Nevada's Marcelus Kemp drove against UH's Bobby Nash in a game last year. The 'Bows lost two close ones a year ago.
UH rested for Nevada
Recent memories of playing Nevada aren't all that pleasant for Hawaii.
Nevada (8-6, 0-1) at Hawaii (5-9, 1-1 WAC)
When: Tomorrow, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
TV: KFVE Ch. 5
Radio: KKEA 1420-AM
The Wolf Pack have won six of the last seven meetings, including a sweep of last year's series in two games that were tantalizingly close to tipping UH's way.
"Woulda, shoulda, coulda ... but still didn't," UH coach Bob Nash said of last year's close calls. "We just have to find a way."
The series resumes tomorrow at the Stan Sheriff Center with the Rainbows (5-9, 1-1 WAC) looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.
The Wolf Pack (8-6, 0-1) will be looking to rebound from last night's 62-60 loss at San Jose State and are scheduled to arrive in Honolulu today. UH will have had a week to prepare for the game coming off its win at SJSU last Saturday.
Nevada entered the week at No. 43 in the RPI rankings, by far topping WAC schools.
The two meetings between Hawaii and Nevada last season were decided by a total of three points. After Nevada pulled out a 68-66 win in overtime in Honolulu last season, the Wolf Pack edged the Rainbow Warriors 69-68 in Reno in a controversial ending to the game.
Ramon Sessions' driving layup with 27 seconds left in overtime was the decisive blow in the first contest as UH went scoreless over the game's final 3:12.
Later in Reno, it looked as if the Rainbows might pull off a road upset. But in a bizarre finish, Ahmet Gueye's shot while he was fouled was waved off after a review and another potential game-winning putback by P.J. Owsley came just after the buzzer.
Still, the Rainbows aren't necessarily looking at tomorrow's matchup as a payback game. Having the four-time defending WAC regular-season champion coming in figures to be motivation enough.
"We just have to go out there and play," UH senior Bobby Nash said. "I think we're getting better as a team, we're meshing real well, we're making the extra pass and running the offense.
"We live for these matchups. We're playing a heavily touted team and we're just going to go out there, do our job, put forth our best effort and see what happens from there."
The Rainbows will see several different faces with this year's Nevada team, Gone are Sessions and WAC Player of the Year Nick Fazekas. Guard Marcelus Kemp did return after applying for the NBA Draft last summer and leads the Pack at 18.6 points per game.
Although a lot of the names in the Wolf Pack lineup may not be as familiar as last year's group, "it's still Nevada," Bob Nash said.
"They do an excellent job of recruiting and coaching. They have a great system in place, so we're going to have to be on our horses to beat them."
Strength in reserve
Bob Nash has seen it before with junior-college transfers.
"After December, for some magical reason, the light bulb goes on and they start to play better," Nash said.
The Rainbow bench, comprised primarily of newcomers, is coming off one of its most productive games in UH's win over San Jose State. After getting just four points from their reserves in a loss at Utah State, the Rainbows got 20 bench points to SJSU's 15 last Saturday, led by sophomores Adhar Mayen and Bill Amis -- a starter for much of the season -- contributing eight each.
"The good thing about these guys is we have them for two more years," Nash said.
Tomorrow's game has been designated "Green-and-White Night." Fans seated on one half of the arena are asked to wear white with those on the other side wearing green. Details on the section assignments are available at HawaiiAthletics.com.
The first 500 fans through the gates will receive cooler bags.