FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's swingman Jared Dillinger wants to hit the floor soon rather than have a week off between games.
’Bows’ schedule takes a twist
A quirky stretch in the schedule comes with some pluses and minuses for the Hawaii basketball team.
The usual pattern of playing two games a week has been put on hold for a bit with the Rainbow Warriors instead playing just twice in a span of two weeks.
The Rainbow Warriors had a week to prepare leading up to last Saturday's loss at Nevada. Now they have another full week entering a home game against Western Athletic Conference leader Utah State this Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
On the glass half-full side, the schedule allows them time to thoroughly scout the upcoming opponent and stay fresh going into a game. The half-empty argument points to the breaks making it tough to establish or maintain a rhythm.
"It gives us a chance to rest, but I'd much rather have us playing so we stay sharp," UH coach Bob Nash said.
It also means the team will have to wait a bit for a shot to get back on track following an 88-68 loss to Nevada that ended UH's three-game winning streak.
"We want to get back at it and get back to work and give it another shot," UH senior Jared Dillinger said.
"You have a week to prepare for a team and you have a lot of time to hone in on the small stuff we're doing wrong. But also it's a week long and we want to get back at it."
The Rainbows (10-12, 6-4 WAC) returned from their trip to Reno on Sunday and got back to work with a closed practice yesterday at the Sheriff Center. They'll await Utah State (18-7, 8-2), which lost at Nevada 85-80 last night.
The Rainbows are fifth in the standings, two games behind the Aggies. Boise State, Nevada and New Mexico State are all a half-game out of first at 6-3.
The break looks to be a blessing for senior P.J. Owsley as he continues his recovery from a knee injury. The 6-foot-8 forward has missed the last two games since suffering the injury on Jan. 31, and didn't make the trip to Nevada. He spent the weekend resting the knee and said he plans to start shooting and jogging at today's practice and hopes to be ready for Saturday's game.
"We're just taking it real slow with him, the main thing is to keep his conditioning up, and we'll see toward the end of the week how he feels," Nash said.
Owsley spent his afternoon Saturday watching the Nevada game on ESPN2 with injured teammate Stephen Verwers.
"It was so tough to watch for me and Stephen," Owsley said. "We just wanted to be out there."
Coming to town
After being named WAC Player of the Week earlier in the day, Utah State guard Jaycee Carroll scored 29 points in the Aggies' loss to Nevada last night. The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 5, but was postponed due to a snow storm in Reno.
Carroll, the preseason conference player of the year, leads the WAC in scoring at 21.8 points per game. He hit for 26 in Utah State's 86-80 win over the Rainbows in Logan on Jan. 3.
"He's good at home, he's good on the road, he's good everywhere," Nash said. "We have to limit his touches and chase him and be physical with him."
Hawaii hitting the stretch run
The Rainbows (10-12) have seven games remaining before the WAC tournament begins on March 11 at Las Cruces, N.M.
||vs. Utah State
| Feb. 20
||at Fresno State
| Feb. 23
||at UC Riverside
| Feb. 28
| March 1
| March 6
||at Louisiana Tech
||at New Mexico State