The Big West announced its men’s basketball preseason media poll with the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors picked sixth. UH finished in sixth-place in last year’s regular-season standings.
UC Irvine is the favorite to win the league, receiving 10 of a possible 24 first-place votes. Cal State Fullerton, which upset the Anteaters and captured the Big West Tournament title last year, received four first-place votes to finish second.
Two other teams are also considered strong contenders this year. Defending regular-season champion UC Davis earned six first-place votes and are picked third, just three points shy of Cal State Fullerton. UC Santa Barbara, winner of a school-record 23 games last year, also received first-place consideration with four votes and a fourth-place prediction.
UH (110 points) was picked right behind fifth-place Long Beach State (116) in a mirror of last year’s tight regular-season finish. The ‘Bows return eight letterwinners from last year with the solid senior nucleus of Sheriff Drammeh, Jack Purchase and Brocke Stepteau. Drammeh was the Big West Best Hustle Player, while Purchase was the Big West Best Sixth Player last year.
UH hosts an exhibition game versus Hawaii Pacific on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. before opening the regular season versus Portland on Friday, Nov. 9 with the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.
2018-19 Big West Preseason Media Poll
1. UC Irvine (10)- 192 points
2. Cal State Fullerton (4) – 183
3. UC Davis (6) – 180
4. UC Santa Barbara (4) – 149
5. Long Beach State – 116
6. Hawai’i – 110
7. UC Riverside – 61
8. Cal Poly – 47
9. CSUN – 42
As announced by the Big West Conference on Wednesday morning, the University of Hawai’i women’s basketball team was picked to finish in the middle of the pack in both the coaches and media preseason poll.
In the coaches poll, the Rainbow Wahine were officially picked to finish at No. 5, while the voting media had them slotted at No. 6. Rounding out the poll were both CSUN and UC Davis taking the top two spots. The coaches selected the defending conference tournament champion Matadors at No. 1, with the media selecting the defending regular-season champion Aggies at No. 1.
UH did not have a player named to the coaches or media All-Conference squad.
The ‘Bows will have one exhibition tune-up on Nov. 1 when they host UH-Hilo, followed by the regular season home opener on Nov. 6, with Pepperdine.