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A Warrior connection?

If the Hawai’i basketball team is going to make an annual recruiting connection with a junior college, Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, is a good place to start.

For starters, Indian Hills has been one of the top basketball programs in all of junior college for the past two decades (it finished the 2011-12 season ranked No. 7 in the country). Second, the Indian Hills teams are nicknamed the Warriors. And third, the head coach at Indian Hills is Barret Peery, who is a cousin of Hawai’i head coach Gibb Arnold.

Peery confirmed that two of his current players are being recruited by Hawai’i – one for this year, and one for next year.

The recruit for this year is Brandon Spearman, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who was second on the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game and 53 3-pointers. When Spearman was a high school senior in Chicago in 2010, he was ranked as one of the top 100 recruits in the nation by Rivals.com. He was a reserve player at Dayton as a freshman, then transferred to Indian Hills for his sophomore season.

The recruit for next year is a familiar name – Ronnie Stevens. The 6-9 forward signed with Hawai’i out of high school, but did not qualify. He played his freshman season with Indian Hills, and will be there again next season.

Here are excerpts from the interview with Peery:

Q: What can you tell us about Brandon Spearman?

Peery: Hawai’i will be his first visit, but he’s got a bunch of other people on him – Detroit, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, TCU … some others. He’s a big wing who can shoot the ball and score the ball. He’s got a great body and he’s a good athlete. He transferred to us from Dayton a year ago, and was at Simeon High School in Chicago before that, so he’s played at a high level.

Q: What was his role at Indian Hills?

Peery: He started at the 2 guard for us all year long. He shoots from the perimeter, but he can also drive and finish at the rim. He’s just a good, strong athlete. We play a lot of guys in our system, so his numbers may not look great, but he was our first or second leading scorer all year. He was solid for us all year long.”

Q: Can he make an immediate impact on the NCAA Division I level?

Peery: No doubt. I obviously know Coach Arnold and what he’s about, and I wouldn’t recommend a player that way if I didn’t think he could fit in, and I think Brandon could definitely fit in over there at Hawai’i.

Q: What is the latest with Ronnie Stevens?

Peery: Ronnie had a solid freshman year. He started off and on, and really grew. I thought he did a good job for us as a freshman, and I have high expectations for him next year.

Q: Are other schools inquiring about him?

Peery: He’ll be popular next year because teams are always looking for big guys. But I think Hawai’i is still his choice, and as long as Coach Arnold is still on the same page, I think he’d like to go there.

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15 Comments

  1. Great story Dayton!
    Now can see why Gib was saying 3 or 4 or more years to build connections relationships..in the past Riley had that Salt Lake CC, and Weatherford connection..Now Gib has Indian Hills, and also he knows Shaq’s coach at Lincoln in NYC. A little at a time, however 2 or 3 top flight mid major wings and maybe a point , can take this year’s team to contend for BW title and post season tourney,,

    Hey Dayton, keep the fine interviews and Video s coming, your site is the most REAL TIME info we have on incoming recruits…Gig has to see that these guys qualify number 1, number two, not head cases..and no ego tripping, TEAM first, and they will be winners..

    Come on Gib go GET 3 or 4 or 5 good ones..
    The Loyalist UHMBBall fans are looking forward to YOUR big year 3,…!!

    Go Rainbow Warriors, and Gib that is your niche and calling card a coach who can recruit..!!

  2. Just watched a couple of videos of Spearman in high school; seems like a nice young man, very athletic with a strong build.. Interestingly, one of the videos was a mixed tape with a rap that included the words “mahalo” and “aloha.” Destiny is calling …

  3. Dayton,

    Thanks for the Indian Hills insight; esp. timely and relevant with Brandon coming for a visit this week — How many places does anyone need to see to recognize Hawai’i is one of the Best Opportunities (RE: The Carl English Sports Illustrated Cover Story?) Sounds like Brandon got good “Team” coaching between Indian Hills and Dayton ….

    Have a Great Trip, Brandon ….then make an impact here the next few years …

    Maybe this is just Part One of a Series; and Realize it all takes time: Would be great to have a “How they’re doin’ Update or Tracking (ppg, highlights) on past and future recruits like Ronnie Stevens, Gerry Blakes & Dillon Biggs…

  4. Spearman is always ‘Refreshing’, Aloha for choosing Hawaii, Brandon.
    just you & Keith = 2 > 3.

    ..and, there are more, tomorrow!

  5. Know Something ?

    His coach (they don’t usually give anything away that’s not theirs to give, although “Hawai’i is leading” would be fair…)

    From previous interviews, the closing commitment question to ‘ensure they’re serious and ready to commit’ before booking the trip is, “If you like what you see, will you sign with us ?”

    [From my sales background, that’s a Great Closing Line — most players will need to get honest about whether they’re serious or know that at the very least they’ll have to “pretend” they don’t like something about paradise to ‘Trip Hawai’i’ and sign with someone else.]

    Got a Feelin’ — However it Goes, Welcome to Hawai’i, Brandon, Stick Around ….
    Make a Difference — This CAN (Should) Be a Better-than-.500 Program …
    Bet YOU Can Be the Difference between a Few W’s and L’s …

    [Aside: With Some of Our Martial Arts Training,
    i also consider myself a Spearman…]

  6. This is the critical time of year for our program, going into year three, we need upgrade of athletic talent and it looks like the coach has the right guys to bring in that will make immediate inroads going into a competitive Big West conference. Go Warriors ,we need you Spearman, Armstead and the rest of you.

  7. Not to cast a gray cloud, but 11.6 ppg at the JUCO level doesn’t inspire too much optimism for me.. Riley used to consistently bring in 20+ ppg scorers at the JUCO level and some JUCO All-Americans as well, but not even all those fellas always panned out.. I’m just afraid that 11.6 ppg at the JUCO level will diminish to 7 ppg at the Div 1 level. And right now, Gib needs guys that can come in and light the joint on fire.. Not just more Div 1 role players..

  8. My Take On the Numbers …

    The Numbers Reflect the HIGHER (Highest) Level of JUCO Competition AND his already learned ability to play with Teammates who also CAN Play as opposed to some of the JUCO (and HS) head cases who think they have to score big to play big (like in the 20’s or sulk). His Chicago HS and DAYTON(!) Recruit credentials are also Highly Positive … The Fact that he led a Big-WINNING team in scoring (as his coach noted) for two years suggests that he can score at will (as much as the team needs AND sit down or pass so others can score (it also didn’t look like he needed to play a lot of minutes ‘cos they blew out a lot of teams …).

    Between Gib & Peery (who both think he can play D-1), i’ll take a player used to playing at a higher level than just big numbers …

    He’s also rated Three Stars by BOTH Services AND his 91 Rating is higher than ALL other prospective recruits …
    [Some of the other recruits have Some History of Big Numbers …]

    i DO Trust the Head Coach who probably evaluated him as a better role or impact player than the ones he “let” or encouraged to move on …

  9. he can take the place of gerry blakes and i think will be better but we still need 3 more of these kinds of talents

  10. Agree …

    Need that kind of Assault on The Other Team and The Basket from Every Direction ….

    THIS is The (Recruiting) Season to Get What We “Need”
    …and you usually only get what you need by being clear (and maybe loud) about it …

    [Comparison Comment: IF you’ve seen the NY Knicks crossing up ‘better’ teams with Tough “D” (all of a sudden with the new Head Coach, numerous crosses and switches) and everybody moving without the ball to the basket — i could see this team — with athleticism, numbers And Talent confusing most of their opponents like that … — Just ADD better rebounding …]

    This IS The Season ….

  11. Too early to bust bubbles but Warriors will only WIN 13 – 15 games next year . . . you can bring in 3, 4, or even 5 athletic players but they need time to gel, learn the complicated offense and be able to absorb the verbal abuse and humiliation to perform at the D 1 – level. Also, they will have to change the game to add more balls on the court at one time; because all the current selfish players want the ball and want to be the next star that coach gets to the pro’s. You can’t continue to replace players every year – at some point you have to decide to invest in existing players’ development and growth.

    You can “preach” TEAM until you are blue in the face – but the rubber meets the road when you enforce TEAM concepts and strategies. Allowing a point guard to push the ball up-court by dribbling and watching him miss a pull-up jumper – while a “teammate” is hustling to get down court and breaking to the basket but is NOT given the ball . . . . is NOT team chemistry or “team-play”. I’m just saying . . . watch!

    Big year three – turns into Mediocre March Meltdown, again!

  12. I’ll Call your 13 to 15 and Raise you to 18-19 + — Just the Talent Already on the Team (with one more Point Guard, either Miah or a new pass-first player, Not Shaq) would win 13 — they won 16 this year with Three Players Melting Down AND they’re All Gone … IF they get a “True” Point Guard AND One More Shooter/Scorer this recruiting season they should Do Better than 18 …

    i Believe (Know) Gib has Not Been satisfied with either Seasons One or Two and the Head Games are Over — Once a coach has depth, he can sit the mopers, crybabies and non-performers…

  13. there is no reason to get a pass-first point if there isn’t anyone to pass to…we just need one to run the offense

  14. Good to know Coach Gib has a

    Good to know Coach Gib has a JC connection he can go to for recruits. I read heard about this school some years back and it was all positive as far as producing good talent.

    j

  15. FAX … Fax Received?…Welcome Aboard Brandon !

    jus sayin’ ….
    of course “Dayton” would post a Dayton Flyers Jersey photo of Brandon Spearman…

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