It’s not yet academic, but Gib Arnold‘s first recruiting class is on course to be a complete one when it arrives in Manoa later this month.
Among the eight Hawaii men’s basketball newcomers for the 2010-11 season, five were in limbo when it came to meeting UH’s requirements for enrollment at the time of their spring signings.
All four junior college players who selected UH — Josten Thomas, Dominick Brumfield, Anthony Salter and Vander Joaquim — needed to complete some courses over the summer to get their associate’s degrees and become eligible for the fall.
One of four high school recruits, Trevor Wiseman, also needed to meet some requirements.
When asked if all were still on the proverbial road to lower campus, Arnold responded positively.
"All the guys start coming in August 19," he said. "We’re allowed to start working out as soon as school starts (Aug. 23)."
Salter, a junior point guard, said he finished up what he needed during the first summer session, adding "all I need now is my plane ticket."
Brumfield, a sophomore forward, said he had one more week of summer school and was enthusiastic about coming to Hawaii shortly thereafter. Thomas, another forward who would arrive as a sophomore, replied that "everything’s all good" when it came to his standing.
Wiseman, an incoming freshman forward, said he was "all clear" and the last thing he needs is a letter of recommendation.
Associate head coach Walter Roese affirmed that Joaquim, a sophomore center, was doing well after speaking to him recently.
Point guard Bobby Miles, shooting guard Bo Barnes and guard/forward Jordan Coleman are the other slated newcomers.
Akana hire imminent
Brigham Young-Hawaii assistant coach Brandyn Akana will officially become Arnold’s third and final assistant at UH sometime this week, possibly as soon as today.
The pending hire of the Molokai High graduate and former Brigham Young-Hawaii player was known and anticipated over the summer, but wasn’t to be finalized until this month.
Akana, brother of former UH player Jarinn Akana, brings local flavor to an already diverse staff.
Arnold previously hired Brazilian native Roese as his associate head coach and former Chicago State coach Benjy Taylor as the second assistant. Scott Fisher, an Australian citizen, was named director of basketball operations.
Johnson likely in the clear
Hawaii junior Zane Johnson appears to be safe from the fallout of an NCAA ruling on violations committed by former Arizona coach Lute Olson.
Prior to his senior year of high school in 2006, Johnson, along with another future Arizona teammate, participated in a summer basketball camp. The camp turned out to be improperly funded by Arizona boosters at the behest of then-Wildcats coach Olson.
As a result, the NCAA vacated 19 Arizona wins from the 2007-08 season (Johnson’s freshman year), removed a scholarship for 2011-12 and reduced campus visits for recruits over the next two seasons.
There are no indications, however, that Johnson will have any restrictions placed on him at UH, where he sat out 2009-10 under Bob Nash per Division I transfer rules.
"I should be fine," the shooting guard said. "I thought it was already done with. … I don’t remember anything out of the ordinary that happened (at the camp), though."
Arnold was reassured after Johnson spoke to him about it.
"No one’s contacted me (from the NCAA)," Arnold said. "Nor do I think anybody will. I don’t see it being an issue three years later, once they’ve transferred and all that. … I don’t see there being any additional things against Zane which would affect us."
HPU added to UH schedule
Hawaii Pacific University will be UH’s opponent on Dec. 11 at the Stan Sheriff Center in the slot that was listed as "TBA" on the first release of the Rainbow Warriors’ 2010-11 schedule.
It will be the first regular-season meeting between the teams since the Sea Warriors beat the Rainbow Warriors 79-69 on Dec. 14, 1985, the only official game between the schools to date. It came in the ill-fated first season (4-24 overall) of Arnold’s father, former UH coach Frank Arnold.
"We’re really excited," said HPU athletic director Darren Vorderbruegge, the former HPU head coach who has reclaimed that role for the upcoming season. "It’s been several years. … We hope it’s something that will continue. It’s great for our program."
Division II HPU is a member of the Pacific West Conference.