So it wasn’t exactly a championship. Hawaii’s win on the final day of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic certainly didn’t come against a good team, or anything remotely approximating one.
But it WAS a win. You take that any day when you’re on a four-game slide — when each of those losses came by double digits, especially.
UH (5-7) put away Southern Miss 60-46, keeping the Rainbow Warriors from going winless in the event and finishing in last place for the first time in the eight years of the DHC.
Perhaps it was fitting that another school feeling the effects of NCAA sanctions helped UH right itself for the time being, with one nonconference game left to play (3-11 Delaware State on Thursday) before Big West Conference play.
This year’s DHC unfortunately represented a step down from some of the better fields of past years. Some of the teams coming off impressive NCAA Tournament seasons — Utah, Stephen F. Austin, Tulsa, and of course Hawaii — aren’t what they were.
Here was the all-tournament team:
David Collette, Utah
Deontae Hawkins, Illinois State
Charles Minlend, San Francisco
Trey Kell, San Diego State
MOP: Zylan Cheatham, San Diego State
It breaks a streak of three straight years of UH placing a player on the team. When you’re in seventh, you’re out of the running for that.
San Diego State got a long-awaited win in a Hawaii tournament’s championship game, 62-48 over San Francisco. The Aztecs came up empty in the 2012 DHC (68-67 loss to Arizona) and 2014 Maui Invitational (61-59 to Arizona). Luckily for SDSU, Arizona didn’t come for this year’s DHC; they were in the Armed Forces Classic to kick off the season.
It’ll be interesting to see if Eran Ganot favors bringing Noah Allen off the bench going into BWC play. The three-guard lineup (Brocke Stepteau, Sheriff Drammeh, Leland Green) may not have blown the roof off the building, but UH came out with effective energy in both halves. That was something it was clearly lacking in past games.
Credit to the 1,100 of you who came out to see a sliding UH team at 10 a.m. on Christmas morning. You’re true diehards, and I got the sense the team appreciated the support.
Former Bow Seth Sundberg, the ex-con turned entrepreneur, was in town over the holidays to walk in Manoa fall graduation.
Seth Sundberg was without a doubt the tallest Manoa graduate to walk today. The entrepreneur and ex-con shows off one of his "Prison Bars" pic.twitter.com/N381HTJKDg
— Brian McInnis (@Brian_McInnis) December 17, 2016
Here’s a close-up of one of Sundberg’s “Prison Bars”, a variation of the popular snack Sundberg made on the inside while he was incarcerated for tax fraud.
They’re being marketed out of the Bay Area, but you can order them on the Prison Bars website to be shipped anywhere in the U.S. — including Hawaii.