Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warrior freshmen lead rout of East Tennessee State


This time of year really is for the young. The Hawai’i basketball team proved it on Sunday when it started three freshmen and ran away with an 84-61 victory over East Tennessee State on the second day of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

A late afternoon crowd of around 4,000 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors improve to 6-4, and advance to the consolation title game for the third consecutive year. Hawai’i will face Mississippi for fifth place in the eight-team tournament at 11:30 a.m. on Christmas Day.

Senior center Vander Joaquim led five Warriors in double-figure points with 23, and he also grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists. Junior forward Christian Standhardinger added 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting, and grabbed12 rebounds.

“Coach made a couple of (lineup) changes, but it didn’t matter,” Joaquim said. “We were just ready and had a good performance.”

It was the play of the Hawai’i freshmen that seemed to spark spirited effort. Point guard Manroop Clair, shooting guard Brandon Jawato and forward Isaac Fotu were the freshmen starters alongside Joaquim and Standhardinger.

Clair responded with 15 points, including 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range, and passed for a team-high five assists. Fotu finished with 14 points and a team-high 14 rebounds. Jawato contributed four points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists.


“I’m a big guy on matchups, so two things went into my decision on (starting) Manroop,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “In watching East Tennessee State, because of our size, I thought we’d see a lot of zone. Although we hadn’t seen it in the games, I see it every day in practice – Manroop can shoot the ball. I figured he could give us that extra shooter against the zone.

“I also felt that we’re not going to be an at-large birth team to the NCAA tournament. We’re going to have to win three games at the end at the Big West Tournament if we want a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament … we need to understand that our best basketball needs to be played in March. If you look at it that way, I really feel that Manroop Clair and Brandon Jawato and Ozren (Pavlovic) need to feel comfortable in the end of the Big West Conference and so they need more minutes.”

Fotu is already an established starter, but Clair and Jawato were both making their first collegiate starts. Clair entered the game averaging fewer than eight minutes per game, but he played 30 against the Buccaneers.

“I was kind of tired today; my butt hurts right now,” Clair said. “It’s a good feeling but as long as we got the W, that’s all that matters.”

The Warriors dominated the game in virtually every phase, including a 49-26 advantage in rebounding. Hawaii shot 50.7 percent from the field, including 43.5 percent (10 for 23) from 3-point range. The undersized Bucs shot 3 4.3 percent from the field, and went 6 for 23 from 3-point range (26.1 percent). The Warriors also passed for a season-high 22 assists.

ETSU played most of the game with a four-guard lineup and 6-foot-7 Hunter Harris in the post. The Warriors countered by starting three “bigs” – 6-10 Joaquim, 6-8 Standhardinger, and 6-8 Fotu.


“We just came prepared to play and the guards gave us the ball,” Joaquim said. “We’re much stronger and bigger inside so you have to go inside. That’s what we did tonight.”

The Warriors opened the game with a 23-9 lead and never looked back. The Hawaii lead was 34-22 at halftime, then the Warriors turned it into a rout with a 12-0 run to open the second half that increased the lead to 46-22.

The victory came less than 24 hours after the Warriors suffered their biggest loss of the season, 73-58, to Miami (FL) on the opening night of the Diamond Head Classic.

“Give the guys a lot of credit for rebounding on a tough turnaround time and a tough loss,” Arnold said. “We felt like we let our fans down a little bit, but our attitude, energy and effort were great tonight. Good for the guys. They needed that and they earned it.”

Junior guard Brandon Spearman was the fifth Warrior in double-figures with 10 points.

Jarvis Jones and Rashawn Rembert led ETSU with 14 points each. The Bucs dropped to 2-9 and will play for seventh place in the tournament on Tuesday.

(Game photos courtesy Charles Simmons)




Sunday’s Results

No. 18 San Diego State 62, Indiana State 55
No. 4 Arizona 69, Miami 50
Hawai’i 84, East Tennessee State 61
Mississippi 85, San Francisco 78

Tuesday’s Schedule
9 a.m. – East Tennessee State vs. San Francisco for seventh place
11:30 a.m. – Hawai’i vs. Mississippi for fifth place
2:30 p.m. – Indiana State vs. Miami for third place
4:30 p.m. – No. 18 San Diego State vs. No. 4 Arizona for championship


  1. Kudos and props to Roop, B-Jawato, Frotu, and Ozi, and just wait Michael Harper for your number to be called, to drop a few high arc 3 bombs on the BWC road games..NO FEAR guys..!!

    Gib: thanks for recruiting and stabilizing a great group of student athletes who , though being far from home..are truly Hawaii TEAM players..wish you success in BWC season and hope you all get that BWC tourney title with a chance to dance!!

    See, frosh, Gib said, whoever working it in practice and execute with effort and effectiveness in game, would play, no matter freshman or senior..

    Go Warriors, ..and Mahalo and thanks to Clair, Jawato, Pavlovic, Dressler, Enos, Fotu, and Harper Ohanas(families)..an international group of Warrior BB players and students..a great bunch!

    Go Rainbow Warriors…Freshman, keep getting stronger, NO FEAR, and gain experience, get stronger, faster, and raise BBIQ..you all will be awesome, as season progresses and in years to come!!

  2. ALSO BIG Mahalo , thank you to Aaron Valdes for sticking it out , and getting cleared by NCAA, and RS this year..can’t wait to see you, Airon and Michael “hi flyer” Thomas, rockin the rims next year!!

    Thank you to the Valdes family too, for sharing Aaron V. with UH MBB team!!

  3. Jaws and The Roop looked like a great combo in the back court although against a lesser foe. For Frosh, their d looked fairly good, they got fresh legs and they play fast. And although Roop got his handles picked once or twice and a couple of to’s he brings that added dimension to the offense which Tavita and Jefferson lacks. Both Tavita and Jefferson have their strong points, but Roop has the potential to do better given some time. He needs to learn how to break the inbounds full court press. Coach em up Coach!

  4. Coach Arnold saw that he needed to change the lineup. Give him credit for that. We also learned that Brandon Spearman is a terrific 6th man and brings a lot of energy. Rozitis gives good minutes. Ozi appears to be a step slow and his defensive stance is too far apart. Needs to be quicker. He will learn. Hauns, garret, and, Jace need to work on their shooting. They are thinking too much. It’s mental. Gotta let it fly, no hesitation. Gotta be confident, gotta be unconscious. Gotta be quick, but don’t hurry.

    In one game we saw what Jawato and Clair can bring to the table. They compete, play hard, have energy, they’re young, they can shoot, they make mistakes, they are freshman. Gib has found something, 3 freshman starters. Let’s see how this lineup does against Ole Miss tomorrow.

  5. Thanks once again Dayton, the team and all the sponsors for an amazing work you are doing to make this website very informative and the quality is outstanding.

    Well, my kids and I have had an amazing time here in your beautiful Island of Hawaii. We are leaving tonight, and will have Christmas over the Pacific Ocean somewhere as we will cross the date line and will arrive home on 26th!!!!
    I got to see and experience for myself where Isaac will be spending his college life and I can return home satisfied. I have met a lot of the local fans who have just come up to say aloha.

    Thanks everyone for making us feel welcomed, the coaches and staff. Big thank you to the Akana Ohana for their hospitality and my family here in the Island for their support.

    I got to meet Aussie mum as we watched the two games, she got the Tim Tams for the boys. Good timing going into the BWC tournament (i am sure she mentioned that she has enough to last).

    Have a blessed and happy holidays everyone. I shall watch the next game on ESPN and can say I sat at the SSC only a day ago!!


  6. Tonganator & family,

    Have a Safe trip back home, Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!
    From reading your posts Issac comes from a very caring family. And, The well wishes goes to you too Aussie Mom! Both Great kids, well all the players are!

  7. Uhfanzonly1 thank you for the wonderful comments about Aaron (Airon). We are all excited about this year’s team and can’t wait for next year. The future looks real bright for Hawaii MBB and we are real happy to be a part of it. Dayton keep up the great work of keeping us informed. We always look forward to your team updates. Merry Christmas and blessing to all in Hawaii especially the staff, players, parents and students of UH.

  8. So very happy, I echo pocho’s comments, Manu , Ella and Jacob, great Ohana for Isaac. Isaac very good student athlete and person. Great Fotu Ohana, Have safe trip back to New Zealand, and hope you will come with your wife and other family members next year!

    Aussie Mum, maybe you are hitting the surf! North Shore kind of big, East shores too, South could be head high, have fun, and I am sure Michael is elated having MUM here with her Tim Tams..Glad that you made it!..The first official parent of a UH MBB team player to see Warriors play at SSC..!

    Aloha to Tonganator and Aussie Mum, The weather is beautiful, very mild, and a great DH classic, ..have a safe end of 2012 and look forward to your posts and comments in 2013!

    Go Warrior Nation(Tonganator and Aussie Mum, Ozi Mum, and else where around the globe)!!

  9. Glad we can re post and edit!! Aussie Mum, first parent of an Australian athlete to watch son be part of Warrior BB team and participate in game at SSC in my memory..Kudos and props to you Aussie Mum!! Have a great stay!!

    Aussie Mum, maybe you are hitting the surf! North Shore kind of big, East shores too, South could be head high, have fun, and I am sure Michael is elated having MUM here with her Tim Tams..Glad that you made it!..The first official parent from Australia that I can think of a UH MBB team player to see Warriors play at SSC..!

  10. TribeVx4:

    No problem, just hearing and seeing video updates and clips with Aaron..one can tell he is a very good young man, who has a great family and upbringing..We all look forward not only to this year..also next year and several years to come..with Aaron, “Airon”, and Michael Thomas, there will be some great athletic D and hi flyers..very exciting stuff..Best wishes to your family, (Ohana in Hawaiian) from the Warrior Insider nation!!

    Go Warriors, and keep up the good work Dayton..you are keeping parents, friends and family members informed on their sons careers here, in real time..Dayton you are way, way ahead of local Media outlets, on MBB information..Gib , let’s you, and we are thankful be the INSIDER to what is going on, so on behalf, of many older and younger fans locally who cannot be in person at practices or at games, and global fanbase..MAHALO, thank you.
    Have a great rest of 2012 Dayton, and look forward to Jan through hopefully late, late March Madness!!

    Go Warriors(and thank you TribeVx4 for your kind words for ALL posts and contributors to this site, we are a MBB OHANA,…warrior insider nation!!)

  11. Wish Aaron could play this year, but it’s best for him and the team in the long run that he redshirts.

  12. I was glad to see Michael Harper get into the game with over five minutes remaining, it was fun to watch him play with the other freshmen.

  13. Hi everyone,

    The basketball is a blast – I have been thoroughly enjoying myself – I can cheer as loudly as I want to and nobody here seems to mind. Everyone is sooo friendly and I can tell you all that those Akana brothers are even more handsome in real life – I also met their father and can definitley see where they get their looks from. And Brandyn’s father-in-law is such a sweetie – he took really good care of us all at the basketball..

    It was great to see Manroop out there on the court – gaining confidence by the minute and I had goose bumps all over me when I saw Michael on the court playing – what a privilege!!!!!! I am soo lucky to be his mum.

    I have Tim Tams for all so if DK, Derek, Uhfanzonly1, pocho see me at the basketball……come see me, I would love to meet my fellow WI bloggers.

    Lots of Love and a Merry Christmas to you all,

    PS – Hey Aaron’s family – good to hear from you all.

    Keep playing hard and fast warriors!

  14. Coach Gib came up with a good plan on shuffling the line up. Now, if they match the energy and focus on to tomorrow’s game, that would be great.
    Go Warriors!

  15. 2012-2013 SCHEDULE Ole Miss Basketball
    9-2 Conf.
    0-0 Home
    7-0 Away
    1-1 Neutral

    Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
    12/22/12 vs. Indiana State Honolulu, Hawaii L, 87-85 (OT)

    Gib and scout, I guess we might see a new starting five, possibly tomorrow, or maybe not..SEC type quick strong athletes..! with UH maybe different 5 off the bench? up to Gib….UH at home in the morning, so UH MBB team should have energy, attitude and effort..Go get em Warriors!!

    Ole Miss, good athletes, SEC type players, I don’t see 6’10 and 6’11” posts..though 6’7″ to 6’9″ athletes down low..who can rebound and score..block shots…they get a lot of steals…though, Indiana St. beat them in first round,..the Indiana St team is a pretty good one…Ole Miss stats for season….42.3 rebounds per game , 64 block shots, 109 steals, 82.2 pts per game…446 FG%
    81-259 .313 three point %…175-268 .653 FT’s and percentage

    Ole Miss. look like some could play, or maybe have played on Ole Miss football team..anyways, UH NO FEAR, Attitude, Energy and Effort..go for broke and get that 5th place trophy and launch yourselves into BWC play this Sat Dec 29 2012!!

  16. You’re right about Ole Miss having SEC-caliber talent. Took a quick look at the starting five: three were their state players of the year in high school — South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama — and another was last season’s national JUCO player of the year. Looks like a 3-guard, 2-forward lineup. They’ll be a challenge. Not sure how Gib plans to match up; maybe they’ll just pound it inside.

  17. clyde: per BM tweet Dec 24 2012 MBB practice, Roop getting lot of time at PG during practice..wonder if Gib going to give him as much playing time win or lose as possible..makes sense,,.if UH is going to make run at winning that BWC tourney in March..they have to have Roop, Ozi, Jawato, well Isaac we know, and maybe even Mr. Michael Harper contributing big time..I think they will..Gib ..now it is the right approach, and agree with Eagle, still think the

    upperclassmen have a lot of pride, they will be back and what is so good about this year’s team..it is A TEAM..whomever starts, or whatever minutes or discipline, they just want to win for UH and Hawaii..that, is a Good Thing!!

    Go Warriors..

    Maybe same starting 5? or add Spearman with Jawato, Roop, Fotu and Vander? Will wait and see, we know Gib..all 12 have to be ready..he could tell them to start just before tip off..actually a good thing..MATCHUPS and giving the freshman a chance to get better NOW..

    Go get em warriors..you all can do it!!

  18. Like Gib’s philosophy about playing the freshman to get ready for conference play. I agree that we will not be in the running for an at-large berth. Maybe we might lose a game or two down the road because of inexperience, but it’s the conference tournament that’s most important, not how many wins you have. On the other end it is advantageous to have as high a seeding as possible, so that will mean having a good won loss record. I think we can accomplish both and hopefully be in a good position to win the tournament.

  19. ALOHA fellow MBB fans and Aussie Mum. Just arrived back safely to Aotearoa New Zealand. Really enjoyed the trip to Hawaii.Settling down ready to watch the game this morning. Enjoy the rest of your stay Aussie mum.


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