In the old days, the Rainbow Classic was one of the best tournaments in college basketball. Folks here in Hawaii and around the Mainland couldnt wait to see teams like North Carolina, Duke, Michigan, Indiana, etc. Those days are long gone. We now have the Diamond Head Classic over the holidays, and the Rainbow has been relegated to mid November with teams few have heard of. This year is no exception.
Friday, the Classic begins with Maryland-Eastern Shore, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Houston Baptist. Maybe someday they will be replaced by Maryland, Arkansas, and Houston.
It would be a real eye-opener if the Bows dont win all three of these games and by significant margins. Even with a young and inexperienced team, these three opponents really shouldnt offer much of a challenge. But its a good way to get the season off to a 3-0 start.
Friday's opponent, Maryland-Eastern Shore , is picked to finish last in the always tough Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. They were 7-23 last year, and have won 34 games in the last four years. Sunday's opponent is Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Golden Lions are members of the SWAC and had a 11-22 record last year. They are picked to finish 9th in the 10 team league.They also banned from post season play because of low APR scores.
Hawaii should have Vander back, although he is not yet in game shape. Look for him to get increasing minutes, but i dont think Coach will jepordize his full recovery against this competition. Should be an opportunity for lots of guys to get some game experience and to experiment with different lineups. Look for Fr Manroop Clair ( G) and Orzen Pavlovic, a 6-8 G from Croatia, to get into the mix.
Fun fact. Issac Fotu wears number 42. Know why? sound it out.
Tonight on Hoopstalk an interview with Notre Dame head Coach Mike Brey. Tune in.