SB FILE / FEBRUARY 2005
Tomorrow's game at UWM will be a homecoming of sorts for UH point guard Deonte Tatum, who grew up in Milwaukee.
UH ready to take the heat
The Rainbow Warriors know what to expect on tomorrow’s visit to Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- swarming defense
The Hawaii basketball team has an idea of what to expect from their trip to the Midwest this weekend -- cold weather outside, defensive heat inside.
Hawaii at Wisconsin-Milwaukee
When: Tomorrow, 3:05 p.m. Hawaii time
Where: U.S. Cellular Arena
Radio: Live, KKEA 1420-AM
The Rainbow Warriors departed on their second road trip of the season yesterday morning bound for Milwaukee, where the temperature topped out in the 20s and snow is forecast for the next few days.
When they take the court against Wisconsin-Milwaukee tomorrow at U.S. Cellular Arena, they expect to face a swarming Panthers team, like the one that pressured the Rainbows into 21 turnovers in last year's meeting in Honolulu.
"I'm pretty sure they'll still be an up-tempo team, run up and down and be aggressive on defense," UH guard Deonte Tatum said.
"They'll pick up full (court), I'm pretty sure. They have a lot of bodies they'll be running in and out of the game. They're a young team coming off the bench, but they'll have depth."
The Rainbows (3-1) travel to Milwaukee for a return game for the Panthers' trip to Hawaii for last season's ESPN Bracket Busters contest at the Stan Sheriff Center. Tip-off is set for 3:05 p.m. Hawaii time.
UWM is 3-2 in its first season under coach Rob Jeter. The Panthers were the surprise team of the NCAA Tournament last March, when the Horizon League champions reached the Sweet 16 before losing to Illinois.
Following the tournament run, Bruce Pearl left for the head coaching job at Tennessee and Jeter, a former assistant at Wisconsin, was hired to lead the Panthers.
UWM returns four starters from last year's squad and, despite the coaching change, the Rainbows are preparing to face another tough defensive test.
The Panthers made a season-high 17 steals against UH in their 87-81 win last season. They had 10 steals and forced 25 turnovers in a win over South Dakota State on Tuesday.
UH committed 20 turnovers in a 78-72 home win over UNLV on Tuesday as the Runnin' Rebels played tight defense and crowded the passing lanes.
SB FILE / FEBRUARY 2005
Boo Davis and Joah Tucker are among Wisconsin-Milwaukee's four returning starters this season.
"I think UNLV played it more physical. Defensively (UWM will) use their quickness," UH coach Riley Wallace said. "Wisconsin plays good defense, I'm sure (Jeter's) the same as (Badgers coach) Bo Ryan -- he's one of his disciples. So I'm sure they'll get into it defensively.
"We have to get better at it. The (scout team) put it on there pretty good. We have to get good looks at it."
The game will be a homecoming for UH's backcourt of Tatum, who grew up in Milwaukee, and Matt Lojeski, who hails from nearby Racine.
UH forward Julian Sensley vaulted into the team scoring lead with his 28-point performance against UNLV on Tuesday. He now leads the team with 17.5 points per game, followed by Lojeski at 15.5 ppg.
UWM forward Joah Tucker averages a team-best 16.8 ppg for the Panthers, with guard Boo Davis just behind at 16. Forward Adrian Tigert (9.6 ppg this year) went 6-for-6 from the field in last season's meeting, hitting all four attempts beyond the 3-point line.
UH lost in its first road trip this season, falling to UNLV on Nov. 22, and Wallace hopes the players can shake off the effects of the long trip by game time.
"My biggest concern will be the fatigue factor with the flights," he said.
"I remember way back when, when we went to Iona and St. John's (in 1988). (The Iona game) was just terrible. A couple days later we played St. John's and we were right in there. We got our energy back.
"We have to make sure this team battles differently and that we get our energy right away. Because if we go into it dull, they'll run you out of there."
Though they're traveling from the warmth of Hawaii to a relatively frigid climate, Wallace isn't concerned about the weather.
"The game is indoors and it's heated," he said.
Snowed in: The wintry weather in the Midwest turned an already lengthy trip for the Rainbows into an all-day odyssey.
The Rainbows left Honolulu at 8 a.m. yesterday, and they were still in transit as of 10 last night. Their flight from San Francisco to Chicago was canceled. The team was then rerouted through Denver and didn't arrive in the Windy City until close to 2 a.m. Central time, with a bus ride to Milwaukee still to follow.
The team is scheduled to practice on the UWM campus tonight at 7.
Suspension continues: UH will be without its leading scorer from last year's game against UWM, as guard Matt Gibson will miss his third game due to a team suspension. Gibson went 5-for-6 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 26 points in UH's loss to the Panthers in February.