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Freshmen show glimpses of bright future

The long-term — if not immediate — future of Warrior basketball was on promising display Saturday night at the Hawai’i College Summer League.

Incoming freshman Caleb Dressler, a 6-foot-10 post from Vancouver, Wash., scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help an undermanned Grantco Pacific squad hold off Solar Universe, 111-101. Freshman walk-on guard Michael Harper added 26 points, eight rebounds and two assists for Grantco, including 17 points in the first half. Then in the doubleheader nightcap at Manoa Valley District Park gym, forward Isaac Fotu — yet another freshman — scored 33 points and grabbed 13 boards as National Fire Protection outlasted Central Medical Clinic, 114-109.

Fotu, a 6-9 quick-footed post from Auckland, New Zealand, made 15 of 17 field goals while again showing surprisingly soft hands and agility near the basket. He added five assists and two blocks.

Dressler made 12 of 20 field goals, all from close range, but was only 4 of 8 from the free throw line. He did show a nice touch and some aggressive moves, including a nifty jump hook that banked in after he was fouled.

Dressler also played all 40 minutes — though he had no choice since Grantco Pacific suited up only five players.

“I’m really tired,” Dressler said. “I didn’t think we could win with only five guys against nine guys, but we found a way to save our strength and we used every moment to gain energy … I’m loving it (the summer league). It shows me what I need to work on, and seeing the talented players we have, I’m excited about UH.”

Dressler, who weighs 260 pounds, says the Warrior coaches want him to play at “235 or 240” and is working daily to achieve that goal.

“I’ve changed my diet completely, I’m eating a lot of salads, a lot of greens, a lot of fruits,” Dressler said. “I’ll eat meat in only one meal (a day), I only drink water — no Gatorade or anything with calories. I’ve been running two miles every other day.”

Dressler also has been working on his defense and mid-range shooting.

“Overall I need better stamina, so I can be better in the paint,” Dressler said. “In high school we’d usually play a 2-3 zone, or if we played man, I wouldn’t have to switch. I need to learn to seal a guy using my whole body. I’m in the gym shooting every day, even if it’s not open gym, working on my shooting, my free throws.”

Harper, a 6-3 wing from Australia, made 10 of 21 field goals including 5 of 11 from beyond the arc. He swished four of those 3-pointers in the first half, launching high-arching rainbows from a smooth left-handed stroke, though he did cool off in the second half, missing four of his final five shots.

Junior college transfer Brandon Spearman, a 6-2 guard, had 12 points for Solar Universe on 5 of 13 shooting, including 1 for 6 from 3-point range.

Former UH wing Bobby Nash led Solar with 28 points, and former Warrior reserve guard Ryne Holliday added 25 points for Grantco.

In the nightcap, Fotu effectively sealed the game on a putback slam dunk with 32 seconds remaining to give National Fire Protection a 112-106 lead.

UH wing Hauns Brereton led all scorers with 45 points for Central Medical Clinic — his third 40-point game out of four Summer League outings. He made 18 of 32 field goals, including 6 of 14 from 3-point range, and added 12 rebounds. Warriors guard Jace Tavita added six points on 2-of-11 shooting, and contributed seven assists and two rebounds.

Game photos courtesy Brandon Flores/www.brandonfloresphotography.com. To view more photos from Saturday’s games, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/warriorinsider.

20 Comments

  1. Thanks for great report Wes and Dayton and insider staff and sponsors!

    You know, I have been watching the two Bigs via video summer league and open gym, I am impressed, they both have good hands, catch the passes, and can score or kick out..Fotu ,really great, great footwork, and knows how to score in many ways, Dressler, pleasant surprise! he is not afraid to shoot, inside, mid, even an occasional 3, and he getting into better shape, with coaching help and personal work and effort, will probably be a good defender as well,..I recall, he blocked shots in High School…Now if two young Bigs are producing NOW, that bodes well for THIS season, ..and the kicker: Vander and Davis are not even back yet! Wow, huge upside,,Gib can have a stable of inside, midrange to 3, Bigs with ability! Isaac and Caleb great Job, keep it up..I think of Caleb as being a 21st centruy Jack Sikma..and Isaac a very skilled young big the likes of what I haven’t seen at UH!

    Keep it up young guys!!

  2. how soon we forget the non-stop motor always wanting to win always giving it his all even in summer league Mr. Standhardinger! LOL

  3. I’m happy to see Dressler and Fotu playing so well, but we have to keep in mind that both are going up against defenders over whom they have size and strength advantages. In those situations they should be dominating and, to their credit, they are. Hopefully that means they’ll at least hold their own against D-I competition.

  4. By the way how our bigs are playing in the summer league I’m starting to think that we could see three of them in the ( big ) starting lineup:

    PG Jace /Manroop
    SG Hauns/Brandon/Garret
    SF Standhardinger
    PF Isaac/ Caleb
    C Vander/Davis

    Of course the Big West will field smaller, quicker teams so we would probably have to go with two bigs. But would love to see us go up against taller teams and see what we could do with 3 in the front court. I think Standhardinger is a better fit at the 3 spot. He has high energy and could stay with someone a few inches smaller than him. Isaac is a prototypical power forward—a bruiser-type that likes to lurk around the basket. He is quick for a big man and good hands. We won’t need long range bombs from him, but being an enforcer inside the paint along with Vander. And they can play aggressive because we have a deep bench with Caleb and Davis. (Hope they don’t red-shirt any of the bigs). Hauns has shown in summer league that he has become a versatile player and is capable of being effective as the shooting guard. Great to see the UH players making it to the games and coming on time!

  5. looking at the roster, I still say that we need shooters w/ some versatility. Man, I wish Shamburger could play this year. That would have been the ideal situation. Now, I hope Armstead will choose Hawaii and get into school soon. He would provide atheticism, versatility, and some needed scoring and could play maybe the 1, 2, or 3. I also think we need a ball handling guard who is steady (Shamburger, again would have filled this need). I think we have enough rebounding don’t you think.

  6. I think there’s a potential weakness at the three, depth or starter a year later behind Hauns; although i think Fotu or Standhardinger would be adequate threes against most teams; in the smallish Big West, Spearman, Jawato or Harper might be able to pull off backing up the three; even Hauns is undersized/underquick against our better opposition….

    Agree one more point would help right away … although Gib professes confidence that Tavita, ‘Roop, Spearman & Co.can team adequately at the point …

  7. Gotta somewhat agree with Eagle on this one in that there’s a potential lack of depth at the three. Standhardinger would not be able to stay with quicker small forwards despite his ‘non-stop’ motor. Can you imagine him against a Phil Handy type? I’m not saying the Big West is littered with Phil Handy types, but Phil Handy was only good, not great. My point is that a quick 6’3″- 6’5″ player would be running circles around Standhardinger. Yes, Standhardinger would have the size advantage, but tell that to the European teams that have the supposed size advantage against this year’s team USA..

    Gib’s going to need to play Spearman at the 2 and 3 spots and hope that a rotation of Roop, Tavita and Jefferson are serviceable this year at PG and SG.. Either that, or he’s going to need to go get another guard in the next couple of months, preferably a PG..

  8. Gib already has the San Jose transfer for point to redshirt, I believe he is trying to get one more player in if they get their scholastics in order, at the small forward position.

  9. jjay: I think you are right according to the last video recruiting update from Gib..someone or two whom they have been on for awhile..waiting for academics and NCAA clearance..Would be fantastic final piece to this season’s recruiting..and , in terms of potential overall talent, and so far team just working really hard in summer already..I think MBB team have upgraded talent as a team. So many more options, go Big, go small, go Big and small, go inside out(probably like last year) though, whomever making entry passes to bigs have to be good, even Julian Sensley was a pretty good facilitator..a 6’9″ power point ..and if team is hot, many more guys with ability to shoot mid range to 3 ball..

  10. The newcomers look pretty good and the freshmen definitely have upside potential. Fotu is the most impressive one of the bunch and will be contributing this year. It would be great if we were able to redshirt both Dressler and Harper and develop them for the future. With Vander, Standhardinger, Rozitis, and Fotu presumably ahead of Dressler in the post, there will be limited minutes in the post for him considering how many “mouths” we have to feed. Same with Harper at the 2 and 3 spots as we have Hauns, Spearman, Jefferson, Jawato, and Clair (at the 2).

    Spearman should get the nod at the 2 to open the season. He’s a good all-around basketball player who makes good decisions… though I do have some concerns. After watching a number of summer league games, I noticed that his shot is a bit flat which affects his shooting. Also, while he has a solid handle and can get to the hoop from the wing, I still haven’t seen an ability to break his man down off the dribble from the top of the key… Think Shaq Stokes from last year’s summer league.

    I hope Manroop is able to heal up his ankle soon. We desperately need a second PG to push Tavita. I like Tavita’s size and game… he’s a floor general able to see passing angles and get players the ball in their spots. I wish he were quicker and had a more reliable jump shot (streaky shooter)… but we’ll see how things work out once the season starts. With our combination of Vander, Standhardinger, and Hauns, we will need our 1 and 2 spots to hit outside shots. A nice outside shooting combination (although very young) could be Manroop and Jawato paired together with the “Big 3”.

  11. gobows:

    good observations as always. One thing UH team has this year, a lot of guards, combo type, maybe one true point , Tavita, Besides Hauns, I think Gib still trying to land one more SF. that would fill that void. In regards to Bigs, IMO, I feel, if you are two deep at 4 and 5 is good, now if one of those top 4 goes down, your team will be at disadvantage if it is a key Big, i.e. Vander, Christian, Davis, Fotu etc. , having Dressler get some minutes, and the kid is smart., BB IQ and ability..he could be a difference maker,..having that one more big body, just in case, ..if UH is set with 4 Bigs and the rest smalls, after the mandatory amount of games going into season, Gib could redshirt, whomever, including Dressler..I think, IMO, Gib probably recruited all these new guys, basically, Spearman, Dressler, Fotu, Clair and hopefully one more SF with the hope that they could play this year..If these guys are team players..and the seniors, Hauns , Vander and Tavita take the lead in this regard show they are willing to share too, the new guys will buy into that..as Spearman said: all I want to do is win…Dressler: I can see what potential UH has for this year, etc..I think having the bodies, 13 bodes well just in case,..gobows, that is the fun part about this, ..right, we can all speculate,,a lot of UH MBB fans like yourself and I love it!!

  12. I think with the rapid turnover of players these days, you should never redshirt a player if you don’t have to. In retrospect, Orel Lev, should have played the second half of last season.

  13. And, from the not-so-good-news department, it”s been reported that Aaric Armstead will be attending a prep school in San Diego this year. Not sure how that affects UH’s recruiting of him, but thought some of you would like to know,

  14. i had that thought, too…

    BUT he would have lost a full year of eligibility just for January thru March;
    Probably woulda still gone back to Israel and “got drafted”, have to fulfill his military obligation — although i wondered If he had already started playing for a D-! school, if the military would’ve been more liberal (as some say they usually are) with deferring for three or four years…
    (will he play for military team? they might have gotten themselves a better player)

    There was some talk about ‘not being ready’ or Orel being a long term project…

    But worse case, he would’ve probably been somewhere between Dyrbe and Harper, the so far, non-scholies…

    and better case, would’ve taken some heat off of the point and two spots
    with his reported handles, passing, vision and leadership……

    …Coach Gib — maybe/probably he “spins”, but i also think:
    1) he looks for the positive interpretation/perspective of an event or situation;
    2) tries to minimize the negative impact to the overall team
    3) refuses to let negative events ‘multiply’ or drag down more people than necessary
    4) helps his players, even coaches, focus on what they can do to move things in a better direction; (maybe could do better communicating with fans and administration);
    5) has enough self-discipline and caring for his players and their future opportunities so that he will NOT give them a negative public evaluation
    even if they piss him off in the moment or long term;

    […these were among the things i was also taught and IF you want a tough day at work try handing a pink slip to one of your top performers and very best friends, the kind of good friend who also threw up in your ‘new car’ — we worked our butts off to find other places/jobs for them and they are all successful where they were placed/moved to… i BET Gib does as well or better…]

    And Gib had evaluated that Orel would have been a 5-10 minutes per game player…

    i’m, pretty sure that game time under the lights would’ve been valuable and would’ve earned Orel some Cred here with the fans …

    ————-

    ALL — Real Good Comments in all the posts above….

    Dayton & Co. — it takes Class, Credibility and hard work to attract and keep the kind of people and UHMBB fans you’ve got assembled, cruising, posting here ….

    i bet there are days when Dayton smiles reading the diversity and BB intelligence…
    maybe, even when a few jabs are in there…;-}
    …compared to the rest of the world i see, you guys are pretty good UHMBB or just plain basketball fans …

  15. Thanks, Clyde…

    …don’t know for sure …

    would think that the classes in prep school count towards “Aaric’s body of work”…

    Doubt, but could, even take some classes that count towards college credit …

    i don’t think there’s any ‘prep school graduations’, i’m assuming he already earned the HS degree …

    So when that ‘body of work’ meets or exceeds what the NCAA Clearinghouse is looking for, wouldn’t he “immediately” become eligible ?
    (instead of having to take the whole year?)

    Like after summer school (IF he had done enough) or fall-term …
    Better, IF there were a prep school using trimester or quarters, that could happen sooner … (that might be an interesting business start-up, not aware of any prep school already doing this …)

    In Gib’s update last week, took it as a hint (prep school), that the academics were not that close: “but that’s so far off…”

    ———–
    As Obi-Wan might ask, “Isn’t there another…?”

  16. Well, we are thankful that Gib tried to get best athletes here, Aaric, Gerry, Dillon etc. and that is what he said he would do. Now , make certain the young men fit the TEAM concept. Pretty sure, if Gib wants to use that final scholie or two, he is recruiting another good athlete, for that scenario, i.e. Aaric not qualifying..They have until Aug enrollment to sign one more..would be interesting..OR Gib cannot comment on whom he was this late after, maybe a 6’8″ SF? just guessing..that would be nice, an athletic SF to complete the recruitment for this year, if they are the Fit! Great comment fellow fans..yes, it is exciting.!! Potential…

  17. Dayton,

    thanks for everything!

    info please: will Manroop be playing this Thursday?

  18. Can the guy calling the summer league games replace Goo from the SSC, he’s awful and has a terrible grandpa sounding voice.

    Really impressed with Isaac and Caleb.

  19. hey, josh:

    what a good idea (has been my secret wish for years)!

    personally I preferred a basketball sports-announcer sounds pleasant, speaks fast with the ongoing action.. like Al Michael for example.
    who should help the listener enjoy the game, cheer the team on, make everyone excited for being there..

  20. I like what I see so far from two freshmen big men. Looks like both guys have good mobility. The only knock I see, so far, is that they are a little soft and shy away from contact when going for the shot/lay up. I would like to see them more aggressive to they draw fouls on the defender.

    Fotu is agile and moves well, but not showing explosiveness. He looks like he’s going to be good.

    Caleb still has to gather himself before he jumps for a shot. He’s going to need to add lower body strength and the coaching staff need to drill him on not bringing the ball down after he catches in the post. Big men need to keep the ball high to avoid smaller guards from stealing it.

    Hope fully Hauns can carry the confidence from the summer league into the regular season. Yes the other teams will actually play defense, but his shot looks pure right now.

    I like what I see so far, Gib’s getting big men in, which is the hardest to recruit unless you’re a big program.

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