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UH hoops not seeking Mountain West membership


    Hawaii forward Gibson Johnson (21) drives to the basket ahead of UC Irvine forward Elston Jones (50) during the second half of a college basketball game on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The University of Hawaii is not among the six schools seeking Mountain West Conference membership for their men’s basketball programs, athletic director David Matlin said today.

MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson told the San Diego Union Tribune his conference has been contacted by six schools, including Gonzaga, about possible basketball membership. Thompson did not name the other five suitors.

“We’re not exploring it,” Matlin told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “We haven’t had conversations (about MWC basketball membership).”

UH has held football-only membership in the MWC since 2012, with basketball and most of its other teams in the California-based Big West Conference.

Because UH’s membership is solely in football, the MWC has 11 basketball-playing members and is thought to be considering adding at least a 12th for scheduling and revenue reasons.

UH competed against some current MWC members during its time in the Western Athletic Conference (1979-2012), but eight WAC schools left in 1999 to form the MWC. Of those eight, six — Air Force, Colorado State, Nevada-Las Vegas, New Mexico, San Diego State and Wyoming — are still in the MWC. Former WAC schools Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, San Jose State and Utah State fill out the MWC.

When UH football left the WAC to join the MWC, most of its other teams, including basketball, took membership in the Big West.

“We’re happy with our two conference affiliations, the Mountain West for football and the Big West for our other sports,” Matlin said. “We feel it is working well and we have good partnerships, plural.”

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