POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 19, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 1:54 a.m. HST, Oct 19, 2010
If Gib Arnold didn't like the effort he saw, they ran. If Arnold had to repeat himself, they ran.
And if one of the "Seven Deadly Sins of Defense" was committed, the Rainbow Warriors certainly weren't getting a pat on the back.
Yesterday the Hawaii men's basketball team enjoyed its first full practice in the Stan Sheriff Center. It was notable for both the change of locale and the change in demeanor of the team's head coach.
Arnold was livid early as the team returned from the weekend in lackluster fashion. The Rainbows soon crisscrossed the same space where they -- and the coaches -- entertained UH fans with haka dances on Friday in the UH Ohana Hoopfest.
"Oh, I just think a lot of times with any team, when you have a weekend, you have a day off, you have a fun night like we did on Friday, sometimes you gotta be real careful of slippage," Arnold said. "If anything, you keep a real tight eye on it early and if the attitude isn't a business attitude ... you step on it, you jump it, you crush it and you move on."
The first-year UH coach mellowed as practice progressed, but ordered up some sprints from the menu whenever one of his defensive tenets was violated. But before they could begin, the other lined-up Rainbows had to recognize and yell out why they were running.
The "Seven Sins" are allowing transition points, layups, no-dribble 3-pointers, uncontested 2-pointers or putbacks, committing fouls and having a "not my man" mentality of responsibility.
"I couldn't tell them all to you right now, but I'll have them in a couple weeks," junior shooting guard Zane Johnson said. "I thought we started lackadaisical. ... The things we were running for are mental."
The team sharpened over the course of the 3-hour-plus practice, in which the coaches finished teaching the first series of plays that the Rainbows will call upon during the season. There was also plenty of work on pick-and-roll defense and the team's fast-break, motion and early (shots under 8 seconds) offenses.
But there's still so much more to learn. Forcing a pass in midair was another ticket to the stripe -- the baseline stripe for more running or a substitution.
"I think they realize you can never, ever take a day off. You can't even take a minute off, let alone have a bad practice," Arnold said. "And I'm a big believer that players don't have bad practices, but coaches do. ... It was a long practice, and they responded, and I think we actually got a little better today."
Freshman Trevor Wiseman said he's seen Arnold more intense at times during the preseason.
"He's getting in us early, so we're playing tough down the line," said Wiseman, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward out of Golden Valley (Calif.) High. "I think we're picking up faster than we should. We're a brand-new team, and we didn't know any of the plays. As we run it and run it, we'll get way better at it."
The Rainbows may see themselves improving, but will find out today what coaches and media around the Western Athletic Conference think. The preseason WAC polls come out in the morning.