By Brian McInnis
Sophomore forward Joston Thomas wasn't at Hawaii basketball practice again this morning, the last full team session before the Rainbow Warriors take to the road to play at UC Davis on Saturday.
It marked the second straight day the 6-7, 235-pound Thomas, one of three Rainbow Warriors averaging double-figure points (10.4 ppg) was not present with the team.
In UH's 69-67 overtime win against Nevada on Monday, Thomas started but played only 9 minutes as UH coach Gib Arnold went with freshman Trevor Wiseman at small forward for 28 minutes off the bench.
"He was excused from these two practices for some personal reasons," Arnold said. "He's got some things he's gotta deal with. We'll deal with it as things evolve."
Arnold wouldn't comment further. The team leaves this afternoon for San Francisco en route to Davis, Calif. It's safe to say Thomas's status at UC Davis in the ESPNU BracketBusters game is questionable at this point.
This is obviously a point of concern as the team hits the stretch drive of the season, with only four WAC regular-season games remaining. If you're a UH fan, you'd hope Thomas is back of the swing of things by the time the team prepares for its next home game against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 24.
Thomas is turnover prone (he leads the team with 76, or 3.2 per game) and hasn't scored as well of late, but is still an important part of the team, especially if UH is to maintain a rebounding edge on opponents. At 5.8 boards per game, the Washington, D.C., native cleans the glass exceptionally well at the small forward position. It was only five games ago that Thomas went for 14 points and 14 boards against San Jose State, his best all-around game of the season.
He is one of just three Rainbows to play in every game so far this season, starting 21 of those 24 contests.
Nothing new to report on senior point guard Hiram Thompson, who more than likely will not play in the Davis game. He will make the trip however, good news for the tri-captain, whose family lives just minutes away from the Davis campus.
Arnold said he had yet to hear from doctors on the severity of Thompson's ligament damage in his left arm. Thompson suffered a hyperextended elbow in a fall against Nevada.