UH being careful with Owsley’s knee
Hawaii senior P.J. Owsley is hoping he'll be ready to play when Hawaii faces Nevada on Saturday in Reno. At the same time, the senior forward and the Rainbow Warriors staff don't want to push the issue either.
Owsley suffered a dislocated right kneecap during the second half of UH's win over New Mexico State last Thursday. He sat out Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech and is taking a day-to-day approach toward a possible return.
"The swelling's gone down, every day it gets better and better," Owsley said after watching yesterday's practice at the Stan Sheriff Center. "It's good progress."
As the injury heals, Owsley said he hopes to begin jogging and riding a bike soon and will then see if he can make cuts and move laterally on the knee.
While he wants to return to action as soon as possible, "I don't want to get back too early and hurt it again," said Owsley, who had a similar injury on his left knee in high school.
An MRI performed yesterday didn't show any structural damage to Owsley's knee.
The Rainbows have a week to prepare for Nevada, then have another full week before playing Utah State at home on Feb. 16.
"We'll see how he feels over the next couple of days and make a decision on whether he travels to Nevada or just wait to try to get him ready for the Utah State game (on Feb. 16)," UH coach Bob Nash said.
"That's going to be his call and the medical staff ... they're going to be looking at the whole picture, how much better will it be with more rest."
Bill Amis started in Owsley's place in the post against Louisiana Tech and posted eight points and five rebounds.
The Rainbows (10-11 overall, 6-3 Western Athletic Conference) leave Honolulu on Thursday morning and will roll in to Reno on a three-game winning streak. The game with the Wolf Pack will be televised nationally on ESPN2 and is set for 1 p.m. Hawaii time.
For the second straight year, Hawaii's participation in the 100-team BracketBusters pool will result in a road game against a Big West opponent.
Hawaii was paired with UC Riverside in a nonconference game on Feb. 23. The game is not part of the 14-game BracketBusters package to be televised on various ESPN outlets that weekend.
The game caps a road trip that begins Feb. 20 at Fresno State.
"We were hoping if we didn't get a TV game, ideally it would be good for us to be able to stay on the West Coast," Nash said. "It's probably the best situation for us."
The Rainbows will face a Highlanders team that entered this week's play at 5-15 overall and 2-7 in the Big West under first-year coach Jim Woolridge. They are led by senior guard Larry Cunningham, averaging 14.3 points per game.
Under terms of the arrangement, UCR will visit Honolulu for a nonconference game next season.
Last year, UH faced Long Beach State at the Pyramid and came away with a 93-78 win. They also beat the 49ers 61-57 in the return game this season.
The WAC placed three teams in TV games. Utah State hosts UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 22. The following day, Boise State hosts Siena, and Nevada plays at Southern Illinois.
Still no POW
's two-game average of 17 points and nine assists last week weren't quite enough for Hawaii to pick up its first WAC Player of the Week award of the season. That honor went to Boise State forward Reggie Larry
, who scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds against Fresno State. He then tallied 21 points and nine assists against Idaho.
Gibson posted 20 points and 11 assists against New Mexico State and had 14 points and seven assists against Louisiana Tech.
Gibson enters Saturday's game at Nevada 16 points away from becoming the 13th member of UH's 1,000-point club. Bobby Nash is also on pace to join that group, needing 71 more points with at least nine games left.