HONOLULU - The North Dakota men’s basketball team travels across the Pacific Ocean to play Hawaii for the first time since meeting the Rainbow Warriors in the 1949 NAIB Tournament. The Green and White won that first-round match up in Kansas City, 70-53.
UND VS. HAWAII SERIES
UND VS. HAWAII SERIES
All-time: UND leads 1-0
in Honolulu: First Meeting
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Hawaii: 0-0
Hawaii Head Coach Gib Arnold vs. UND: 0-0
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN/TRACK
Radio: 100.3 FM (Grand Forks) or iHeart Radio App (computer or smart phone)
Live Audio Stream: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Video: www.OCSports.tv
Live Stats: www.HawaiiAthletics.com
Live Chat: www.UNDSports.com
IN THE PAINT...
• UND has sandwiched its only win of the season -- an 87-51 victory over Crown College - between a pair of double-digits losses to Kansas State (85-52, Nov. 9) and Northern Iowa (72-47, Nov. 17).
• The loss to the Panthers started a three-game road swing for UND that includes this trip to Hawaii and a much shorter trip to Brookings, S.D. to play renewed rival South Dakota State (Nov. 28).
• Sophomore Lenny Antwi cut what was an 11-point halftime deficit to UNI down to six points with his third 3-pointer of the game early in the second half, but the Panthers would respond with a 17-4 run to put the game out of reach.
* Antwi, who started for the second straight game, finished with nine points - all on 3-pointers - but that bucket would be his last of the contest. Junior Aaron Anderson led the Green and White in scoring for the second straight game with 12 points.
• Junior college transfer Alonzo Traylor scored a season-high nine points and shared the team-rebounding lead for the third straight game with four (sharing with Antwi).
• UNI head coach Ben Jacobson defeated his alma mater for the fourth-straight time, while UND head coach Brian Jones dropped his fourth straight decision to his alma mater.
• UND rebounded from that 33-point loss to K-State in the season opener by posting a 36-point win over the Storm in its home opener on Nov. 14. Anderson also led the team in scoring in that contest with 18 points and dished out a career-high eight assists.
• Antwi made the most of his first career start - registering career highs in points (16), rebounds (7) and assists (7). Antwi knocked down a career-high 5 3-pointers as well as UND finished 12-for-22 from beyond the arc.
• Junior Josh Schuler and senior Jordan Allard rounded out a quartet of double-figure scorers for UND with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Schuler scored all 13 of his points in the first half, sinking 3-of-5 attempts from 3-point range. Schuler now has 498 career points.
• Allard shared team-high rebounding honors with Antwi and Traylor. It was the second straight game Traylor pulled down seven rebounds off the bench.
• With its 87-51 victory over Crown College, UND registered its 900th home win in school history and is now 4-3 in home openers under Jones, including three straight victories.
• Junior Troy Huff paced UND with 12 points in the season opener at K-State. He led UND in scoring a team-high 10 times during the 2011-12 season, but has sat out the last two games with an injury. He had appeared in 67 straight games, including 37 consecutive starts.
• Antwi started in place of junior Jamal Webb, who served a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules.
• Webb returned for the Northern Iowa game, but Antwi still started. Webb had four points and two assists in 32 minutes off the bench.
• Allard has started all three games this season and has matched his career starts coming into the season. The Fargo native leads all active players with 94 career appearances.
• Webb had a team-high three steals against K-State to up his career total to 113. He only needs 15 more steals to move into second place by himself on the career charts. Webb had 57 as a sophomore, which tied for the fifth most in a single-season at the school.
• Anderon has led a much better effort from the foul line for UND this season, connecting on all 12 of his attempts through two games. The team is shooting 70.2 percent (33-for-47). Last season, UND shot only 63 percent from the stripe.
• In fact, Anderson made his first 15 free throw attempts of the season before missing his fourth and final attempt in the UNI game.
• Jones has four starters back and six of his top seven scorers from his 2012 Great West Conference Tournament championship team. The seventh-year head coach will have to replace second team All-Great West performer Patrick Mitchell, who averaged 10.4 ppg and 4.4 rpg during his final season with the program.
• The 2011-12 squad posted a 17-15 record and earned an automatic berth to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the second consecutive season. UND lost at Drake, 70-64, in the opening round of postseason play.
• The 2012-13 season will mark the first one for the team in the Big Sky Conference and first chance at an NCAA Tournament automatic bid. UND wrapped up its five-year transition to Division I and three-year run in the Great West Conference last season.
• UND split its four contests against Big Sky opponents in 2011-12. The Green and White defeated eventual regular season and tournament champion Montana 88-81 in overtime at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. UND also split a home-and-home series with Idaho State and lost at Sacramento State (75-64) after leading the Hornets by six at halftime.
• Jones bolstered in already loaded junior class with a trio of transfers. Forward Jaron Nash (6-8, 185) transferred to UND from Texas Tech and the Waterloo, Iowa native is still seeking a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately due to family health reasons. Forward Alonzo Traylor (6-7, 214) comes to UND from Iowa Western Community College. Traylor averaged 14.0 ppg and 6.6 rpg as a sophomore en route to earning All-Region XI second team honors. Fellow post player Ryan Salmonson (6-9, 216) rounds out the trio and joins UND after two seasons of JUCO basketball at Cosumnes River College in California. He averaged 9.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg in his final season with the Hawks. Salmonson is slated to take a redshirt season in 2012-13.
• Also redshirting during the 2012-13 season will be walk-on guard Thomas Blake and Houston Baptist transfer Dustin Hobaugh. Hobaugh played as a true freshman for the Huskies last season and will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining starting with the 2013-14 season.
• The 2011-12 season was the last for the UND men’s basketball team to compete under the Fighting Sioux nickname. The longtime nickname was retired this past summer and all University athletic teams will go by the University of North Dakota, North Dakota or UND until Jan. 1, 2015.
ONCE UPON A NOVEMBER
The North Dakota men’s basketball team won its lone November home game by routing Crown College 87-51 on Wednesday. December will provide many more opportunities, however, for the home fans to cheer on the Green and White. UND will play four of its six December games at the BESC.
Twenty-two members of the men’s basketball program made the voyage out to Hawaii and only five had been to the state prior to the trip. Assistant coach Dean Oliver, a former NBA point guard for the Golden State Warriors, has made the trip three times, which accounts for the most visits by anyone in the travel party. Center Mitch Wilmer is the only player on the roster that has made the trip. He vacationed with his family out here as a middle schooler. Head coach Brian Jones has made the trip twice, including as an assistant coach at Iowa when Oliver was playing for the Hawkeyes. Play-by-play voice Paul Ralston made a trip with the UND women’s basketball team a few years ago, while SID Ryan Powell has also been to Hawaii once.
Seven teams on UND’s 2011-12 docket advanced to postseason tournaments, including four to the NCAA Tournament (Kansas, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota State). UND beat two of those teams at home (Montana and South Dakota State). North Dakota State and Western Illinois both made the CBI Invitational, while GWC foe Utah Valley earned an at-large bid to join UND in the CIT Tournament.
The schedule does not get any easier in 2012-13, as UND’s slate has seven more teams on it that advanced to postseason tournaments. Kansas State advanced to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Northern Iowa made the second round of the NIT. Both Montana and South Dakota State lost their first games in the NCAA Tournament. Bowling Green and Weber State joined UND in the CIT Postseason Tournament, while NDSU lost in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.
UND, which had only overcome a halftime deficit to win once during the regular season, rallied from such deficits in both 2012 GWC Tournament wins. UND trailed by as many as 14 to No. 3 seed Texas-Pan American before storming back to post a 63-59 victory. And, against the fourthseeded Highlanders in the championship game, UND trailed by two before outscoring NJIT 48-31 after the break.
Junior Brandon Brekke was one of the top field goal shooters at the NCAA Division I level last season, making 68.2 percent of his shots (116-for-170). Brekke did not have enough makes (five per game required) to qualify in the national rankings (Missouri’s Ricardo Ratliff led the country at 69.3 percent), but he did lead the Great West Conference in both regular season and league games. Through three games this season, Brekke is shooting 61.5 percent from the field (8-for-13).
OPPONENT PREVIEW: HAWAII
• Head coach Gib Arnold is four games into his third season at the helm of the Hawaii men’s basketball program.
• The Rainbow Warriors finished 16-16 and 6-8 in what was their last season in the WAC in 2011-12. The team has made the move to the Big West Conference this season and was picked to finish fourth in the league’s preseason poll.
• Vander Joaquim is the team’s leader scorer despite starting only two of the four games for the Rainbow Rainbow Warriors. The senior center, who was a first team All-WAC selection last season, is shooting 59.1 percent from the field and also shares the team lead in rebounding at 8.0/g with Isaac Fotu.
• Joaquim and Fotu are helping the Rainbow Rainbow Warriors outrebound their opponents by more than a dozen boards per game.
• Joaquim is one of four Rainbow Rainbow Warriors averaging 14.3 or more points per game as the squad is putting up 76.8 ppg.
• UH had won its first three games before dropping a 78-77 overtime contest to Illinois. The Rainbow Rainbow Warriors let a 15-point slip away in regulation.
• All four of the Rainbow Warriors opponents have made the trek across the Pacific Ocean.
• UND fans became quite familliar with one of those fallen foes as Houston Baptist -- a former Great West Conference member along with UND the past three seasons -- played in Honolulu last Monday (Nov. 12). UH won that game 73-60.
• That 13-point victory over the Huskies came in the title game of the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic.
• The guard combo of Hauns Brereton and Brandon Spearman are both averaging more than 35 minutes of run per game and both are scoring in double figures -- 15.0 ppg and 14.3 ppg, respectively.
• Brereton is the team’s top 3-point shooter early on, connecting on 9-of-22 attempts from beyond the arc.
• The only area UH has shown any signs of struggle at is the free throw line where the team is converting only 66 percent of its attempts. The Rainbow Warriors find their way to the charity stripe plenty, however, averaging 25 trips their per game so far this season.
• Brereton (11-for-12; 91.7) and Fotu (6-for-7; 85.7) are a combined 17-for-19, while the rest of the team is just 49-for-79 (62.0 percent).