Rainbow Warriors MBB announces ’19-’20 schedule


Drew Buggs

HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team announced its schedule for 2019-20, the 100th season in school history. UH plays 20 homes games, including 12 non-conference games within the friendly confines of the Stan Sheriff Center. The schedule is also highlighted by a pair of true road games against Pac-12 and Big 10 opponents.

Stiff Road Tests: UH will play two non-conference road games, both at Power 5 schools: at Illinois on Nov. 18 and at Oregon on Dec. 7…this will mark the first time since 1987-88 that UH will play two true road games at Power 5 schools in a single-season…UH last traveled to Champaign in 2008, when Eran Ganotwas then a UH assistant…UH will make its third-ever visit to Eugene and first since 1975 to face an Oregon squad coming of an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance…this marks the third straight year that UH plays a Pac-12 road game following trips to UCLA (2018) and Utah (2017)… UH went 2-1 against Pac-12 teams last year with a neutral court win vs. Utah, a road loss at UCLA, and a home win vs. Colorado.

Head Coach Eran Ganot says: “It’s been a priority for us to play tough road opponents in hostile gyms and we have taken it up a notch with two in the same season. While we know these games will be challenging, we’re looking forward to it and believe it will prepare us as we move along in our schedule, particularly in the Diamond Head Classic and in the Big West.”

Tournament Ready: UH will host two tournaments: the 55th Annual Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic and the 11th Annual Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic…both tournaments will include three games over a four-day span… the season-opening Rainbow Classic includes Pacific (WCC), Florida A&M (MEAC) and a South Dakota team (Summit) just two years removed from a 26-win season…the ‘Bows will again host the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic during the Christmas holiday…the previously announced field includes first-round opponent UTEP and is highlighted by 2019 NCAA Tournament squads Houston and Washington. 

Ganot says: “It’s always an honor to host two highly-regarded tournaments with competitive fields.  The quality of opponents, tight turnarounds, and preparation for different styles will help us make strides as we work to improve during the course of the season.  This will prepare us for the quick turnarounds we’ll see in conference play, in the conference tournament and hopefully beyond.” 

Renewed Rivalries: UH will face a pair of former conference foes…the ‘Bows take on Pacific on the final evening of the Outrigger Rainbow Classic on Nov. 11…UH and UOP last met as Big West opponent during the 2012-13 season…UH plays UTEP in the opening round of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22…the two programs have squared off 52 previous times, all while in the Western Athletic Conference from 1980-2005…UH could also potentially face Boise State in the HADHC, another former WAC foe (2002-11).  

First Timers: UH will meet Florida A&M, South Dakota, Samford, and Maine for the first time in program history.

Bay Area Connection: UH will host San Francisco on Nov. 29…the Dons went 21-10 and are under the leadership of first-year coach Todd Golden…Golden played collegiately at Saint Mary’s for four seasons (2003-07) with Ganot on the Gaels staff in three of those seasons.

Coast To Coast: The ‘Bows non-conference opponents span the country, with teams hailing from the Northeast (Maine), South (Florida A&M, New Orleans, Samford), Southwest (UTEP), Midwest (South Dakota, Illinois), Northwest (Portland State, Oregon) and West (Pacific, San Francisco) regions as well as right here on island (Hawaii Pacific).

Working For the Weekend: Ten of UH’s 12 non-conference home games fall on a weekend or holiday.

Conference Notes: UH will open the season on the road (at Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine) before playing four straight home games…for the sixth straight year, the Rainbow Warriors will end the regular-season in Southern California, this time at CSUN (March 7)…the Big West Tournament will be March 12-14, once again at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.   

Ganot says: “The conference will once again provide consistent battles night in and night out.  I’ve always been impressed with the quality of teams and coaches and the parity of the league makes it very exciting for our fans.”

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