H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Thursday, November 4, 1999

Today's Rainbow Notebook

Warren back
at practice

Hawaii outside linebacker Yaphet Warren returned to practice this morning after missing most of the week with a slight groin pull.

"It was good to have him back in there," head coach June Jones said today. "He's an important part of our defense."

You won't get any argument from coordinator Greg McMackin who believes Warren and middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich are critical to the success of the Rainbows.

The injury report wasn't quite as good on the offensive side of the football. Wide receivers Attrice Brooks and Scott Sims didn't leave for San Jose, Calif., today because of injuries.

Brooks remains sidelined with fluid on his knee and his status for the remainder of the year is uncertain. Sims returned to practice last Tuesday for the first time in three weeks. He injured his shoulder in the loss to Rice.

"Scott had a good week of work, but he's still a week away from being ready to take hits on that shoulder," Jones said.

Jones said that should Warren experience any problems with his groin, Anthony Smith would be the first one in.

Quarterback Dan Robinson had a knot in the middle of his back that he suffered in the second quarter of the 34-14 loss to Texas Christian, but he said yesterday he's fit for duty.

"It's going to be fine," Robinson said. "My back hasn't bothered me at all. It was a little stiff after the game, but nothing that would keep me from throwing."

Upon further review

Jones said he is making a tape of all the controversial calls by the officials against his team and will present it at the coaches meeting at the end of the year.

When asked what he thought about this group compared to those working in the National Football League, Jones replied, "It's all relevant."

Jones was particularly upset with the illegal substitution calls the defense experienced in the victory at Tulsa.

"There were no excuses for those," Jones said. "We absolutely didn't do anything wrong in those situations."

As for the 15-yard personal foul and celebration penalties his players have experienced in recent weeks, Jones has his own brand of punishment -- wind-sprints ... and lots of them.

"Well, we can't fine our guys like we do in the NFL for doing something that hurts the team," Jones said, then smiled. "But we can run them, make them miserable and hope they won't do something to hurt the team again."

Hawaii is currently sixth of eight league teams in penalties. The Rainbows have been penalized 74 times for 641 yards. By comparison, TCU is the worst with 83 penalties for 746 yards and Texas-El Paso is the least penalized with 53 for 377 yards.

"You don't want to get a reputation for personal fouls or they'll call it more closely," Jones said. "We've got to cut down on these mistakes because they'll hurt you in a close game."

Too many wrong turns

Before the season, all the talk was about how McMackin's schemes force mistakes that lead to points. Don't worry if the defense gives up a big play now and again, the gamble is worth the risk.

It's hard to argue with the numbers. Hawaii is among the leaders in the league in forcing mistakes with 18. UTEP has the most with 19. But unfortunately for the Mac Attack, the offense has been too kind. The Rainbows have thrown 13 interceptions and lost 10 fumbles for a turnover ratio of minus-0.62.

It's the seventh-worst in the WAC and is tied for No. 95 out of 114 Division I teams. It's not good, especially when considering the defense has scored a pair of touchdowns and set up the offense on several other occasions.

"Our defense has done a great job getting us the football," Jones said. "Unfortunately, sometimes we've just given it right back."

By Paul Arnett


Puida hurt
in bike fall

Nerijus Puida, a potential starter critical to Hawaii's offense, is questionable for Sunday's exhibition against the Northwest All-Stars at the Stan Sheriff Center following a bicycle accident on campus.

The 6-foot-5 Puida, one of the better junior college players in the nation last season, suffered abrasions on his right ankle, shin and knee, left wrist, right elbow, face and torso.

Head coach Riley Wallace said the injury is not serious but he couldn't say if Puida will be able to play in the opener.

"That's not up to me," he said, deferring to medical advice.

Of major concern is a deep gash in Puida's elbow. The Lithuanian-born small forward attended practice last night at the Stan Sheriff Center but only observed.

The accident occurred at 2 p.m. yesterday when Puida was riding a bicycle down a hill by the UH dormitories.

Wallace said he came to a speed bump and tried to ride through the separation in the bump. But he ran over a tennis ball, causing him to lose control of the bicycle.


The eligibility of freshman forward Phil Martin, recruited from Ontario, will not be resolved this week, according to Wallace. Therefore, Martin not be able to play on Sunday.


Hawaii's other Canadian freshman, Newfoundlander Carl English, will require surgery in the postseason to repair badly stretched ankle ligaments.

Meanwhile, English continues to work out at point guard in drills and scrimmages, and will play Sunday.

Wallace said he is considering redshirting the 6-4 newcomer.


Senior team captain Marquette Alexander has a new look. He's bald.

"I just got up one morning and decided it was too hot so I started to shave it off," he said.

"Johnny White finished it for me."

He's now working on growing a goatee.


Alexander's not the only key Rainbow with a new look up top.

Troy Ostler, a 6-9 junior likely to start at the 4 position, dyed his close-cropped hair bright yellow over the weekend. He'll be even easier to spot on the break.

By Pat Bigold, Star-Bulletin

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