By Brian McInnis
Even at this early stage of the preseason, some wear and tear and taken hold on the Hawaii men's basketball team.
Center Caleb Dressler remained out with back tightness on Friday, and is doubtful to participate in the team's first practice scrimmage with referees in the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday afternoon.
Joining Dressler on the sideline Friday — also with a sore back — was point guard Keith Shamburger, meaning increased reps for Quincy Smith, Niko Filipovich and Dyrbe Enos. UH coach Gib Arnold said Shamburger would scrimmage today, however.
Two players of concern prior to practices were forward Isaac Fotu and shooting guard Brandon Jawato. Fotu tore the meniscus in his right knee in summer league play and Jawato's right ankle is suspect with a lack of cartilage in the joint.
Both players had limited ramp-ups to this point while most of the team had preseason workouts and conditioning.
"It was tough just watching all my teammates who were working out," Jawato said. "I was just doing rehab every day, just trying to get shots up in the chances I could. I was lifting weights a lot. That's basically it, swimming a little bit and cardio on the bike."
But both Fotu and Jawato have been full participants in practice thus far, or close to it. Fotu has worn the green jersey of a primary rotation player while Jawato has worn the black jersey of a secondary rotation guy.
"It's just bone on bone," Jawato said of his ankle joint. "But I'll be fine. I'm just trying to get by. I'm going to play, I'm not going to sit out. I can't afford to sit out. I'll go as hard as I can and be there for my team."
Fotu has given way to center Davis Rozitis in some sets, but it shouldn't be a concern yet.
"I'm feeling good," Fotu said. "It's just a bit sore sometimes after practice, but I make sure I get in the cold dub and ice (it). That's what everyone's doing. Coach is making it mandatory to go in the ice, look after our bodies."
Word is Dressler might see a specialist for his back. More updates to come on that as they're available.
Some observation of Rainbow Wahine hoops practice has revealed a tight battle at point guard.
While sophomore returnee Marissa Wimbley and freshman Briana Harris have received a large share of the repetitions, don't overlook junior Morgan Mason. The 5-foot-9 Mason isn't showy at all — her expressionless, even-keel demeanor calls to mind Tim Duncan — but she had plenty of experience at Mt. San Antonio College and could be Laura Beeman's choice to start unless the younger Wimbley or Harris assert themselves in the coming weeks.