Sep 28, 2012, 11:24 AM EST
With eight letter-winners from last year’s 16-16 team departing, Hawai’i was destined to undergo an adjustment period of sorts in their return to the Big West.
The player expected to lead the way is senior center Vander Joaquim, who averaged 14.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season.
But the first team All-WAC performer won’t be able to help the Warriors when practice begins in two weeks, as the school announced that he’s out for the next 4-6 weeks with a torn MCL in his right knee.
“It’s something you just deal with,” head coach Gib Arnold said to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “It’s being part of a team, guys working hard. You’ve got big bodies down there. It’s unfortunate, you never want it to happen.”
Hawai’i lost three starters from last season: guards Zane Johnson (14.0 ppg) and Jeremiah Ostrowski (4.1 ppg, 7.0 apg) and forward Joston Thomas (13.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg), not to mention key contributors Shaquille Stokes and Trevor Wiseman.
Transfers Christian Standhardinger (Nebraska) and Jace Tavita (Utah) are eligible, and will be joined by seven newcomers (not counting San Jose State transfer Keith Shamburger, who has to sit out this season) led by juniors Ozren Pavlovic and Brandon Spearman.
Joaquim, whose possession percentage (22.7%) ranked third on the team according to Ken Pomeroy’s stats, will be even more of a factor for the Warriors given his experience and skill level.
But the injury makes things difficult for Joaquim (rust factor) as well as his teammates, who lose valuable on-court practice time with a player who should be considered for preseason All-Big West honors.
In regards to games played for Hawai’i, 6-6 senior Hauns Brereton (7.7 ppg, 19.6 mpg) and junior 7-footer David Rozitis (3.1 ppg, 9.4 mpg) are the Warriors’ most experienced front court players with Joaquim out.
- Two losses in a row? Three in 11 days? Oh well. Don’t give up on Kansas just yet 0
- College Basketball Talk’s Ten Most Disappointing Players 0
- College Basketball Talk’s Player of the Year Power Rankings 1
- College Basketball Talk’s Top 20 Most Improved Players 2
- College Hoops Week in Review: Wisconsin’s for real, and so is Chaz Williams 1
- Professor at center of UNC’s academic fraud case to face felony charges (8)
- No. 1 Michigan State’s loss to North Carolina: Injuries, or sign of a bigger issue? (5)
- Weekend Preview: Kentucky-Baylor, a trio of in-state rivalry games (3)
- Turnovers, rebounding woes plague No. 3 Kentucky again (3)
- Duke doesn’t need Rasheed Sulaimon if they have three guys that fit into a role (2)