Nash is not afraid to sub out entire 5
Bob Nash doesn't expect to make a platoon system a regular part of the Hawaii game plan.
But now he knows he has that option tucked away if needed.
With Hawaii off to a flat start in Monday's game against San Jose State, Nash decided to send a message by sending a whole new five into the game.
He made the wholesale substitutions three more times in the first half and the move appeared to spark the Rainbows, who cut an 11-point deficit to six at halftime and went on to a 65-64 win.
"As a coach you're sitting over there on the sideline and the fans are sitting back on their hands because guys are not making shots and missing passes, so they're kind of flat and the team's flat," Nash said. "So you try to energize it by bringing in a new group and seeing if they can put some life in the building.
"They got it started and you throw the other team back in there and they kept it going and pretty soon the fans got involved and it worked to our advantage."
Nash said he prefers a more conventional substitution pattern, and stuck with a regular rotation in the second half. Whether the Rainbow Warriors (6-10, 2-2 Western Athletic Conference) employ the platoon again when they face Fresno State on Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center will depend on the flow of the game.
"Now that I know that these guys are capable of doing it and we've done it in a live game situation I wouldn't hesitate to do it if the situation called for it," he said.
Nash said he didn't enter the game planning to go with the platoon, and the move was an unexpected wrinkle for the Rainbows players.
"I was surprised, but I liked it," sophomore forward Bill Amis said. "It was a good way to come at people in the first half. ... I hadn't seen that in a while, maybe in summer league games. I liked it though."
Nash mixed experience and youth in dividing the 10-player roster. One group featured Kareem Nitoto, Bobby Nash, Jared Dillinger, P.J. Owsley and Alex Veit. They switched off with Amis, Matt Gibson, Riley Luettgerodt, Paul Campbell and Adhar Mayen.
The move also coincided with the Rainbows extending their defense to apply pressure in the backcourt and the platoon system served to keep fresh players on the court.
"That's why we didn't keep them out there long periods of time," Nash said. "We're not a team that's going to be able to press the whole game. We wanted to try to get some energy and get back within striking distance."
Although the platoon served a strategic purpose, it sprung from Nash's desire to put a charge into the team.
"We started giving up middle drives and started giving up a lot of uncontested shots, so I wanted to send a message," Nash said. "Hopefully I was sending a message that I want you to play hard while you're out there and do the things we ask you to do for us to be successful."
On the go
Nash had a busy morning yesterday. He attended the news conference to introduce Greg McMackin as UH's new head football coach at the Sheriff Center. Then he was off to the state Capitol to give the benediction at the opening of the legislature.