Reeling Rainbow Warriors get back to basics


POSTED: Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Instead of pointing outward for sources of its recent struggles, the Hawaii men's basketball team is looking inward for some hands-on evaluation.





        San Jose State (7-8, 1-3 WAC) at Hawaii (9-7, 1-3), Saturday, 7:05 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center. TV: KFVE Ch. 5; Radio: KKEA 1420-AM


Beyond the exceptionally difficult travel and usual added challenges of playing on the road, UH coach Bob Nash put the Rainbow Warriors' road losses last week at Idaho and Boise State on hitches in the team's flex-motion offense. He put the team back to work yesterday, just a day after arriving home.

“;Like I told the guys today in our meeting, there's some fundamental things that we're doing wrong,”; Nash said. “;So we go back to basics, and just work every day on making sure we address the basics until we get everybody on the same page. We're not all on the same page in terms of intensity and the way we do things, so we'll just have to continue to work hard and get everybody on the same page.”;

The 54-49 loss to the Broncos on Saturday had the makings of a terrific comeback until four consecutive turnovers derailed the effort in the final minutes.

Combined with the 67-47 loss to the Idaho Vandals, it was UH's first back-to-back outings of under 50 points since the Rainbows scored 47, 49, and 48 points in three losses in the 1993 Great Alaska Shootout.

Defensively, the Rainbows (9-7, 1-3 Western Athletic Conference) have proven themselves. BSU, one of the better offensive teams in the WAC, shot 34.6 percent overall and scored just 21 points in the second half.

Nash normally allows assistant coaches Larry Farmer, Jackson Wheeler and Eran Ganot take point in leading the team through plays and fundamentals. Not yesterday. The head coach consistently stopped plays to get some hands-on work in with his players. He showed Petras Balocka proper floor spacing and demonstrated to Bill Amis how to seal a defender without committing an offensive foul.

“;The stuff that I'm putting in, I'm the one who's putting it in,”; Nash said. “;So, rather than giving it to the assistants, I'm the one putting it in and showing them what we're trying to do. The other coaches obviously know what we're trying to get done, but I want to take a leadership role in putting it in.”;

Forward Roderick Flemings appreciated the shift in his coach's role.

“;I think that's good,”; Flemings said. “;I think we need more 1-on-1 work with guys so they know where to be. Know more options instead of just one option. Other teams ... in the flex offense, people know where you're going to be at. We need to learn more options than just one, so I think that's why he was doing that.”;

Point guard Hiram Thompson observed practice as he rests an injured hamstring, but Nash is optimistic he'll be ready for Saturday's game against San Jose State.