As a rule, the college basketball offseason involves player losses/subtractions as much as it does gains/additions.
The first part of that might now be complete.
Two more Hawaii basketball player losses — juniors Larry Lewis Jr. and Darryl Matthews — were reported on Wednesday. That brought the early departure total to four, following freshman Matt Owies and junior Brian Garrett. Two of them, Lewis and Owies, were scholarship players in 2016-17.
That leaves four scholarships for Eran Ganot to award this spring: two back from the NCAA, and two from early player departures. Noah Allen’s spot has already been filled by Kahuku’s Samuta Avea.
That’s a substantial amount bodies to add at this stage, but nothing we haven’t seen before.
Nothing new to report in the commitments department.
However, it sounds like there will be a couple more player visits to Manoa this weekend. I’ll try to have something on that in fairly short order.
Lewis and Ganot were not available for comment on Wednesday.
It was not surprising Lewis — who was viewed as a likely rotation player upon his arrival — and UH decided to part ways. “Expected” is probably closer to the mark.
He had all the physical attributes of a viable Big West player but he finished the season averaging 1.8 points in 6.5 minutes per game, while shooting 34.4 percent from the field (and 0-for-8 from 3).
It was clear the inclined-to-drive Lewis had some mighty struggles to fit into UH’s nuanced system in the preseason, and things never really got better for him. The bench minutes he got in nonconference play dried up by Big West time.
As a #HawaiiMBB addendum to Lewis, Jr. F Darryl Matthews, who walked on this past season, will head elsewhere to focus on school next year.
— Brian McInnis (@Brian_McInnis) April 13, 2017
Matthews, who walked on out of West Los Angeles College, told the Star-Advertiser he plans to focus on finishing up school next year. Staying in Hawaii was not an option for him, he said, because of the prohibitive cost.
Matthews, a spiritual successor to “Hawaii 5-O” as one of the biggest bench big-play celebrators this season, left this message for UH fans:
“I’d say I enjoyed my experience here in Hawaii. I have no regrets and if I could stay I would. The (people), the support from the coaches and staff, and my teammates, I will miss it like no other. I’m forever indebted this place for it has made me to (be) a better person spiritually, mentally, and as a young man finding my way in the world. I love Hawaii and the people and I will for sure be back. I just hope I left this place touching peoples’ lives in a positive way that they can pass on to others and just be happy in this crazy world we live in.”