Sports Notebook

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Rainbows ready to learn
from exhibition loss

By Cindy Luis

Back at it ... hard.

There was a sense of urgency at the Stan Sheriff Center yesterday. The Rainbow basketball team was on the court together for the first time since Sunday's 73-72 exhibition loss to EA Sports West All-Stars.

The countdown continues to Friday's season-opening game with Arkansas-Little Rock. Associate head coach Bob Nash began breaking down the visiting Trojans, giving the Rainbow scout team members their role-playing assignments.

The goals this week are to get better each practice and to learn from mistakes made. EA Sports exposed some weaknesses in Hawaii's game, but that's what the exhibition was designed to do.

"There wasn't anything bad that isn't correctable," Nash said. "We have some film now to show them what they weren't doing out there. It's a better teaching point and we have their attention.

"It's a matter of showing them that some of the things that look big on the surface are really small. And very correctable."

What to work on? It mostly concerns defense.

The coaches want more aggressiveness and intensity, and fewer good, open looks by opponents on the perimeter.

"Personally, I've got to pick things up," said junior forward Phil Martin, who had 21 points, eight rebounds and three turnovers in 35 minutes Sunday. We're ready and anxious to get some real games under our belts."

Injury report: Senior forward Paul Jesinskis underwent successful surgery yesterday for a fractured (non-shooting) left wrist. The normal recovery is 4-6 weeks.

Coach Riley Wallace said he has not spoken with Jesinskis about his options for this year. The 6-foot-8 native of South Africa has a redshirt year available and Wallace said that it's a possibility, given the scholarship availability for next season.

Junior Ramsey Williams was back at practice for the first time in a week. The walk-on guard was out with bronchitis.

Around the WAC: Western Athletic Conference teams opened the season 0-2 in the Preseason NIT. On Monday, host Boise State fell to Eastern Illinois 73-59; last night, host Florida topped Louisiana Tech 76-55.

In exhibition contests, WAC teams went 12-5. Besides Hawaii, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech and Texas-El Paso (twice) lost.

The WAC exhibition season concludes tonight with SMU hosting EA Sports in Dallas.

Tulsa was the only WAC team ranked in the first regular-season poll released Tuesday. The Golden Hurricane received 154 points, good for the No. 25 spot.

Hawaii received one vote to tie with Holy Cross and Mississippi for 59th place.

Home sweet home: The Rainbows have the longest home winning streak in the WAC with 12 in a row. That is the 15th longest in the country.

Louisiana Tech's home streak is seven, second-best in the league.

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