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UH basketball tabbed fifth in Big West


    Guard Brandon Thomas (4) drives to the basket around guard Leland Green (0) during a pre-season basketball scrimmage.

The Hawaii men’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the Big West 2017-18 preseason media poll announced this morning.

Fifth is where UH (14-16, 8-8 BWC) finished in 2016-17 — though the Rainbow Warriors were one of six teams to receive first-place votes, with two. UC Irvine received 14 of 26 first-place votes as the early favorite, while defending champion UC Davis was selected second with seven first-place votes.

No Rainbow Warriors were named to the six-player preseason all-conference team. UH forwards Mike Thomas, Gibson Johnson and Jack Purchase had been nominated as candidates.

Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State each received a top vote as the third and fourth overall picks, followed by UH then UC Santa Barbara, which also picked up a single first-place vote.

Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside and Cal Poly brought up the projected rear.

The forward-heavy preseason team was: Chima Moneke of Davis; Temidayo Yussuf and Gabe Levin of The Beach; Tavrion Dawson of CSUN; Jackson Rowe of Fullerton and guard Gabe Vincent of UCSB.

UH begins the season Nov. 10 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Rainbows host Hawaii Pacific in an exhibition at the Stan Sheriff Center on Wednesday.

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