Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors want to start WAC with a W

A new year means a new slate for the Hawaii basketball team.

The Warriors ended the 2011 Western Athletic Conference season with a loss to San Jose State in the WAC Tournament. Hawaii will open the 2012 WAC season this Saturday by hosting the Spartans.

The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

“We don’t really look at it as a revenge game, but that is the last WAC team we played last year and they knocked us out of the (WAC) Tournament,” senior point guard Miah Ostrowski said. “We just have to treat it like another game, play our game, and we’ll be fine. This is the first game of the WAC (season), so it’s important to start out with a win.”

Indeed, both teams have different looks this season, although the coaches remain the same – Gib Arnold at Hawaii and George Nessman at San Jose State. The Warriors are 8-6 and have won six of their last eight games. The Spartans are 6-8, and will bring a two-game winning streak to Honolulu.

“They’re really athletic,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said of the Spartans. “They can run and shoot a lot of 3s. They’re just real tough to guard, so we’ll have to be at our best defensively.”

The Spartans have one of the top backcourt duos in the WAC in 6-2 junior shooting guard James Kinney and 5-11 sophomore point Keith Shamburger. Kinney leads the Spartans in scoring with 16.7 points per game, and Shamburger is right behind at 15.4.

Kinney is also among the WAC leaders in 3-pointers with 42 and a .424 percentage from beyond the arc. Shamburger has made 28 3s, and leads the WAC in assists with 5.1 per game.

“Those are two of the top four scorers in the league, so obviously they can bring it offensively,” Arnold said.

San Jose State leads the WAC in 3-pointers made with 121, and the Spartans have made as many as 16 in one game earlier this season. The Spartans’ top post player is 6-8 senior Wil Carter, who is averaging 9.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He had 15 points and six rebounds in San Jose State’s 75-74 win over Hawaii at last year’s WAC Tournament.

The Warriors have a more balanced attack, with four players averaging double-figure points: Zane Johnson (15.1), Vander Joaquim (12.1), Joston Thomas (11.1) and Shaquille Stokes (10.1).

“Conference games are always more serious,” Thomas said. “But at the end of the day, it’s still a game and they all count the same so you have to go out and try to win it.”

The 6-7 Thomas, 6-10 Joaquim and 6-7 Trevor Wiseman could be key, as the Warriors are out-rebounding teams by an average of 38.6 to 35.1 per game. In contrast, the Spartans are getting out-rebounded by their opponents by an average of 39.6 to 35.1.

Johnson suffered an injury to his ribs in Hawaii’s last game, but he has been practicing this week and is expected to be ready to contribute.

Arnold said he still wants to rely on a 10-player rotation, but the playing minutes will be determined by matchups and the flow of the game.

Hawaii vs. San Jose State

When: Saturday, January 7, 7 p.m. start
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Tickets: $26 lower level, $18 upper level, $16 senior citizens in upper level, $5 students in upper level; parking is $5
TV: Live on OCSports (channel 12 or 1012)
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Autographs: The Hawaii basketball players will be available for autographs shortly after the game, on the concourse level.

Below is a video courtesy of San Jose State athletics featuring interviews with coach George Nessman and current WAC Player of the Week Keith Shamburger:


  1. shamburger gonna tear it up….

  2. i see your still the same moron in a new year…hawaiibum09…

  3. 09 is no Hawaii fan ,should rename yourself nofan09, Shlumburger will be one tired dog when the night is over.

  4. Did i hear him say that 3-9 Seattle is a more athletic team than we are? ouch.

  5. Shamburgers worst night ever!….lol…hawaiibum09 knows nada about nada!….Moron…

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