UH guard Jeremy Lay to miss rest of season
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
Apparently things can get worse for the University of Hawai‘i men’s basketball team.
Jeremy Lay became the latest in a long list of casualties for the Rainbow Warriors when it was announced today that he will miss the rest of this season due to a hernia injury.
Lay said he had been playing the entire season with the injury. The pain increased in recent weeks, and in a visit with the UH medical staff today, surgery was recommended.
“They actually said I needed surgery at the start (of the season),” Lay said. “But they also said there was a 50-50 chance I could make it through the season, so I took the chance.”
Lay is averaging 8.4 points per game, and is second on the team in assists with 2.3 per game. He recently moved into the starting lineup, and was averaging 10.0 points and 4.0 assists as a starter in the last six games.
“I don’t regret playing because I felt I could help the team,” Lay said. “I wasn’t able to do as much as I would have liked, but that’s part of the game.”
Lay is scheduled to undergo surgery later this month, and the recovery time is expected to be six to eight weeks.
“I’ll be back, better and stronger next year,” the 6-foot junior guard said.
Hawai‘i head coach Bob Nash said: “It’s a credit to him that he wanted to play and fight through it. It’s just unfortunate that it got worse here recently and surgery became the only option.”
Lay’s absence now leaves the ’Bows with few options in the backcourt as they prepare for the stretch run of the regular season.
Hawai‘i is 9-14 overall and on a five-game losing streak. The ’Bows are atthe bottom of the Western Athletic Conference at 2-8, amid various injuries and suspensions.
Junior guard Dwain Williams is still serving an indefinite suspension, andwill miss at least the next two games, if not more.
What’s more, starting point guard Hiram Thompson has been playing the last week with an injured left shoulder.
“We will continue to mix and match and do the best we can with what we have,” Nash said.
Sophomore Leroy Lutu Jr. will likely see increased playing time. Forwards Roderick Flemings and Adhar Mayen will also have to play more as guards.
Virtually every player on the roster has had an injury to deal with this season. Most significant, forward Bill Amis was lost for the season with a foot injury in November.
Among the other key players to miss time this season are: Flemings (knee), Petras Balocka (shoulder), Paul Campbell (back) and Thompson (concussion).
“It’s unusual to have so many in one year,” Nash said. “It’s never happened in all the years since I’ve been here. But that’s something that’s out of my control. We still have games to play and we still have to put a team on the floor, so we’ll do what we have to do.”
The ’Bows are scheduled to depart Honolulu on Thursday for a two-game road trip. They will play at Louisiana Tech on Saturday, then at New Mexico State on Monday.