Honolulu, HI — The 2017-18 college basketball season gets underway on November 10th, and the anticipation continues to build with each passing day.
Classes are underway across the country, and more teams are releasing their non-conference schedules with each passing day.
One of the teams that released their non-conference schedule last week was the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors. Here’s a look inside what fans can expect from the Warriors’ non-conference slate for the upcoming season.
Hawai’i will jump right on November 10th, as the Warriors open up their 2017-18 season by hosting the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic. Their first game of the event comes against the Arkansas Pine-Bluff Golden Lions.
This year, they will look to duplicate last season’s result against the Golden Lions, as they cruised to a 64-44 win last season.
Hawai’i will also take on the Troy Trojans and North Dakota Fighting Hawks over the four-day event to open the season.
They will continue to strive for wins this season with home games against the likes of the Nevada Wolfpack and Adams State following the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.
Getting a win against the Wolf Pack is no easy task, as they went 28-7 overall, and 14-4 in conference play, in 2016-17. To make matters worse, two weeks later they have the pleasure of playing a brute Utah Utes team on the road on December 2nd.
In the span of just over two weeks from the Utah Game, they will be matched up with two teams who aren’t regarded as too much of a threat to take down the Warriors, in the Prairie View A&M Panthers and UH-Hilo.
However, their third game in that two-week stretch comes against the Utah Valley Wolverines. The contest may prove to be troublesome for the Warriors, as the Wolverines are a “sneaky pick” to win the WAC this season.
Their schedule ramps up a bit because they play arguably one of the best teams in the ACC, the Miami Hurricanes. With elite guards Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker, Miami is a force to reckoned with, and will live up to their nickname “Hurricanes”. No doubt, the Warriors will have their hands full and will have to go deep into their armory to be able to pull off a victory to the likes of one of the best teams in the country. The game will be at home on Friday December 22nd at 8:00 PM.
The contest is a part of the 2017 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
After the Miami game, Hawai’i begins facing off against in conference talent. They play the likes of the Cal Poly Mustangs, UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, UC Davis Aggies, Cal State Fullerton Titans, UC Santa Barbara (again), Cal Poly (again), and the UC Riverside Highlanders. All those games are back to back to back, so in the span of these seven games, the Warriors’ Big West record could make or break their fate in the conference.
Ultimately, Hawaii’s record this season could depend on whether or not this year’s new additions can work together as a squad and take over the conference. An interesting aspect to look at this season is if Mike Thomas can lead his team, both on and off the court, and set a good example for everyone on the team.
He will be one of the captains this season and is coming off a redshirt year. Hopefully the Warriors can bring everything full circle and bring the heat for this upcoming exciting college basketball season in Honolulu.
– T. Zust