Nash in position to play
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
Bobby Nash has figured out at least five ways to help get himself on the court for the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team this season.
He knows how to play all five positions.
"I don't necessarily know everything," said Nash, a 6-foot-6 junior. "But I do feel like I know all the positions on the court. I'm comfortable wherever the coaches put me in."
In Hawai'i head coach Riley Wallace's offensive schemes, all five positions are responsible for setting screens and making cuts to the basket. Nash's versatility has been invaluable over the first three weeks of practice because many of the newcomers have been slow to adapt to the offense.
Nash is the leading candidate to start at small forward, but he has also been practicing at shooting guard and power forward in recent weeks.
He said learning the small forward position has been the key to learning the other four positions.
"Being a (small forward), I know where all the cuts are supposed to be," he said. "The (small forward) is the key to this offense, because you're in the middle of everything and you have to know where everybody else is supposed to be."
It helps that Nash is in his fourth season as a Rainbow Warrior. He was a key reserve as a freshman in 2003-04, and a part-time starter as a sophomore in 2004-05. He redshirted last season due to a shoulder injury.
It also helps that Nash is the son of long-time Hawai'i associate coach Bob Nash.
"I've been around this thing for 18 or 19 years," said Bobby, 22. "A lot of it is second nature to me."
It also helps that Nash is one of the smartest players on the team. He was an Academic All-Western Athletic Conference selection as a freshman and sophomore.
'BOWS GOING LONG TO PREPARE FOR VULCANS
The 'Bows have been enduring three-hour practices recently in preparation for Saturday's exhibition opener against Hawai'i-Hilo.
"I think we're all used to it by now," senior forward Ahmet Gueye said. "It was harder a couple of weeks ago, but now it's fine. It's all about fun and learning anyway. And we need it, definitely."
The Hawai'i coaches have been scheduling long practices to help the players learn the schemes on offense and defense.
Wallace noted that official practices started on Oct. 14, so the team has had three weeks to prepare for Saturday's exhibition. The regular-season opener is scheduled for Nov. 10 at UNLV.
"We're a little slow on the learning curve, but there's no lack of hustle," Bobby Nash said. "I think Saturday will be a good test to see where we are, and I think we could surprise some people."
The 'Bows finished 17-11 last season. They opened last season with a 110-55 exhibition win over Hawai'i-Hilo.
The Vulcans, an NCAA Division II team coached by former UH assistant Jeff Law, finished 16-9 last season.
The exhibition is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Reach Dayton Morinaga at firstname.lastname@example.org.