Lojeski wins Rainbows’ top honor
While the questions over the Hawaii basketball program's future lingered last night, the recent past was celebrated.
Athletic director Herman Frazier told the crowd that a new coach would be named "very soon," and they would be "pleasantly surprised."
Matt Lojeski's all-around performance this season earned him the Art Woolaway Most Outstanding Player Award at the team's annual awards banquet at the Hawaii Prince Hotel.
Lojeski, a senior co-captain, led the Rainbows in scoring at 16.9 points per game and assists with 4.5 per contest. He also had a team-high 1.7 steals per game. He started all 59 games the last two seasons and made 100 3-pointers in his UH career.
The guard was a second-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection and posted the Rainbows' top scoring performances of the season -- a 33-point performance against Creighton and a 35-point outing against Boise State on senior night.
"He was one of our leading rebounders, he led us in assists and he usually defended the other team's best player. Just a good all-around basketball player," UH coach Riley Wallace said.
"You look at the stats and he was either first or second in everything."
Senior forward Ahmet Gueye shared the Captain's Award with Lojeski and won the Top Rebounder and Top Defensive Player awards. Gueye finished his two-year career fourth in school history with 131 blocked shots.
Junior forward Bobby Nash won the Ah Chew Goo Most Inspirational Player Award, as voted upon by the players. Junior guard Matt Gibson won the Top Playmaker award. Also receiving awards were junior forward P.J. Owsley (Most Improved), sophomore guard Dominic Waters (Top Free Throw Shooter) and freshman guard Todd Lowenthal (Academic).
The search process for the Rainbow Warriors' next coach appears to be accelerating toward a conclusion as Frazier and most of the five-person advisory committee returned from Los Angeles on Wednesday after conducting interviews with candidates.
UH associate coach Bob Nash, Portland Trail Blazers assistant Dean Demopoulos and Rice coach Willis Wilson head the list of candidates for the job of succeeding Wallace, who ended his 20-year career at UH with an 18-13 season.
Frazier's recommendation for the post must be forwarded to UH-Manoa chancellor Denise Konan and UH president David McClain for final approval.