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Friday, November 21, 2014         

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Warriors lose Amis

Hawaii's leading point-scorer and rebounder has a stress fracture, sidelining him for at least a month

By Jason Kaneshiro

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The Hawaii basketball team has yet to experience defeat on the court, but it was dealt a significant loss over the weekend.

Bill Amis, the Rainbow Warriors' leading scorer and rebounder, is expected to sit out at least a month due to a stress fracture in his right foot.

Amis said he felt some discomfort before UH's win over Central Arkansas on Friday but was able to play. The pain persisted after the game and an MRI was performed on Saturday, revealing the injury.

The senior power forward hopes to return by the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, which runs Dec. 22-25. But his primary target is the Western Athletic Conference season.

"I just have to let the bone heal, and I'm just going to try to stay in shape with some pool workouts, and I'll ride the (stationary) bike in the meantime," Amis said. "(The Diamond Head Classic is) what I want to be back for, but I'm not going to rush into this. I want to be healthy for the WAC."

UH's first test without its senior tri-captain comes tomorrow when the Rainbows (4-0) host Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-4) at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Amis sat out all of last season because of a torn plantar fascia in the same foot and used his redshirt year to return for this season. He is averaging a team-high 15.8 points -- shooting 64.3 percent from the field -- and 6.8 rebounds per game. He also leads UH with seven blocked shots and six steals.

"It's frustrating. But I have to keep looking at it positively," Amis said. "It's not going to be as serious as last year."

UH head coach Gib Arnold said he hasn't settled on a starting five with Amis out, but expects freshman shooting guard Bo Barnes to see more action, with Joston Thomas, normally a small forward, spending more time in the post.

"We'll have to make some adjustments," Arnold said. "That will depend upon who we're playing."

Senior point guard Hiram Thompson also is tending to some aches and saw limited time in yesterday's practice, giving freshman Bobby Miles and junior Anthony Salter the bulk of the work.

"We might see a little bit of the future here with those two seniors banged up," Arnold said. "We might have to play a lot of the freshmen more than we planned on."

Arnold said Amis' injury will hurt the team in the season's nonconference portion, but could help when the WAC schedule opens on Dec. 29 at Utah State, "because our young guys will have to pick up his minutes, and they'll improve through it.

"And when he gets back and gets healthy, then those guys will be a little bit better, and then we'll be together as a team."

Arnold has used his bench liberally through the first four games, going 12 deep in the first half of an 83-69 win over Central Arkansas. Nine players average at least 13 minutes per game.

"He's really good at mixing it up, so it'll be a lot easier than if he played just a certain six or five," said Barnes, who averages 13.5 points off the bench and has made a league-high 14 3-pointers. "I think him playing different rotations definitely helped."

The Rainbows will face an Arkansas-Pine Bluff team that won the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament last season before falling to Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

To help fund the athletic department, the Golden Lions will play their first 12 games on the road. They have lost their first four games (at Colorado State, Nebraska, Northwestern and Stanford) by an average of 36.8 points.






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