UH schedule has pukas
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
In addition to his busy schedule, new University of Hawai'i men's basketball coach Gib Arnold has to worry about ... a schedule.
Along with recruiting players and hiring assistant coaches, Arnold still has to complete the 2010-11 schedule for the Rainbow Warriors.
There are currently six openings for nonconference games.
Previous head coach Bob Nash and his staff were already working on the 2010-11 schedule.
"It's actually pretty far along in the process, so I was pleased with that," Arnold said. "There's still a few games pending, and once we get some players signed and bring some coaches in here, we can start focusing on the scheduling part."
The 2009-10 schedule featured 21 home games, and Arnold said he would favor a similar schedule for his first season at UH.
"Obviously, every head coach wants to play at home as much as possible," he said. "It's great for the fans and great for your team."
The 'Bows will open the 2010-11 season with the four-team Rainbow Classic. The tournament will follow a round-robin format.
Central Michigan and Montana State have agreed to play in the Rainbow Classic, and a third team is being sought.
The nonconference schedule will also feature two road games — at Brigham Young and at Cal Poly. Both games are "return" trips from this past season, when BYU and Cal Poly both beat the 'Bows in the Stan Sheriff Center.
The BYU game is expected to be played in the EnergySolutions Arena, home of the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah. Arnold's father, Frank Arnold, was the head coach at BYU from 1975-83.
Arnold said he will likely play both road games on the same trip.
The highlight of the non-conference schedule will once again be the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. Seven of the eight teams for the 2010 field have been announced: Hawai'i, Baylor, Butler, Florida State, Mississippi State, San Diego and Utah.
Baylor and Butler are currently in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Florida State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament; Mississippi State lost in the second round of the NIT.
"I want to play a competitive schedule every year," Arnold said. "The Diamond Head Classic will definitely help. That's three quality games you're guaranteed to play every year."
The Western Athletic Conference schedule will feature 16 games — eight at home and eight on the road.
The 'Bows are also expected to play a nonconference road game in February as part of the ESPNU BracketBusters.
FINAL STATISTICS FOR 2009-10 SEASON
The postseason is over for the WAC teams, which means the final statistics for the 2009-10 season are now complete.
Hawai'i senior forward Roderick Flemings finished seventh among WAC players in scoring with 16.6 points per game.
Adrian Oliver of San Jose State won the WAC scoring title with 22.5 points per game.
Oliver's teammate, Chris Oakes, took the rebounding title with 9.0 per game. Hawai'i senior forward Petras Balocka finished fifth in rebounding with 8.0 per game.
Nevada sophomore Luke Babbitt — the WAC Player of the Year — finished second in both scoring (21.9 per game) and rebounding (8.9).
Armon Johnson of Nevada finished first in the WAC in assists with 5.6 per game. Hawai'i junior Hiram Thompson finished sixth with 3.9 assists per game.
AWARDS BANQUET SET FOR APRIL 22
The UH Rainbow Warrior basketball awards banquet is scheduled for April 22 at the Hale Koa Hotel DeRussy Hall.
No-host cocktails will start at 5 p.m., with dinner and program to start around 6:30.
The banquet will honor the 2009-10 Hawai'i men's basketball team, which finished with a 10-20 record.
Tickets are $85 per person. Order forms are available at www.hawaiiathletics.com. For more information, contact Nikki Holbrook at 222-3467.