Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors tame Lions with team approach

A classic effort on both ends of the court put the Hawai’i basketball team in position to win the championship of the season-opening Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic.

The Warriors relied on a balanced offense and a staunch defense to defeat Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 81-54, on the second night of the Rainbow Classic. A Sunday early-evening crowd of 5,339 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors improve to 2-0 with the win.

“Really pleased with the defensive effort for the entire game,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “But holding a team to 18 percent shooting in the second half, and 26 percent for the game, and changing up our defense from man to zone … for a team this young, I was excited to see that they could go back and forth and change it up.”

The .262 field goal percentage allowed by the Warriors was the lowest for a Hawaii opponent since the 2006-07 season.

Senior tri-captains Hauns Brereton, Vander Joaquim and Jace Tavita sparked the effort. Brereton, a 6-foot-6 wing, scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 45-38 advantage on the boards. Joaquim, a 6-10 center, finished with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in just 19 minutes. Tavita, a 6-4 point guard, had eight points, 10 assists and five rebounds.

“I think the biggest thing with this team is no one really cares about their numbers,” Tavita said. “If Hauns gets 30 one night, that’s great as long as we win. Winning is the most important thing here. I didn’t even know I had 10 assists … we won, that’s all I really care about.”

Tavita, who has sat out the last season-and-a-half after transferring from Utah, has 19 assists in his first two games as a Warrior.

“As a wingman for a point guard like Jace, I’m very glad that he’s back there,” Brereton said. “I can always trust him… He had nine assists last night and 10 tonight and that’s an impressive stat. I have full trust in Jace.”

Joaquim’s production came in a reserve role, although he appears ready to reclaim his starting spot in the middle. Arnold said he plans to start Joaquim on Monday, when the Warriors host Houston Baptist for the championship of the Rainbow Classic.

“I’m going to start him tomorrow night,” Arnold said. “I feel confident after seeing him now for 40 minutes (over two games). He’s the anchor of our team.”

Junior guard Brandon Spearman added 12 points, and junior forward Christian Standhardinger contributed 11 points and six rebounds. All 12 Hawaii players in uniform saw action, and three true freshmen scored their first collegiate points – Ozren Pavlovic (four points, five rebounds), Manroop Clair (three points, two assists) and Michael Harper (three points).

The Warriors shot 49.1 percent from the field, and went 11 of 24 (45.8 percent) from 3-point range.

Interestingly enough, the Golden Lions opened the game with an 8-3 lead and appeared to stymie the Warriors with their zone defense. Hawaii eventually rallied and closed the first half with an 8-0 run to take a 33-27 lead at intermission.

The second half was all Warriors, as they stepped up the defensive pressure and picked up the offensive pace.

“I told them I don’t even want to call a play in the second half,” Arnold said. “I wanted to be what we call ‘race.’ Race is running off missed shots, and for the most part, we did that. We were able to cause misses – a bunch of them – and get out and run.”

The Warriors opened the second half with a 16-5 surge in the first four minutes to increase the lead to 49-32. The Golden Lions would not get closer than 12 the rest of the game.

“I think it was the fact that Jace and Spearman and Christian all knocked down 3s to open up the zone,” Brereton said. “And also Vander coming in because we were having trouble getting in the paint, but Vander came in and owned it.”

Next up for the Warriors is Houston Baptist, which is also 2-0 in the Rainbow Classic. The game is scheduled to start at 11 p.m. as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. All fans attending the game are encouraged to wear black shirts for “Black Out Night” in the Sheriff Center.

(Game photos courtesy Charles Simmons)




  1. Way to go Warriors. So great to see the team working together and spreading the points across. The boards look good too. For a young team they are very wise on the court. As the season goes on and experience under belt what an even greater force they will become. This year is going to be fun to watch!
    Go Warriors!

  2. So if Vander is starting tonight does that mean Fotu is on the bench? That’s disappointing because Fotu has been really good on offense and active defensively. I get it though, it is Vander’s team. This is a great problem to have, too many good players to start.

    GO BOWS!

  3. Gib is going to need to trim the rotation to 8-9 players to be the most effective (like what we saw last night). With Vander getting his starting spot back, that means Fotu will be the 6th man. The great part about having depth at the bigs is that they all can play more aggressively. Jefferson could be limited to a defensive spot roll if an opponent is running hot.

    I like the BIG rotation: Vander or Fotu, Standhardinger, Brereton, Oz, Tavita. That will cause some mismatches in the Big West (who generally lacks size). The length will dominate the boards and hopefully disrupt the perimeter shooting the Big West is known for.

  4. This looks like an unselfish bunch of players. They just want to win. Keep focusing and continue the energy tonite.


  5. Game 2:

    1. Front line of Joaquim, Fotu, Standhardinger dominated.
    2. Brereton and Spearman giving very good scoring and effort.
    3. Point Guard Play
    a. Tavita, 50% shooting, 8 points, 10 assists (outstanding), 6 turnovers (ouch). Assessment: He was wide open so often, but on a couple of times he hesitated.
    b. Clair, 1 for 2 from the field, a 3 trey. 2 assists, 1 turnover in 13 minutes. Not a bad outing considering his 2nd game. Played within himself and tried to look for his teammates. I want him to shoot more.
    c. Jefferson, 2 points, 1 assist on only 3 minutes. His time will come.

    You could see the first 2 opponents are not too strong so at least the Rainbow Warriors just took care of business. I anticipate UH will dominate tonight too. You know the competition will get tougher with the next game against Big 10 Illinois. The team needs to continue to improve, especiallly in the backcourt. But, there is definitely depth. Of the freshman, I think Fotu, Clair, and Pavlovic will have the most impact this year. I really like Aaron Valdes who is sitting out this year. I hope Dressler will use the redshirt year to improve his skills and get stronger so he can contribute next year. Harper will get limited minutes in mop up situations (I don’t think he’s on scholarship). Enos was on the sideline so I don’t know if he’s redshirting too (he’s a walk-on). Jawato only got 1 minute and I hope he’s not the forgotten man. He can shoot the basketball. He’s only going to get limited minutes playing behind Spearman, Brereton, and Standhardinger.

    The top on the depth chart as I see it.
    1. Joaquim, C, Sr.
    2. Brereton, SF, Sr.
    3. Standhardinger, SF/PF, Jr.
    4. Spearman, SG, Jr.
    5. Tavita, PG, Sr.
    6. Fotu, PF, Fr.
    7. Clair, PG, Fr.
    8. Jefferson, PG/Defensive Stopper, Jr.
    9. Pavlovic, SF, Fr.
    10. Jawato, SG, RFr.
    11. Rozitis, C, Jr.
    12. Harper, SG/SF, Fr.

    Next year, Keith Shamburger and Clair will be the PG. Actualy, Clair can also play the SG position too. Valdes will vie with Pavlovic to take over Brereton’s spot along w/ maybe Michael Thomas. Dressler should take over at C as Rozitis to me is the hatchet man. We can always add a very athletic player.

  6. Let’s do a little reviewing. After last season we lost the following:
    Miah Ostrowski, Zane Johnson, Bobby Miles, Shaquille Stokes, Josten Thomas, Trever Wiseman. Did I leave something out? This year’s new comers are Christian Stanhardinger, Issac Fotu, Brandon Spearman, Manroop Clair, Ozren Pavlovic, Micahel Harper, Brandon Jawato, and Jace Tavta. I would say the new team is a lot, lot better. And we still have Aaron Valdes, Caleb Dressler, Keith Shamburger, and Enos in the wings next year. Can Aaric Armstead going be to able to make it to Hawaii? Will Blakes ever make it to Hawaii? Is there a sleeper recruit out there? Michael Thomas and 2 other commits from California also for next year (some for redshirts).

  7. unless a current player leaves, the Gibper is out of scholarships. In fact it looks like he offered MT and the other 2 from Cali I’m not certain because there’s only 1 scholarship open if everyone stays onboard. So out of them 2 one is not getting a scholarship offer. Only 2 scholarships opening up with the departure of Joaquim and Brereton, Jace is a walk-on.

  8. The Newest Three should be making it official in writing this week–
    (+ Mystery Recruit somewhere?)

    Then we can hear what Gib thinks they could contribute
    (He IS the Most Reliable and Accurate Evaluator of Talent and Potential currently around the program….)

    After only two games, seems Hard to “Replace” Jace (9.5 assists per game), Hauns (19 ppg) and Vander…
    (Plus anyone else who decides they might have a better situation elsewhere)….

    BUT it will be Replaced by a Talented 1 through 16 who generally ALL improve And Understand & Execute the Systems Better… they ought to be pretty good this year …

    AND Likely Killer Next Year…


    ON Rotation Above, Might move Ozren above Garrett in 3 or 4 out of five games…
    GIB referred to him Last Night as “Our Best Shooter…”
    (he’ll make up for Last Night’s Missed Threes pretty quick…)

  9. Like Fotu, Ozren is a freshman with a lot of poise. And because of his versatility he will be called upon a lot to relieve the PF, SF, and SG players. From this game I can see the big three starting to appear from the bench in Fotu, Ozren, and Manroop. The learning curve continues to go up with each game. Team is starting to gel (Especially defense}. They got a lot more upside considering Vander is only about 3/4 speed and strength. But even at that their defenders could not keep him out of the low paint. And I feel that because this year’s team is well rounded and each capable of scoring from the outside, Vander won’t see so much double and triple teaming. If one on one he will lick his chops every game. He had couple baskets near the end of the game where he stood right under the basket and just dropped it in. That happened cause the defender either was out of gas or just gave up trying to keep him out. Tonight’s the championship game and am certain we’lll see a championship effort from the team.

  10. I really like this freshmen group. Gib did mention that Ozi is the most “skilled” player on the team on the post game radio interview last night. Once guys like Fotu, Ozi, and Manroop get even more comfortable under the lights, this team is going to be very good and deep.

    Another thing I noticed is that Jace is much quicker now. Gib said on Artie’s show last week that Jace dropped 20 pounds since the beginning of summer. It is starting to show in his play.

  11. i believe ozren is starting how hauns started last season..”cold”….once he gets comfortable and finds his shot he’ll be better than hauns….spearman has a bad hitch in his free throw has to knock down shots…standhardinger would be unstoppable if he could get off the ground…clair needs more minutes….fotu will be fine….not sure how jawato will pan out…i think he would benefit more on a d2 team….sucks for jefferson and will never be a point and i guess he didn’t get a reliable shot during the offseason….illinois show us our flaws

  12. i think Oz will explode “Soon”…
    Soon as he does Jace & Manroop will find him…

    Then he ‘never’ stops….

    He’ll make Bo Barnes look like a Beginner…

    Mike Harper will catch fire, too, just maybe not as often…

    Nice Shots, these guys…

  13. wow!!!! watching davidson and new mexico….can’t wait till we play like that…just running and offense never standing still and just super exciting…by the looks of it they would wreak havoc against us

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