Sports Diamond Head Classic Capsules By Star-Advertiser staff Dec. 22, 2011 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. AUBURN TIGERS (7-1) » Conference: SEC » Coach Tony Barbee: “You look at the season that the teams are currently having, it could be three, four, five NCAA Tournament teams come out of this field. It’s as good as any of the holiday tournaments this year. … It’s an opportunity for us as we try to build and grow the program.” » Top players: G Frankie Sullivan (13.1 ppg), C Rob Chubb (11.4 ppg, 1.6 bpg), F Kenny Gabriel (10.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 3.0 bpg) » Notes: Auburn is sixth in the country and second in the SEC in blocks per game (7.4). … Tigers beat UH 84-57 on Nov. 29, 1998, at the Stan Sheriff Center in teams’ only other meeting. CLEMSON TIGERS (6-4) » Conference: ACC » Coach Brad Brownell: “We’re excited to be here. We played a little bit better our last couple of games and need to try to get our attention set for the ACC. We know this tournament has a really good field, and if we can play well … it will really prepare us for the ACC.” » Top players: G Andre Young (13.7 ppg, 3.6 apg), G Tanner Smith (9.5 ppg, 4.5 apg), F Devin Booker (9.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg) » Notes: The Tigers entered the week seventh nationally in scoring defense at 53.6 points allowed, while holding opponents to a .387 field-goal percentage … Clemson backed out of the final eight-team Rainbow Classic in 2008, paving the way for replacement (and champion) Buffalo. HAWAII RAINBOW WARRIORS (5-4) » Conference: WAC » Coach Gib Arnold: “The defense has kept us around, and when the shots aren’t falling we need to figure out a way how to win games. The defense is further along than the offense right now. We’ll continue to work on the offense to where that becomes one of our strengths, not one of our weaknesses.” » Top players: G Zane Johnson (14.1 ppg, .929 FT%), G Shaquille Stokes (12.3 ppg, .800 FT%), C Vander Joaquim (11.6 ppg, 9.8 rpg) » Notes: Only four of UH’s first nine games were played at the Sheriff … ’Bows are 3-3 after two years of the DHC, with a fourth-place finish in 2009 and a fifth-place finish in 2010. … Johnson needs three made free throws to tie Reggie Carter’s school record 28 straight. He is ninth in the nation in free-throw percentage. LONG BEACH STATE 49ERS (5-5) » Conference: Big West » Coach Dan Monson: “We’ve played four top-20 teams, and they’ve all been at their place. It’s just a real difficult thing; two-thirds of every college game is won by the home team. So for us to get over here and play bigger schools in a neutral environment, is a culmination of a tough schedule and another opportunity to build our resume for an at-large bid.” » Top players: G Casper Ware (17.5 ppg, 3.8 apg), G Larry Anderson (15.1 ppg, 3.8 apg), F T.J. Robinson (13.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg) » Notes: By many estimates, the 49ers have the toughest nonconference schedule in the country for the third straight year, with a win at No. 9 Pitt and respectable losses at No. 6 Louisville, No. 13 Kansas and No. 4 North Carolina … Ware is ninth in LBSU career scoring (1,425 points) and second in assists (469). KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (7-1) » Conference: Big 12 » Coach Frank Martin: “I think it’s one of the more underrated tournaments that’s going to be held this year. … The depth of the field is unbelievable. To win three games in four days is going to be a tremendous challenge for any of us.” » Top players: F Thomas Gipson (12.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg), F Jamar Samuels (12.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg), G Will Spradling (12.0 ppg, 3.3 apg) » Notes: K-State hasn’t missed a beat since losing All-America guard Jacob Pullen to graduation; it is coming off a 71-58 upset of No. 23 Alabama on Dec. 17 … Wildcats’ lone loss came in double overtime to West Virginia … Since Martin arrived in 2007, K-State has generated 18.3 ppg off turnovers. He has won at least 21 games every year there. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS SALUKIS (3-5) » Conference: Missouri Valley » Coach Chris Lowery: “Anytime you can play in an exempt tournament in a neutral-court setting, and you’re not playing Hawaii, it’s always good. There’s no home-court advantage, and there’s always the opportunity for upsets to happen.” » Top players: F Mamadou Seck (13.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg), G Kendal Brown-Surles (10.5 ppg, 3.0 apg) » Notes: SIU recently got three players with starting experience back from ineligibility/injury, including Brown-Surles … the Salukis are going for their first three-game winning streak in two years. … Lowery’s first season at SIU (2004-05) included a 66-64 loss to UH in a BracketBusters return game at the Sheriff. TEXAS-EL PASO MINERS (4-5) » Conference: C-USA » Coach Tim Floyd: “We’ve improved — we’re still not where we’d like to be — but we’ve basically had to; we were very poor early with the transition from the oldest team in the country to (one of) the youngest. … Our biggest issue right now is health; we’ve lost two of our five inside guys to injury.” » Top players: F Gabriel McCulley (12.8 ppg, .658 FG%), F Julian Washburn (11.3 ppg), G Jacques Streeter (6.4 ppg, 4.2 apg) » Notes: UTEP has seven freshmen, one shy of the school record … Streeter, a transfer from Cal State Fullerton, had 15 points, nine assists and six rebounds in a win over UH at the Sheriff on Nov. 16, 2008. He led the Big West in assist-to-turnover ratio in 2008-09 and 2009-10.. NO. 14 XAVIER MUSKETEERS (8-1) » Conference: Atlantic 10 » Coach Chris Mack: “We signed up for the tournament because of the competition. You really find out a lot about your team. … Obviously we’re in a little different circumstances with a couple guys out. But hey, we’re here to learn a lot more about our team. We’re also here to compete. We’ve got a great field and it starts … with Long Beach State.” » Top players: G Tu Holloway (17.6 ppg, 4.9 apg, .875 FT%), G Mark Lyons (17.4 ppg, .505 FG%, .433 3PT%), C Kenny Frease (9.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.3 bpg) » Notes: Xavier’s third-leading scorer, Dezmine Wells, will miss the tournament because of his role in the Xavier-Cincinnati brawl on Dec. 10. Lyons, also involved, will return after the LBSU game. … It is Xavier’s first trip to Hawaii … the Musketeers beat UH 70-58 in UH’s last NCAA appearance in 2002. Previous Story Hawaii Bowl to feature Mountain West Conference Next Story Chow: Winning football games, chasing championships is 'our job'