It was a significant announcement when offensive lineman Michael Eletise announced he was transferring from Arizona to UH. Here’s what it means:
> Roll the credits: As a Kaiser High senior, Eletise was a consensus 4-star prospect. He was named as ESPN’s ninth-best offensive tackle. He was named to the Star-Advertiser’s All-State first team. He received more than 30 offers, including Alabama, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC … well, you get the picture.
> Line dance: He is 6-3, 315 and can play all the line positions.
> Inside job: Sure, the tackles get the glory and cool nicknames. But the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts proved a team needs some power at the three inside positions. Eletise adds more inside oomph, joining J.R. Hensley, Solo Vaipulu, Kohl Levao, Eugene Pryor, Emil Graves, Taaga Tuulima and Arasi Mose.
> Renovations: In recent years, the Warriors have absorbed numerous hits to the offensive line. Kingjames Taylor did not meet academic requirements. Luke Clements, Austin Webb, Josh Hauanio and Fred Ulu-Perry accepted medical retirements. Elijah Tupai left to help his family in Utah. Brandon Kipper just left. Asotui Eli did not play his senior season to fully recover from a knee injury. Dejon Allen, John Wa‘a, Chris Posa and Matt Norman graduated after the 2017 season. But freshmen Vaipulu and Ilm Manning won starting jobs last season, Levao stepped in after transferring from City College of San Francisco, and Joey Nu‘uanu-Kuhi‘iki made a smooth transition from defensive end. A unit that barely had enough healthy players for last year’s spring game is now adequately stocked.
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Jack Purchase is a 3-pointer away from tying Zane Johnson‘s school record for career treys.
Purchase has launched 80.9 percent of his shots from behind the 3-point line. He has connected on 37.5 percent of his 3s. What’s impressive is Purchase has made 80.1 percent of his 2-point shots.
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Coach Mike Trapasso is using caution in regards to starting pitcher Dylan Thomas‘ availability for Friday’s season opener against Portland. Trapasso does not want to use Thomas until the troublesome blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand has completely healed.
Last year, Jackson Rees was OK, then not-so-OK, and OK, and not-so-OK because of a fingernail problem. Trapasso shut down Rees. Rees ended up missing only a start, and was fine after that. Trapasso is hopeful for a similar result with Thomas, whose slider — his out pitch — is hindered with a blister.
The promising news is Jeremy Wu-Yelland, who has struggled with his control, appears to be a candidate to start. Wu-Yelland has a dominating fastball. It’s just a matter of location … location … location …