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A look inside the open gym

The preseason wasn’t all about weightlifting and running for the Hawaii basketball team. There was some actual basketball.

It’s called open gym. The players show up at a designated time and organize intrasquad scrimmages on their own. No coaches or trainers. Just players.

“We have a new coach here so there’s no favorites — everybody is working hard to earn a spot,” junior point guard Anthony Salter. “It’s been good competition. The thing about this team, everybody can play.”

According to the Warriors, every healthy player on the roster has had a shining moment during the scrimmages.

However, the players receiving the most mention from teammates were Bill Amis, Josten Thomas, Anthony Salter and Zane Johnson.

“Josten because of his strength and ability to finish,” freshman Bo Barnes said. “Bill’s mid-range game and post moves are really nice. ‘Salt’ can really handle the ball.”

Fellow freshman Bobby Miles added: “I would say Josten and Bill have been really impressive in the post. Zane knows how to score it, and ‘Salt’ because he’s so quick.”

Johnson, who redshirted last season, was quick to mention the transformation of Douglas Kurtz. The 7-foot senior shed 15 pounds of excess weight since last season, and has become a presence near the basket.

“I would say Doug is the most improved,” Johnson said. “He never really found his way last year, but he’s in better shape this year. I feel like when he gets the ball near the basket, he’ll either score it or draw a double-team.”

The freshmen have held their own. Miles plays an aggressive style of point guard; Barnes can shoot it from long range, as advertised; Jordan Coleman and Trevor Wiseman are both raw talents.

Among the other post players, newcomers Vander Joaquim and Davis Rozitis both have offensive skills, but could use more bulk to help their defense. Rozitis will redshirt this season, so he will have a full year to improve.

It should be noted that newcomer Dominick Brumfield has not been able to scrimmage during the preseason while recovering from a knee injury, but he should be ready to practice soon.

Also, senior point guard Hiram Thompson missed the early weeks of preseason conditioning due to injury, but has been impressive in recent scrimmages. Teammates are starting to call him “Wily,” as in the wily veteran.

Pi’i Minns, a Kamehameha Schools graduate, is the only walk-on currently on the roster. His athleticism is allowing him to keep pace with some of the quicker guards.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the vid! Can’t wait to see the team at full speed.

  2. Thanks for the link Gee Why!

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