Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Star California prep forward has Hawaii on list

There is still time remaining in the current signing period, which means there is still time for the Hawaii basketball team to pursue recruits.

Yet another multi-skilled player has emerged on the recruiting radar for the Warriors.

C.J. Blackwell, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound forward at Taft High School in Los Angeles, is listing Hawaii as one of his top choices for next season, according to Taft head coach Derrick Taylor.

Blackwell was the leading scorer for a balanced Taft team that won the coveted Los Angeles Division I city championship this past season. He averaged 13.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, including 20 points and 14 rebounds in the city championship game.

“C.J. is a match-up nightmare,” Taylor said. “He has an array of skills that’s hard to find. For a big guy, he can really move. He’s strong, but he’s also athletic and he can shoot it out to 3.”

Blackwell was named to the first-team All-Los Angeles City Section. He played his first three seasons of high school basketball in Georgia, but transferred to Taft for his senior season after moving across the country with his family.

“He went through a transition at the start of the year and didn’t put up great numbers,” Taylor said. “But he really took off at the end of the year, once he learned our system.”

According to Taylor, other programs recruiting Blackwell include Loyola Marymount, South Alabama and Western Kentucky.

“He made that move from Georgia, and I think a lot of schools on that side of the country lost track of him, and then schools over here didn’t know about him,” Taylor said. “But who ever gets him now is going to get a really good player.”

Prior to his move to California, Blackwell was being recruited by several high-major programs, including Illinois, Florida State, Auburn, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.

(Photo from Rivals.com)

Here is a nice video feature on Blackwell from ESPN Los Angeles:

And another video featuring game footage of Blackwell from earlier in the season:


  1. you kidding me right?


  2. What is he? a small forward?

  3. i guess 2 or more players are leaving? or mcdaniels will be a walk-on and no point guards are coming in

  4. Why so many forwards, don’t we have enough already, more players leaving?

  5. I’m hoping that Trevor has resolved his issues in the classroom, I really like his hustle and he does have ball handling skills for a big man.

  6. looks like conrad fitzgerald, thought this was him trying to transfer back when i first seen the pic

  7. not to fret…a point guard will be included in this class to complement gerry blakes.
    i can see down the road that having two combo guards in the lineup who could switch off rather that just have your traditional 1 and 2 guards.

    this recruiting class is shaping up to have the type of players that the gibber wants to run his system.

    last year’s offense was not the prototypical gibber offense because he didn’t have the right parts.

    a lot of the newbies have the similar style of game. slasher, inside/outside game, hops, runs the court, and can play multiple positions. it is why he is attracting similar types of players.

    i am not worried about any discipline problems with any of these guys. the gibber has already established that he is the boss and you play by his rules. he is like the head of the household, the daddy…

    what with all this depth, you better tow the line and work hard. he who plays defense best shall spend more time on the hardwood.

  8. CJ Blackwell is a beast and would be a great addition to the warrior family. He is very versatile for his size and from what i can see he can play multiple positions. He is the perfect addition to is whats shaping up to be an excellent recruiting class for Gib Arnold and company.. Look for Cj to challenge for minutes right away.. Championships are on their way to UH Thats right I said “CHAMPIONSHIPS” as in multiple


  10. Would welcome CJ on the team. UH need’s some toughness inside.

  11. Did I miss something? Has CJ Blackwell committ to being a warrior?

  12. WF…heard it here first??? People been already talking this recruit class up. You are actually the Johnny-come-lately.

    You need hugs?

  13. Officially speaking … good and not-so-good news just put out by UH.

    Th good — all three recruits (Dillon Biggs, Hauns Brereton, DeShawn Mitchell) have signed their letters of intent.

    The not so good — Bo Barnes has requested a release from the program and will be transferring.

  14. C.J. Blackwell looks like a small version of Charles Barkley. That’s a compliment Now, if we can just get him and either Darnell or Anthony to join the program it would be great. I really like Darnell and it looks like he grew 2 inches and about 30 pounds to his frame in 1 year. The first ESPN recruiting site I saw had him at 6’1 and 165. In one of the later news I saw he was listed at 6’3″ and about 190 to 200 lbs. At his young age, this guy is still developing. He might be 6’4″, 210 in the fall? Sign him up Gib????

  15. I guess this is the low of times you speak of. Bo Barnes, best of luck to you young man. We enjoyed watching you grow.

  16. Great news on the incoming recruits. Can’t wait to see how the new faces pan out. Not good news on Bo Barnes, but actually, I don’t think his going to be missed.

  17. yeah bo barnes was a streaky shooter with a hitch in his shot, couldn’t create his own or for others and his d was horrible, not ready for d1 but i hope for the best for him

  18. I disagree. Bo was an active, capable defender who got in opponents’ faces, moved his feet and tracked well. Otherwise Gib wouldn’t have played him 22 minutes per game. On offense his shooting range forced the other team to send a defender out on him which spread the court and opened up opportunities for his teammates. Bo did well as a freshman and will be missed.

  19. HawaiiMongoose…+1.

    Bo was always hustling on D…which was my favorite part of his game…and when he wasn’t open he would pass it quickly and not play around with the ball – I’m going to miss him…Good luck BB!

  20. u all wrong, he did hustle but just wasn’t strong and fast enough to keep up on D. on shot the 3 if he was wide open, didn’t have a mid-range or driving game.

  21. You could see that Bo (and the coaches) knew his limitations, and that he worked hard to improve. I think he tried to incorporate a driving game and he really hustled his butt off on defense (unlike some others). He earned Gib’s trust with that work ethic and would have steadily progressed had he chose to stay. That being said, it’s hard not lo look past his limitations and see the athletes that are in the current recruiting class. Wish Bo the best. Seemed like a good kid.

  22. hawaiian09…do you get off dissing 19 year olds?
    get a life.

  23. back on subject, any updates on CJ? Is being offered by UH?

  24. “huh?” you’re a joke im only 20 myself, bo is no d1 player and how am i dissing 19 year olds. have u watched him play?

  25. Blackwell and Taylor/Odunsi (preferably Taylor) please.

  26. Nah I agree with hawaiifan09… Bo Barnes is a spot up shooter and would do well in an offense that had better ball-handlers that could penetrate and dish while he floats the perimeter and knocks down bombs all day. His one on one skills were lacking and could not really create his own shot or shoot off the dribble. Granted he played hard and when he was on fire he could drain but he needed to be in the right type of situation for that to happen. It is why his point production dropped as the season went on because teams would key on him being just a spot up guy and not being able to create off the dribble. Now I’m not knocking Bo as he’s a guy who just goes to work and plays hard all the time, but still I don’t think he will be missed as much as we’d like to think. These new recruits coming in are just what Coach Gib is looking for, multi-dimensional players who can run the floor and are super athletic. It will allow more of the type of offense that Coach wants to run mature with these players on the team. You figure the only true missing piece is a solid point guard right now cause with Miah playing football and Bobby Miles needing alot of refining on his ballhandling skills we’re gonna be in deep kim chee without a solid point. Gerry Blakes is coming in as well as Deshawn Mitchell, but I think picking up a true pass-first point guard is what we’re missing, cause both Blakes and Mitchell are slasher types who like to score…

  27. thanks pauoa boy right on the mark!! if bobby miles really works on his game we should be solid unless of course we pick up that true point. i see the new guys just taking over and letting their talent go to work

  28. Blakes is gonna being a heck of a player at the point…. miles backup, micah comes in after 8+ games so were good at the point. If we have to, zane could play there, even wiseman or jace (have see much of his handles)?

  29. i wonder how cj enjoyed his trip?

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