Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

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


Friday, September 15, 2000



Ron Lee back with team

University of Hawaii receivers coach Ron Lee has returned to work on a limited basis and could make the trip to Texas-El Paso next week.

Warriors head coach June Jones said Lee has been watching film with the coaches this week. He has yet to return to practice, but that could change as early as Sunday evening.

Hawaii will take off tomorrow and Saturday, before returning to practice at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Warriors leave Wednesday night for Texas.

"Ron's been in watching tape with us," Jones said after yesterday's workout. "Hopefully, he'll be back with us next week. It's a good chance that me might (make the trip to UTEP). It just depends on the doctor."

Lee underwent triple bypass surgery two weeks ago. He suffered a mild heart attack several days before the surgery was performed. Jones said it was good news to have him back with the coaches.

In his absence, Jones and quarterbacks assistant Dan Morrison have taken over Lee's role as receivers coach. Lee not being on the field in the loss to Portland State may have hurt the Warriors.

Of Jones' offensive assistants, Lee has the most experience with the run-and-shoot. He served as St. Louis School's offensive coordinator before joining Jones' staff in 1998.

"When something like that happens to you," Jones said, "it makes you stop and think. Your priorities change. We look forward to having Coach Lee back with us on the field as soon as he's able."

Rolovich ready

Nick Rolovich spent this week of practice fine-tuning all the things he learned since joining the Hawaii program last January.

The transfer from City College of San Francisco has sufficiently recovered from his disappointing start in last Saturday's loss. He has had three good days of practice and can't wait to get back on the field in next Saturday's road game with UTEP.

"Having another bye can work both ways," Rolovich said. "Yeah, it's good we have an extra week to prepare for UTEP. But you really just want to get back on the field and erase the memory of that loss.

"Right now, I'm just trying to keep my confidence up and stay in my comfort zone. Every day I start to feel a little more comfortable with the offense. It just takes time."

Rolovich started off hot with a touchdown pass to Ashley Lelie, who made a spectacular catch at the back of the end zone. As Rolovich put it, "It's nice having a receiver like him on the field because he can go up and get it."

Unfortunately for both players, their next touchdown connection didn't occur until the fourth quarter. By then, the game had been decided.

"I'm still adjusting to the different looks on defense and making the right reads against those looks," Rolovich said. "I don't blame anybody but myself. There were some drops, but there were also some nice catches out there. Those things kind of even out.

"There are going to be mistakes made by everybody during a game. This is a team game. For me, I just need to get better and work on those things that help me get there."

Rolovich completed 28 of 57 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns. He is currently fifth in the nation in total offense.

"The only numbers I care about are wins," Rolovich said. "We've got to win at least seven of the next 11 to get into a bowl game. And we need to start by getting a win next weekend in El Paso."

Injury update

Hawaii defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa could only shake his head in disappointment as injured free safety Nate Jackson left the field yesterday, his broken foot in a boot cast.

"We're not going to get him back for at least three weeks and probably more," Lempa said. "He's our quarterback on the defensive side of the ball. We're going to miss him out on the field."

Lempa said Jackson was receiving injections to help the bone heal faster. At this point, he has little chance to play at UTEP next week. He could be back in time for TCU.

Jones said there are about a half-dozen players operating at less than full speed. Defensive tackle Lui Fuga returned to practice yesterday. Jones said the projected starter would have to endure pain in his shoulder similar to that of a year ago.

"We're not sure how many of those guys will be ready to go in practice next week," Jones said. "But Nate being able to play is unlikely."

Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin