New Rainbows coach Arnold heads to mainland


POSTED: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yes, Gib Arnold is aware of the many troubles that hamstrung the Hawaii men's basketball team in 2009-10.

Nonetheless, the new UH men's basketball coach won't rush to any judgment to cut sources of those struggles.

Before leaving on a recruiting trip this week, Arnold was asked if he'd retain all returning players from the recently completed 10-20 season.

“;I'm keeping an open mind on that 'til I actually sit down with them, and see where their focus is,”; he replied. “;We'll talk academics. We'll talk commitment. And we'll talk where they are with this team.”;

Two players who were brought into the program last season—guards Dwain Williams and Jeremy Lay—were the targets of much of the criticism. Williams averaged 14.0 points per game, but was indefinitely suspended for violating team rules, and played in only 14 games.

Lay shot 29.9 percent while dealing with a hernia and had to shut it down by the 23-game mark.

Seven-foot center Douglas Kurtz, a newcomer who was held to spot duty off the bench, also failed to produce as he has as many points (30) as fouls.








        The team's banquet is scheduled for April 22 at the Hale Koa Hotel's DeRussy Hall.


No-host cocktails start at 5 p.m., with dinner and the program to follow.


Tickets are $85 per person. Forms are available at


For more information, call Nikki Holbrook at 222-3467.




UH is already losing at least 62 percent of its scoring and 70 percent of its rebounding—and maybe more. But both Williams and Lay have said they wish to return for their senior seasons.

“;I know there were some issues. I'm learning more and more about them,”; Arnold said. “;But I'm not going to make any decisions until I sit down and want to know the whole story. I'll talk to them, I'll talk to their academic advisors. Had some great talks with the assistants (Monday). Once I have an idea, we'll make some decisions.”;

Arnold expects to return from recruiting stops in the western U.S.—including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Idaho—by early next week. He said he wanted to meet individually with players already, but that was made difficult by the timing of his spring break hire. Among the returning scholarship players, only point guard Hiram Thompson, forward Bill Amis, and shooting guard Zane Johnson were around, he said.

“;Not sure exactly (when I'll be back), based upon the recruitment,”; he said. “;Hopefully, at the latest on Wednesday. And then we're gonna have a team meeting, and I'll meet with them all individually.

“;And the key right now is just to continue going to class and continue doing what you're doing to keep your eligibility. And the seniors, same thing, so they can progress towards graduation.”;

There are eight scholarship players on the roster for 2010-11, but realistically seven if forward Ji Xiang graduates this summer and goes back to China as expected.

With Calabasas (Calif.) guard Jordan Coleman still accounting for one scholarship for next year, that likely leaves five for Arnold to hand out.