Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors picked fourth by Big West media

The Hawai’i basketball team was picked to finish fourth out of 10 teams in the Big West Conference preseason media poll.

Senior center Vander Joaquim was selected to the six player all-conference team.

Defending champion Long Beach State is first, followed by Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine.

This is Hawai’i’s first season in the Big West.

Here is the release from the Big West Conference:

Long Beach State earned 13 first-place votes and 194 points to emerge the favorite for the 2012-13 Big West men’s basketball title, according to the annual preseason media poll released today.

The 49ers outdistanced Cal State Fullerton, which accumulated 164 points with six first-place votes, and third place UC Irvine’s 153 points and one first-place vote. The 21-member media panel tabbed new Big West member Hawai’i for fourth place with 132 points, followed by UC Santa Barbara in fifth (129). Picking up the lone remaining first-place nod was Pacific, which tallied 113 points for sixth place in the poll.

LBSU brings back one starter from the 2011-12 club that finished 25-9 overall, won the Big West regular season championship with a 15-1 record, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Senior James Ennis earned All-Big West Honorable Mention recognition last season after averaging 10.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. The 6-7 guard/forward also ranked No. 2 in the conference in steals (1.6 spg).

The 49ers also welcome back sophomore Mike Caffey, who played significant minutes off the bench on last year’s senior-laden roster and is expected to assume the starting point guard reins. A host of Division I transfers are also being counted on to provide key production, including 6-9 forward Dan Jennings (West Virginia), 6-5 guard Keala King (Arizona State), 6-7 forward Tony Freeland (DePaul) and 6-10 forward Edgar Garibay (Loyola Marymount).

Cal State Fullerton is the only Big West school to return two all-conference performers. The Titans are led by senior D. J. Seeley, an All-Big West First Team selection. Seeley lit up the stat sheet in 2011-12 to the tune of 17.3 points and ranked eighth in the league with 66 three-pointers. He was the conference’s No. 4 scorer and ranked 14th in rebounding (5.5 rpg). Senior Kwame Vaughn was a second team all-conference choice, earning the accolades on the basis of 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Among the Big West leaders, Vaughn ranked sixth in scoring, fifth in field goal percentage (.458) and 10th in three-point field goals made (1.9 pg). He also topped the league circuit in assists.

UC Irvine returns all five starters from its 2011-11 team that went 12-20 overall and reached the semifinals of the Big West Tournament. The Anteaters are at the top of the Big West active career leader list in points, rebounds, assists and minutes played among key categories. Senior Michael Wilder garnered All-Big West Second Team acclaim after averaging a team-best 11.5 points as well as 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He also drained 78 three-pointers for the fourth-highest total in the conference. Daman Starring, a 6-3 senior guard, was an all-conference honorable mention selection. He posted averages of 11.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Sophomore Will Davis II, a 6-8 forward/center, set a UCI single-season record with 55 blocked shots.

Rounding out the poll was Cal Poly in seventh place with 100 points, Cal State Northridge in eighth (83), UC Davis (44) and UC Riverside (43).

The media panel also selected a six-player preseason all-conference team comprised of five seniors and one sophomore. D. J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn gave Cal State Fullerton two representatives. Long Beach State’s James Ennis, UC Irvine’s Mike Wilder, Hawaii’s Vander Joaquim and Cal State Northridge’s Stephan Hicks filled out the preseason list.

Media Poll Results

1. Long Beach State (13) 194
2. Cal State Fullerton (6) 164
3. UC Irvine (1) 153
4. Hawai’i 132
5. UC Santa Barbara 129
6. Pacific (1) 113
7. Cal Poly 100
8. Cal State Northridge 83
9. UC Davis 44
10. UC Riverside 43

( ) First-place votes

Preseason Media All-Conference Team

James Ennis (Long Beach State), Guard/Forward, Senior
Stephan Hicks (Cal State Northridge), Guard/Forward, Sophomore
Vander Joaquim (Hawai’i), Center, Senior
D. J. Seeley (Cal State Fullerton), Guard, Senior
Kwame Vaughn (Cal State Fullerton), Guard, Senior
Michael Wilder (UC Irvine), Forward/Guard, Senior


  1. No 4, not bad..MBB team can work towards top 3 finish by BWC tourney time! Great Motivation..I think the staff has the team on right track and they are buying in, whomever is on practice or playing court, for now, work on their own stuff, O and D, and playing as a TEAM..it just takes 5 guys(at that time) on court playing hard, smart and together, and rebounding, D up and take care of ball, FT and FG shoot well,..UH can have success..with recent ailment, injury and eligibity issues..remaining 12 guys have chance to step up and play right away

    Hopefully come March 2013,,, team is peaking and ready to take that tourney crown!

    Go Warriors!!

  2. Would you believe that my mother’s maiden name was Seeley – I always knew that Michael got his talent from my side of the family – lol
    I can’t comment on the rest of the information – don’t know how well the media are at “rating” teams – but we are up there and the best ranking is the one at the end of the season – after the teams have proven themselves on the court!!!
    I am sure all the Warriors will be right up there!!

  3. ….Especially with Vander on our team – I can’t wait to see him “strut his stuff” on the court

  4. Aussie Mum:

    I think you are ahead 21 hrs from Hawaii Standard Time..so almost a day ahead..that is why your posts are almost instant..great,the internet and Dayton’s warriorinsider..for keeping tabs on your son and team..!!

    Well , it is always welcoming to read your comments, you are a great fan of warriorinsider and UH MBB and Michael H.

    Agree with you, when guys healthy , and Vander and upperclassmen leading freshman, as a TEAM…they can and will be successful.!

    Go Warriors, and Aussie Mum, hope Dayton has video up of the exhibition game against Hawaii Pacific University, which would be Fri Nov 2 2012 HST, at the SSC!

    Have a great day!
    And Go Warriors!!

  5. 4th is actually reasonable compared with some of those other publications. You’d have to think that the BW media has a better grasp on their teams than some of these magazines.

    Interesting thing is that the Big West has 6 slots for all-conference selections. I think Christian has a chance to squeeze in if Hawaii finishes well.

  6. “…i always knew that Michael got his basketball talent from my side of the family — LOL…”

    So True for Our Family as Well…

    For Many BW Media, Without having seen Hawai’i Play (we shared the court with a few of their teams last year)
    #4 IS a Good Starting Point, especially IF the Team Fights its way Onward and Upward…

    #1 WIN IT ALL…and
    #2 — BY Season’s End would be Great to see TWO (or more) Hawai’i Players on EACH the All-Big-West Team AND The All-Newcomer’s Team (where they often stick players that have ‘surprised’ them…)

    COACHES Poll?


    D.J.Seely,Prospective Candidate for Conference Player of the Year — as also Vander may be — hit 66 Threes last year …..EIGHTH Best in the Conference — Talk ‘Bout Run & Gun…

    GLAD we Seem to Have a Few More Gunslingers This Year
    AND They Know they Need to Play Defense to get onto TheFloor…

  7. I don’t know about 4th…with 8 freshmen on the team ?????

  8. Long Beach state is over rated!

  9. …And Seven Talented and Experienced Upper-Classmen…

    We’ll See if Long Beach Can Re-Load That Fast…
    IF SO, they may have established System…

  10. To all Warrior Fans ,we need you at the games ,especially the students , we want the place loud and rocking , dont make it easy for the other team, and join the booster club , get access to the team , the program needs a new gerneration of boosters to come and join us , the upcoming Big West tourney in Anaheim will be a blast, you can go to the UH athletics website to get more information, small or large donation, it doesn’t matter ,all are welcome and appreciated by the BB program. Mahalo

  11. I’m actually glad we’re picked fourth in the initial polls. It’s good motivation for Gid and the team.

    I honestly think the mainland media has no clue about how good this team can be. They’re viewpoint is that they see a ton of freshmen, and view that as a negative.

    If only 2 or 3 of the freshmen make an impact, then I think UH will contend for the Big West title. I think 4th place is about the worst case scenario with the depth, size, and athletes UH has this year.

  12. Yes, Long Beach is wayyy overrated. They have to replace just about their entire starting lineup this year. If Dan Monson can reload and finish top 2 in Big West, he will have done an unbelievable job.

    I think UH can win the league this year. It gets much tougher in 2013-14 because San Diego St is coming into the Big West. SDSU is a top 15 program right now and they are picked to win an very good MWC this year.

    If Gib’s freshmen develop into their potential… I can see a UH/SDSU dominated Big West for years to come.

  13. if long beach state is overrated then so are we

  14. I think UH realistically finishes middle of the pack 5th/6th because they lack a lot of experience and a reliable PG. LBSU is not overrated and will dominate the conference. Yes they graduated 4 outstanding players but they return Ennis and Caffey who starters on any other team in the BW last year. Plus they have 4 transfers that are big time. Keala King led Ariz St in scoring before they parted ways. Dan Jennings from West Virginia is a huge body down low and Edgar Garibay is a very serviceable center in the BW at 6’10. Tony Freeland from De Paul is the last transfer and he was one of the top players on De Paul before he departed also. There is no shortage of talent at LBSU but they may have a lot of chemistry issues since they are bringing in so many players that have had problems with their coaches in the past.

  15. Long Beach State has Many Talented D-1 Transfers — that means –similar to Christian Standhardinger last year and Keith Shamburger this year, they sat out the year learning Monson’s System after already being familiar and experiencd with Top Level D-1 Ball…so integrating is not nearly as difficult as with freshmen — other than potential premadonna attitudes …

    i Don’t Think LBSU or UH are “over-rated”…they’re both right at the level of their teams the last couple of years and the ‘proven’ level of their coaches…we’ll see IF the ‘new’ players and Coaching Staffs can Live Up to the Expectations…

  16. Eagle,
    I totally agree that Gib will have a bigger challenge integrating all of the new players. Christian and Jawato were here last year so they should be acclimated and familiar with what Gib runs already. LBSU should be able to reload because most of their transfers have already red shirted and have had a year to learn their system. I still think that UH will struggle at times because they don’t have a dymanic PG. As a coach I’d rather have a top notch PG over a top notch post player any day if I could only have one. In a perfect world we would have both. The one thing that the top 3 teams in the pre season poll have in common is that their best players are perimeter players (Seeley and Kwame Vaughn at CSUF, Caffey at LBSU, Wilder at UCI). Hope someone steps up who can control tempo, get the ball into the post and knock down an occasional wide open jumper when Vander commands double teams.

  17. My breakdown of the top teams in the conference:

    Long Beach State is very talented. Their PG was their backup last season and averaged about 6ppg a game. At SG, they have ASU’s leading scorer that transferred over. He was a five-star guy out of HS. At SF, they have a former high scoring JC kid that averaged 10 ppgs last year and is a defensive stopper. At PF, they have a transfer from Depaul that averaged about 9ppgs in the Big East, and at Center, a, ESPNU top 100 transfer from West Virginia. With that said, Dan Monson isn’t perfect. His first three seasons at LBSU, he had losing seasons. It wasn’t until the past two season, he won conference titles. We’ll see how that team meshes, but they are loaded with talent.

    Fullerton is more guard oriented. They have the only first team BW all-conference player returning in DJ Seeley. Their PG, Kwame Vaughn, is a scoring point that was a second teamer all-conference last year, and at SF, they have a shooter from TCU, that averaged nearly 10 ppgs a game. However, they are very weak in the frontcourt and lack size/talent. They also will be breaking in a new head coach with only nine years of D1 assistant coaching experience at Fullerton and one as DoBO at Fresno.

    – Irvine has two great all-conference level wings, but are coming off a 20-loss season.
    – UCSB has some freshmen talent and a couple of redshirts, but lost their probable leading scorer (Green) in the preseason.
    – Pacific will be well-coached, but it will be Bob Thomason’s last season at the helm. I wonder how the team will handle emotions. They are also coming off a 19-loss season. Remember, although we lost to them early last season, we had a young Shaq Stokes at PG with Joston Thomas not coming around yet.

  18. I think this year’s team will jell a lot better than last year. And we will have a more balanced scoring. The freshmen that play their roles according to what Gib wants will see playing time. Be a Josten and you will sit on the bench. Don’t try to be something you ain’t—like bombing away when you don’t have the green light or trying to be a wingman when you should be pounding down low.

    But the D is what fascinates me on this team. We got some marquee stoppers here. Would like to see the all-defensive team in there at times to disrupt the opposing teams chemistry. (All-defensive team:Garret Jefferson, Brandon Spearman, Aaron Valdez, Christian Standhardinger, Vander Joaquim)

    British Columbia Quake…’Roop?

    Hope the Molokai Farmers’ Gym is @ Higher Ground…

    Otherwise SMART of Coach GIB to Build In TEAM Familiarity with the Farmers’ Gymnasium —
    Should Minimize The RISK of Chaminade University pulling off one of their Classic Division 1 Upsets…

    Go Warriors…BOND Like Super Glue…
    Hang In there Aaron Valdes…
    Get it Right and Good, SOON NCAA….

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