CRAIG T KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii basketball coach Bob Nash said he is still sorting out his starting lineup as the season opener with San Diego looms.
Rainbows’ Nash still searching for starters
STORY SUMMARY »
Less than a week from its first game of the season, the Hawaii men's basketball team played its second closed scrimmage yesterday with new head coach Bob Nash still reluctant to name a starting lineup.
Nash said he would look at several possible starting fives as the Rainbow Warriors prepare for Friday's season opener with San Diego.
The seniors are still dominating Nash's dance card, but he conceded that the young players are catching up and catching on to his playbook.
"We haven't finalized anything yet and we'll look at a lot of different possibilities," Nash said. "(The progress of the newcomers) gives us that versatility we're looking for."
San Diego finished 18-14 last year and returns four starters, but the Toreros have a new coach in former Gonzaga assistant Bill Grier.
FULL STORY »
With less than a week left before the season opener, the Hawaii basketball team's seniors remain at the head of the class.
But head coach Bob Nash isn't quite ready to declare a starting five for Friday's season opener against San Diego.
"I think our returning guys have a little better feel for what we're trying to get accomplished, but the gap is closing," Nash said.
"We have another two or three days. We'll look at some lineup possibilities and in the next couple of days we'll decide what direction we want to go in."
As expected, the Rainbow Warriors' first group has been senior laden through three weeks of practice. Matt Gibson, Riley Luettgerodt and Bobby Nash have been mainstays on the perimeter, with P.J. Owsley and Stephen Verwers in the post.
The coaches have also been looking at a smaller lineup with senior swingman Jared Dillinger -- one of the team's hottest shooters in practice -- rotating into the backcourt and Bobby Nash sliding to power forward.
Bob Nash said sophomore forwards Bill Amis, Paul Campbell and Adhar Mayen have made significant strides lately with Owsley and Verwers working through nagging aches and pains. Freshman point guard Kareem Nitoto continues to find his way in the UH system as a backup to Gibson.
"We haven't finalized anything yet, and we'll look at a lot of different possibilities," Nash said. "(The progress of the newcomers) gives us that versatility we're looking for."
The Rainbows had the second of two closed scrimmages yesterday and Nash was pleased with the team's progress over the previous week's workout with Brigham Young-Hawaii. The scrimmages are closed to the public and media in accordance with NCAA rules.
"I thought our guys competed and were aggressive on both ends and gave a good effort," said Nash, who pointed to Luettgerodt and Gibson as players who performed well in the practice with UH-Hilo. "Today was a good indicator. ... I was pleased. I thought we got a lot accomplished."
The Rainbows will take today off then get back to work tomorrow to start preparations for San Diego.
The staff will review footage of last year's San Diego team to get a feel for the personnel returning -- including four starters -- from a squad that went 18-14 last season. The UH coaches will also pop in tapes of past Gonzaga teams as part of their scouting.
Former Gonzaga assistant Bill Grier was hired as the Toreros' new coach in March after helping build the Bulldogs into a national power over the past 16 years.
"(Grier) being a new coach, we'll have to go off of a lot of Gonzaga tapes to look at tendencies," Nash said.