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Saturday, November 13, 2004



[ NCAA BASKETBALL ]


Hawaii gets guard
for next year

A bit of a cold put a damper on Matt Lojeski's visit to Hawaii last month, but the experience won't prevent him from returning to the islands next year.

Lojeski, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Eastern Wyoming College, committed to the Hawaii basketball program next year and said he will send a signed national letter of intent to the school today.

Lojeski narrowed his choices to Hawaii and Utah State, visiting both schools last month. He got sick during his visit to Honolulu, but still ended up siding with the Rainbow Warriors.

"I couldn't find anything in particular, but it just felt like that was the right decision to make," said Lojeski, who will be a junior next season. "I couldn't put my finger on one exact thing. It just felt right."

Lojeski, who is originally from Racine, Wisc., led EWC with 16.9 points per game last year as a freshman and was second on the team in rebounds with 5.8 per game.

He was an All-Region IX selection and a had a season high of 38 points. He scored 29 in the Region IX tournament title game that sent Eastern Wyoming to the NJCAA tournament.

"He's a very capable scorer," Eastern Wyoming coach Andy Ward said. "He's capable of knocking down shots coming off screens, but he can also put the ball on the floor really well.

"He's such a good offensive player he makes his teammates better. I think the Hawaii fans will see that in his ability to create shots for other people. He has a very good understanding of how to play. His basketball IQ is very high. He knows how to play and just makes people better out on the court."

Lojeski has been a versatile player for EWC, playing all five positions in the Lancers' first five games this season, but he's slated to contribute at shooting guard next season.

"I feel real comfortable with (the UH system)," Lojeski said. "They play my kind of style and it'll just be fun to see how things will go. I feel I can help the team out."

Ahmet Tidiane, a 6-8 forward from Salt Lake Community College, has also sent his letter of intent to UH. But the letters must be processed by the athletic department's compliance office before the UH coaches can comment on the commitments.

The early signing period for basketball opened Wednesday and runs through Nov. 17.

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