The University of Hawaii men’s basketball team is predicted to finish fourth in the Big West Conference this season, according to polling of media covering the league.
Irvine, which won the regular-season title this past spring, was picked first with 270 points and 18 No. 1 votes from the 28-member media panel.
UC Santa Barbara was picked to place second, followed by UC Davis and Hawaii.
The Big West expanded to 11 basketball members with the addition of Cal State Bakersfield and UC San Diego. But UCSD was excluded from the prediction because it is undergoing a reclassification period to Division I status. Games against UCSD will count toward the overall record but not the league standings.
In Eran Ganot’s first five years as UH head coach, the Rainbow Warriors exceeded predictions three times (including winning the 2015-2016 title after a third-place projection) and met them once. The past season, the ’Bows finished fourth, as predicted.
Ganot is 46-34 in Big West games. He has not had a losing season.
The ’Bows added seven players during the offseason. They are scheduled to begin Big West play against Cal Poly on Dec. 27 at the soon-to-be-renamed SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.