POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 28, 2010
Just about everyone is going on the first road trip of the season for the unbeaten Hawaii men's basketball team.
Injured forward Bill Amis is going. Strength coach Chris McMillian is going.
So, just about everyone -- except maybe junior point guard Anthony Salter.
When they depart tonight for Los Angeles, the 5-0 Rainbow Warriors could be without their speedy reserve floor general.
Salter missed his second straight practice yesterday as the team prepared for the challenging swing through San Luis Obispo, Calif., on Wednesday (vs. Cal Poly) and Salt Lake City on Saturday (vs. No. 23 BYU).
UH coach Gib Arnold said the absences were excused.
"Nothing (disciplinary) whatsoever," Arnold said. "He hasn't done anything wrong at all. He's dealing with some personal issues, and I've given him some time to get those sorted out."
Whether that time extends into the road trip -- or beyond -- remains to be seen.
When asked yesterday if Salter would make the trip, Arnold said he'd check with his player at a later time. The team won't practice tomorrow and leaves on a red-eye flight at about 9 p.m.
It's been a difficult start to the season for Salter, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound transfer from Iowa Western Community College. Expectations were high for the Tallahassee, Fla., native -- he was rated among the top JUCO players in 2009-10 -- but he missed about two weeks just prior to the start of the season with a partial tear in his left heel. He recovered quickly and made a surprise return to the court in the season opener vs. Montana State, playing 16 minutes, but hasn't played more than 6 minutes in any game since and has three assists and six turnovers for the season.
Freshman Bobby Miles has so far seen most of the backup action at the point behind starter Hiram Thompson. Still, Salter has plenty of experience at the college level and is an explosive scorer when he's feeling it. His absence would hurt the team's depth.
Without Salter on this trip, the Rainbows would be down to 10 active players. Two of those, freshman guard Jordan Coleman and sophomore forward Dominick Brumfield, have seen only spot minutes against Central Arkansas to this point.
Upon their arrival in California early tomorrow morning, the Rainbow Warriors will bus about 4 hours north to San Luis Obispo. They'll have two full practice days to prepare for the Mustangs.
Scout teamers Davis Rozitis and Pi'i Minns, who both transferred to UH in the offseason and must sit out games this year, cannot go on road trips per NCAA rules.