While everyone still awaits word on the severity of Negus Webster-Chan‘s ankle sprain — he was to get an X-Ray on Monday — here’s a roundup of how Hawaii’s opponents have fared through the first 10 games (roughly a third) of the season.
The team had Monday off from practice and will resume Tuesday. Head coach Benjy Taylor gets back from a mainland recruiting jaunt on Wednesday.
RPIs and strengths of schedule are per RealTimeRPI.com going into Monday.
Hawaii rates 207 out of 351 Division I teams in RPI and 285 in strength of schedule. Among nine Big West Conference teams, UH is fifth in RPI and seventh in SoS.
RPI: 250. SoS: 109.
UH result: 85-57 W
Summary: The Golden Lions beat Cal State Bakersfield in the Rainbow Classic for their only win to this point. They’ve played a typically brutal SWAC schedule, full of “guarantee” road games during the nonconference season. Their struggles to this point aren’t much of a surprise.
CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD
RPI: 347. SoS: 333.
UH result: 72-65 W
Summary: Even with a talented big man in Aly Ahmed, it’s been brutal sledding for the Roadrunners, starting with their quadruple-overtime loss to High Point to kick off the season in the Rainbow Classic. Their lone win came against Delaware (which also recently lost to UH opponent Delaware State). Perusing the new-look WAC is downright depressing.
RPI: 147. SoS: 301.
UH result: 62-54 L
Summary: “The other HPU” has built on its Rainbow Classic championship and defeat of UH in the midnight game to show fairly well thus far. Its two losses are respectable, at Richmond and at Clemson. But the Panthers’ play at No. 12 Ohio State on Wednesday. Regardless of whatever happens there, HPU looks like one of the contenders for the Big South crown.
Record: 4-4 (4-5 with UH game)
UH result: 89-71 W
Summary: Coach GE Coleman brought in an absolute stud in forward Tre Johnson, which helped keep the contest against Manoa competitive for a while. The UH game counted on Manoa’s record, but not for Hilo’s. The Vulcans are off to an 0-2 start in PacWest play, with losses to Chaminade and HPU.
RPI: 124. SoS: 67.
UH result: 74-70 W
Summary: This could be the feather in Taylor’s cap for quite a while, and a bitterly disappointing memory for Pitt coach Jamie Dixon — so far, it’s UH’s only win over a team with a winning record. But after Pitt got hammered by San Diego State in the Maui Invitational semis, the Panthers came back to claim third there with a rousing win over Kansas State. Pitt isn’t what many thought it would be with Durand Johnson suspended for the season and Cameron Wright just coming back from injury. It could be a challenging season for Dixon’s group in the powerful ACC.
RPI: 127. SoS: 135.
UH result: 88-73 L
Summary: The West Coast Conference doesn’t mess around. UH hung in there for a while in its opener in the Gulf Coast Showcase, but a minus-20 differential on the glass was the key in defeat. This was probably the first time the Rainbow Warriors’ depth problems up front cost them. USF went on to lose to Florida Gulf Coast and Evansville in the winners’ bracket; UH losing in the first round might have been something of a blessing, as they emerged with a 2-1 record against weaker competition.
RPI: 321. SoS: 230.
UH result: 62-55 W
Summary: The Red Foxes of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference were decimated by injuries when they faced UH, but nearly came all the way back from a 21-point deficit. UH held on and avoided a loss to a team that is statistically one of the worst in the country. Marist is already 0-2 in MAAC play.
RPI: 330. SoS: 316.
UH result: 75-73 W
Summary: This was an important win for the ‘Bows, even if ECU is only 2-5 against Division I opponents so far and is the only team in the American Athletic Conference with a losing record. For one thing, the Pirates were playing in their own time zone. Things will probably get better for ECU, which is coming off a 44-point drubbing at the hands of North Carolina.
RPI: 166. SoS: 235.
UH result: 75-60 W
Summary: The Hornets have performed better overall than what they showed in Honolulu last week. Their win over Wake Forest (granted, which sits at the bottom of the ACC) was important, but they had the ill fortune of arriving in Honolulu a day late because of flight trouble. Center Kendall Gray is among the national leaders in rebounds and blocks, and UH should be commended for keeping him in check in the second half.
RPI: 51. SoS: 44.
UH result: 90-70 L
Summary: Defeating the Cougars in Salt Lake City is a tall task, so there’s no shame that UH went down big in that one. UH had its chances, and losing Webster-Chan pregame hurt. Getting past Gonzaga in the WCC will be difficult like always, but BYU, along with Saint Mary’s, is a very capable second-tier team that could give anyone problems on a given night. Tyler Haws came to play against UH and Kyle Collinsworth went triple-double for the third time ever for a UH opponent. This was the best team UH faced thus far, and might face all season.
Games to come: Chaminade, Nebraska + two more DHC games, Southern, Prairie View A&M, Big West slate.