Maui Sports

Not all news good for Nash

April 6, 2009, 8:19 AM HST
* Updated April 6, 11:56 AM
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Just when it seemed as if things were starting to come together for Bob Nash in his bid to turn around the UH basketball program, there’s a major concern he must address upon his return from the NCAA Final Four in Detroit.

Last week, Nash received a one-year contract extension with an option for a second year if the UH wins 18 games or qualifies for a post-season tournament over the next two seasons. UH was 13-17 during the past season and is 24-36 during Nash’s two years on the job.

Nash also secured commitments from a pair of highly-touted guards who may resolve UH’s glaring need for backcourt players who can shoot and handle the ball.  With all five starters scheduled to return, Nash had cause for optimism.

That is, until the news that 6-7 junior wingman Roderick Flemings is seriously considering declaring for early entry in the NBA draft.  Flemings averaged 16.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season, earning second-team all-WAC honors.

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Nash will speak with Flemings upon his return from Motown and  express the opinion that Flemings is a long-shot to be selected in the two rounds of this year’s draft.

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Although seemingly self-serving, Nash’s message will be right on the mark.   At this point in his career, Flemings – for all his promise — doesn’t have the look or the game of guy ready to play in the NBA.

Players have until April 26 to complete official paperwork with the NBA.  Even if Flemings declares, he could still return to UH for his senior season.  If he doesn’t sign with an agent, he has until June 15 to withdraw his name form the draft list.

The draft is scheduled for June 25.  Last year, 70 underclassmen declared for early entry.  Thirty-one eventually withdrew and 29 of the remaining 39 were actually drafted.  First-round picks receive guaranteed rookie contracts, but second-rounders must make the team in order to get paid.

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BASEBALL:   It’s far too early to tell whether University of Hawaii has what it takes to contend for the WAC baseball title this year.  But the Bows did provide some encouraging signs in that direction over the weekend by taking three of four games in a conference-opening series against visiting San Jose State.

In Sunday’s finale, Hawaii chipped away at an early 4-0 deficit and rallied to a 7-4 victory.  UH benefited from another strong contribution from its bullpen, four double plays on defense and homer runs by Sean Montplaisir and Landon Hernandez.

The win improved UH’s overall record to 19-10 and gave the Bows a share of the WAC lead at 3-1 along with Nevada and New Mexico State.  Defending national champ Fresno State, which has struggled to a 16-12 start this season, has yet to begin its WAC schedule.

UH opened the series with by blanking San Jose State 4-0 on Friday, and followed that up by splitting Saturday’s doubleheader.  Hawaii  rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eighth to post a 7-5 win in the first game.  But the Bows were limited to three hits in a 3-2 loss in the seven-inning nightcap.

The only bad news for UH over the weekend was the continuing struggles of former ace Jared Alexander and a shaky performance by right-hander Connor Little.  Alexander was chased early in Saturday’s first game, while Little lasted only 1.1 innings on Sunday.

The Bows will try to stay on a roll when they play at Santa Clara tomorrow before heading to Nevada for a WAC series.

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