Bob Nash must begin the process of replacing seven seniors who accounted for 80 percent of Hawaii's scoring.
Nash begins rebuilding
UH coach will have little time to rest as he begins searching for recruits
LAS CRUCES, N.M. » After nearly two weeks on the road, Bob Nash isn't headed home just yet.
With his first year as Hawaii basketball coach behind him, Nash and the Rainbow Warrior coaches aren't waiting around to build for next season, as he'll hit the recruiting trail this week before returning to Honolulu.
"A lot of junior college and high school tournaments are finishing up this week, so I have to go out and look at players we've had contact with and get a visual on them and set up the process of bringing them to visit the University of Hawaii," Nash said yesterday.
The Rainbows lose seven seniors who accounted for 80 percent of their scoring during an 11-19 season that ended with a loss to Boise State in the Western Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals last Thursday.
With that in mind, the staff plans to parcel the five available scholarships to a combination of young prospects and JC transfers who can provide instant impact for a team that will be without a senior class next season.
"Because we're losing so many seniors, we have to have guys who are a little more ready to play than the high school kids," Nash said. "We still want to look at high school kids, we still want to recruit high school kids, but we have to have a mixture this coming year."
Sophomore forward Bill Amis leads the group of returnees, which includes center Paul Campbell, forward Adhar Mayen and freshman guard Kareem Nitoto.
"Players are made during the offseason," Nash said. "Those guys are going to have to spend a lot of time in the weight room getting bigger and stronger and perfecting their skills."
Bolstering the post and finding perimeter shooters are the top priorities for the recruiting season with the signing period running from April 16 to May 21.
UH signed Canadian high school forward Adam Jespersen in the fall, and point guard Hiram Thompson returns from a two-year church mission. The Rainbows also have freshman center Ji Xiang and guard Conrad Fitzgerald coming off redshirt years.