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Updates from associate coach Benjy Taylor

The Hawai’i basketball team is preparing for “a really big weekend” as several recruits are scheduled to make visits to the Manoa campus.

Hawai’i associate coach Benjy Taylor, who also serves as the team’s recruiting coordinator, said: “This is a really big weekend. Starting (Thursday) night we got some young men coming in who could be very, very good for us. They’re all athletic and talented and can score the basketball. They’re all very good young men, good student-athletes who will fit in well with what we do here.”

Per NCAA rules, Taylor could not mention any names, and he did not even want to specify how many recruits would be visiting this weekend and how many the Warriors would like to sign. However, he did say that the program is seeking specific types of players for next season.

“We want to be a lot better defensively next year and we want to get out and play a little faster, so we need to be a little deeper,” he said. “We already got some returning guys who are pretty good at that, but we need a couple more guys in order to play the way we want to play and that’s athletic and fast on both ends of the floor.”

Taylor said a typical recruiting visit includes a tour of the facilities – both athletic and academic – as well as meetings with academic advisors. Of course, it also includes some beach time and local dining.

“Get them some plate lunches, show them around Hawai’i, show them around Waikiki,” Taylor said.

Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold has been in Europe since last week, scouting future recruits. He is expected to return to Honolulu on Thursday to meet with the visiting recruits.

Arnold has provided surfing lessons for past recruits. If the head coach is delayed in his return from Europe, Taylor said he is ready to fill in … sort of.

“I’ll do what ever I have to do,” Taylor said. “I might have a tire on and the (inflatable) swim arms, but if I have to get out there with them, I’ll get out there.”

29 Comments

  1. Coach Taylor: Hope it goes well with recruits this weekend..If see them around, spread aloha …
    I like how you coordinated recruitment, if not this weekend(no LOI’s)next week. and now with the time between now and May, it seems like Gib and staff have backups…very good.

    Look forward to 3 or 4 good student athletes with good head on shoulders, the remaining ones work well together, unity…the others ..well wish them well, the departees.

  2. Since ‘limited’ space available, recruits likely ‘prioritized’
    (unless not available ’til later);

    Would consider this the First Wave, First Round Recruit Picks …

    Have a Life-Changing Great Weekend, ALL !
    (and Complete all paperwork at your first opportunity…;-)

  3. 1st time glance of the SA Handbook;
    - code of conduct
    — SA rules
    — student responsibilities.
    wondering how many others are as ignorant as I am!?

    understand that NCAA will propose: visiting recruit met minimum academic requirement.

    Coach Taylor: do or will UH consider such requirement aspect for the current visitor(s)?

  4. hopefully sign the letter or intent right here in hawaii

  5. THAT would be good ….

    Used to be a rule (changed?; might only apply to HS seniors < 18 y.o.) that the players had to FAX in their agreement After they finished the trip (got home) …
    The idea was to "minimize" High Pressure Closing Techniques – some techniques or coaches can "talk" almost anyone into signing, then they get home and have 'buyer's remorse'; change their mind; seeing less of that nowadays …

  6. junk if they don’t sign cause that means plan b 2nd tier players that are backup..sounds exciting for the 2013 class which should be the best talent wise

  7. Some have signed after making other trips
    (previously scheduled to other places) …

    Some rather be the last scheduled trip…
    Maybe better to be The First… and
    Better if they just sign and cancel any other trips ….

    “Should” know by Tuesday(?) … IF they can’t decide after being ‘home’ for 24 hours or so, they might not have been sufficiently impressed

    [For the ones that left, word out is apparently they knew 'before the bad run (five game loss streak) that they weren't being renewed -- at least that means there was a 'clear' ongoing discussion / dialogue of goals, targets, expected outcomes, etc., not just an end-of-the-season or overnight surprise...probably contributed to the backlashes, moodiness, sulking...]

  8. Don’t know who was Dave Reardon’s source, but it would have pretty darn stupid, don’t you think, for the coach to tell three players BEFORE the season was concluded and while UH was still in the thick of the conference race that they were going to be run-off (not renewed) at the end of the year, especially since one of the 3 was one of the team’s best players and another was a part time starter or key player off the bench. Miles might have seen the handwriting on the wall pretty early, but I can’t believe Gib told all 3 players he didn’t want them back as early as Reardon claims. If he did, that’s as bad a blunder as signing 4 guys who can’t qualify to get into school and play.

  9. Seems like discipline problem with the three..Gib gave all 3 chance as starters…jt opted for pro..bm wanted to transfer..tre wanted to transfer…all given 2nd chances..True …recruits coming in,sure they are aware of what went down..am sure if anything not done right jim donovan is or has to be on top of it..his hire gib is..
    that is why these recruits..huge..success of ad, gib and program next few weeks!!

  10. all letters of intent must be signed by both parents.

  11. If the student is over age 18 , don’t think UH needs parent’s signature,correct?

  12. Coach, don’t forget to order the recruits Pizza, your favorite meal for the players when they are on the road! Don’t be tricked by the fool’s gold . . . good meals are not the norm – especially on the road, oh no – not Pizza again!

    As far as the “3″ are concerned – you don’t know half the story! Let sleeping dogs lay and move on! More will be revealed as time goes by and you’ll see for yourself the next wave of “discontent” athletic players that leave for buying a used car! Mahalo.

  13. Dallan sounds like one of the EX players

  14. jjay…the student/athlete must have both parents sign the nli if he/she is under the age of 21 years old.

  15. took a quick look at sportshawaii.com.
    outstanding items:

    offered scholie (sequencially) –
    1. Aaric Armstead sg 6-4 195
    2. Cameron Forte sf 6-7 195
    3. Max Ghercy pg 5-9 170
    4. Blake Hamilton sg/sf 6-5 190
    5. Rengu Lenz f 6-10 220
    6. Brandon Searman sg 6-3 210
    7. Sekou Wiggs pg/sg 6-3 180
    8. Ako Kaluna f 6-6 240
    9. Ronnie Stevens pf 6-9 225

    high-school champs –
    Caleb is fast & agile; can be awesome in 2-yrs… a tough kid but, so funny to see him huffing & puffing while on TO huddle!!!
    ( CD: you are heading to the right place – TEAM will give you a lot of CONDITIONING. O.K.?).

    European VIBA Israel vs Italy –
    Issac is the best player now & forever… with our TEAM training = ‘NBA Draft’ prospect.
    Mr. Fotu: get more midnight-oil, and burned it all.. not going to happen without your passing GRADES.

  16. O.K., so reading these updates…so far???, am I understanding that coach Gib is still, the only one entrusted with recruiting?, everyone else stays put to guard the home front?…something about this scenario that I am not getting, I guess.

  17. My understanding is that many or most recruits are seen by “multiple” (if not all the) coaches and they all do evaluations (and also pay attention to teammates to try to get that head start or early jump on building relationships); the whole staff compares notes/ evaluations (which likely builds recruiting skills and balances coaches’ perceptions); but only head coach authorizes scholarship offers (whether recruiting sites reflect accurately or not).

    This is an improvement over head coaches (in several sports) who recruited “by remote” relying primarily on recruiting coordinators, assistants, other coaches (sometimes off their game or calling in favors?), video & scouting reports that led to some less than ready or able for D-1 “players”…

    Updates? Comments?

  18. Eagle,
    good job.
    cleared a lot of smokes!
    want to be a convert, yet?

  19. Thanks…

    Convert to What ?

    I’m usually “on” both sides of (try to understand both or as many sides as possible) of most issues …

    Rarely “Pick One” (Label, Choice, Option…)
    Pitino really didn’t like that …(LOL — Last Laugh with him & his minions and millions….)

    #1 — Let’s Get Some Outstanding Signees that we really need and can be Great Fits …

  20. Eagle:
    just to your positive insights, true-fan ways of supporting the sport!

  21. Eagle, your “understanding” comes from what source? One of the coaches? For all of the coaches to actually see and evaluate all of the recruits would not only be very, very difficult logistically, but prohibitively taxing on the recruiting budget. Perhaps all of the coaches evaluate film, such as it exists, but I doubt seriously that all or even half of the staff has personally scouted all the recruits.

  22. Agree the Budget has been a limitation; believe Gib got It significantly expanded early on as one of the conditions that had to be improved (confirmation?). Source: Coach discussed their process on one (or more) of his shows… Agree for foreign players might be hard to stop through but they look for common tourneys etc. He noted that he usually has a primary point of contact (best relations); but he considers it a point of emphasis for all (he said all, I took it as most) coaches to make the effort to stop in and see or talk to the player & family ( and I haven’t heard this comprehensive an approach in other programs (@UH). Accurate, Right or Wrong, it’s one of the reasons I put higher value on their evaluations than say scouting services who could have a wide range of evaluation accuracy.

    As with MC Truck’s concerns it may have changed since, but Gib is noticeably thought through on how he makes his choices and doesn’t often change or too easily w/o good or drastic reason (like this year’s mass exodus).

  23. There have been some mistakes in the recent past so let’s hope the Staff learned from their mistakes in bring in the right guys ,with the skill level,attitude, and academics , to perform at D1A level in a competitive Big West.

  24. Hopefully this coming week, know if any LOI’s. UH Mbball banquet coming up, should know some update of what happening …Just have to wait and see…

  25. Brandon Spearman Commit:

    Indian Hills Community College guard Brandon Spearman has committed to play for the University of Hawaii and is expected to sign with the Rainbow Warriors today.

    The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Spearman has two years of eligibility remaining after spending his freshman year at the University of Dayton. He averaged 11.6 points, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game as a sophomore at Indian Hills, a respected JUCO power in Iowa. The Warriors went 33-4 and finished seventh in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in March.

    Spearman was a team leader at IHCC and one of four players to average double-figure scoring. He has a solid build and, as a combo guard, offers some versatility on the perimeter with both slashing and shooting ability.

    This is good news…!
    staradvertiser. April 23 2012

  26. Good Start … Since they were hanging together, makes it more likely they (several or all) had decent trips … (similar to Dressler, Fotu & Lev sweep…);
    [Dayton -- curious to know who gets props for good (clean/smart) hosting --
    only added clean because of previous football problems...]

    1) This Round: IF get two “scorers” — ideally can Create own shots, Penetrate AND Shoot with Range as Spearman is purported to be (53 – 3′s… percentage?) — they should rarely get stuck with little or no offensive firepower on the floor (like last year); great teams “usually” (always) have at least three on the floor (most playoff worthy teams can handle / shut down two) …

    2) IF they can get a penetrate & dish / passing guard — or retain Miah, or both — should help keep frustration levels (Vander?) lower …Few Things like scoring over someone (or blocking shots) to relieve stress … [It's Not All on the Point -- also mitigating: our wings / forwards are pretty decent passers...]

    They’re getting closer to eliminating all weaknesses on the floor (EX1: only one poor free-throw shooter left and presumably working to eliminate weaknesses); EX2: some players ‘never’ waste any time sulking, crying to refs or forgetting to play defense …)

    With Ronnie Stevens (we’ll see in a year or so) and the Gibs Placement Programs, Indian Hills and Citrus are close to becoming good Farm / JV Schools …

  27. One of coaches noted he didn’t see our visitors this weekend because he was recruiting in Vegas (and Brandon Akana was in L.A.) and yes it is expected that they drop in & visit our current (ESP. Signed) and prospective recruits: “That’s Not Easy, you know…you gotta go find them…”

    …and, yes the recruiting budget was improved …

    What You Really wanted to know…

    After sitting out (qualified, enrolled, assumed making adequate progress towards graduation, but not playing, such as for example, Cameron Forte’s freshman year @ Texas Tech); a recruit would need to sit out an additional year after transferring. In C.Forte’s case he would have three remaining seasons to play after sitting out this coming season…

    What you wanted to know Sunday…

    There is a High Expectation (99%) that a second visitor will sign;

    The third wants to look, see other schools (at his own risk that one of the next visitors might beat him to the remaining scholarship).

  28. This is how you recruit!!! Way to go Gib and staff!

    Scouting in Europe = excellent

    Giving surfing lessons to recruits = excellent way to use Hawaii’s natural beauty as a recruiting tool (locals tend to take it for granted). For the recruits, surfing lessons is probably one of the best things they’ve done in their lives.

    Targeting more athletic players to play at a faster pace = excellent

    Bob Nash, take notes, because this is how a top level recruiter gets talent to your program. If your school isn’t named UCLA, Kentucky, or similar power, you have to be much more proactive and better at selling your school.

  29. Matt just remember that Blake and Briggs had a great time surfing and enjoying Hawaii, but they never got into school.
    It is okay to celebrate the signing of Spearman but because a coach travel to Europe, that is a big deal ? All this tells me is the coach can’t find talent in the 50 states because US coaches know he is a phony. For your information back in 1987 Bob Nash recruited the first ever import to Hawaii and let not for get Savo, Haim, ,Mindaugas, ,Narijus English Martin Akpan Vebobe and Jesinskis to name a few. Recruiting Europe is not a new recruiting concept but the rule on amateurism prevented or made it cost prohibitive to sign European players who played on professional teams.

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