HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine basketball team hit the road again for the Big West Tournament in Las Vegas — opening the tournament against Cal State Bakersfield.
Travel is nothing new for this battle tested UH squad, after playing most of their 2020-2021 season on the road head coach Laura Beeman says that getting on a plane to play is not an issue for her team.
“Being on the road, it doesn’t faze this team.” Coach Beeman told reporters. “We know what we need to do, we’ve talked a lot about one and done, but not in a way of being afraid, but in a way that you have to get focused and prepared a lot more quickly than normal, you don’t have the multiple practices to get ready for an opponent.”
The last time the ‘Bows faced off against the Roadrunners was in California, with Bakersfield getting the weekend sweep of the series, but according to coach Beeman anything can happen in such a unique year.
“Crazy thing about this tournament is normally in a season you’ve played everybody, you know tendencies.” Coach Beeman said. “There are teams that we could face that we’ve never seen and so that’s a little challenging for everybody, but this team has had that next play mentality all year long, like I said they’ve been battle tested.”
As one of the youngest team in the conference — UH only lists three seniors on the roster — coach Beeman is using their youth as an advantage as most of them have never been to the Big West Tournament.
“I think they’re excited to get on a plane and go to the tournament, see what this whole bubbling thing is about.” Coach Beeman said. “The exciting thing about youth is they don’t know what they don’t know, so they’re kind of approaching this as kind of kids in a candy store if you will and they’re just excited to go to Vegas, be in a bubble and play basketball, so I think that really plays in our favor.”
Despite the allure of the Ninth Island, the Wahine are gearing up to go on a bit of a run in the Big West Tournament and beyond.
“We’re not getting distracted by the nerves and by the anxiety and by the oh my gosh this is a tournament, these games are huge.” Coach Beeman said. “These guys are excited to get on a plane and go, we’ll refocus them, they’re going to be ready to go, I think we’re playing our best basketball right now and I’m just excited to see what we do over the next, hopefully, five days into maybe three weeks or so.”
The Wahine and Roadrunners tip off on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. Hawaii time from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas — streaming on WatchESPN.