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Thursday, September 18, 2014         

UH BASKETBALL PREVIEW


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5 things about the Warriors

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:



1. INTERNATIONAL CENTERPIECES

The Rainbow Warriors may not have quite as many international players as last season (five), but UH still sports three foreigners on its roster representing three separate continents. And they all play the same position: center.

They are Douglas Kurtz (Brazil), sophomore Vander Joaquim (Angola) and sophomore Davis Rozitis (Latvia).

Some of the Americans on the team hail from places nearly as far from Hawaii, such as Washington, D.C. (Joston Thomas), and Tallahassee, Fla. (Anthony Salter).

There is one local boy on the roster -- 2009 Kamehameha graduate Pi'i Minns.

2. DIVERSE COACHING STAFF

The Hawaii coaches cover considerable ground as a staff as they scour for the next generation of Rainbow Warriors.

Head coach Gib Arnold has considerable knowledge of West Coast prospects, particularly the greater Los Angeles area. Associate head coach Walter Roese hails from Brazil, assistant coach Benjy Taylor comes from the East Coast and has coached in Chicago and the third assistant, Brandyn Akana, was raised on Molokai and is familiar with Asia. Director of operations Scott Fisher spent much of the last 20 years in Australia playing and coaching.

Combined, the UH coaches have contacts throughout the Pacific Rim and beyond.

3. SENIOR CAPTAINS

UH coach Gib Arnold couldn't decide on just one team captain, so he went with three -- all three seniors on the team.

Forward Bill Amis, point guard Hiram Thompson and center Douglas Kurtz will share tri-captain duties this season.

Amis, a natural leader, was team captain in the 2008-09 season as a junior, and would have been last year as well if not for a season-ending foot injury. Thompson, a quieter person who leads with his actions, filled in as the lone captain in 2009-10. And not many people would argue toe-to-toe with the imposing, 7-foot Kurtz.

4. PHYSICAL FITNESS

A few Rainbows distinguished themselves in preseason strength and conditioning testing applied by strength coach Chris McMillian.

Freshman point guard Bobby Miles posted the highest one-step vertical leap at 37 inches, followed by freshman guard Jordan Coleman at 35.

Sophomore forward Joston Thomas bench-pressed 185 pounds the most times at 25, while senior center Douglas Kurtz was second at 19 reps.

Junior shooting guard Zane Johnson and Coleman tied for the fastest three-quarter-court sprint at 3.39 seconds. Coleman was also tops in agility testing in a boxed area of the paint.

5. NEW NUMBER FOR AMIS

Senior forward Bill Amis went from wearing 41 his first three years on the team to No. 4 this season, in honor of his lineage.

His full name is Wilburn Amis IV.

The other three returnees on the roster -- Hiram Thompson (2), Zane Johnson (3) and Douglas Kurtz (34) -- kept their same numbers.

No. 23, made popular by a certain Chicago Bulls legend, was worn last season by the departed Roderick Flemings and fittingly went to freshman guard Jordan Coleman.






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