▪ Hawaii tore up the Nebraska with its full-court zone press in Monday’s first round. It forced turnovers on four straight possessions after Nebraska went up 43-40. Nebraska finished with 18 turnovers, which fits Hawaii’s profile. According to kenpom.com, the Rainbow Warriors force turnovers on 21.4 percent of possessions, 86th nationally.
The Huskers are one of the nation’s poorest ball-handling teams — of its five players with the most starts, one has more assists than turnovers and not by much. Pressing WSU will be a different deal, because the Shockers possess three players trustworthy with the ball. The loss of Evan Wessel may show up here, because he would give WSU a fourth experienced player.
WSU burned Alabama when it pressed because of Fred VanVleet’s ability to attack. That might be a cautionary tale for the Warriors.
▪ Hawaii is also prone to turnovers and its players aren’t afraid to take a few adventuresome shots. Taking bad shots and turning the ball over can kill a team against the Shockers, who expertly turn those mistakes into baskets. The Warriors are shooting 29 percent from three-point range.
On Monday, Stefan Jankovic played for the first time since 2013, after transferring from Missouri. The 6-foot-11 center went 0 for 3 from three-point range and wasn’t shy about shooting from well behind the arc.
▪ Teams don’t normally come to holiday tournaments and play a home team. The Shockers will play a road game tonight. The Sheriff Center seats 10,300 and a crowd of 8,448 attended Monday’s game against Nebraska. The Warriors can get a on a roll, making threes, dunking, causing turnovers, and get the crowd going.
WSU’s newcomers played well on Monday against Loyola Marymount. Tuesday night’s game is a test of a different level, playing on the road against an athletic, aggressive team. If the rookies can stay solid, it’s a big help for WSU.
▪ Hawaii’s program is in a state of flux. The school fired coach Gib Arnold in October because of an NCAA investigation. It elevated assistant Benjy Taylor to acting coach.