'2-in-4' rule may be out the door
More teams would have the chance to travel to Hawaii
As the field for next season's Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic gets close to being finalized, future tournaments could get a boost with the possible elimination of the "2-in-4" rule.
The NCAA Management Council announced yesterday that it had approved a proposal allowing teams to compete in one exempt tournament per season.
The proposal would eliminate the rule prohibiting teams from competing in regular-season tournaments such as the Rainbow Classic and EA Sports Maui Invitational more than twice in a four-year span.
"It's going to help," said UH associate coach Bob Nash, who puts together the Rainbow Warriors' schedule, including the Rainbow Classic. "Teams still have to want to come, but this certainly will help steer them our way.
"There's a pool of more teams to choose from to go to the different tournaments. We're anticipating the Rainbow Classic in the future being able to get some big names to come in."
The proposal will be considered by the NCAA's board of directors April 27. If approved, the new rules would take effect next fall.
Teams would have the option to play 27 regular-season games, plus a preseason tournament. Teams not involved in tournaments could play up to 29 regular-season games.
Nash said he's waiting to receive a couple of contracts, but the field for next season's Classic is close to set.
Slated to join UH in the 43rd annual tournament are Houston, Valparaiso, Nebraska, Creighton, San Francisco, Charlotte and Wyoming.
"The teams have all agreed in principle to come," Nash said. "It's a good field and I think it'll be a very good tournament."
The Rainbows' nonconference schedule next season is still a work in progress, and will include a home-and-home series with UNLV and a road game at Santa Clara as a return game for the Broncos' visit this season.
Signed and sealed: The Hawaii basketball team officially added a promising point guard and a 7-foot forward to the roster for next season on the first day of the spring signing period.
UH received signed letters of intent from junior-college forward Todd Follmer and high school guard Todd Lowenthal yesterday, leaving the UH coaching staff with three more scholarships to fill for next season.
"We got two quality players that are good students that we think can play for us right away," said UH associate coach Jackson Wheeler, who spearheads much of the Rainbow Warriors' recruiting efforts.
Wheeler's network of mainland contacts helped the Rainbows net their latest recruits.
Follmer transferred to Irvine Valley College from UC Santa Barbara last year, and his chance to return to Division I figured to be another year away.
But when word leaked out that Follmer was in range of his associate's degree, making him eligible next season, the UH coaches made their move.
"We thought he was going to go to community college for two years and then move on, but things kind of accelerated," said his father, Todd Follmer Sr. "That was all by word of mouth. A lot of people didn't know that Todd was going to have an AA and we really didn't pursue trying to get the word out. But I was very impressed by Hawaii's interest and Coach Wheeler and Coach (Riley) Wallace."
Said Wheeler: "A lot of coaches know what we like in players, and this kid has a lot of upside to him and a lot of skill. We got in there early and the coach thought it was a good fit for us and it just worked out."
Lowenthal, who averaged 24 points and five assists at Poway High School, also appeared to be headed elsewhere, committing to San Diego last fall.
But the UH coaches later got a tip that he had decided to expand his search and reopened the recruiting process.
"We got a really good player out of that and it was just amazing it worked out that way," Wheeler said. "I thought it was over. Next thing you know he's still available, and it's networking and people who know our program."
Follmer and Alex Veit, who signed in the fall, will help restock a front line that lost senior forwards Julian Sensley and Matthew Gipson and center Chris Botez. Ahmet Gueye is recovering from surgery to repair a torn knee ligament. UH also returns center Stephen Verwers, who sat out last season as a transfer.
Lowenthal adds to a backcourt that must replace senior Deonte Tatum and freshman Hiram Thompson, who will go on a two-year Mormon mission this summer.
The Associated Press contributed to this story