▪ Today’s likely starting lineup features Ron Baker, freshman Landry Shamet, Evan Wessel, Anton Grady and Shaq Morris. With senior Fred VanVleet out with a strained left hamstring and Conner Frankamp ineligible to play, coach Gregg Marshall is short on guards.
Expect Ty Taylor and John Robert Simon to help out at point guard. We might see Shamet get a chance to run things, as well.
▪ Sophomore Rauno Nurger will not play to preserve his redshirt eligibility. Nurger’s consideration of this option makes sense. He can take another year to get stronger, helping his biggest deficiencies of rebounding and defense, and break up what could be a six-man junior class in 2016-17. Nurger is slotted behind several big forwards this season.
▪ Hawaii Pacific is picked sixth in the 14-team NCAA Division II PacWest Conference. Forward Luke Hager, a 6-8 senior, is a preseason all-conference pick. He averaged 16.1 points and 7.9 rebounds for the Sharks last season after transferring from North Carolina-Wilmington.
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“He’s an all-around skilled player for his size,” Sharks coach Darren Vorderbruegge said. “He’s a real catch for us.”
The Sharks also have NCAA Division I transfers guard Chauncey Orr (Bowling Green) and center Joel Feigler (Central Arkansas).
Orr played in five games for Bowling Green last season, for former Shockers assistant Chris Jans, before leaving the team. He played two previous seasons at Bowling Green before a knee injury ended his 2013-14 season after one game. He is the son of former Bowling Green coach Louis Orr.
Hawaii Pacific, which won the 1993 NAIA title, went 16-11 last season.