'Bows hope to extend road trip
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
For the first time all season, the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team can say that it would rather stay on the road than come home.
The Rainbow Warriors departed Honolulu yesterday morning for a pivotal two-game road trip in the state of Idaho.
The 'Bows will close their Western Athletic Conference regular season with games at Boise State tomorrow, then at Idaho on Saturday.
A victory over Boise State will earn Hawai'i a spot in next week's WAC Tournament at Reno, Nev.
If the 'Bows qualify for the WAC tournament, they will travel direct from Idaho to Reno.
"Of course, we love being at home," senior center Paul Campbell said. "But we don't want to come straight home (from Idaho). We want to go straight to the WAC Tournament."
The 'Bows arrived in Boise last night after nearly 12 hours of travel time. Hawai'i head coach Bob Nash said the plan was to rest last night and then go through an intense practice today.
"We get in (last night), and that gives us all of (today) to adjust and get ready," Nash said.
Tomorrow's game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (Hawai'i time). It will be broadcast live via radio on ESPN 1420 AM.
Hawai'i is 10-18 overall and 3-11 in the WAC. Boise State is 13-16 overall and 3-11 in the WAC.
With two regular-season games remaining, there are still many scenarios remaining to determine the seedings for the WAC Tournament.
The 'Bows can make things simple for themselves with a win tomorrow. If Hawai'i beats Boise State, it will qualify for the WAC Tournament, and the finale at Idaho will determine if the 'Bows are the No. 7 or No. 8 seed.
"You can't get to the NCAA Tournament without getting to the WAC Tournament, so that's the goal in front of us," Nash said. "We don't want to just get to the WAC Tournament. We want to win it. The best way to do that is to build some momentum going into it, and we can do that by winning these last two games."
Easier said than done. Hawai'i is 0-7 on the road this season.
"Just being away is difficult for us because every trip is going to be a long one," junior point guard Hiram Thompson said. "But we know if we play our A-game we can beat anybody in the WAC, home or away. We beat Boise (in Honolulu) already, so we have some confidence."
The 'Bows defeated Boise State, 76-68, on Jan. 11.
Note: Junior guard Dwain Williams remains on indefinite suspension for violating team rules, and will not travel with the team, according to Nash. Williams has been on suspension since Feb. 4.