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MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - Front Page - By JACK DANILEWICZ

Camp­bell bas­ket­ball boys pre­pare for up­com­ing pre­sea­son games

The se­nior play­ers on Camp­bell boys bas­ket­ball team didn’t wait un­til the of­fi­cial Nov. 15 start­ing date to dis­play the sense of ur­gency coach Wy­att Tau has been look­ing for. Saber vet­er­ans C.J. Ramos, Al­lan Otanes, Christo­pher Craw­ford and Fouina Hask­ins know their el­i­gi­bil­ity clocks are tick­ing, to hear the coach tell it.

“Some­times se­niors come in think­ing they’ve al­ready made the team,” said Tau, who en­ters his sec­ond year as Camp­bell’s head coach af­ter a suc­cess­ful stint at Aiea. “These four are re­ally work­ing hard. They know it’s their last year. They’ve also ma­tured a lot. I re­mem­ber them as fresh­men, and I see a whole dif­fer­ent player with each of them from their fresh­man year to now.”

The four­some logged valu­able play­ing time last sea­son for Camp­bell, which went 11-6 ( 9-4 in OIA games) and made the state tour­na­ment for the fifth time in six years. Last sea­son also marked the fifth time in six years Camp­bell had a new coach. Al­though Tau is a Camp­bell grad­u­ate and a foot­ball as­sis­tant on Amosa Amosa’s staff, the 2009-10 bas­ket­ball sea­son was still not with­out tran­si­tions.

“There are a lot of dif­fer­ences be­tween the two schools,” ob­served Tau, who led Aiea to OIA DII ti­tles in 2008 and 2009. “At Aiea, my bas­ket­ball play­ers were also all foot­ball play­ers. At Camp­bell, my bas­ket­ball play­ers are bas­ket­ball play­ers, I have only one (from the foot­ball team). It’s eas­ier to coach at Camp­bell be­cause their mind-frame is al­ready on bas­ket­ball.”

As in past years, the point guard po­si­tion fig­ures big in Tau’s plans, and he was buoyed by the play of Ramos dur­ing sum­mer league.

“He’s had a great off-sea­son. He’s worked hard on his game, and I see a lot more con­fi­dence in him. His thing last year was to think too much. We want him to think less and play the game, and he’s got­ten bet­ter. He has to be our leader.”

Tau is also high on Otanes, who is pro­jected to start at the off-guard spot op­po­site Ramos. “He should be dom­i­nant in the scor­ing depart­ment this year. This guy, from last sea­son through sum­mer league, looks more re­laxed and he’s taken con­trol like we want our guards to take con­trol. He’s work­ing re­ally hard.”

Craw­ford played at cen­ter last sea­son but will likely move to a for­ward spot. “If ev­ery­thing goes good, he’ll be at the four(-spot),” Tau said. “He played in out­side leagues, and he’s been work­ing hard at it.”

Hask­ins, who is 6 feet tall, will be a power for­ward and a three-guard in Tau’s ter­mi­nol­ogy. “From last sea­son through sum­mer, he’s worked re­ally hard, know­ing it’s his last year. He’s a very com­pet­i­tive kid. He’s quiet, but he’s a kid who starts play­ing bet­ter when he gets mad.”

As al­ways, Tau will be push­ing de­fense in the early days of pre-sea­son. “Our strength is go­ing to be our con­fi­dence and our speed. I pride my­self on de­fense, and we’ve been do­ing a lot of con­di­tion­ing drills that are go­ing to help us play de­fense. We have the ath­letes to score, of­fen­sively. We’re work­ing a lot on our strength and speed.”

Tau sees a bal­anced race in the OIA Red West, which will in­clude Pearl City and Wa­ianae this sea­son, in ad­di­tion to Mililani, Leile­hua and Rad­ford. “Ev­ery team will be good in the West,” he said.

The Sabers ex­pect to be tested in pre­sea­son as well. A game with Pu­na­hou in the first round of the Rad­ford Pre-Sea­son Tour­na­ment Dec. 2 high­lights Camp­bell’s non-league slate. The school also will host the Saber In­vi­ta­tional Nov. 23, 24 and 26.

Con­tact Jack Danilewicz at jack­ster.1969@ya­

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