True freshmen Trevor Wiseman, Bobby Miles and Bo Barnes make an immediate impact
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 11, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 11:40 a.m. HST, Dec 11, 2010
The future really is now for the Hawaii men's basketball team.
True freshmen Bo Barnes, Bobby Miles and Trevor Wiseman already have proven to be integral players in the rebirth of the Rainbow Warriors.
Their immediate impact -- all three have started games for 5-2 UH -- even caught the man responsible for bringing them in, first-year coach Gib Arnold, a little off guard.
"A little bit (surprised), yes," Arnold acknowledged. "I knew they could play. I knew they would play for me. And I challenged them all to come in here not like freshmen. Be leaders and to fight for playing time. ... They've done just that, and they're growing up quick."
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Barnes opened eyes when he nailed five 3-pointers and went for 19 points off the bench in each of the first two games of his UH career.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound shooting guard is averaging 10.1 points per game on 46.3 percent shooting from long range. He ranks second among Western Athletic Conference players at 2.7 3s per game.
He doesn't just shoot; Arnold said he has "a heart the size of a watermelon" for his defense and rebounding at his position.
Barnes likes the consistent island weather, compared to the oppressive heat of summers back home in Scottsdale, Ariz., that can reach 110 degrees. What's important to him, though, is not where he is, but what he's helping build and who he's doing it with.
"Just to be able to come in right away as freshmen and all play together really will help us along the road," he said of Miles and Wiseman.
Miles had a breakout preseason and has done a solid job of helping senior Hiram Thompson run the UH offense. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound point guard isn't overly flashy, but usually plays under control. He has 16 assists against 13 turnovers on the season, and is not easily rattled.
The Los Angeles native realizes it's his job to get the ball to his teammates in positions to be successful, without getting stressed about it.
"Don't overthink, just do," he said.
Miles, quick to smile and laugh, has bonded with teammates over the Lakers.
"There's a couple of Arizona guys that like the weak Suns and stuff like that, but most everybody likes the Lakers," he said loudly as Barnes walked past.
Watch the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Wiseman for a minute, and it's clear why he's carved out minutes in Arnold's rotation. He plays hard, period.
He has a knack for sneaking under the basket around larger players for putbacks. Wiseman, in just 17 minutes per game, is tied for second on the team in offensive rebounds with 12.
"He's maybe not the most offensively talented of all the guys, but he's doing all the tough stuff," Arnold said.
And Wiseman, of Santa Clarita, Calif., is not content with that, either.
"We have a really good team, I think, and it shows that I have to get better than I am now," he said. "I'm working really hard towards future seasons with the Hawaii basketball program."