Before playing in the Maui Invitational next week, Illinois will play it's first road contest of the season Friday against Hawaii.
Illinois (2-0) vs. Hawaii (3-0)
Honolulu, Hawaii - Stan Sheriff Center (10.300)
Friday, 11:30 p.m. CST
- Hawaii captured the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic for the 13th time last weekend. The Rainbow Warriors won by average of 17.3 points per game in sweeping its three opponents— Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Houston Baptist— during the round-robin tournament. Center Vander Joaquim was named tournament MVP.
- The Warriors are off to a 3-0 start for the second time in three seasons under coach Gib Arnold.
- Two transfers figure to play an integral role on this season's team. Utah transfer Jace Tavita and Nebraska transfer Christian Standhardinger each returned to the court after a year off due to transfer rules. Both are starters.
- After 33 seasons in the Western Athletic Conference, Hawaii begins its first-ever season in the Big West. UH is 28-23 all-time (.549) against Big West squads. The Rainbow Warriors have faced five different Big West squads in the last two seasons under head coach Gib Arnold and are 5-2 in those
contests. The Rainbow Warriors will make its league debut at home against Cal State Northridge on Dec. 29.
- Guard Brandon Spearman is from Chicago.
Series record: Illinois leads 6-0
Last meeting: Illinois 68, Hawaii 58 (Dec. 8, 2008 - Champaign)
Record at Honolulu: Illinois leads 4-0
Groce vs. Hawaii: First meeting
Hauns Breretin - F, Jr, 6-6, 210 - 16.7 points, six rebounds
Christian Standhardinger - F, Jr, 6-8, 220 - 17.3 points, eight rebounds
Vander Joaquim - C, Jr, 6-10, 245 - 15.3 points, seven rebounds
Jace Tavita - G, Sr, 6-4, 215 - 2.7 points, nine assists
Brandon Spearman - G, Jr, 6-3, 200 - 12.3 points, 2.7 assists
Isaac Fotu - F, Fr, 6-8, 240 - 6.3 points, eight rebounds
Manroop Clair - G, Fr, 2.3 points, 0.7 assists
Ozren Pavlovic - F, Fr, 6-8, 210 - 2.3 points, 0.7 rebounds
Notable quotable: "I think the biggest thing that stand out when I watch them is the tempo, how fast they are. They're going to really challenge our transition defense, and then the way they utilize the big fella (Vander Joaquim). He was banged up a little bit… I had a chance to see him play on film last year. We had a common opponent when I was at Ohio and it's interesting to see his development. Watching him, he has a chance to play for a long time professionally. He has a lot of tools."