Thompson taking off after season
As the seniors bid farewell to the home fans today, Hawaii's home finale will also be a sendoff for a Rainbow Warrior freshman.
Guard Hiram Thompson is planning to embark on a two-year church mission this summer. Thompson has been a key reserve for the Rainbows this season. He averaged 2.8 points and dished out 23 assists in 16 games.
Thompson said he'll find out shortly before his departure where he'll serve his Mormon mission.
"It's going to be a new experience. It's going to be fun and something I've never done before," Thompson said.
"Mentally, spiritually, I'll grow and probably be a man when I come back."
Thompson said playing a year for the Rainbows before going on his mission was a valuable experience.
There will probably be few familiar faces on the team by the time Thompson returns. Fellow freshmen Dominic Waters and Jack Miller are the only members of this year's squad who might still be around when he returns.
In addition to the spots vacated by the four departing seniors, the UH coaches will be able to recruit for Thompson's spot in next season's incoming class.
Injury report: UH forward Ahmet Gueye left practice early after hurting his knee. UH coach Riley Wallace said it'll be up to the team's trainers whether he'll be ready to play today.
Gueye leads UH in rebounding (7.7 per game) and is third in scoring (12.2 ppg). He has started every game this season and leads the WAC in blocked shots with 65.
Second thoughts: The luck of the draw lengthened Hawaii's odds of securing the second seed at next week's Western Athletic Conference tournament.
A draw was conducted yesterday to break a potential tie between UH and Utah State for second, with the Aggies gaining the edge. If both teams win today to finish at 11-5 in the conference, Utah State will be the second seed and Hawaii will be third.
In order to place second, the Rainbows (17-9, 10-5 WAC) need to win today's game against Louisiana Tech (18-11, 10-5) and have San Jose State (6-23, 2-13) upset Utah State (20-7, 10-5).
Hawaii will be fourth if it loses to LaTech, which has won the last four meetings between the teams.
The seeds that have been determined are No. 1 Nevada, No. 6 Boise State, No. 7 San Jose State and No. 8 Idaho. Fresno State is ineligible due to a self-imposed postseason ban.
Nevada will play Idaho in the WAC tournament quarterfinals on Thursday at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno. The second seed faces San Jose State and the third seed plays Boise State. The fourth and fifth seeds play each other.
WAC officials held the draw between UH and Utah State yesterday. The first tiebreaker is the head-to-head matchup and the second is the teams' records against the top-seeded teams. The next is a draw.
Chasing history: LaTech forward Paul Millsap leads the nation at 13.2 boards per game, and if he can hold on, he'd become the first player to win three NCAA rebounding titles.
"Even though it's an individual statistic, it's a blue-collar workhorse statistic," LaTech coach Keith Richard said. "He's close to getting it done, so it's something I remind him about."
Millsap holds a slim lead over Hartford's Kenny Adeleke (13.1). He fell behind briefly, but went back ahead with an 18-rebound effort against Idaho on Monday.
Millsap also ranks second in the WAC in scoring at 19.7 ppg.