Nash making home-and-homes a trend for Hawaii hoops
The Hawaii basketball program is expanding on its recent trend of scheduling home-and-home series during the nonconference season.
After playing UNLV both home and away the last two years, the Rainbow Warriors have series with San Diego and New Mexico set up for this season.
New UH head coach Bob Nash, who handled the Rainbows' scheduling as associate coach under Riley Wallace, said setting up home-and-home series can have financial benefits along with filling spots on the nonconference slate. Under the arrangement, each school covers its travel expenses rather than having the host team pay a guarantee to the visitors.
"You get two games on your schedule and people are more willing to come play here if they know they're going to get a return game out of you, whether in the same year or in a subsequent year," Nash said.
UH plans to travel to Illinois next year in return for the Illini playing in Honolulu this November on their way to the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The 'Bows are also slated to visit Oregon State in 2008 as a return game for OSU's visit here last December.
Nash said he'd eventually like to set up home-and-home series with a Pac-10 team on an annual basis.
"We're looking more at those kinds of things, more creative things like that so we get away from just giving away money (in guarantees)," Nash said.
This season's series will mean the Rainbows will make two trips to the mainland -- to New Mexico in November and San Diego in December -- prior to the Western Athletic Conference season. The staff had initially looked at trying to package the games into one trip, but the dates didn't work out. Still, the trips will give the 'Bows a taste of life on the road before jumping into league play in January.
"I'm trying to get to a point where we don't look at the road as being a big obstacle for us," Nash said. "We just have to train our minds and our bodies to prepare for that. It's a hard thing to do, but it's something that I think is doable if we get ourselves not in good shape, but in great shape."
UH hasn't played New Mexico, which hired former Iowa coach Steve Alford to lead the program in March, since 1999, when the Lobos were still members of the WAC.
UH opens the season at home against San Diego on Nov. 9, but Nash is tinkering with dates before releasing the full schedule.
"The only thing that's holding us up is we have a couple of gaps and we're trying to schedule games so we don't have any long breaks once we start playing," he said.
Nash has signed his first contract as head coach. He declined to comment on the details of the deal, which is making its way through the formal approval process. UH athletic director Herman Frazier
said the three-year deal, with options after each year, had been agreed to in principle when Nash's hiring was announced in April.
"Everything went well," said Nash, who didn't use an agent in the process. "It's a pretty straightforward contract."
Nash said he's close to finalizing his coaching staff. Nash and associate coach Jackson Wheeler
have moved one office over from their previous digs, Nash moving into the corner office occupied by Wallace the past two decades.
Nash previously said he wanted to have the staff in place before the summer evaluation period, which starts on Saturday. He's scheduled to start his tour scouting summer tournaments on Monday and will be on the road through July 24.
Back in town
Most of the Rainbows players are on campus and enrolled in summer school classes. Seniors Riley Luettgerodt
, P.J. Owsley
, Alex Veit
and Stephen Verwers
were back in time to play in Saturday's College Summer League games at Manoa Recreation Center. Senior Bobby Nash
and freshmen Conrad Fitzgerald
and Gary Satterwhite
also played last week. The league's season continues tonight and Saturday with games at 6 and 7:30 p.m.