Success brings new challenges for UH basketball programs

Success brings new challenges for UH basketball programs
Rainbow Wahine head basketball coach Laura Beeman
Rainbow Wahine head basketball coach Laura Beeman

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The dust has barely settled on storybook seasons for both the Hawaii men's and women's basketball programs, but the sights are turning to the future.

For the Rainbow Warriors, that begins with the NCAA sanctions hanging over the program.  UH appealed the postseason ban in February, while the NCAA Committee on Infractions has since responded to it.  Now, the university has until April 8th to submit all the final documentation.  From there a decision should come within 30 to 90 days, although it could be longer.

"The sooner the better," UH Athletic Director David Matlin told Hawaii News Now on Tuesday.  "We didn't ask to do it (appeal) in person because we thought that would make it go faster.  We want to know."

The players within the program want to know as well.  Aaron Valdes, Stefan Jankovic, Mike Thomas and Stefan Jovanovic are four juniors that are eligible to transfer to another division one program without having to sit out a season if the ban is upheld.

"It's a concern, but you can only control what you can control," said Matlin.  "It's about communication.  All we can do is prepare, and once we know what the situation is, react to that.  Obviously we're trying to be proactive as much as we can."

The success of this past season could also present challenges for Matlin.  Granted it's a good problem to have, but other programs around the country have surely taken notice of what Eran Ganot and Laura Beeman have done with their respective teams, and job offers could certainly come rolling in.

"At the end of the day, I think they both want to be here, and we definitely want them to be here," said Matlin.  "We have to have some thoughtful discussions with them and really figure out, how do we make the program better?  I do know they are committed to Hawaii, and they did come here for a reason."

Beeman was in that situation after last season.  She was reportedly Utah's top choice for the women's head coaching vacancy, but stayed at UH.

"I have to listen to my heart and what makes me happy, and it's the state of Hawaii," Beeman said.  "Right now it's really enjoying the success that we've had and I want to do it again.  There's no place like Hawaii when you have a buzz here, it's something special and I want to feel that again."

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