Kamehameha hoops team adds offensive wrinkles
They were senior-heavy, but undersized and short of offense a year ago.
Top 10 countdown
With boys high school basketball season approaching, the Star-Bulletin is counting down its preseason Top 10, as determined in a poll of coaches and media members:
2. Next Wednesday
1. Dec. 13
That didn't leave the Kamehameha Warriors lacking in competitiveness, but they relied heavily on Rykin Enos and fought to a .500 mark in Interscholastic League of Honolulu play. A year later, the Warriors are stronger and have more offensive weapons, thanks to an emerging underclass.
Because of that, coaches and media voted Kamehameha No. 9 in the Star-Bulletin Boys Basketball Top 10. Coach Jesse Nakanishi's squad has the potential to rise much higher as a contender for the ILH title. They'll have to fight another gauntlet of quality teams in D-I. Punahou, Iolani and Saint Louis qualified for states last season, and this time around, even Maryknoll is a serious threat.
2006-07 record: 12-14 (7-7 ILH).
On paper: Savvy All-State guard Rykin Enos graduated, leaving a void. His ability to penetrate and create offense was a big part of the Warriors offense.
Pii Minns, who has grown to 6-foot-2, and Conrad Scheidt return with more prominent roles. As sophomores, they saw playing time and showed enormous potential. Both are slashers who can also hit the perimeter shot.
Kamehameha routed Roosevelt and edged Mililani (64-62) at the Pete Smith tourney, then fell to host Kalaheo 63-61 in the final on Saturday.
Kawika Lyons, one of just three seniors, is a 6-foot sharpshooter from the arc.
Kama Downey-Jovanovich, a 6-3 senior, gives Kamehameha a low-post presence. Point guards Brandon Dumlao and Chaz Bajet have played superb defense, Nakanishi noted. Bajet is a son of former University High standout Kimo Bajet.
It is, however, yet another junior who may be the biggest problem for opposing defenses. Auwae DeRego, now 6-2, was named to the Pete Smith Classic all-tourney team. The Big Island native is tough and DeRego's development has been a boost for the Warriors.
"He's very energetic and will take it strong to the basket," Nakanishi said. "His attitude has changed. He's very positive and upbeat. He's taken on a leadership role."
The skinny: Nakanishi believes he can go 10 deep in his rotation if his players can buy into the system. Last year's deliberate pace is a thing of the past, possibly.
"It's a new package to match our personnel. It's more free flowing," he said.
X factor: Free throw shooting has confounded the team. The Warriors shot just 50 percent from the line during the Pete Smith Classic. They'll get a chance to improve on free throw accuracy at the Jim Alegre Invitational, which tips off tomorrow at Radford.