New roles for Lunas
For the first time in the past 10 years, students from Lahainaluna High School are not working the floor at the Maui Invitational, athletic director Scott Soldwisch said. This year, tournament organizers switched to paid positions for sweeping and mopping.
About 45 people from Lahainaluna and the nonprofit Westside Hoops are working 120 shifts, however, in other roles at this year’s tournament, said Dan Williams, president of Westside Hoops and a Lahainaluna booster.
Soldwisch said the money that comes in from fundraising connected to the event varies from year to year.
“It’s a nice bump in income for boys basketball,” Sold-wisch said. “The kids get to see the practices. … Overall it’s great for Lahainaluna. It always has been.”
Off the bench
Casey Benson was not in the starting lineup for Oregon for the first time this season on Tuesday.
The junior guard, who started every game last season, entered the victory over Tennessee less than four minutes in, and finished with eight points in 25 minutes.
Benson is averaging 4.2 points per game this season.
“At the end of the day, just whatever helps our team win games,” he said.
Luke Wilson has visited the Valley Isle before, but this year is the first in which he has attended the Maui Invitational.
“I’m a big college sports fan,” the actor said during Wisconsin’s win over Georgetown in the semifinals. “It seems like these guys are in a really good mood to be in Hawaii, just like I am.”
Mayor Alan Arakawa, meanwhile, is a tournament regular — he said he tries to catch a game in person every year.
“This is some of the best basketball any place,” Ara-kawa said. “Every game you see the crowd change. Every game you see a very high level of enthusiasm.”
Tickets for today’s championship game are sold out, tournament officials said Tuesday night.
Tickets for the other three games remain. The cost for the third-place game is $80, and tickets for the seventh-place and fifth-place games are each $30.
“I’m not going to give in. I’m not going to quit. I’m not going to let those guys quit.”
— Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie, on his team being without Terry Larrier and Alterique Gilbert because of injuries
Jawun Evans, Oklahoma St. 65
Jalen Adams, Connecticut 59
Rodney Purvis, Connecticut 43
Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin 41
Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State 30
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin 21
Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina 18
Chris Boucher, Oregon 17
Jordan Bell, Oregon 16
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin 16
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin 15
Jalen Adams, Connecticut 17
Rodney Purvis, Connecticut 9
Dylan Ennis, Oregon 8
Justin Jackson, North Carolina 8
Joel Berry II, North Carolina 8
Jalen Adams, Connecticut 11