Friday, February 2, 2001
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Posted on: Friday, February 2, 2001

Road trips operate like clockwork

By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer

It’s Friday. Do you know where your Wahine basketball team is? Hawaii coach Vince Goo does, every minute of every Western Athletic Conference road trip.

The Wahine, who pulled into second place in the WAC with two victories last week, left Wednesday morning for two road games — at Fresno tonight and Nevada Sunday. The game against the Wolf Pack is one of five WAC women’s regional telecasts and will be shown live on Fox Sports Net (Oceanic cable 21) at 9 a.m.

The Wahine departed for Fresno at 9:30 a.m., after a 6:30 practice. Dawn Patrol practices have become a Goo travel-day tradition after one too many post-arrival workouts were wiped out because of delays.

Hawaii arrived among the raisins at 8 p.m. California time. That gave the players 22 hours to kill, since the Bulldogs didn’t have any practice time available until 6 last night.

Goo structures every hour, including free time. There were openings for shopping and eating yesterday, but there were also two film sessions and study hall prior to practice.

Food is not a priority for this team. A party of five is considered large when it goes out for meals, and Subway has overtaken Sizzler as the "restaurant" of choice.

Hawaii checks out at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow and is scheduled to arrive in Reno at noon, via San Francisco. To cut costs, a Harrah’s shuttle will take the team to its hotel and practice that night, then return it to the airport at 4:30 a.m. Monday.

This itinerary, and the three other WAC road trips, have been in the works since summer. That’s when assistant coach Da Houl begins her quest — with the help of Panda Travel — for cheap airfares, cheaper ground transportation and acceptable accommodations.

The definition of acceptable is fluid. UH prefers just two to a room, but the cost has to come in low enough that players have enough per diem money left to eat. UH student-athletes get $60 a day on the road for rooms and food, loosely based on a $35 (hotel)/$25 (food) breakdown.

Once travel arrangements and practice times are arranged, everything else is worked in. This year, study hall has not been a priority only because the team studies a lot on its own. The team GPA last semester was 3.1.

"We didn’t have time for a study hall on the first trip," recalls assistant Serenda Valdez. "Last year, that never would have happened. This year, we waited 11/2 hours at the airport and more than half the team cracked open the books. (Christa) Brossman studied the whole trip. The team was teasing her."

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