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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, October 29, 2006

Rainbows 'way behind' schedule

 •  Guard's talent backs his talk

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

At its current pace, the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team could be pretty good by December.

Problem is, the season starts in November.

Hawai'i head coach Riley Wallace expressed concern yesterday that the Rainbow Warriors are "way behind any of my previous years" in terms of learning the offensive schemes.

"We're only about 50 percent of where we should be at this point," said Wallace, who is in his 20th season as head coach of the 'Bows. "I don't know why that is, because we've got the talent. The intensity is not there yet to match it."

The 'Bows went through a 40-minute intrasquad scrimmage yesterday, and Wallace said the only player who stood out was senior Matt Lojeski.

The 6-foot-6 shooting guard scored a scrimmage-high 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 6 of 8 from 3-point range. He also grabbed six rebounds to lead the Green squad to a 77-73 victory over the White.

"The only guy I'm fully satisfied with right now is Lojeski," Wallace said. "He runs the stuff we want and he's getting all his shots within the offense."

Lojeski has led the team in scoring in every scrimmage so far this season.

"I'm comfortable with that role," he said. "I understand when to shoot, when to go to the hoop, and when to pass. I'll score if that's what the team needs, but I'm ready to do whatever it takes to help the team."

Riley Luettgerodt and Dominic Waters added 14 points each for the Green. Waters also had a scrimmage-high seven assists.

Ahmet Gueye led the White with 15 points and nine rebounds. Stephen Verwers added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, Matt Gibson scored 14, and Bobby Nash 12.

The next test is an exhibition game against NCAA Division II Hawai'i-Hilo on Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

"If we played it right now, it would be a good game," Wallace said. "We have one week to pick it up or we're in trouble."

Wallace is especially concerned about the play of his low-post players.

Seven-foot sophomore Todd Follmer, who had 11 points and three rebounds yesterday, said: "As a team, I'd say we're about 70 percent. That means we have stuff to work on, but I think we can get it done by next week."

Reach Dayton Morinaga at dmorinaga@honoluluadvertiser.com.