Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors work on getting bigger, stronger, faster

The “first season” for the Hawai’i basketball team got underway on Friday afternoon, and there were no basketballs bouncing or baskets made.

The Warriors completed several strength and conditioning tests, in part to determine how much work needs to be done in the coming weeks.

“The first season is ‘bigger, stronger and faster,’ ” head coach Gib Arnold said. “These guys hit the weightroom really hard; we do a lot of workouts, a lot of speed and agility work, and then we do a lot of individual basketball work.”

The first series of tests included a full-court sprint, a “box” drill (running forward, sideways and backward around a set of cones), and vertical jump. Each player’s performance is recorded, and even though it is about individual improvement, the competition can get fierce.

“I think competitiveness is very important for our team,” junior forward Christian Standhardinger said. “Obvsiously, I want to be the first one in every drill. I’m always like second or third – it’s driving me nuts.”

The final statistics for each player will not be revealed publicly, but the Warriors are aware of who the top performers are.

In the full-court sprint, Jace Tavita and Michael Harper posted the fastest times; in the box drill, it was Harper and Standhardinger.

Garrett Jefferson had a standing vertical jump of 34.5 inches to top the team. Tavita and Brandon Jawato were not far behind.

Caleb Dressler and Brandon Spearman did not participate due to minor injuries. Also, new recruit Aaron Valdes was not yet cleared to participate with the team when the tests were conducted.


  1. 1st! Awesome work not dogging it on baseline tests. Gotta work on the footwork and technique though. I hope Fotu gets faster and more explosive. He is going to be nasty.

  2. Good to see the guys competing even during these tests. Jace and Michael Harper had great showings. It will be interesting to see the top performers when Spearman and Valdes participate in a couple weeks.

  3. Great MBB team. Work hard , smart and together. Without a doubt, you young men are going to prove to yourselves and the State of Hawaii, the UH fanbase and the World, that the Warriors are going to be winners this year and years to come!!


    Mahalo for update Dayton!!

  4. SO…am assuming that means that ‘After the Testing’, Aaron Valdes’ paperwork, classes, etc. all got squared away: enrolled (catching up with classes) and eligible to play this year?

    IS it strongly rumored, targeted or expected that Dillon Biggs would or should become eligible at mid-term (December/January, although might need to be on student financial aid, loan, etc. as apparently all scholarships are committed)?
    [Realize Coaches cannot provide direct updates…]


    Sorry — ALSO Repetitive: Even Us Mere Mortals ‘could’ have entirely revised/improved physiques and physicality in the Next 60 days, working with good-to-great dedication…

    BUT, Highly Competitive, Type “A” personalities, like most of the MBB players on this team are, can overcome years of being underweight or understrong between training table and World-Class strength, quickness, speed coaching …
    …although numbers aren’t published directly (Privacy Act?) would still be interesting to hear who are fastest or most improved …

  5. SO…am assuming that means that ‘After the Testing’, Aaron Valdes’ paperwork, classes, etc. all got squared away: enrolled (catching up with classes) and eligible to play this year?

    Yes Eagle, I think you got is spot on…When this testing was done,might have been before, final enrollment, scholarship agreement signed, very important everything on board, he is part of UH system and start to take classes, before participation in anything preseason workout regimen. Aaron, big write up(and Brian McInnis, all the local media, i.e. TV sports anchors, and Gib and UH, make absolutely sure NOW guys all qualified and set to go!!)Put it simply, Aaron would not have tweeted , and follower BM shared tweets with us, and traveled over 2500 miles over Pacific if he was not going to be part of 2012-13 team! That is a certainty! He can speak to instrutors, professors, academic advisors, tutors, to get up to speed with Freshman classes now in session. Give credit to AARON MICHAEL VALDES, to do what he had to do to get into UH at this late stage.

    Now, Aaron, standout, big time HS water polo athlete. You know the stamina, needed to keep treading water for a long time…maybe I could do it for 10 minutes , then sink or swim to safety!! Aaron’s cardio, legs, etc, must be in great shape, interesting how he tests, ..and Aaron, has a wing span and reach of a guy who is about, just my guess? What , maybe a 6’10” or 6’11” BB player..Valdes will be great addition to team, just the athleticism and willingness to do what it takes to play D1 ball makes him a welocome part of this growing , mounting beast of a UH MBB squad!!

    As for Dillon? That would be great, mid term get! Don’t count out Ronnie Stevens, Aaric, Armstead and Gerry Blakes coming in, if they are still interested, and some still have UH in their sights, older, mature, physically emotionally and athletically..Gib got it going , UH MBB , upwards! Going , and taking the high road..!

    Exciting stuff, and Gib did it all within NCAA guidelines..No investigation team, questioning his recruiting..good student atletes..I know, I know, am very Redundant…however LOT of excitement for this old time, long time follower of UH MBB!! Can be great season,,let’s wait and see how Gib and very importantly with help of whole staff, puts the team together as a TEAM….then UH MBB fans, relatives and families will be cheering from Kapalama Heights(Dyrbe Enos. K-School Kapalama) to Luanda , Angola!!!

  6. whew,Uh fans only1 ,aka user 343, you leave us breathless with every entry. Thankyou for the updates, lets be realistic, put things in perspective, not to put to much hype at this time, too much over hyping sometimes leads to over expectation, this is practically a entirely new team except for a handfull. Major undertaking for Gibster to find the right combinations for starting five. and to keep the guys on the bench engaged and supportive, we cannot afford anymore players leaving in mass exodus , bad for the program . Stay tuned. It’s Warrior time.

  7. jjay,

    thanks for comments. Me I am old guy. Been following UH MBB hoops from about 1966-67. Seen a lot of teams. Coaches, AD’s. No, I am not saying UH MBB team going to win National chamiponship..just try to stay positive, I was taken for a wild ride the past 2 years with the MBB program, I was as concerned as all, ..Now, these young guys, great Potential, up to Gib and the young student athletes to get the job done. Me? Just one oldtimer cheering the guys on! I always say too, let’s wait for that Nov 9 2012 date with Maryland Eastern Shore, those run and gun type teams, athletic types, then we see what we got..! jjay, I HOPE things go well this season. I just love the anticipation of recruiting, see what we might get, and now that guys are pretty much all in..well I am happy for team and coach…I think they POSSIBLY can have good season, as I say, we have to wait and see!! I know Gib will get them working really hard , smart and together!!

    Mahalo fellow UH MBB fan(actually my first sport love was Football, what I played, with time, I love the speed of BB game, and anyone can score, or hit winning shot,)!!

  8. i’d doubt any of the previous recruits would come here at mid-season without a scholarship….in the workouts you gotta bet spearman and valdes will be tops in some categories

  9. it is a help pointer indicates where to concentrate on to reach ‘The Goal’ (get’em) !?

  10. the Chess-master’s Seasons _
    ~ 1, aim higher.
    ~ 2, make perfect.
    ~ 3, max w’s.
    ~ 4, take care of business.
    ~ 5, madness showtime.
    ~ 6, what’s on your plate (party) ?

    a little luck (confidence) goes a long way !

  11. for the outstanding progress each of you made, you’ve distinguished yourselves as ‘The Elite Quartet of Warriors Walk-on’ _

    ~ #1 Jace Tavita.
    ~ #3 Brandon Jawato.
    ~ #10 Dyrbe Enos.
    ~ #24 Michael Harper.

    Mahalo, Your Honorable Parents !

  12. FTR, Yes there is Confirmation (although Aaron Valdes doesn’t yet show up on the recently revised 2012 Roster that does include Oz),

    that Aaron is enrolled, attending classes, catching up …
    i’d guess we might see him in a new Open Gym video ?

    Just Commentary, worth repeating(?)

    Many coaches reflecting on their careers and impact, consider among the best things they’ve done (besides 20-win seasons, Post-Season Wins, etc.) includes when they get to make a difference in a young man’s life … rather than be involved in a Chicago shooting, or finding an AC sleeping on a park bench, or struggling and eventually getting a recruit into college AND helping teach him to succeed or maybe even start a ‘dream career’ like baseball player Spangler @ KHON (Can the Dashefsky template work for The Beast ?) OR Play for Pay… helping him end up in a better place …

    Like Webster in Aotearoa or Aussieland ?

  13. For me, the biggest surprise for the individual testing was Harper being one of the fastest and quickest players on the team. Perhaps if he works on improving his ball handling and first step explosiveness he can make the transition to PG.

    Had Spearman and Valdes participated, you would think that they would do really well.

  14. Yeah, although several players “exceeded” Valdes reported 31″ Vertical — maybe his previous method was under-reporting (versus UH’s more accurate measuring systems)…

    Harper was fast when we first saw him; he’s probably still getting faster and ‘adding’ quickness … since they measure all these attributes for all players, other than injury they are probably ALL Improving … almost scary thought …

    GOOD for All of Us …


    DAYTON & Co.,
    Again, THANKS for All the Videos … Open Gym, First Season, Summer League, Intros, etc.

  15. gobows: Good observation.

    Watching summer league, individual work outs testing and open gym, Michael has BBIQ, he might be an older freshman , not sure. His maturity and Basketball smarts, really impresses me. Now, we find out, he is excellent academic studetnt(must have done really well in summer school).

    Michael is akin to Orel Lev. Just an analogy. Orel was one of the better athletes through workouts and practices with team past Spring semester. Michael, I think, JMO, FWIW, might be a Coach Fish recruit. He might , along with a lot of the other freshman, be an X factor. A really good BB find from the land down under. I love his southpaw, lefty 3 ball, midrange, and to the rim reverse layps backdoor cut shooting. His ball handling, he will work on, must show the staff he has so much promise, maturity and ability, to be considered for PT at PG, outstanding.

    Thanks Aussie mom for sharing Michael with UH MBB ohana(family)!!

  16. True — Harper may be part of the Short Term solution IF he can improve that fast …
    definitely part of the long-term solution, and that’s an avenue to getting or staying on the court, or as part of an eventual two-pg system … i think even a two-pg system is easier to run when “everyone” can shoot ..

    [i’ll move him over to pg on my depth chart — for me, it’s like drawing up your March Madness Brackets, but “better” ‘cos it’s ALL UHMBB and kinda getting All Good…]

  17. Hey Eagle..37 shot in Chicago this past weekend…1 fatally..lucky u live Hawaii…

  18. Thanks, Kda —

    daily remind myself and a few i hear complaining even while they’re “here” …

    Get plenny places: just lucky (IF) u live…


    AND On Top of All That…
    We Can Look Forward to This Team

    and Thanks to Dayton & Co.
    watch them getting recruited, growing, developing ..
    so That Wait doesn’t seem as long ….

    Blessings Upon Blessings All…

  19. Michael loves it over there with all you guys – no wonder he is doing well. It must be the Hawaiian weather/food/people/sun/beach/coaches/team/school/fans…..

  20. Aloha, Coach Gary Trousdale:

    UHMBB is grateful for that you kindly guilded an exciting, athletic, hardworking player to Hawaii.

    We are confident that Aaron Valdes will further develop under Coach Arnold’s wonderful program into the best D1 level player that he can be.
    Making you & his parents very proud, as well as Hawaii will be.

    Your continuous support will be appreciated.

    Lots of luck for La Jolla’s upcoming BB season!

  21. I have fun with, cause I found exactly what I was having
    a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you
    man. Have a great day. Bye

  22. hey, Manroop Clair:

    you are on “the Chess-Master’s Seasons”,
    ~ 2. make perfect.

    how’s the body holding up?

    you are special, you got to do special things everyday;
    (1) review “Manroop Clair Motivation” on YouTube.
    (2) least-wise 40 minutes of self-masaging on sore-spots with Shea Butter.


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