The men’s basketball team traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii to compete in the Hawaii Nike Classic tournament facing three challenging teams.
The team will begin play against Drake University tomorrow at 9 p.m.
Drake University, has a 59-36 record in season openers heading into the tournament with coach Kurt Kanaskie. Kanaskie has a 2-3 record in season openers as head coach at Drake.
Drake has high expectations for the season as they return with three top scorers from last season. Drake is ranked 17th nationally in field goal percentage and made a school record 201 three-point baskets in the 2000-2001 season.
If the Bearkats defeat Drake University, they will play the winner of the Norfolk University/ University of Hawaii game on Sunday for the championship.
Norfolk University has been listed as the favorite to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship by several preseason polling publications.
Terrence Winston, who has a 12-17 record, will lead Norfolk. Winston averaged 14.8 points and helped the team win the league crown. He also helped the team advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament after defeating Iowa State in the first round of post season play.
The University of Hawaii is expected to make a run at the Western Athletic Conference title.
The team was picked to finish second in the WAC 2001-2002 preseason coaches poll.
The team won nine of their last 12 games of the WAC Tournament. Predrag Savoic, the team’s top scorer, is one of the three starters returning. The team had a 17-14 season and had an 8-8 fifth place conference finish.