Small school making big noise
By virtue of playing in Division-II, the BYU-Hawaii basketball team is one of the better-kept secrets in local sports.
In sharp contrast with D-I University of Hawaii, which struggled to a 13-17 mark, BYU-H has quietly gone about a truly remarkable season.
Did you know the Seasiders are 27-1? That theyâ€™ve won 24 straight games and are third-ranked nationally?
Or that they will be hosting a Sweet Sixteen round game tonight in Laie against Cal Poly Pomona following earlier tournament victories over Humboldt State and Cal State Dominguez Hills?
The Seasiders have a decidedly international flavor. Lucas Alves, a junior big man from Brazilian, is the teamâ€™s leading scorer and rebounder, recently earning West Region first-team honors.
Tsung-Hsien Chang, who goes by the nickname of Jet, is a 6-3 freshman guard from Taiwan who provides instant offense off the bench and is averaging 12.7 per game.
The roster also includes players from Fiji, Canada and St. Vincent. And, letâ€™s not forget, a player from Molokai with a familiar last name.
Trenson Akana, a 5-10 senior guard, is averaging 12.5 points in a starting role for the Seasiders.
Two of Trensonâ€™s older brothers â€“ Jarinn and Brandyn â€“ formerly played for BYU-Hawaii, with Jarinn eventually finishing out his career at UH and Brandyn now serving as an assistant at BYU-H.
BYU-Hawaii started the season by beating defending national champ Winona State (Minn.) twice. After losing to Washburn (Kansas) in December, BYUH has reeled off 24 straight wins. The Seasiders won the PacWest title with a 12-0 record. And then continued the trend with sub-regional wins over Humboldt State and Dominguez Hills.