichita State in 2014 semis). One thing you’ll notice perusing this schedule is just how far many of these teams will travel to play out here. Heck, not including Hilo, Texas State is the closest in the known nonconference. (Of course, whichever team UH plays in the DHC semis this year (San Francisco or Utah) will be a Western team).

Dec 23: San Francisco or Utah (Diamond Head Classic)
Dec 25: TBA (Diamond Head Classic)

Dec 29: Delaware State
Nickname: Hornets
Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic
2015-16 record: 7-25 (5-11 MEAC)
RPI: 345
Series with UH: UH leads 1-0
Last meeting: Dec. 2, 2014, Hawaii 75, Delaware State 60
Notes: A couple years after their first visit out here, the Hornets are back. More so than any other team on this list, they could use a logo update. They could stand to overhaul a lot, actually with an RPI like what they’re sporting. Only five teams were rated worse last season: Illinois-Chicago (current home of former UH D-ops Chris McMillian), Texas-San Antonio (former home of current UH guard Larry Lewis), Florida A&M, Grambling, and Central Connecticut State.


  1. Kim Corbin August 16, 2016 10:31 pm

    Hope everyone comes out to support the basketball team! These will be some great games. We are playing my undergrad alma mater, Texas State and my mom’s alma mater, UNC Tar Heels. We both teach at UH in the College of Ed. Super stoked for the games

  2. Hoosier August 17, 2016 7:47 am

    Just what the doctor ordered. With all new players this schedule will give them time to smooth out those rough edges. Plus they get a few games against some name opponents to measure their progress. Looking forward to the season. Go Bowd!

  3. oldtimer808 August 17, 2016 10:48 am

    I agree a good non-conference schedule to breakin the new players. I anticipate UH at 7 wins and 6 losses during this period. If we are competitive with the current players than Ganot would be doing an excellent coaching job.

  4. cappie the dog August 17, 2016 2:21 pm

    I see 3 automatic wins: SIU-Edwardsville, Hawaii-Hilo, Delaware State.

    I see 3 most-likely wins: Troy, Florida State, Texas State.

    I see 1 toss-up: Illinois State

    7 wins sounds about right, oldtimer808.

  5. cappie the dog August 17, 2016 2:23 pm

    Oh, yeah.

    Arkansas Pine-Bluff.

    I’m trying to block them out of my mind.

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