The Hawaii basketball team gets a chance to right itself Wednesday night against Hawaii Hilo as the Rainbow Warriors’ early cluster of nonconference games progresses.
They’ll be doing it — again — without forward Sammis Reyes, who broke a hand in Tuesday afternoon’s practice, it was confirmed on Wednesday.
UPDATE: Reyes is expected to have surgery on his right hand and redshirt the 2014-15 season.
It’s hard to measure exactly how much this will impact the team, as Reyes hasn’t yet appeared. It didn’t seem like he would even be a factor until he rejoined the team a day before the season opener. Coach Benjy Taylor mentioned the possibility of him using a medical redshirt year after Tuesday’s practice.
Frontcourt depth will remain a concern. We saw Mike Thomas — who looked on his way to an outstanding game in the first half against High Point, with a career-best 14 points — stay on the bench for a vast stretch of the second half with foul trouble. Center Stefan Jovanovic is the only other true post player on the team. Stefan Jankovic, a 6-foot-11 forward, isn’t expected to be eligible until Dec. 19.
Late-game execution was the real concern against High Point, as some of UH’s top offensive options — Garrett Nevels, Negus Webster-Chan, Roderick Bobbitt, Aaron Valdes — all struggled to 3-for-27 shooting combined. Freshman Isaac Fleming was perhaps the most aggressive player late.
On the plus side, no opponent has yet shot 40 percent or better against UH.
Bobbitt, Webster-Chan, Valdes and Nevels are all averaging between 12 and 10 per game through three contests.
Hilo wants to play inside-out with 6-8 forward Tre Johnson (24.0 ppg) its first option. GE Coleman‘s team was picked to finish 12th among 13 teams in the PacWest Conference, but the Vulcans could finish higher now that Coleman has had a full season-plus under his belt to recruit.
Here’s a picture of new assistant coach Brad Autry from Tuesday’s practice.