First and foremost, happy Thanksgiving all.
In this week’s delayed edition of the Forecast (I got a little sidetracked at the Maui Invitational) some post-Turkey Day action makes for a busy weekend. Fortunately, there was nothing on the UH calendar in the first half of the week.
Of course, there’s the UH football team’s senior night battle against Army, concluding the regular season. Note the late start (7:30 p.m.) for the CBS Sports Network-televised game. The Rainbow Warriors (8-4, 5-3 Mountain West) are coming off their first MWC West Division title, and will face Boise State in Boise for the league championship on Dec. 7. However, they can’t just skip out on their meeting with the Black Knights, now can they?
The UH basketball teams fill out the rest of the schedule, with the Rainbow Wahine hosting the potent Heineken Showdown, which features some of their best competition of the year. That’s three straight days (Friday-Sunday) of action. For two of them, Friday and Sunday, the Rainbow Warriors will play a nightcap following the Wahine game.
Also — and this is not to be overlooked one bit — the Wahine volleyball team will learn its postseason destination on Sunday during the NCAA tournament selection show. UH, which has an RPI of 11, stands an excellent chance of hosting first- and second-round matches, but you never know.
There’s also a beach volleyball exhibition against USC on Friday and a pairs exhibition Sunday at Queens Beach.
Women’s basketball: North Texas (2-3) at Hawaii (3-2), 5 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
The Texas theme to the home schedule rolls right into another tournament coming off UH’s split of contests with Texas-San Antonio and Texas Southern last week. While UH’s 74-57 loss to TSU of the SWAC was alarming, North Texas has a worse one, having fallen 61-59 to non-Division I Mid-America Christian on Nov. 7. Amy Atwell leads the Wahine with 10.4 points per game after being named to the all-tournament team last week.
North Carolina State and Texas meet in the first game of the day, at 2:30.
Men’s basketball: San Francisco (7-0) at Hawaii (4-2), 7:30 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
“Fabulous Five Night” will be the ‘Bows’ greatest home test so far under acting coach Chris Gerlufsen, or at least up there with South Dakota. This West Coast Conference team has been notoriously difficult to put away here over the years. The unbeaten Dons are led by 33-year-old Todd Golden, a former associate head coach under Kyle Smith, who left to take the Washington State job in the offseason. USF has outscored opponents by an average margin of nearly 20 points. For UH, senior shooting guard Eddie Stansberry has four 20-point games so far in playing nearly every minute of every game. As for the game theme, members of the 1971 NIT and 1972 NCAA Tournament teams will be on hand to be honored as part of UH’s ongoing 100th season celebration.
Women’s basketball: No. 12 North Carolina State (5-0) at Hawaii, 2:30 p.m. (KKEA 1420-AM)
The Wolfpack of the ACC has yet to have a game go down to the wire; they’ve blown out every team they’ve faced so far. Their closest was a 17-point win at Saint Mary’s last Sunday. Other wins include Lamar by 41; UNC-Wilmington by 40; North Carolina A&T by 36; and Maine by 28. Yowza. NC State is the prohibitive favorite in this round-robin tournament. If you’re coming to this one, you SHOULD be able to hustle over to Aloha Stadium in time for UH football.
Football: Army (5-6) at Hawaii (8-4), 7:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network, KKEA 1420-AM)
Nick Rolovich has resolved to pull no punches and pull no players for this game, UH’s second of the season against a service academy. While this battle against the Black Knights will have no bearing on UH’s bowl eligibility or Mountain West standing, of course the Rainbow Warriors want to be playing well heading into the Mountain West championship. The Knights have struggled a bit of late and aren’t quite up to the standard they set last year, when they outlasted the Warriors 28-21 at Michie Stadium at West Point, N.Y., and went on to finish 11-2, including an all-important win over Navy to cap the regular season. However, it’s worth noting that Army lost only 17-13 at Air Force. Side note: Where you at, haters of the UH defense? While the ‘Bows did not play offensive juggernauts the last two weeks, they managed to hold UNLV to seven points and San Diego State to 11. That’s nothing to sniff at. However, UH struggled mightily to stop the option against Air Force (56-26 loss), and the Knights will bring a similar offensive style to bear. The Knights average 302.6 yards per game on the ground, and about 83 passing. Who knows what UH will do at quarterback this time? Maybe Rolovich will rest some guys after all and Justin Uahinui will get to run the show.
Beach volleyball: USC at Hawaii (exhibitions), noon and 3 p.m.
This is the first glimpse at the 2020 SandBows. It will be an honest look, as the Rainbow Wahine face last year’s national runner-up, USC. The teams will play a pair of dual matches. Seven players return from last year’s squad that went 28-11 and finished in the top four of the national tourney.
Women’s basketball: Texas (3-2) at Hawaii, 2:30 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
The formerly ranked Longhorns (No. 22 preseason) opened up the season with a loss at South Florida and have been out of the AP Top 25 poll since. But this team is still plenty dangerous, having spanked mutual opponent Texas-San Antonio by 31 (UH beat the Roadrunners by 12). The Longhorns are coming off a FIFTY-FOUR-point home win over Southern.
Men’s basketball: Hawaii Pacific (2-2) at Hawaii, 5 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
By the transitive property, UH should have an easier time with the Sharks than they did with Chaminade in a preseason exhibition. The Silverswords went on to win handily over the two Alaska Division II teams, Fairbanks and Anchorage. HPU went to the same tournament and lost to both Alaska teams. (But there’s a reason why the transitive property is not totally reliable in sports. Stuff happens.) Darren Vorderbruegge’s Sharks will likely use this game as an exhibition on their side of things, though it will officially count for UH. HPU is coming off two wins in Washington and will have been off since Nov. 13.
Beach volleyball: Pairs tournament, all day (Spectrum OC16)
The SandBows get in more work in advance of their 2020 season at their favorite off-campus site, Queens Beach. You can bet Cindy Luis will have more on this 16-pair event in the coming days. The 3 p.m. final is being televised.