After going through a tumultuous offseason that included the firing of head coach Gib Arnold and assistant Brandyn Akana, not a whole lot was expected of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors under interim head coach Benjy Taylor. However Taylor’s players have played hard thus far, and they’re off to a 10-4 start that includes a third-place finish at last week’s Diamond Head Classic.
Unfortunately for Hawaii, a player who’s been a key contributor is dealing with an injury that requires surgery. According to Brian McInnis of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, senior guard Garrett Nevels will undergo surgery on his right (shooting) hand. Originally it was believed that Nevels, who’s second on the team in scoring and third in rebounding (12.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg), would have to miss time to recover.
However McInnis tweeted a photo of Nevels shooting left-handed in practice while also noting that the senior had convinced Taylor to allow him to play Monday night against Southern.
How much time Nevels sees against the Jaguars remains to be seen, and Hawaii does have depth on the perimeter. In addition to Nevels the Rainbow Warriors have four guard averaging between 8.2 and 9.8 points per game, and freshman Isaac Fleming has played well in a reserve role. Fleming has reached double figures in four straight games, including 18 in Hawaii’s win over Colorado in the third-place game of the Diamond Head Classic.
Hawaii opens Big West play January 7 against Cal Poly.