Lojeski a worthy ’Bow
Julian Sensley and Matt Lojeski are doing their best to create a tough situation for Hawaii basketball coach Riley Wallace.
The UH forwards battled each other for much of the Rainbow Warriors' scrimmage yesterday at the Stan Sheriff Center, both leading their teams in scoring.
On one end of the floor, Sensley dominated the action at times and finished the first 40 minutes with 27 points and 11 rebounds for the White team. On the other end, Lojeski missed just one shot on his way to a 20-point performance for the Black.
All of which leaves Wallace with a pleasant dilemma.
"The good news is Julian is playing harder, looking to score and they're looking for him," Wallace said after the scrimmage. "The other news is I have to find a place for Lojeski, because he's consistent. He can score and do some things and you're going to have to find something for him."
The Rainbows played two 20-minutes halves followed by two 10-minute periods yesterday.
In all, Sensley had 34 points and 14 rebounds. Lojeski had 26 points on nine-of-11 shooting from the field and hit all three of his 3-point attempts.
Although he finished with more points, Sensley tipped his hat to Lojeski following the duel and both are looking forward to playing on the same side once the season starts.
"He got the better of me today," Sensley said. "He's a good player. He reads screens well so he's able to come off and knock down shots."
Sensley enters his senior season at UH looking to increase his production after averaging 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds in his first two years at UH.
He was relatively quiet early in yesterday's scrimmage, but took over late in the first period, scoring 10 points over a 2-minute span. He drained three 3-pointers in the game and turned in a spectacular dunk while being fouled in the second period.
"Coach pulled me into his office this summer and told me I have to be more aggressive," Sensley said. "He just got on me about playing hard all 40 minutes. So I think my teammates are starting to look to me to take over situations. I've been able to answer so far, so hopefully I can keep it up in the season."
Lojeski, a transfer from Eastern Wyoming College, nailed his first six shots from the field, repeatedly drilling jumpers from the perimeter.
The 6-foot-5 junior could see more time at shooting guard in practice to give Wallace the option of playing Lojeski while keeping Sensley at small forward, where he tends to be more productive.
Lojeski said working against Sensley on a daily basis has helped his progress since practice started two weeks ago.
"I have to play every day," he said. "I can't slack because he's going to come hard at me."
The White team shot 54 percent from the field and got big numbers out of its frontcourt of Sensley, Ahmet Gueye (15 points, seven rebounds) and Chris Botez (14 points, nine rebounds) in the first 40 minutes.
Forward Matthew Gipson contributed 14 points and guard Matt Gibson had 11 for the Black. Bobby Nash added 10 points.
Turnovers (33 combined) remained high, but Wallace hopes that number will drop when the players become more familiar with each other.
Wallace continues to mix up the combinations on the floor, and will wait a while more before deciding on a depth chart heading into the Nov. 11 exhibition game against UH-Hilo and the season opener against Michigan State on Nov. 19.
"You give them another couple more scrimmages before you start doing that," he said.