UH-Hilo Hoops Finalizing Games Against DI Teams
The University of Hawai’i at Hilo men’s basketball team will get at least one opportunity to play a “level up” against NCAA Division I competition.
Plans have been finalized for UH-Hilo, an NCAA Division II basketball member, to take on Montana State at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. The game will take place on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.
Montana State will be in Honolulu for the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic, held from Nov. 13-17. Hawai’i and Nevada will also participate in the classic.
“Whenever you have an opportunity to play a level up, that is good for your program to be able to compete against a Division I team ,” said UH-Hilo head coach GE Coleman. “Our players, obviously, want to play the best and up a level and this gives us an opportunity to do that.”
Sources told Big Island Now that UH-Hilo had been approached to be the fourth team in the Rainbow Classic, replacing Prairie View A&M, who had decided not to make the trip to the islands. At least one school, however, did not want to face a Division II team as part of the three-game event, leading to the one-off game instead.
There are also plans for UH-Hilo to host its big brother in a men’s basketball contest on the Big Island in December. A date has not been finalized and neither has a venue, but there is an early possibility that the game could be played in Kona.
Both Hilo and Manoa played a regular season game at Kealakehe High School on Dec. 16, 2011. Hawai’i won the game by the score of 79-66, but the game was sparsely attended by fans.
Coleman said he is putting the finishing touches on his team’s schedule. Currently, the home opener for UH-Hilo is a conference game on Dec. 5 against Brigham Young University-Hawai’i at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.