No lineup determinations yet

October 20th, 2012
By

We're just under two weeks out from the Hawaii men's basketball team's exhibition against Hawaii Pacific on Nov. 2, and under three weeks from the regular-season opener vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore on Nov. 9. That means lineup and rotation tweaks get a little less experimental and a little more solidified as the days advance.

But the Rainbow Warriors are not solid or set there yet, UH coach Gib Arnold said after Saturday's practice.

"I'm mixing and matching," Arnold responded to a query on a possible starting five. "Because we're going to play a lot of guys. And I want to make sure we're comfortable with all lineups, when we go big or small. And obviously with Vander (Joaquim) being out that changes a lot of things. ... Haven't distinguished a starting five or a go-to five. Not yet. Not ready for that yet, and probably won't have that until after the (closed) BYU-Hawaii scrimmage, this coming weekend. Once we work through that then we'll probably start narrowing that down. Now we're aiming toward that HPU (exhibition) then the season opener."

It sounds like a similar timetable on making determinations on this year's redshirt players. Arnold said he's still looking at redshirting "three or four."

Here's what Arnold had to say on his team's general progress in the meantime:

"You know, I wouldn't say anyone's particularly distinguished themselves," he said. "I will say the freshmen are learning at a very high speed, which is good. They still make a lot of mistakes. But they're learning. I think they're playing harder. I like that. I like how we're pushing the ball. I think our offense is further along than our defense. I don't think our defense is where it needs to be quite yet. And we need to make sure that Nov. 9 we're much better defensively. But we're hitting shots, which is good. That's kind of the overall general view, I guess."

Practices have been closed to this point (they'll be opened up to the media on Monday). Look for a report on first impressions of that session shortly thereafter.

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Who doesn't want a little input from Davis Rozitis?

The junior center is one of only two players, along with Joaquim, to be on the roster since Arnold's first season in 2010-11. That gives him a little more perspective than the average 'Bow.

Here's a post-practice Q and A session with the big Latvian:

Q: You're a guy who's been here three years now. What's your take on the team's progress compared to seasons past?

A: I think we're doing a great job on both ends. But you know, since we're a young team, seven (true) freshmen, Coach is patient with them. It's still a learning process. We returnees, we've gotta help them get in the system. Guards like Jace (Tavita), (Brandon) Jawato, Garrett (Jefferson), we've been here for a year or two, just help the freshmen guards get in the system. Me, Vander and Christian (Standhardinger) help the bigs to get in system. It's teamwork.

Q: What are your thoughts on Gib's assessment of offense ahead of defense right now?

A: Yeah, I can see that. All the guys here are the best at what they were doing in high school. And when you're lumped together you're going to be better at scoring over people. But right now, as Coach said, he's going to give us freedom in offense, he's going to be OK with that. But there's going to be no excuses on defense, so guys have to accept that. You don't just guard your man, your guard the ball, you guard five guys. You help each other out. And that's the most important thing to understand about his system.

Q: Who's impressed you here so far?

A: Ozi (Pavlovic), definitely Ozi. Coach was on him and he keeps coming back. Manroop (Clair), because he has a hard time getting back on defense and Coach gets on him. But he keeps fighting back, don't let yourself down, just keep fighting. Coach might yell at us sometimes, but that's for our own good. Just don't take it personal. Just try to get the best out of that. Oh, and definitely Isaac Fotu. He's done a great job in the low post, getting rebounds, helping people out on drives. Fronting the post. Really impressed.

Q: With Vander out right now, and the starting five undefined, are you making an assertive push for playing time?

A: Nah, I don't think about that. I agree with Coach. He always says it doesn't matter who starts the game, it matters who finishes. And I know all the guys here would rather be in there for the last minute of the game, get that last stop. I prefer myself that. I remember in WAC tournament last year against Idaho, I was in there, I was involved. It's an amazing feeling. You gotta get that one stop to win the game. I agree with Coach.

8 Responses to “No lineup determinations yet”

  1. poorboy:

    Brian, interesting, Davis' comment on freshman standing out so far...I kind of though too, it might be Ozi(Gib was very high on his potential), Manroop(skillset, just has to get stronger and learn D ) , and of course we all know Isaac is a tough tough young athlete..great skillset, he will play a lot this year..

    And Davis' comment on how Ozi and Manroop, have accepted intense coaching and reminders form Gib and not getting down, just play better, get better, coach wants best for guys, and guys have opportunity to play if they buy in and do what coach and team wants..

    Well, hope Ozi, Manroop, Isaac, are THE three freshman at this point , possibly see a lot of time with the 7 upperclassmen and 1 RS freshman(Jawato), so far that makes a starting five, plus subs and bench of 11, which would be solid....have another 12th guy on bench to take on road and be there, be it Big or wing or small..one more freshman to step up..

    Post your observations, after Monday's open practices Brian..always look forward to your first hand reports, they have been spot on!!


  2. fan4mb2:

    There are three outstanding items for this morning:

    #1. The report of Brian,
    #2. The answers of Davis,
    #3. The comment of poorboy.

    I totally concurred respectively (sequentially, honourably)!


  3. ALLAN:

    IF I READ BTWN THE LINES CORRECTLY, LOOKS LIKE OUR 7-FOOTER IS GONA BE JUST A RESERVE PLAYER FOR THE REST OF HIS CAREER. BALLS!


  4. K-Bay:

    Great to Hear (Infer) that Ozi, Manroop and Isaac are 'so coachable', that they are naturally responding to the New Level of Pressure, The New Standard (for them) of 'Top D-1 Defense'....and these players have shown, they know how to respond and rise to the top of what they choose to do...

    The Earliest impressions (Recruiting Videos, Open Gym Highlights) that The Team has so many Offensive Skills sounds to be Ringing True ... that these players have skills for scoring the ball... the same athleticism and physical self-discipline that allows a player to score at a high percentage should be convertible to good shut down defense, which is a notable evolution among, for example, NBA Stars.... What is their next step up? Defense for starters...it makes the game so much more 'consistently' good, shut down the opposition, And Turnaround and Score, Double the Difference, potentially devastating....

    [REF: This is'potentially' as a goal or a vision, desired end-state...]

    With so many good athletes, potentially relentless... scoring draughts for the opposition are harder to recover from against consistently good defense (that is, No Weak Defensive Players on the court as the best offensive players are 'converting over')....

    THAT could be an advantage in The Big Weat....


  5. Pocho:

    Brian,

    Mahalo for this great read. Excellent q&a for The Gibper and Rozitis. For now he's concentrating on the D as he's got the shooters.


  6. Just:

    We're ready for Warrior BB. It's been a looonnnng football season.


  7. Kendall:

    I think Dressler should definitely redshirt. I would also like to see Manroop redshirt, but I think we need him at PG and I don't think he came here early to redshirt. I think Ozi won't redshirt because else he would have just played professionally.

    I think the definite redshirts are: Dressler, Enos & Harper. Valdes would redshirt if he is not eligible. But I think we need Valdes' athleticism this year.


  8. poorboy:

    Only thing: What is up with AV? Hope NCAA clears him soon..!