By Brian McInnis
With great playing time comes great responsibility.
Hawaii coach Gib Arnold had seen about enough of his current first five — Keith Shamburger, Garrett Nevels, Brandon Spearman, Isaac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger — for lackadaisical play while working through a new offensive set in Tuesday's practice in Gym 2.
The five were excused for the last half hour or so of the abbreviated (roughly two hours) practice, then allowed in afterward to work on their game independently.
Spearman and Standhardinger are two of the team's three captains.
"He was trying to prove a point that we just weren't doing what we were supposed to do as, I guess, the leaders of the team," Nevels said. "We were supposed to lead by example and we weren't doing that today, so kicking us out, he doesn't care who we are. Everybody's held accountable."
Nevels was asked if the message was received.
"Yeah, it was," he said. "Tomorrow we have to come out harder. Show him that we know what he said, and fix what we did wrong."
Nevels has proven to be a dead-eye shooter in practices so far. He stayed late to work on jab-step shots from triple-threat (pass/dribble/shoot) positioning around the perimeter while being defended by assistant coach Scott Fisher. He made more than he missed, I'll say that.
Meanwhile, Missouri transfer Negus Webster-Chan has made it a point to keep shooting and dribbling on his own during just about every team timeout, and well after practices end. Webster-Chan must redshirt this year but any questions about his work ethic during this interim before he can play again are ill-founded.
He was dribbling furiously with basketballs in either hand in the corner of the gym while Nevels spoke. They were the last two players present.
Former UC Riverside forward Josh Fox is leaning toward committing to UH, but is not a done deal to my knowledge.
Fox responded positively to his official visit to UH this past weekend. He's been offered a scholarship by Arnold, but it might be time-sensitive.
More to come on Fox if/when his commitment is known.
San Diego Parker big man Evan Fitzner, a high-value target by UH for the 2014 recruiting class, is off the board to Saint Mary's, as reported by Josh Gershon, Alex Kline and several other recruiting gurus in the Twitterverse.