Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors win Rainbow Classic on ESPN late-night

The Hawai’i men’s basketball team again proved to be an overnight success, racing past Houston Baptist, 73-60, in the wee hours Monday/Tuesday to win the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic.

Vander Joaquim scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his first start of the season, Brandon Spearman added 15 points and Christian Standhardinger contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Warriors improved to 3-0 heading into Friday’s 7:30 p.m. home game against Illinois.

An energetic and festive “Blackout” crowd of about 2,500 at the Stan Sheriff Center showed up for Monday’s 11:05 p.m. start, which was part of ESPN’s annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Houston Baptist fell to 2-1. UH has won all three of its Tip-Off Marathon games during head coach Gib Arnold’s tenure.

“I’m really happy to be wearing this new hat,” said Arnold, sporting a black tournament baseball cap with “CHAMPION” embroidered in gold on the side. “It feels good to win a championship, and it’s important for this team to learn how to win.”

Joaquim, a 6-foot-10 senior center, played 19 minutes in each of UH’s first two games after recovering from a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee suffered Sept. 29 and logged 26 minutes against Houston Baptist. He scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds by halftime as the Warriors jumped out to a comfortable 38-23 lead.

Joaquim drained a 19-footer from the top of the key to break a 6-6 tie and start Hawai’i on a 10-0 run capped by Brandon Spearman’s 3-pointer which put the Warriors ahead, 16-6, with 12:41 remaining in the first half. Joaquim later scored a layup followed by a three-point play with 4:25 left to give UH a 29-14 lead.

“I just have to thank my teammates, we played great team basketball,” Joaquim said. “They kept finding me, and Jace did a great job getting me the ball. We work through each other, and that’s what it’s all about.”

The Warriors maintained control despite a slow start by small forward Hauns Brereton, who scored a combined 39 points in the first two games but missed his first six field goal attempts — including three from beyond the arc — in the first half. Spearman, a 6-3 junior transfer from Indian Hills Community College, picked up the slack by scoring 10 first-half points on 4-for-5 shooting.

“Nobody has to lean on anybody (for scoring) on this team,” Spearman said. “Anyone is capable of scoring 10 or 15 points, and I’m glad I was able give the team the push it needed.”

Hawai’i still shot a decent 15 for 31 (48.4 percent) from the field in the first half despite making just 1 of 7 from 3-point range.

“Our greatest advantage will be our bigs,” Arnold said. “I’d be more worried if those guys started missing shots inside. Our offense is going to run from the inside-out, and if we start hitting from outside, that really opens things up inside. If we’re gonna be competitive, we gotta have both things working.”

The Warriors stretched the lead to 55-35 seven minutes into the second half and 70-48 with 4:10 remaining, and the Huskies never got closer than 71-60 with 36 seconds left.

Brereton hit both of his second-half field goal attempts and was 6 for 6 from the line to finish with 11 points and six rebounds.

“Even when Hauns is not shooting well, he stretches the defense because they have to guard him out there,” Arnold said.

Senior point guard Jace Tavita had eight assists and is now averaging nine assists per game.

Joaquim was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after tallying 46 points and 21 rebounds in the three games of the Rainbow Classic. He was joined by Standhardinger, Spearman and Brereton on the All-Tournament Team. Standhardinger was Hawai’i’s top scorer in the tournament with 52 points in three games, followed by Brereton with 50.

Houston Baptist was led by Art Bernardi’s 22 points. He was also named to the All-Tournament Team and led the tournament in scoring with 53 points.

(Photos courtesy Charles Simmons)




  1. Another nice win for the Bows. I still feel like our guards have a way to go but the starting point is much higher than I initially thought.

  2. Congratulations on winning the Rainbow Classic! Thanks to WI for posting the highlights for those of us that couldn’t make it to the game! Great interviews with coach and players!

  3. Great highlights and write-ups here and during the entire weekend.

    Congrats to the four warriors on the all-tournament team: Hauns, Brandon, Christian, and Vander.

    Already looking forward to Friday versus Illinois.

  4. Good job guys!
    I love the hustle and energy this team has.

  5. 3 very impressive wins… yes, the competition wasn’t the best, but I haven’t seen a UH team dominate opponents this convincingly in a very long time.

    Everybody needs to pack the SSC for Illinois on Friday… anything less than 8,000 attendance will be disappointing. If UH fans can’t show up for Friday night game vs a major conference team, then there’s no hope for UH fan support.

    Illinois has a very experienced team (4 returning starters), but have a new coaching staff. So not sure what to expect from them. I see that they don’t have much depth, and don’t have much size, so I think UH will be able to pound it inside with Vander and hopefully he can get their frontline in foul trouble.

    This is the best UH team in over 10 years (maybe longer), fans need to be excited in the direction of the UHMBB program and start making the drive to SSC.

  6. Former UH athlete,

    I hope the fans come out for the Friday game. Illinois is a very good team, and it should be an exciting game. Four of their five starters are top 100 players out of HS. They are not your typical bottom-barreled high major. That roster is filled with elite players.

    Still, I’m thinking we might be able to catch them thinking ahead for the Maui Invitational that they’re playing next week. Brandon Spearman will also definitely show up for this match-up. It will be an interesting game.

  7. Congratulations Warriors!!!

  8. Was able to be at the SSC 2 out of the 3 games over the weekend. I’m preaching to the choir, but although the competition wasn’t the best, UH played inspiringly. Off of hustle plays alone UH will score a ton of points. Jace has been getting “cracks” from everybody, but I think his vision is pretty damn good. He just has to get the ball there. Get in the gym and get some extra shots up too. Otherwise Jace controlled the offense well. 27 assists in three games.

    What else can be said about the frontline. Animal!!!!!

    Glad to see a lot of the freshmen getting PT.

    UH fans, go and support these guys. They bleed their hearts out. I’ve been a big fan of UH BBall and even went to support the terrible Nash years. This team currently and in years to come will be great. Show the support and it’ll translate to the community, the program, the university, and recruits. Lets get some younger people in there too. I’m 36 and I think I was yelling louder than a lot of the co-eds. Mansu Mansu UH!!!

  9. Great weekend and awesome wins. 2nd time around Hauns Brereton!
    Go Warriors!

  10. Some thoughts from this games this past weekend:

    Jace needs to cut his TO’s. His ball handling is spotty, and smaller, quicker guards will expose him. He makes great decisions at times, but is very stagnant and dribbles the ball too much during key stretches of the game.
    He has great vision and he has a nice stroke, and shots will eventually fall for him because he doesn’t force them. As the PG, he needs to take the shot when the play clock is running low. He’s been dumping it down to Vander a few times, who needs to do a series of post-moves or pump fakes to get his shot off, then the shotclock expires.

    I’m looking for Spearman to really step up against Illinois. Going against the banner school of his home state, look for him to have a well-rounded or breakout game. I’m really impressed by his motor and his quick cuts towards the basket. He’s not a streaky shooter either, he can hit the open looks. Jace and Clair need to find him more often on the run or when he’s spotting up.

    Vander is looking good off that injury. If he stays out of foul trouble, he’s the best player on the floor. Best thing about him is his ability to make FT’s. It’s going to be huge as he gets double-teamed during the season.

    Fotu will be the best player on this team in two years; and one of the best big men in the country.
    His footwork as a freshman is unreal. Very composed with the post moves and has soft hands. Great rebounder and defender. I’m impressed by how adavanced he is as a freshman. His future is bright.

    Christian is the x-factor. He’s Mr. Hustle. If he can get his outside shot going, he can take over the game. Defenders will respect his jumper, which will open up drives in to the lane. He’s going to benefit from all the attention going to Vander.

    Hauns is Hauns. Best shooter and scorer on the team. I think he will drop 40 in a game this season.

    GIb Arnold: Please consider giving Jefferson more PT. He is a lock-down defender and most athletic guy on the team. I love his energy and tenacity. He is going to be crucial when stopping a 20ppg scorer on the opposition. I would like to see him come in before Ozren. Ozren looks lost at times in the offense. Jefferson is a type of player not many teams have.

  11. Observations after 3 games.
    1. The strength of this team is the front line with Joaquim, Standhardinger, and Fotu. Rozitis only plays if at least 2 of them is in foul trouble. But, at least, he adds depth, just in case.
    2. Spearman and Brereton have beeen steady every game. Pavlovic, keep working hard on his game. His outside shooting will come in handy sooner or later and win a game or two.
    3. The top 5 players are averaging about 60-65 points per game.
    4..Team free throw shooting is running around 70%. Not bad, but they can improve to between 70-75%. That would be very good.
    5. Backcourt hasn’t been a liability yet, but we’ll see against Illinois who is a couple notches up the other 3 teams so far. Concerned Tavita giving too many TOs, and when teams pack it in against our front line, he is going to have to make them pay and hitting his shots from the outside. The jury is still out. Which comes to Manroop Clair who have been getting more minutes and I can see that he is growing so much and his confidence is up. He, by far, is the best outside shooter along w/ Hauns and maybe Ozren and I can see he is going to start lighting it up. As a group the PGs have been averaging about 10-12 points per game which below average. Good is about 15-17 points per game.

    Overall, team is averaging about 75 -76 points per game. Based on how they play and run the floor it is reasonable that the team can score about that amont every game. Defensively, so far so good, but we haven’t played a good team yet. Gotta continue to work hard. I’d like to get more steals and we have to win the rebounding margin. I see the team winning a lot of games this year and I saw the potential in the returning players and the new recruits. Issac Fotu will be a great tight end, just like a former very basketball player named, Antonio Gates of the SD Chargers. Fotu will make a lot of money in the NFL if he chooses after college. He’s got great hands and moves like a gazelle.

  12. Great win guy!!….never stop improving, cutting down turnovers(unforced), keeping teams honest by hitting mid range to 3 line ..No question im my mind the 13 guys on roster have bought into TEAM…very sefl evident, they support each other..BWC, will have perimeter guys putting pressure on them all night, Now is the time to take care of ball, and advance the ball to get into sets, by proper spacing, screens, and passing, rather than dribbling..avoiding

    double teams and traps..actually Gib and staff, I know, they are going over video to address this young team’s issues of taking care of ball…in BWC, they will dominate inside,,,the perimeter game, if they can stay with BWC teams on the outside, on D and O,…UH MBB can have a very, very , good seasonn..hey it is only 3 games in..and a big one at the SSC this Friday Nov.16 2012 at 700 pm HST..should be a great test…If Hawaii plays that

    outstanding indidvidual and TEAM D with inside out game, and running game clicking and the sixth man of about 6000 plus fans…they can beat an athletic BIG …Big Ten team…Keep getting better guys…your effort from 1 to 12, and hopefully Dyrbe gets in too, is a delight to watch, no head hangers. prima donnas, or ego trippers.. how

    refreshing from last year!! P.S. Garrett Jefferson and Brandon Jawato , keep your heads up high, your PT will come..Team will need lock down D and a spot up 3 shooter ,..to make a comeback in a key BWC game..Go Warriors..we are very proud of you guys..from 13 active roster players… to 3 RS’s….all they want to do is have some fun…and WIN!!!

  13. So stoked for these guys, for this TEAM! They’ll be riding high into Friday’s match-up for sure so those Illini better watch out! Looking forward to seeing them go 4 – 0 and start getting some national attention!

  14. The best thing that has happened to this year’s team is: That Josten Thomas decided not to return to try to get a pro contract. Thomas played in spurts, he was very good at times, but bad at other times. He tried to jack it up sometimes when he’s not a 3 pt shooter. He made some bad fouls, he didn’t shoot FT very well, and he turnoveedr over the ball too much. But he could score from the inside well. His spot in the rotation is now taken up by Issac Fotu. What do you think? And don’t remember, Thomas could get moody and he was somewhat a head case which I think Gib Arnold was pulling his hair, what’s left of it. We move on and we go forward with a bunch of great teammates now. Nobody is a prima donna. Everybody roots of each other. Isn’t it refreshing.

  15. Derek:

    Your assessment is correct. Guys that want to be here, and will work with coaches and team as a team and for the team will do well. The guys who , had issues, did not want to be here, or felt they had to go back home..It really doesn’t matter if Gib is the coach, Shoji, Chow, Trapasso, Beeman, Coolen, would feel the same way..if

    the student athletes feel not the right fit, or they try to make coaches and program change for their own personal gain agenda, well UH and the athletic program will help them to transfer in good academic stead, or they can pursue a professional career..happily, most of the UH athletes, from around the globe and country, like the Hawaii experience , it is very unique..Yes, Derek, these young men on UH MBB team like each other,,,still

    young season, they will get better, and we fans from Aussie Mum to Tonganator, to Memphis, to
    Zagreb Crew, to Pride of Chicago to Kapalama Heights Kamehameha schools, will back them up and support them..A TEAM of 13 guys on same page, and playing at peak level come March will be contending for BWC tourney championship and hopefully auto bid to NCAA or NIT…It is refreshing….some guys on UH MBB bench

    have to work on scout team or practice, just be ready, i.e. Ozi, Jawato, Jefferson, Davis, even Dyrbe..there might be a game or stretch of games where they will make the difference, by their D, or 3 ball shooting, or hitting key FT’s or getting that block shot , steal or assist..You win as a team and you graciously lose with class…These young guys are proving so far , to be high character, classy young men, who want team to win first and

    foremost..hopefully they win a lot this year!! And , if there is any injury/ailment, or academic issue with guys in front of the bench, well…that is their chance..everyone, 1 through 13 be ready gang…Gib could call your number at any time…to help UH MBB and the State of Hawaii win..!! Go Rainbow Warriors…!!

  16. And Aussie Mum…lest we forget, and my apologies , I did..that left handed , deep 3 ball threat Michael ‘Arper(Harper)tell Michael , be ready, if Gib needs him at anytime, to step in ….he will get the call, and probably, help win a key game for UH at home or on the road!!

  17. Derek,

    I understand that there is a long history for UHMBB and that perhaps recent history has not been kind to the fans – but moving forward is the best remedy and it looks to me that everyone is moving forward together here – Coaches, support staff, players, fans, WI, university students and the feeling is positive and compelling (I can feel it all the way down here) as Tonganator will agree I am sure.

    Uhfanzonly1 – I know you will never forget me – even when you leave me of the list!!! lol


  18. Oh! and PS: I am not sure who Wes is or where he fits in but thanks sooo much for the update Wes from Down Under – we all really appreciate the effort that you guys put in!

    Uhfanzonly1 – I meant off the list – I think my eyes are going buggy!!!

  19. Mahalo Aussie Mum,

    I’m a lifelong UH basketball fan, former season ticket-holder, former Honolulu Advertiser sports reporter just trying to helping Dayton & Co. with WI coverage when I can.

    Thanks for reading!

  20. Sorry, I meant “just trying to help” … my eyes are going buggy, too.

  21. Wes, you guys are amazing – I hope Dayton shared his Tim Tams with you!!! Or do I need to send another package over?

  22. Great Series. It is fun to watch the young players develope their confidence each game. Leaving Roop in at the end will play dividends later in the season.

    I would like to see Davis Rozitis get a few minutes in the first half. He is the tallest player, and gives us a different look. He contributes a lot to the team, off the floor, so why not reward him a little on the floor.

  23. expected wins but still congratulate the warriors….any team can lose to anyone at given time….hopefully the fans come out for the illionois game…i doubt 8000 maybe 5200 with 6400 tickets sold

  24. Davis, needs to play more aggessive and with Vander, Chris and Fotu ahead of him, there’s no way he will get many minutes unless those three are in foul trouble. I’ve never seen a 7 footer miss soo many dunks in my life before.

  25. Seth Sundberg used to miss a lot (probably moreso with the rod/stiffener in his back)

    Davis has way more skills, mobility, better shots/form…
    Those Dunks “might” just be a lack of focus to finish …
    little bit leg stiff but don’t see any obvious mechanical reasons…


    Might be difficult to maintain the minutes with the step-up in competition coming (Illinois, N.Dakota, UNLV)
    But DO Like that Fotu (~25 mpg), Manroop (10 mpg) and Ozren (8 mpg) are getting pretty decent playing time;
    esp. since their ‘game shots’ haven’t kicked in yet…
    Although All “beginners” their defense is already looking decent…
    The Big Three First Freshmen provide some serious matchup problems
    Esp. since Fotu & Ozi can play 2 through 4…

    Although i’ve seen it commented on numerous times, it IS Amazing How it looks like you can see their improvement right in the game, right beforre your eyes ….

  26. Thanks Wes for helping out with the reporting, really appreciated and totally agree with Aussie mum. Had the Ohana over watching the late night games, awesome game guys. Bring it on again this Friday night. We will be tuning in again.

  27. OK so we played Maryland Eastern Shore and not the Univ of Maryland Terrapins…we played the Univ of Arkansas Pine-Bluff and not the Univ of Arkansas Razorbacks…we played Houston Baptist and not the Univ of Houston Cougars…but it beats being 3-0 vs 0-3. GREAT START GUYS…helps us take our minds off the football team till next year !!!!!

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