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Warriors may rotate eight against LaTech

The Hawai’i basketball team has used a rotation of 10 players for most of this season. That number could be reduced to eight when the Warriors host Louisiana Tech in a Western Athletic Conference game on Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

It is scheduled to start around 7:15 p.m., following a UH women’s basketball game at 5 p.m.

Senior point guard Miah Ostrowski has not practiced all week due to a staph infection in his lower left leg. Junior forward Hauns Brereton missed Wednesday’s practice due to illness.

Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said both players will be game-time decisions, and the Warriors are prepared to go with neither, both or either. “That’s why we got more than five guys,” he said. “We’ll be just fine. If those guys can’t go, we’ll put in other guys to take their (minutes) and just keep going.”

The Warriors are 10-7 overall and in third place in the WAC at 2-1. LaTech is 8-10 overall and tied at the bottom of the conference at 0-3.

Ostrowski has started the last six games, and leads the WAC in assists with 6.2 per game. He had 12 points and seven assists in Hawaii’s 71-58 win over LaTech last year at the Sheriff Center.

Ostrowski said he is hoping to play on Thursday, but because of the nature of his injury, he needs to be cleared by a physician before he can play.

Brereton is averaging 6.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per game as a key reserve. In his last seven games, he is averaging 9.1 points per game.

In the absence of those two, the other eight Warriors in the playing rotation are ready to see extended minutes: Zane Johnson, Joston Thomas, Vander Joaquim, Trevor Wiseman, Garrett Jefferson, Shaquille Stokes, Bobby Miles and Davis Rozitis.

“We just have to play our game and execute,” said senior guard and tri-captain Zane Johnson. “Other guys need to step up and fill the void.”

Johnson leads the team in scoring with 15.1 points per game, and is second in the WAC with 52 3-pointers. Junior center Joaquim is averaging 13.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game; junior forward Thomas is at 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

If Ostrowski is unable to play, the freshman Stokes will have to play a larger role. He opened the season as the starting point guard, but has played a reserve role in recent weeks. He is still fourth on the team in scoring with 8.6 points per game, and second in assists at 2.9 per game.

Sophomore guards Jefferson and Miles could also see increased roles if both Ostrowski and Brereton are unavailable.

The Bulldogs rely on a balanced attack, and their leading scorer is 6-foot-2 freshman guard Raheem Appleby at 12.5 points per game.

Under first-year head coach Michael White, LaTech often rotates 11 players into games to employ a full-court pressure defense. The Bulldogs lead the WAC in steals with 7.7 per game, and are forcing opponents into an average of 15.6 turnovers per game.

“They press the whole game and really push it,” Arnold said. “They like to get after it.”

LaTech’s previous head coach, Kerry Rupp, is now the Director of Basketball Operations at Hawai’i, and his knowledge of some of the LaTech players has been passed on to the Warriors this week.

“He’s helped a lot, just because he knows some of the guys and their tendencies,” Johnson said.

(WarriorInsider.com file photo courtesy Brandon Flores)

HAWAI’I VS. LOUISIANA TECH

When: Thursday, January 19, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu
Tickets: $26 lower level, $18 upper level adults, $16 upper level senior citizens, $5 upper level students. Parking is $5.
TV: Live on OCSports (channel 12 or 1012)
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM

Doubleheader discount tickets: The UH women’s basketball team will play Louisiana Tech at 5 p.m. Fans wanting to attend both games can pay reduced prices for upper level tickets ($10 adults, $8 senior citizens, $5 students), but must enter by halftime of the women’s game.

7 Comments

  1. If Miah can’t go, this would be a perfect opportunity for Shaq to step up. We know he can score and handle the ball, we saw it in the Manoa Summer League and in China. Now he just has to show us in NCAA play consistently.

  2. In the last seconds of the tough game against Nevada Reno, they changed the clock from 7.4 sec to 1.4 seconds. Nevada in-bounded the ball and it looked to me that there was an intentional forearm to the jaw of one of our guards, I think it was Miah but I was distracted and it could have been Miles or Shaq. I thought he lost a tooth. No reaction though and other than to hold is jaw. Our guard, whoever it was, might have thought it was inadvertent but that’s not what it looked liked to me. It looked like a cheap shot at the end of the game. It was a tough game and both sides played hard. Our team played as if they were coached better and I expect the intensity of our practices to ramp up.

  3. As Coach Says, “No Excuses”

    Get Healthy Hauns & Miah …

    Every Body Steppin’ Up !

    Win Warriors … Tonight … and then Saturday

    It’s o.k. with me IF you blow one or Both out …. as a Fan/Supporter i have a 20 point rule (that as my trust in your consistency continues to grow may become a 15 point rule) No Beers (for me) ’til the W is in the books, or we’re up 20 (15) …

    Then Take it On The Road and Start Rolling Up the W’s (way faster than L’s) …

  4. These are the games Hawaii needs to start off fast and finish strong. Show the opponent whose the better team. Protect your house, man.
    Go Warriors!

  5. And late word today is that Zane Johnson caught some type of stomach virus and may not be able to play — and not at 100 percent if he does play.

  6. Looks like Miah and Zane both will be out. Hauns is suited up.

  7. Was Stokes really NYC player of the year??? Must have been some REALLY watered down competition that year.. I mean, c’mon kid, step it up.. This is LA Tech, not St. John’s or Kentucky we’re playing here..

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