Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Publications picking Warriors in the middle of Big West

Like a new kid in school, no one knows quite what to make of the Hawai’i basketball team when it comes to preseason prognostications.

The Warriors are picked to finish anywhere from third place to seventh place in various preseason previews of the Big West Conference. Hawai’i is entering its first season in the Big West, and is the only new team in the conference this season.

We found seven different publications/websites that had preseason predictions for the Big West Conference and tallied the results. Based on the average of those results, Hawai’i is picked right in the middle – fifth out of 10 teams.

“Like it or not, I think it’s probably pretty fair,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “We see the rankings and we look at them, and it’s not like they’re a big motivational thing. We’re going to play the best we can and these young guys gotta get better.”

Arnold noted that the Warriors have just four players returning who saw game action last season – Vander Joaquim, Hauns Brereton, Garrett Jefferson and Davis Rozitis.

“To be honest, I don’t think I could even name all the teams in the Big West,” senior point guard Jace Tavita said. “We’re just focused on us right now.”

Long Beach State, which won the Big West last season, is a consensus No. 1 pick, and Cal State Fullerton is the consensus No. 2.

“You’ve got five or six teams in there that are very, very solid teams,” Arnold said. “They play a different style. It’s going to be new for us to play them. Little bit more athletic than the WAC is the reputation of the Big West, but maybe not quite as big.”

Six of the seven of the publications picked a preseason all-conference team, and Joaquim was picked as a first-team selection by all of them.

The official Big West Conference preseason polls have yet to be announced.

Here are the tallied results from the preseason predictions that we found:

1, Long Beach State
2, Cal State Fullerton
3, UC Irvine
4, Pacific
5, Hawai’i
6, UC Santa Barbara
7, Cal Poly
8, Cal State Northridge
9, UC Davis
10, UC Riverside


  1. Coach Gib made an interesting comment about the BWC being known for their athleticism. This could be some of the better talent that the Big West has had for quite some time with three top 100 players (King, Seeley, and Jennings) in the conference. Still, many teams will struggle to match-up with our frontline. I hope everything gels by conference play and everyone keeps healthy.

    As mentioned in the article, it appears as if the pundits can’t make up their mind where to put UH. Being that the experts are unfamiliar with our program, some of them might have underestimated us. Hawaii is a tough place to play in the middle of conference play, especially for teams that are used to being in a bus league.

  2. …and in turn, it should turn out to be true (as the seasoned travelers report, the coaches, like Jackson, Shoji…)
    that Big West Travel is so much simpler, maybe like a four hour commuter flight, than the twelve hour flight-stopover flight-bus trips of The WAC or Mountain West…

    i took the inconsistency of the pre-season mags as a good thing; it’s hard to determine their publishing dates, and whether they even know about several recruits, but there is a heavy dependence on returning players or previous track records (for transfers from D-1 schools), maybe fairly as returning players tend to perform ‘higher’ than newcomers who may not even pan out, and often have better subsequent seasons.

    BUT i’d place much more weight on the coaches’ early season assessments, which are updated by what’s actually showing up in team practices…

    and of course, hopefully this team comes together, and starts elevating expectations with positive results…

    The Middle of the Big West could be fair for starters for a team that didn’t elevate (yet) above the middle of the Conference the last two years (WAC).

    Hearing very good things w.r.t. The Big Three (freshmen): Ozi, Manroop and Isaac…
    Looking for the fourth, fifth …Valdes? Jawato? Harper? Dressler?

    Look forward to feedback from Open Practices starting tomorrow(?)…

  3. Great points about our improved conference travel and practice assessments. It should be a fun/interesting year in a new conference nonetheless.

  4. I would have expected higher considering the type of talent we appear to have.. That being said, there is something to be said for having a cohesive team vs just a bunch of good, athletic players.. If Gib can bring the players together and a serviceable PG emerges from the group, I don’t see why we can’t even be better than what these mags are predicting..

  5. Preseason has absolutely no weight. Most of the rankings are based on last year’s performance and who they got coming back this year. Watch how the top 25 teams juggle around after the first few weeks.

    Every year it’s the usual suspects: Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke making up the top 10. Then at the bottom it’s safe to say Gonzaga, San Diego State, UNLV. Then when the season starts throw out last year’s stats and start over with the newest wonder teams.

    No one will rate us high until we go out and prove it. Look at the Fabulous Five. They went from unknowns to number 12 in one year.

    You don’t know what you got until you match em at the gates. Yeah they’re all thoroughbreds. But some will gallop, some will race, and some will spill their hearts out.

  6. you are the Budweiser Clydesdales, Drivers and Dalmatians.

    beautiful yet strong, durable yet discipline!

    TEAM, it’s time to deliver!

  7. Big West is one of those unknown conferences but still wouldn’t be surprised if we did finish in the middle of the pack…im not even certain i know what conference gonzaga, butler, xavier, memphis and virgin commonwealth is but if we can be top like them in their conference and make the tourney then that’s just as good

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