Four seniors in 'Bows' tentative starting lineup
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
With little time remaining before its exhibition opener, the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team moved a little closer to forming a starting lineup yesterday.
Jason Carter point guard Michael Kuebler shooting guard Julian Sensley small forward Phil Martin power forward Haim Shimonovich center
Rainbows' tentative starters
Jason Carter point guard
Michael Kuebler shooting guard
Julian Sensley small forward
Phil Martin power forward
Haim Shimonovich center
Since the first day of practice on Oct. 18, UH head coach Riley Wallace has been experimenting with various lineups, partly because of injuries and partly to give new players a chance.
But over the last week, all 12 scholarship players have been available for practice for the first time all season. That allowed Wallace to truly gauge the progress of the team.
"I like all of (the players), so I can't say that I like this guy over that guy," Wallace said. "But we are a little closer to figuring the whole thing out."
If the 'Bows were to play a game today, the starting lineup would feature Jason Carter at point guard, Michael Kuebler at shooting guard, Julian Sensley at small forward, Phil Martin at power forward, and Haim Shimonovich at center.
Not coincidentally, four are seniors (Sensley is a sophomore).
"I think it makes a little bit of a difference to have the experienced guys in there at this point because we can run the plays a little crisper," said Martin, a co-captain. "If we had to play a game tomorrow, this group could run the primary offense. But I'd say we still need more time."
Shimonovich, a starter the last two seasons, missed the first two weeks of practice with an Achilles injury. Yesterday was his first practice with the first team.
"Conditioning-wise, he's still not there yet," Wallace said. "He can't play a lot of minutes right now, but he's got the experience and he knows what to do."
With four practices remaining before the exhibition game, Wallace said the lineup could change at any time.
Point guard Logan Lee, forwards Jeff Blackett and Vaidotas Peciukas and center Milos Zivanovic are still battling for starting roles.
In any case, Wallace said he expects to give all 12 scholarship players a chance during the exhibition game.
"The plan this year is to use everybody," Wallace said. "Starting is more of an honor thing. But even the guys who don't start will get a lot of minutes."
Recruiting trail: Forward Matt Gipson is expected to be the only recruit to sign a letter of intent with the 'Bows during the early signing period, which runs from today through Nov. 19.
Gipson, who is 6 feet 9 and 215 pounds, made a verbal commitment to play for UH last month. He is currently a sophomore at North Idaho College. He played his freshman season at Oklahoma.
The UH coaches are expected to begin visiting more recruits on the Mainland in January. At least two more scholarships will be available for the late signing period that begins April 14.
Reach Dayton Morinaga at firstname.lastname@example.org or 535-8101.