More updates from Gib Arnold
Gib Arnold had a recruiting plan for the upcoming 2012-13 season, so it’s no surprise to him that the roster will include eight freshmen.
“It’s part of my philosophy here,” he said of the youth movement. “We have eight freshmen – maybe the most in the country. But I like that. With youth comes, obviously, some up and downs, and I expect to see that this year. But also, there’s a great excitement and there’s a lot of energy, and I like that, too.”
The final addition came late last week in the form of 6-foot-5 true freshman Aaron Valdes. He spent much of last week completing paperwork and signing up for classes to become eligible for the upcoming season.
“He gives us a little more athleticism,” Arnold said. “He’s a young guard, he’s got good size, and he’s got a good future ahead of him.”
Arnold added that he expects Valdes to play several roles, mostly because he has an ability to defend multiple positions. “I think he’s a guard, he can play the wing, he can probably even play a little bit of small forward,” Arnold said. “But it’s more dependent upon who he can guard versus what he does offensively … I think Aaron has a chance to be a guy who can guard multiple positions, which in time will make him a much better player.”
Arnold noted that he will have just four returnees from last season’s active roster – Hauns Brereton, Garrett Jefferson, Vander Joaquim and Davis Rozitis.
“Those guys, I know what expect out of them. The rest of the guys are new,” Arnold said. “I don’t know if they’re ready to be thrown in the fire, but they got no choice. They’re gonna be thrown in, so we’ll see who’s ready when that happens.”
Arnold also noted that he and his staff targeted a specific type of student-athlete in this recruiting class, and much of it did not have to do with basketball talent.
“In this recruiting class, we really paid attention to character and chemistry,” he said. “It’s not by chance that we have this group of guys.”
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Here is an announcement from the UH media relations office on Zane Johnson signing a professional contract to play in Japan:
Former University of Hawai`i men’s basketball player Zane Johnson will make his way to Asia after signing a pro contract with the Fukuoka Rizing of the Basketball Japan League (bj-league).
The 6-6 guard signed a one-year deal with the Rizing, which finished fifth in last year’s Western Division standings (33-19). The Rizing were knocked out in the round of 16 in the playoffs. Former Rainbow Warrior standout Bobby Nash is the most recent UH player to play in the bj-league, suiting up for the Shiga Lakestars (2008-10) and the Satima Broncos (2010-11). While at Satima he played for his father, former UH head coach Bob Nash, who will be coaching the Toyama Grouses this season in the league’s Eastern Division.
Johnson was named honorable mention all-conference in his two seasons at UH after transferring from the University of Arizona. The Phoenix, Ariz., native left the program as one of the most prolific shooters in school history. He established a new single-season mark for three-pointers (98) as a junior in 2010-11 and became the school’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (180) as senior, despite playing just two seasons. He also set a new school record with 29 straight free throws made during the 2011-12 season and ranks as the fourth most accurate free throw shooter (.825) in program history.
Johnson, who earned a degree in sociology from UH last December, garnered an NBA workout earlier this summer with the Milwaukee Bucks, before signing with Fukuoka.