Here were the reactions of Joston Thomas and Bobby Miles to the player movement over the last couple of days. (For those who’ve been in a cave, on a mountaintop, or swimming between islands, UH guards Anthony Salter and Jordan Coleman left the team for a lack of playing time, and coach Gib Arnold brought UH football slotback Miah Ostrowski on board).
Q: Were you surprised those two guys left?
A: I’m not surprised. I mean, stuff happens. You just gotta learn from it and build on it. Point blank.
Q: Is the team ready to move on?
A: You gotta be. One person, two people can’t stop the show. There’s five guys out there. That’s how it is.
Q: On Salter and his decision to leave …
A: Salt’s my roommate. We talk every day. I don’t talk to him about basketball; a lot of people talking to him about basketball right now. I’m not an agent, I’m not a sportswriter, I’m nothing like that. I’m just a basketball player, so I talked to him about regular people stuff. That’s his decision, no matter who’s talking to him.
Q: Did you try to dissuade him from leaving?
A: Yeah I did the first day I found out. But you know, people got their own mind-set. People listen to what they want to listen to. I’m not going to waste my breath.
Q: Are you guys happy to have Miah on board?
A: Of course. Anybody we have on the team, we’re going to be happy to have. I think he’s going to help us more than we can help him. We’re going to see where it goes and build on it.
Q: What are your thoughts about two teammates leaving after just seven games into the season?
A: They could have got through it, but hey, they made their choice to go on with life. We’re just here working hard trying to get better.
Q: Did you know Miah before he first appeared at practice this week?
A: First time I met him was yesterday, but I’ve seen him around campus, and of course at the football games and stuff.
Q: Did you know he could play hoops?
A: I didn’t even know until yesterday.
Q: What are your first impressions after seeing him on the court, and will he help the team?
A: Hey, he’s coming in to be another guard, so he’ll help us. He looks pretty quick so (laughs) we will see.
Besides shortened team depth for both games and practices, and the negative pub that comes with two players leaving midseason, another factor is the impact on the team’s APR rating.
“It will affect our APR,” Arnold said. “Possibly down the line, it can affect us with scholarships. I think that’s unfortunate, that a player leaves the program on his own decision and it hurts the rest of us. But that’s the rules we live by.”
Arnold had the team do an interesting new drill for outlet passes this morning. Each player had to pivot behind the halfcourt line and fire the ball at a backboard. If a player missed, he had to run a suicide drill.
The players who hit the backboard the first time around had an extra challenge the second time — they had to hit the box painted just above and behind the rim.
And if anyone’s curious, Ostrowski was one of the more accurate players.