SB FILE / FEB. 2006
Ahmet Gueye and the Rainbow Warriors take on Hawaii-Hilo tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Rainbows go through the motions
Hawaii will treat its exhibition with Hilo as the real thing
Before raising the curtain on the new season, the Hawaii basketball team takes the stage tonight to test itself under the lights.
Exhibition games; at the Stan Sheriff Center
Hawaii vs. UH-Hilo
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Hawaii vs. Hawaii Pacific
When: Today, 4 p.m.
The game against UH-Hilo is labeled as an exhibition, but the Rainbow Warriors are approaching the meeting with the Vulcans as a chance to get the full game-day experience.
"We'll play it as a regular game," UH head coach Riley Wallace said. "We'll try to get them prepared, we'll do our pregame meals, we'll do our practice, postgame, everything just like we do (during the season). It's a total rehearsal."
Tipoff at the Stan Sheriff Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be preceded by the UH women's team's exhibition game with Hawaii Pacific at 4.
Tonight's game will give both Wallace and Vulcans coach Jeff Law their only chances to evaluate their teams under game conditions prior to the start of the season.
Following the game, Law will have about two weeks to make adjustments prior to the opener. Time is more of an issue for the Rainbows, who open the season at UNLV on Friday.
"I'll try to get my substitutions down the way I want to and hopefully be able to use everybody and give everybody a feel for it so you can see how they are," Wallace said.
After three weeks of practice, the Rainbows' returnees have taken the lead in the rotations. UH will likely start a lineup of guards Matt Gibson and Matt Lojeski, and forwards Bobby Nash, Ahmet Gueye and Stephen Verwers.
Wallace said Dominic Waters and Gibson will probably see equal time at the point, and he'll keep fresh big men on the floor by bringing Todd Follmer, P.J. Owsley and Alex Veit off the bench. Riley Luettgerodt can contribute at both small forward and shooting guard.
Wallace said this year's team has been relatively slow in picking up the offense and is looking to the exhibition to see how the 'Bows respond on game night.
"They've been pushing themselves, they're very coachable, it just may take us a while," he said. "That's why it's going to be interesting to see where we are (tonight), because that'll give you a little bit of a public test as to where you are and how much you can use the pieces that you have and where to use them."
Law is also working in some new faces, but has been hampered by injuries in practice. Three players have missed time recently with sprained ankles, which hasn't helped in replacing four seniors off last season's 16-9 squad.
"We've got a lot of new guys and we're just trying to find out who's who right now," said Law, a former assistant in Manoa.
"I know Riley's got new guys, too, but he can throw five guys who have been in the system out on the floor. I can't throw five guys on the floor who have been in the system. There's going to be a lot of times I've got five totally new guys out there who don't understand a whole lot of what's going on."
Two years ago, the Vulcans hung around with big brother for much of the game before losing 75-49. Last year, the Rainbows romped to a 110-55 win in which UH-Hilo forward Joe Travis dislocated his ankle.
In visiting Manoa for the third straight year, Law simply wants the Vulcans to come out of the game healthy and use the experience to build toward the Nov. 20 opener against Lewis & Clark College. He'd also like to give his former boss a chance to evaluate his team as well.
"I want to make sure Manoa gets something out of it," Law said. "We're going to try to be as competitive as we can so they can get something out of it, too, because I know whatever happens we'll get something out of it, win, lose or draw."
Doubling up: Fans attending today's women's game will be allowed to stay for the men's game at 7.
Ticket holders for the women's game must move to an upper-level seat for the men's game and will have to move if the ticket holder for that seat arrives.
After halftime of the women's game, only men's tickets will be sold at the Sheriff Center box office. Men's ticket holders can attend the women's game for free.
General-admission ticket prices for the women's game are $8 (adults) and $6 (senior citizens). All students get in free.
Men's reserved-seat tickets are $22 (lower level-single tickets only), $18 (upper level-adult), $5 (upper level-students), $3 (upper level-UH students) and $5 (Super Rooter/Manoa Maniacs).