Maui Invitational notebook
Youths and volunteers from the Maui County Council Boys Scouts of America were selling water, soda and Gatorade to fans attending this year’s Maui Invitational.
Volunteers Jane Imai, Julie Davis, Irene Tanicala and Louise Corpuz of the Laborers International Union pensioners were busy selling the beverages Wednesday until Scouts arrived later to help.
“We’re the grandparents of Boy Scouts and we love all of them,” Corpuz said.
Part of the revenue from the sales will go toward funding the council of 70 units and about 1,000 youths.
Fred Wong, a council board member, was carrying bags of ice to the two drink booths.
“The (council) is always honored to participate in such a prestigious tournament,” Wong said.
The Association of Villa-ges of Leiali’i, meanwhile, was selling handmade lei in team colors.
The subdivision, which is part of Hawaiian Homelands, was in its third straight year at the tournament. Funds help projects such as community vegetable gardens.
“It’s giving to the community and representing the Hawaiian community,” said association president Rod Pa’ahana.
Tom Hirt, a 1997 Dayton graduate, was cheering for the Flyers with five of his family members Wednesday – all of them, including his sons, ages 2 and 4, decked out in team apparel.
Hirt lives in Dayton and frequently attends home games.
“We’ve been excited for three years when we heard Dayton was playing in the tournament again,” he said, adding that during a Maui vacation in 2008, he visited the Lahaina Civic Center to see the tournament champions banner, which included recognition of Dayton’s title in 2003.
Syracuse’s championship gives Atlantic Coast Conference teams 11 Maui titles – more than double any other league, based on schools’ current affiliations. Big Ten teams have won the event five times. The 289 points scored against Chaminade
in Maui games this year matched the most permitted by the Silverswords in the tournament since allowing 300 en route to a fourth-place finish in 1991. Chaminade also allowed 289 in 2005, finishing eighth. This year’s tournament had scouts from 22 NBA teams.
“With no time to practice, we walked through some stuff on the tennis court this morning.”
– Gonzaga coach Mark Few
Maui Invitational notebook
Kevin Hashiro has grown up with the Maui Invitational.
The Maui High School graduate was a Boy Scout in 1984 when he and friend Rod Antone – now the spokesman for Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa – helped clean the floor at War Memorial Gym in the first tournament, then known as the Maui Classic.
The 43-year-old Hashiro is now the sports information director for Chaminade, the tournament host.
“I remember it well,” Hashi-ro said after Chaminade’s loss to Gonzaga on Tuesday. “I remember in the second year Michigan was here and Dell Curry and Virginia Tech was here.”
Hashiro finished his journalism degree at Hawaii-Manoa in December after stints at Northern Colorado and UH Maui College.
“Just to come back home, it’s an awesome feeling knowing that you’re with a team that started it all, that the creation of the EA Sports Maui Invitational is because of Chaminade,” Hashiro said. “It’s just a thrill for me to come back as sports information director of Chaminade, to try and add to what I think is a really good basketball legacy.”
Lunas doing work
The Lahainaluna High School boys basketball program has 15 players and more than 80 volunteers working at the Lahaina Civic Center this week.
The Lunas will make approximately $3,500, which will fund a trip to an off-island tournament.
Assistant coach Dan Wil-liams has been the security guard at the door to the media room for the last six years. Athletic director Scott Sold-wisch also offers his services, while head coach John Dudley organizes practice time for all the teams at the Lunas’ gym down the road.
“I kind of head it up for Scott now, with the volunteers,” Williams said.
“We have got people in the parking lot, we have got people at the gates, we have got people in the gym, we have the ball boys – they are scattered everywhere.”
A limited number of tickets remain available for all four of today’s games.
The box office is scheduled to open at 8 a.m., and can also be reached by telephone at 667-DUNK (3865).
“Well good, let’s not talk about it and maybe it will stay that way”
– Syracuse coach
Jim Boeheim, after he was asked about his team being 45-for-51 in free throws through two games in the tournament
Maui Invitational notebook
Four of the 10 winningest programs in Division I histo-ry – Kansas, Indiana, UCLA and St. John’s – as well as Vanderbilt, Nevada-Las Vegas and Wake Forest will join Chaminade in the 2015 Maui Invitational field.
The Hoosiers and Jayhawks will both be playing in the tournament for the sixth time. Kansas won the 1996 title, and Indiana was the champion in 2002. UCLA has made five appearances, winning the event in 2006. St. John’s will be making its tournament debut.
Vanderbilt has played on Maui four times before, and won in 1986 – the third edition of the event, and first with an eight-team field. UNLV has made two trips, with a top finish of third, in 1988.
Wake Forest is also making its first appearance.
“The 2015 tournament promises to be very special. To have these teams join Chaminade in Maui will make for a spectacular week of basketball,” said tournament chairman Dave Odom.
The 2014 field was announced last year – the Division I teams will be Arizona, Missouri, Kansas State, Purdue, Brigham Young, Pittsburgh and San Diego State.
ESPN is conducting an online poll in which fans can vote for their favorite Maui Invitational moment.
The choices include a trio of late-game baskets – Jeff Brassow’s buzzer-beating tip-in to win the 1993 title for Ken-tucky, Denham Brown’s shot that secured Connecticut’s 2005 championship and a
3-pointer by Butler’s Rotnei Clarke as time ran out in a first-round win in 2012 – as well as the 43-point effort by Adam Morrison of Gonzaga in a 2005 semifinal and Duke claiming its fifth Wayne Duke Trophy in 2011.
The results are to be announced Wednesday.
A familiar face was back in the 50th state Monday – former University of Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier is now with Syracuse as a deputy athletic director/chief of staff, and attended the Orange’s win over Minnesota on Monday.
Frazier took over the role in 2011 and “oversees the daily operation of all facets of Syracuse athletics,” according to the school’s website.
Frazier was the athletic director at UH from 2002 until his firing in 2008. He then served in the athletic department at Temple.
“I think Joey King is the epitome of what this program is about, his toughness, his fractured jaw, he came in and played his heart out.”
– Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, on the sophomore forward, who missed just one game after being hurt last week
Maui Invitational notebook
The Atlantic Coast Conference has the best winning percentage in Maui Invitational games, based on teams’ current affiliation. The ACC already owned the top mark before adding Syracuse this season – the Orange’s 6-0 performance in Lahaina helps gives the conference a 58-24 record and .707 winning percentage.
The ACC and Big Ten are tied for most total victories. Illinois’ run to last year’s title left the Big Ten at 58-31.
Of the major conferences, only the Big 12 is under .500 on the Valley Isle, falling to 26-27 after Texas finished in seventh place in 2012.
The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa has created a beverage menu inspired by the tournament teams, with colors to match the schools’ insignia.
Among the cocktails being offered is “Bruiser’s punch,” named for the Baylor mascot and consisting of rum, pine-apple juice and a float of melon liqueur, and the “Go Gonzaga,” a pina colada swirled with strawberry puree and blue curacao.
Nonalcoholic choices include “Otto’s Orange Dream,” a nod to Syracuse with vanilla ice cream blended with orange juice and topped with whipped cream.
The Sheraton is also offering specials and discounts based on wins and points scored, and to fans wearing a team jersey or colors.
The 12 officials scheduled to work in Lahaina this week have handled a combined 150 NCAA tournaments and 31 Final Fours.
Ed Hightower has worked the Big Dance 26 times, with 12 Final Fours, both tops among the group.
Been here before
This year is just the second since 2005 in which all eight teams in the Maui Invitational field have appeared in the event before.
Among this year’s participants, Baylor has gone the longest since its most recent visit – the Bears made their only previous appearance in 1987, finishing sixth.
Syracuse’s perfect performance in its two trips to Maui gives the Orange the longest active winning streak among this year’s teams.
Dayton has won its last four Valley Isle games, taking the title in 2003 after finishing in third place in 2000.
The longest winning streak in tournament history is 15 games – and counting – by Duke.
Sunday’s free-throw contest teaming tournament coaches and Maui students was won by Ashley Peralta of Maui Waena Intermediate School and Dayton coach Archie Miller – each went 2-for-2 to claim the title. Coty Clarke of Arkansas won a players Madden NFL 25 competition Saturday night, beating Dayton’s Jalen Robinson 21-7 in the final. Arkansas and California are using a bit of hashtag word play on their teams’ Twitter feeds. Cal has put the tag “BEARadise” on its Maui posts while Arkansas has gone with “AloHogs.”
“I have been in this tournament a time or two and one of my least favorite memories was when we played Chaminade in the 9 o’clock game on Wednesday, which was not the highlight of my college career. That was no fun and I have mentioned that to my team a time or two. That’s not a place – not that Chaminade would be there because they’re awfully good – but that (seventh) place 9 o’clock game on Wednesday is not where you want to be.”
– California coach Mike Montgomery, on his appearance with Stanford in 1994, during his one losing season in 31 years as a college head coach