What The Bows Must Do To Win
Friday - February 10, 2006
The Rainbow Warrior basketball team is making its stretch run in the WAC. At 12-8 overall, and 6-4 in WAC play, the team probably needs to win the conference tournament to make it to the NCAAs. Not so improbable when you consider that the conference co-leaders each have three losses.
Here’s a look at key players, and what they need to do from here.
Julian Sensley: At 6 ft. 9 in., the small forward is a match-up nightmare. Sensley averages 17 points per game, and when he’s on shows a skill set worthy of the NBA. But he often elects to play the perimeter and loft 3s and fade away jumpers. He’ll need to take it to the hole if the Rainbow Warriors have hopes of making it to The Dance.
Matt Lojeski: The junior college transfer is as good a spot-up jump shooter as Hawaii has had, and he’s been a pleasant surprise on defense. Offensively, he has to improve on creating space for his shot. When Lojeski scores, the team usually wins.
Deonte Tatum: The point guard is playing out of his natural position, small forward. An average ballhandler, Tatum compensates with a string of intangibles. He is physically strong, gets the team into the offense, and is mentally tough. Increasingly, he takes smaller defenders into the paint for runners and short jumpers. Defensively, he stays in front of his man, and is good at helping out.
Ahmet Gueye: The 6 ft. 7 in. junior has become a favorite with his dazzling shot blocking abilities. Has great feet, but is trying to work on below average hands. He’s developed a drop step move that gets him short jumpers. Needs to avoid foul trouble.
Matt Gipson: The senior power forward has a nice skill set, and when he’s energized can be a huge factor. He’s capable of big rebounding nights, and will chase balls out of his area. Has a tendency to lose focus and mentally drift. Very good around the basket, but outside shooting has been spotty. Can block shots and needs to watch the reaching fouls.
Chris Botez: The 7-footer has limited skills, but brings great energy and hustle. His presence in the middle on defense can change opponents’ shots. Has improved catching the ball and making the short baby hook. Runs the floor extremely well for a big man. Foul shooting is atrocious and may be beyond redemption.
Hiram Thompson: The freshman back-up point guard is an advanced first-year floor general. He can orchestrate the offense and is adept at penetrating and either getting to the hole or finding an open man. Needs work on his outside shot. Defensively, he’s tough and knows the little tricks to keep his man in front of him.
Dominick Waters: The frosh from Portland plays some point, but his instincts are those of a shooting guard. Nice touch from the outside, and he’s not shy about putting it up. For now, he’s a defensive liability, often committing touch fouls and getting lost. But the effort is there, and he’s coachable.
John Wilder: The juco transfer has struggled with the adjustment to Division 1. Has not gotten untracked despite above average athleticism. He needs to relax, which is much more easily said than done.
Jack Miller: The freshman son of former UH standout Jack Miller Sr. is a relentless scout team worker and practice contributor who gets only mop up minutes in games. Get enough players with his attitude and you’ll have a pretty good outfit.
Bottom line: There is enough talent here to make a run in the conference tournament, but not so much that the team can coast and still win. All in all, a very entertaining team to watch.
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