Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Forward from Croatia headed to Hawai’i

Ozren Pavlovic, a versatile 6-foot-8 forward from Croatia, has signed a scholarship agreement to join the Hawai’i basketball team for the upcoming 2012-13 season. Pavlovic will be a true freshman this season, and is expected to be enrolled in classes at UH-Manoa by next week, according to Warriors head coach Gib Arnold.

“He actually committed to us a while ago, but we were never really able to do anything with it until we knew he could become eligible, which he just did,” Arnold said. “Literally, today (Friday), was the day he got everything cleared and finalized, and so he’ll be with us next week.”

Not much is known — or available online — about Pavlovic. However, based on his highlight video above, it is clear that he can score the basketball from outside and in. He is listed at 205 pounds, and Arnold envisions him playing several positions.

“I don’t have a set position for him because offensively, he has the skill set of a 2 guard,” Arnold said. “He’s a lefty with range and very good offensive skills. But he also has the size, and is tall and long enough to guard both forward positions. I’m not going to lock him in to just one spot. I’ll just say he’s a forward.”

Arnold said he made several trips to Croatia in the past year to scout Pavlovic and other prospects in Europe. “That area of Europe has always been a place I like to go to, from even before I got to Hawai’i. Since I’ve been here, I’ve just continued to go there because I think there are a lot of good players there.”

Pavlovic fills one of the two scholarships that were still available for the 2012-13 season. Asked if there was still a chance to fill the final scholarship, Arnold responded: “Possibly. You never know what you can get done unless you try.”


  1. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Coach Gib Arnold !!!
    Mahalo, Mahalo, Mahalo Dayton & Co. !!!
    OZ, OZ, Oz !!!

    Finesse, Smooth + Speed, continuous Moves, Accuracy, Lefty the third.
    Best Point Forward at UH Ever !!!

    I’m just going Insane,

    Check It out Youselves ???

  2. Dayton,

    Thank you for keeping us updated with the info. Now I can go to sleep easier. I’ve jonessing for some MBB recruiting news.

    Ozren, welcome to the Warrior Ohana (family). May you enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer.


    Icing on the cake would be another wing player or a true PG.

  3. Ervin Johnson comes to mind with this recruit. Would like to see him pass the ball to other players otherwise teams will just collapse on him if they know he doesn’t pass the ball?

  4. Great get. Especially, in the eleventh hour. His highlight reel is quite impressive.

  5. Awesome pick up! He reminds me of former warrior Burneika but more athletic. Hopefully the warriors will add Armstead or Valdes next.
    Welcome to warrior basketball Ozren!

  6. Ozren Pavlovic looks REALLY good. Wow.

  7. First, Welcome to Hawai’i, OZ!

    Awesome GET, Coach !
    I Would Count this as a “Surprise” — Well Done …[Thank You!]

    i was wondering how many talents like this we’ve even “met”,
    much less got a four year commitment from…

    i ‘almost’ laugh to think about the future rumours that Oz (like Vander) is not coming back because he won’t pass up the hundreds of thousands of dollars…

    i’m guessing he’s a good – to – great student (who doesn’t need to study much ‘cos he’s probably a gym rat with those kind of skills); i would’ve said bring him in anyway and let the Clearinghouse catch up (but for the boo birds)….

    Agree with the comments above on the 15 Minute Highlight Video…
    RE: Passing: “Blame” the “Editor” (of the video) for not valuing the skill; most of the passing (also impressive) is in the last two minutes…

    Outside, Inside … as soon as the defense reacts, moves he takes;
    Not yet with the body but he’s active and rebounds; quicker and better driver, but has all the basketball skills displayed by Burneika;

    Thanks, Again… Oz, Coaches, Dayton

    So Coach, WHAT (If Anything) is Missing from this Freshmen Class ?

  8. Welcome Ozi! The first thing that caught my attention was the 3-point line. That is the International line, not the college line. Ozi has the ability to open up the court for our slashers and post men. I am salivating right now, November 9th can’t come soon enough. Great get Coach Gib!

  9. Go Oz! Who will hit more threes Oz or Roop?

  10. So Coach, WHAT (If Anything) is Missing from this Freshmen Class ?

    Eagle, the above interview with Gib, notice what he said? One more to give (scholie) would he offer that last one? He stated:

    Pavlovic fills one of the two scholarships that were still available for the 2012-13 season. Asked if there was still a chance to fill the final scholarship, Arnold responded: “Possibly. You never know what you can get done unless you try.”

    I would not doubt if Gib, Benjy, Brandyn and Coach Fish are even now seeing if they can get in …that athletic slasher, the coveted SF! JMO..or an experienced late, late get, wherever from globally or JC, a good, aside from Jace and Manroop, who will be great too, an AC type of point,, that is just my opinion…Gib will confirm when and if they sign…KEY POINT OF HIS STATEMENT..You never know(looking for that final piece of puzzle to this year’s recruiting..TILL YOU TRY!! Have to love Gib for that, he said constantly looking for talent and to uprgrade character and athleticsim of UH MBB, and he is working hard to do it! Go get em Gib!

    And Welcome Ozren to UH MBB team! Mahalo and aloha for signing!!

  11. Ozren can SHOOT, and handle, rebound, just have to work on strength, he will do that…and Big upside: Manroop Clair, Caleb Dressler, Brandon Jawato(RS Frosh), Isaac Fotu, MIchael Harper, Dyrbe Enos, and now Ozren..ALL freshman with 4 years to play..wow, and agree Manoa Baller, we shall see pretty soon with preseason workouts, and open gym updates..will very soon be Nov 9 2012..can’t wait too!

    And shout out to the Schmidts for sponsoring the best UH MBB informational and everything else site on the planet!! Thank you Tony and family!!

  12. Dayton:

    Mahalo for a ton of work just getting ready report, interview and videos! Outstanding..I am as well as a lot of UH MBB fans very excited for this year’s team..And thank you to Fotus, Harpers, Dresslers, Enos’, Clairs, Jawatos, and Pavlovics for sharing your sons with the state of Hawaii and UH BB team..Mahalo ! and Aloha!!

  13. Wonder if Ozren is related to Sasha Pavlovic (NBA player for Cavaliers, Celtics, and others). We can’t call Pavlovic the Wizard of Oz, not yet anyway because from the highlights I didn’t see him passing the ball much. So we will have to see how he does in a structured offense of sharing the ball instead of being like Carmelo Anthony when you get the ball you are shooting it. Hey, I’m all in on shooting the ball and making shots, but the best scenario is just being able to take open shots from the flow of the game, in other words TEAM ball guys. I will say this guy has skills, a lot of skills for his height and can shoot it from all over. And a lefty too, kinda reminds me shooting and make up like Prince from the Pistons. Handles the ball too pretty good, but you don’t know the kind of competition he was playing against.Didn’t see him under a lot of pressure. Nontheless, welcome to our Paradise and enjoy your studies and basketball at Hawaii. Good luck. Still need a skilled ball handler and floor leader until Shamburger gets eligible. Somebody’s got to step up. The Big West have a lot of good guards.

  14. Not bad, Coach Gib, not bad at all.. Especially, as DK pointed out, in the eleventh hour..

    This is shaping up to be quite the recruiting class.. Definitely one of the best we’ve had.. And to think, if Shaq Stokes had stuck around and had Orel Lev not been called to military service, we would not have been able to get this guy.. Addition by subtraction if you ask me..

    Getting these guys is one thing, but creating a team out of them is another.. But I’d rather be putting together a team with the likes of Ozren, Isaac Fotu, Maroop Clairs of the world than the Kareem Nitoto and Adhar Mayens of the world..

  15. Thanks for the news, Dayton. Finding minutes for the 3’s, 4’s and 5’s will be a challenge, but a nice “problem” to have. Interesting comment by Gib about how they’ve been recruiting Ozren for a while; nice to see all those overseas trips pay off. A truly international roster: Angola, Latvia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Croatia, Germany and, of course, Kapalama.

  16. This is great news. Ozren has both size and skills. He’ll need to get physically stronger and learn to handle the much faster U.S game, but the tools for success are there. Welcome “Oz” to the UH ohana!

  17. good athleticism at 6’8 but looks 6’6 at best..wish he had a little more explosion to the rim..haun’s replacement came 1 year early but it’s raining 3s in manoa

  18. Yeah. yea, . . . great get (great Recruiter) . . . but we’ll see what happens under game pressure situation. What about the clowns in hawaiian shirts – have they changed their stripes and upgraded their skills or are they going to display the same old neurotic, yelling behavior of the past two years?

    We shall see who will be the first to crumble under the lights- by the way, has their been a Vander or Shamburger siting on campus? Oops, did I speak out of turn? Darn, should have waited until the news broke, my baad!


  19. Clowns in Hawaiian shirts? Dallan, what are you talking about???

    Your post made about as much sense as the ‘Timmy Chang for Heisman’ talk from a few years back..

  20. Yeah, Dallan …ONE WEEK or so AFTER start of classes might be appropriate to start writing Your Obituaries for players not scheduled to even arrive yet…

    You’re Welcome to Wear Clown “Hawai’ian Shirts” any time you like … Such a Fashion Trend Tracker…

    I Don’t See Anything to Criticize Here (today)… NOT Much Point….

    For the “Fans”, it’s a Good Day…Rain or Shine…


    Under Game Pressure, Improved or Greater Talent usually makes the Coaches look smarter;
    Even Riley felt like a better coach when he got …”these players (who) can actually do what I ask them to…”

    AND…Opinion Only: Equally Important to Team Success:
    …got rid of the ones who did so many things they were asked not to….

    …I don’t (personally) have a problem with coaches yelling, esp. If they maintain .500+ win-loss records (the harder part) AND meet all the other requirements… UNC?

  21. Reminds me of another lefty Croatian whose nickname was “the waiter” for how he set the table for his teammates and himself. Ozren is very Toni Kukoc-esque, don’t u think?

  22. Awesome news. Good find with nice size, length, and skill set. I like how Pavlovic can shoot from both inside/outside and his ability to recognize and attack mismatches. This is a highlight film so you only see the good plays but you can definitely tell that Pavlovic has a pretty good skills on the offensive side of the ball. He has a nice shot and his ball handling looks more than adequate. It will be interesting to see what position he’ll end up at. My best guess is he’ll spend time backing up Hauns at the 3 spot. Not sure if he’s quick enough to guard guys at the 3 spot yet (especially in 3 guard lineups) but we’ll see. He’ll need time to develop and get into UH’s weight training program to get bigger, faster, stronger… But I like what I see and the upside potential.

    We still have one scholarship left and while it would be great to add an athletic wing or pg to the mix… If he isn’t an impact player (starter or 6th man) or an obvious developmental redshirt candidate for this season I’d rather we hold it for a midseason transfer or give to Tavita. I’d like to avoid a situation where we have too many mouths to feed in terms of playing time. More than likely we’ll have an 8-9 player rotation at most come the BWC season.

  23. Yeah, i DID notice the Toni Kukoc similarity … but even TK had trouble living up to his own hype…. so left the discussion at that “Burneika” level, which i think he’ll fly by, long before his junior season (when Burneika transferred in)…

    i think, because of the “Everyone Can Shoot” ability of ALL these players (that still amazes me ‘cos it includes GJ), i think coaches can use a ten man rotation or even platoon system, throwing varying defenses, which slows 80%+ of college teams, even if they might have a “better” point guard. IF everyone can score, then you lose very little when throwing fresh players at tired ones …


    Adjectives are swimming around ….
    Insane … Exciting…Mind-Boggling ….
    Dreaming …..Fantasy… Illusion ….

    Got a Feeling the Accurate Ones will be Recognizable,
    even to the part-time fans,
    Real Fast ….

    SO MUCH Young Talent …
    AND Juniors and Seniors that can help them through the Transition ….
    So That even “The Projects” (IF Any)
    should experience more success than failure….

  24. Say what you will about Gib, however the man kept his word…he would be a constant recruiter. Always on the lookout for talent/character guys(now he learned..which is good)..I think with the international players..academics is a must, they are pretty good students! Think Davis Rozitis! Gib done good..Exciting stuff, can’t remember this much excitement about upcoming UH BB season since 1971-72 preseason of UH’s Fabulous Five!

    Good job Gib…go get one more if you can!! PG or SF slasher!!

  25. we can’t get too ahead of ourselves though…all film we see is highlights and most not on the D1 level…now that gib has most pieces he needs we can judge to see how good a coach he is

  26. on film he looks a cut above the competition, no doubt about that.
    i just am wondering what level of competition was that since he is only a high schooler.

    i am not being a downer either, just realistic. he definitely can shoot the ball with token pressure. he has great handles for a big guy, and he appears very confident in his game.

    i’d like to see more of him since it is an offensive highlight. hopefully, he’ll learn to dish it off or perhaps the editing excluded some of that aspect of his game. most of all i’d wanted to see more of what he can do defensively.

    he does run the court well and i could see him playing the 2 on a regular basis causing match up problems for smaller defenders. a little more quickness and strength and he could be a great 3 as well.

    great find by the gibber. i’ve always felt that we needed more foreign talent.

    hoping that the gibber brings in a pg of note. that is still the missing link for this team.

  27. Appreciate all posts and comments. Really is great to have the international players on board. UH MBB is truly a unique and GLOBAL team! Ozren is young, so is Isaac, Caleb, Manroop, Michael, Dytbe, they have to start somewhere, and that is Gib and staff’s mission: help these young guys develop, so by the time they are upper classmen, they will be something special!

    Agree Ozren, is not going against USA top elite HS players, yet ,the euro skill set, dribble, handles, shooting range are all there..as for his PASSING ability, check out the final 1 or 2 minutes of the video, he is passing to other players for easy layups, open jumpers, nifty behind the back and no look passes…really it is the very last part of video…so the comparison with other euro players..they pass the ball, and can shoot, and handle. So, on the skillset side, it is there already, just has to get NCAA D! strong and experienced..and in fall workouts and practice, you can be assured the upperclassmen will be playing REALLy tough D on him..if he can still pass, handle and score, WOW..that is a possible immediate contributor..just have to wait and see.. Fun stuff , though..after all that Spring fling thing(exit players)..

  28. MBB Warrior Ohana International: (abbr = MWOI)

    * This is a Free Family (symbol = FF), each to their own.
    * Love Hawaii; Promote Aloha.
    * Enjoy winning basketball with “Good Players”.
    * Live healthy, encourage positive open-mindedness.
    * Respect & Practice peaceful Humanity.


  29. To gobows, thank you for the Aloha spirit, I agree, Jace should get a scholarship. It has been tough for his family to support him however we believe that coach Gib cares for his players and he has given Jace a second chance. We really love the coaching staff and we have faith in what they will accomplish this year . It has been too long since the last time Hawaii made it to the big dance and win a game. If that happens this year then it will have been all worth it. Mahalo again gobows.

  30. Big Island family:

    you spilled our heart-felt desires !

    Big Island family became the 1st FF;
    your bigness is accounted for.

    Jace: you can do it; go get’em !

    com’on, Coach Gib, give it to him NOW for good luck then, GO GET’EM,
    Mahalo !

  31. With the signing of another big that can handle the ball and score, there could be different scenarios emerging. All told we now have 3 European bigs that can handle the ball in Pavlovic, Standhardinger, and Rozitis. Couple that with Vander, Fotu, and Dressler and we got the tallest team in NCAA. Wouldn’t put it passed Gib that one day we will see—if only for brief moments—5 towers playing at the same time, especially if the typical ball handlers get into foul trouble and/or we are playing a taller team. Call it the platoon zone breakers. And now with the shortage of 1 and 2 players Pavlovic or Standhardinger could see playing time in the 2 and 3 spot. Moreover, Pavlovic seem to have a good enough handle to man the point if need be. Then on defense we can go to a zone to protect the mismatch. Gib said that he likes those players that are interchangeable. Pavlovic could be interchangeable in all positions like a Treavor Wiseman. Of course it boils down to what players can knock it down when open, play decent defense, and not turn the ball over that will see playing time. This season is shaping up to be a mysterious one.

  32. servante,

    Good comments. Should be interesting year! JMO, I think Hauns, Brandon Spearman, Jace, Davis, Vander, Jefferson, will have a key role in leadership with team. Gib might try to use Spearman, even Jefferson at PG. As you stated interchangeable. He was after those 6’5″ to 6’8″ highly athletic skilled hi flyers(which we still might see in the coming years) now the international players, whom, IMO, are good students of game and in class. If this team , upperclassmen, and key freshman have that TEAM oriented High BB IQ, ..not only will be intersting(or mysterious..what do we have here?)they could be very good and competitive.,I can see Gib getting guys who can score from inside, to midrange to 3 line, and can handle, so if the by into DEFENSE..they can have a very good year possibly,,love the POTENTIAL and huge UPSIDE of young guys!! Exciting stuff for UH MBB!!

  33. hey, Christian:

    you’re the kids’ fav @ their camp & the Summer league;
    you’re my MVP pick, if Flipbooks won.
    admired your ‘energy & drive’. (too bad the body not yet wants to cooperate to avoid those obstacles in the way)

    you’re drafted to play Point-Forward in D1. LUCK is with you. you got all the pointers in the 1/4hr of OZ’s HiLite — master those effective finesses & shooting tech (it’s o.k. to use right-hand). you’ll be a strong candidate for the season’s MVP !?

    ps: I got many Ref-friends, please be nice to them (just smile, ’nuff !).


  34. I’m pretty happy with the direction that Gib has decided to go. The make-up of the team may not be the high-flying wingmen and 7-footers who can run and jump out of the gym, but to think that UH can compete with the likes of Kentucky, Indiana or even UNLV for these types of players would be pretty ignorant and unrealistic.

    Having our current mix of talented and skilled bigger international players is perfect. While people may look to the Anthony Carter, Alika Smith and Erin Galloway years as Riley’s best teams, the reality is that Carter and Smith never made it to the Big Dance. Not even once.. In contrast, the Savo, Burneika, Carl English, Martin, Puida teams (all international players) were the ones that made it to the Big Dance for two consecutive years..

  35. what i’d like to see now is getting at least one 4-star every other year maybe a 5 every 2-3 years…wether a freshman or transfer a second string player from kentucky would be huge

  36. Sometimes when you get one, you get two (or more)…
    They like to play with and recruit their friends/teammates…

    Keep Up the Positive Thoughts And Greater Vision…


    Onward and Upward…

  37. ALOOooha, Eagle:

    you’re so good a GURU, is beyond my words.

    i’m just a careless optimist ~
    * MBB Warriors beat Illinois, 50/50 with UNLV.
    * play for BWchamp, won/even fell-short by 1, heads to NIT added 2/3 wins.
    * “get 1 => get 2”; recruit & signed Bryce Fitzner.
    * Gib beat Stanford; Evan Fitzner signed for Hawaii.

    pls help & update ~ work with Gib to get Bryce for next season ??

  38. Dayton,

    By today Aug 20 2012, UH starts fall semester. ..could be all UH MBB , returnees and new players including walkons are on campus. Will you be doing update with, players and coach Gib? Maybe interviews with returning players and newest member Ozren?

    Mahalo for your great work, all this summer and now fall, and into 2012-13 BB season.!
    Thank you?

  39. Dayton & Co.’s Track Record, i’m counting on it ….

    For the Nahshon George Fans (from Radford HS, Listed 6-7, played well for Summer League Champs Solar Universe with Brandon Spearman; RE: They Won without perennial Top Ten Summer League PROs Derrick Low & Bobby Nash), Artie said UH IS Recruiting him — he has one more year at Shoreline CC; Walk-on? Note that resident tuition alone is pushing 10K …
    (Thanks again, Families Tavita, Jawato, Harper & Enos)…


    Truth ‘Dare (deah) … Between Coaches GIB, Shoji & Wade, and Norm, Need to Start Getting Some Wins versus The Cardinal / Trees / Robber Barons…
    (Softball IS Ahead: Swept West Regional @ their field a couple of years ago).

    Academics, Facilities, Dollars (and Dad) are Huge Advantage…But Coaches & Teammates, College Life, and Life After offer some Potential Advantages…
    coaches made a plus-difference for the WSU & OSU defections….

    Potential TRUMP: Smart Dads KNOW Job 1 is Keeping Mom Happy ;-}

    Get Bryce and you might get Evan, too…
    Beat ‘Em to their Next Brother Towers?
    I’m not even sure what Bryce is doing to make his shot look so Unorthodox (crooked jump, arm going wrong way in two dimensions, head cocked and moving or twitching away, several wrongs balancing? unorthodox guys can usually hit consistently as long as they practice regularly; take a break like an injury, lose the edge/ adjustment /”calibration” and sometimes hit slumps or even long slumps) but he’s also a good, physical athlete so should still be a player when his shooting is off…


    ONE Thing i like about New Chancellor Apple (he was on with Rick Hamada yesterday morning) is that He Sees NO Significant Academic Advantage to ANY PAC-12 Schools versus UH Benchmark Programs … that is the kind of belief or at least belief system needed to Beat (or eventually Join) the West Coast Gold Standard guys …


    Just Opinion: I never thought (once we get enough funding sources) that we were very far behind AZ, ASU, UTAH, OSU or OU, (although OU is Now Mega-Rich & The Fiesta Bowl is Major)…
    C’mon Steve Case! Who Else ? The Guys Who Got Punahou to #1 Nationally need to keep working their UH Project…. IF You got Punahou, Kamehameha, Kahuku, Hawai’i Prep/Konawaena, Baldwin, I’olani & ALL Public Schools, Private Industry, Upper Campus, Governor & Legislature Behind UH Athletics what other state can match with their splintered loyalties AND Our Ability to Draw Away from All Regions Nationally & Internationally?

    Lookin’ out the Window — Overcast But Visibility is CLEAR ….
    Cleanest and Best Views, Air, Water & Land in The World …..

    Location ? Location ? Location?
    We DON’T have to Recruit versus Dubai, Cayman Islands, Caribbean…
    Business People work all year or their whole lives to Vacation/Retire to Places Like these; IF A Player has a Taste or A Dream for those Kinds of Places AND wants to play Athletics OR Play for Pay Eventually, Got to Go To UH….
    Maybe that’s why we can get Aussie or Indian recruits….?
    Fashion Trackers:
    BTW, Some of those “Hawai’ian Shirts” ARE Tough to Wear —
    but i guess Real team players/coaches & hosts Will Wear ‘Em Anyway ….

    WE Should Have — One or Two Games like Notre Dame? — Commemorative Uniforms like Aloha Stripe/Borders or Borrow Designs from the Olympic Ruskys …

    #Lunch Time Fodder

  40. Eagle:

    Post away brother! You always have good/upside comments. Thank you for being objective, keeping it real, and a UH sports fan to the max. I am sure, Dayton and all UH MBB fans appreciate your thoughts! Hopefully, Gib, and the young guy is doing it, gets this MBB program rocking and rolling, which, this year, Potential is HUGE! Look for a good sports year for UH athletics!

    Maybe one more get? We shall see.!! As I have said, Exciting stuff, compared to 5 months ago!!

  41. He’s got some skill. I love that he is a lefty and has got range. But does he have explosiveness and can he find the open man. Several times on the video, he missed wide open teammates.

    Gib is the man. Just give him time, he’ll get the right gentlemen for the program. UH is looking good at least for the coming year. Cannot wait!

  42. Ozren looks like a pretty good addition to the team. Not flashy, but he looks like a good shooter.

  43. Hope we get an interview with the oz man soon.

  44. After digging…

    Source: Eurobasket Daily News Report:
    Ozren Pavlovic, MVP of Independece Tournament of Kosovo – Feb 20, 2012 (by Dren Shporta)

    Croatian youngster, Ozren Pavlovic took the MVP award of the Kosovo Independence Tournament. Pavlovic was the player that broke all the defences in this tournament after scoring more than sixty points in both games. He was unstoppable also in the final, by scoring 31 points. Former basketball player Florian Miftari gave Pavlovic the biggest individual award of the tournament.

    Source: Croatian forum
    Ozren Pavlovic –
    Top scorer Croatian Junior Championship 2011/2012 with 275 points and an average of 25 points per game.

    Good Luck Ozren !

  45. Nice Digs, Croc

    Like Gib indicated, Oz is known in “his hood”…
    Good Validation of what seems obvious on video…

  46. You’re the man, Eagle !

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