Alika Smith out as coach
But the UH assistant isn't the 'Bows' only loss; point guard Waters will transfer
Alika Smith will not be retained as an assistant coach with the Hawaii basketball team next season, a decision that caught the former Rainbow Warriors standout off guard.
"I was totally surprised, didn't even see it coming," Smith said last night.
That wasn't the only news on the UH front. Guard Dominic Waters also won't return for his junior year. New head coach Bob Nash confirmed last night that Waters, who is from Portland, Ore., was granted a release by UH. He apparently will transfer to Portland State.
Waters was named the Western Athletic Conference's freshman of the year in 2006 and was a key contributor off the bench this season in splitting time with Matt Gibson at point guard. He appeared in 30 games this season, starting one, and averaged 6.3 points in 17.1 minutes per game.
As for Smith, he was a member of the UH staff the last two seasons and said he was informed by Nash of the decision not to renew his contract for next season on Monday. The move was announced in a statement from UH yesterday afternoon.
"I've done everything I was asked to do and did it to the best of my ability," said Smith, whose current contract expires on June 30. "That's all I could do.
"I would like to have had the opportunity. I'm disappointed, but right now I have to look out for what's best for me and my family."
Nash, a UH assistant and associate coach for the last 26 years, was hired as the successor to Riley Wallace last Friday, and said he needed to fill the position with a more experienced coach. He said the move was timed to give Smith an opportunity to seek other opportunities before his contract at UH expires.
"As we move forward as a program, I need to fill the position where I have coaches who are a little more seasoned," Nash said.
"Not that he's not going to be a good young coach, but I felt I needed someone with more seasoning.
"It's a business and this was a very tough business decision, because I really, really like Alika Smith."