Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors giving full attention to Diamond Head Classic

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for the Hawai’i basketball team, and Christmas being one week away is only part of the reason why.

The Warriors are on winter break from classes, which means they can focus entirely on basketball this week. They will need to be focused as they prepare to host the spotlight event of their schedule – the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

The eight-team tournament will begin on Saturday and continue on Sunday and Christmas Day. The Warriors will play Miami (Fla.) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in a first-round game.


“Obviously we have a huge game on Saturday against an outstanding team in Miami,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “They’re getting Top 20 votes and they’re big and strong and athletic like an ACC team … we have a lot to prove. We have a chance to play those guys at home and we really want to play our best.”

Other first-round games on Saturday: Indiana State vs. Ole Miss; San Francisco vs. San Diego State; Arizona vs. East Tennessee State. Arizona is ranked No. 4 and San Diego State is No. 18 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25.

“This is a big part of University of Hawai’i basketball, this Diamond Head Classic, so I’m getting excited for it and my teammates are, too,” senior Hauns Brereton said.

With no classes to attend, the Warriors have been training on their own this week, putting up extra shots and lifting weights before the late-afternoon practices.

The Warriors are 5-3 and back in Honolulu after spending last weekend on the island of Moloka’i, where they beat NCAA Division II neighbor Chaminade, 104-93. The Warriors put on a dazzling display on offense, reaching season-highs for points, field goal percentage (.600), 3-pointers made (11), and 3-point percentage (.524).

“I feel like our team is getting into a groove and we got momentum our way right now,” Brereton said.

The negative statistic was the four technical fouls called on the Warriors, including two for senior point guard Jace Tavita and one on senior center Vander Joaquim. It remains to be seen how that might impact the upcoming games in the Diamond Head Classic.

Arnold said the issue was discussed “internally” and both Joaquim and Tavita said and did “the right things” to teammates and coaches in the days since the Chaminade game. Arnold said he did not want to comment on the status of the two seniors for this weekend.

In any case, the team will need another boost from the bench like it got against Chaminade. The Warrior reserves accounted for 40 points against Chaminade, including a breakout game of 10 points for freshman Brandon Jawato.

“I feel more comfortable out there now and hopefully I can continue playing, bring energy on both sides of the floor,” he said.


  1. Think Jace got handed the white shirt, Joaquim did not practice because of pulling a tooth of some sorts.

    Jace gets punished and so far Joaquim gets away with it again. It’s a good lesson learned here that not everyone gets treated the same way as like in the real world out here. Some will slide while some will have to pay the consequences. Jace is good enough to apologize to his team and Chaminade.

    Joaquim, I have no idea. Coach, I see the unfairness delivered to Jace, not even slapping the wrists of Joaquim for all the temper tamtrums he’s thrown on the court.

    Coach, if you showed more control with Vander in previous games towards his temper tantrums maybe Jace wouldn’t have been in this spot where he is right now.

  2. hey Jaw,
    this is the best yet, we are impressed:
    the year long training, hard-work showcase itsself.
    couldn’t come in a better time; it’s the chance of a lifelitme
    keep the young legs strong and move it!
    hang on the rock tight, take to the spot where the TEAM want it and,
    jack it in when they dare you to,
    lead them with you head.
    Hawaii is WAITING!

  3. Very worried about Vander’s technical fouls as well. To his credit, however, he did keep a level head during conference play last year.

    About Miami, their head coach, Jim Larranaga, is a very accomplished coach. I heard an interview with him this morning on the radio. He previously led George Mason to the final four in 06 beating Michigan State, North Carolina, and UConn to get there. He is a defensive minded coach that recruits the state of New York (his hometown) well.

    The Hurricanes are also experienced in their lineup (starting four seniors). Miami’s leading scorer, Durant Scott, is also from New York and has a prototypical skill-set at the two guard. He has very good quickness and can slash to the hoop in a variety of ways. At the point, Shane Larkin, is also very quick and is described as the best at getting steals in the entire ACC by his head coach. Obviously, Miami is very big in the post. According to Larranaga, Miami is the 26th tallest team by average height in the nation. Interestingly, he is worried about Hawaii’s height, as we are the 17th tallest team by average in the nation.

    Note: the CBS color commentators said that Miami is the second best team in the ACC. ESPN, however, had them at 6 last week in their ACC power rankings.

  4. What genius put UH on the same side of the Diamondhead Bracket Miami and Arizona?!?!?

    Could the DHC have made it worse for UH? UH will have a very tough matchup vs Miami in rd1 and then it’s reward for victory is Arizona in the Semi.

    Meanwhile, SDSU gets a cake walk in to the finals…

    UH has certainly doesn’t know the concept for home advantage. Ok that’s enough grumbling for today….

    This year’s DHC will be very exciting to watch. Easily the best field they’ve drawn, hopefully they can continue to bring in fields of this strength in the future. It would be very cool if the DHC can become a premiere early season tournament like the Maui Invite.

  5. Unfortunately, ESPN makes the pairings for the Diamond Head Classic brackets. But I do believe they gave us one of the evening slots either way in the second round. Pretty good field though this year. My hopes is to catch Miami looking ahead to a potential matchup with Arizona.

  6. While I would have much preferred UH to start the DHC against a much more favorable match-up in Indiana St., I like the idea of carrying the momentum from last weekend right into the tournament, come out firing and maybe take down a big name team or two. If I were to guess, Miami shouldn’t be favored by more than few points. If UH can maintain the same play from last weekend, we should have no trouble taking them down, in which case I would fully embrace UH getting matched up against a national power in Arizona. Maybe not so much in years past, but I strongly believe that this team has that potential of being competitive with any team in the country.

    Keep in mind, we were tenths of a second away from beating an Illinois team that beat down a Butler team that recently took down formerly #1 ranked Indiana.

    Warriors just need to buckle down, maintain focus, keep their heads on straight and play with their hearts, especially if they hope to win the DHC this year! Let’s go bows!!

  7. Hey guys, go all out. Now is winter break, so can concentrate on BB!
    Jawato, Brandon…he was hurt for awhile..he bring that energy and 3 ball , D, and to the rim, game off the bench, that was a missing ingredient when team loss couple of games, maybe.

    Glad to see Roop, Ozi..relax Oz, take your time, your 3 ball will start to drop!, and Jawato, coming off the bench, bringing 3 ball, D, hustle, will have to match those ACC, PAC 12, BCS team, talent and athleticism..key: UH is at home SSC, with hopefully 7000 plus giving full and vocal support, ..unless UH has major meltdown, I don’t think they will, at home , I think they can compete with any team in the country, have to play well on both sides of courts, O and D, they have a shot to win a couple, and who knows, win that DH Classic, which, as of now , is the premier Holiday BB tournament in the country this year!!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!!

  8. Fellow Fans: Just MY OPINION..I don’t know all the facts, maybe you folks do…

    Jace is a leader and captain, he plays with a lot of passion, team loves him, and so does coach, he and Vander and Hauns have to lead by example, play hard, passion, smart, yet keep uncontrolled emotions in check..Any coach would want that of players, and when we were small kids, and HS sports athletes, or college it was the same back in the day. ..Upperclassmen, captains have to keep cool headed..

    However, it is an internal matter, and the buck stops with Gib. If team, voted, or conferred with Gib, and said, it causes problems having Vander and Jace even in the top 4 guys off the bench, pretty certain, Vander and Jace will sit. One thing Jace, got involved two time, second , a no no, he left the bench..

    As Dayton reported , Gib did not relate status of Jace and Vander for DH..both could be sitting at start of Miami game. .. or who knows, maybe they sit for the tournament. I hope not.. It is a TEAM matter..if the young guys take care of business, gain respect of team again and coaches, pretty sure they will be big part of BWC run.

    And very true , if Vander has Pro Ball aspirations, he has to be cool headed, too much emotion and fights in NBA, the League too, as well as International Ball, ..BB..if you recall 30 or 40 yrs ago, was a NON CONTACT sport…Football was a true man’s game..however, BB nowadays, can get very, very physical..a lot of it though, that cause confrontation, is coming from the mouth, the trash talking..sign of the times..So, Captains, would have to let their game on floor, not their fists or mouths do the talking…then , that is a true championship caliber team.!

  9. Well SA reported, Jace benched, …he is a very good young guy, he learned, and will be better for it..Captains lead by example. Hope the best for team and Jace.

    You know…a lot of times, when you lose a starter for awhile, the other players step up, and hopefully that is the case..I am sure, UH will give MAX effort!!

    Chaminade and UH by all accounts , were trash talking throughout the game in Molokai, coach, has to tell guys, don’t say anything to other team, can talk to own team, and coaches, however, control trash during game. You get T’d up and then you sit..

    Jace, get back on board soon, Team will need you!! Thank you for your passion, energy, 3 ball shooting, and strength physically. When your name gets called to go back in, play smart, hard and together!!

  10. Jace and Vander has lead the team with being bad examples. Period One more Vander temper tamtrum on court and I would lose a lot of respect of Coach.

    As Coach said and as we all know it, there’s a line drawn that doesn’t need to be crossed. AS a player you tell the coach and coach tells the refs. if it’s that bad.

    Just play the game guys/gals

  11. What’s done is done. There must be full attention to the University of Miami 7-1 and getting votes in the top 25 polls. Pretty impressive team to say the least. They beat Michigan State, they beat a 10-1 Charlotte 49ers team by 31 points, on the road. They beat UCF a 6-3 team by 22 points, on the road. This is a very, very good ACC team. Their top 2 scorers are guards. 6’5″ Durant Scott leads and Shane Larkin, 5’11” (Barry Larkin’s son) is just behind. Then you have the trees, 5 players on the team are 6’10” or taller led by #3 scorer Reggie Johnson, 6’10” 292 lbs., followed by 6’11” F/C Kadji. 5 players in double figures. It ain’t gonna be easy.

    What’s interesting is that Miami, statistically, is not a really strong rebounding team. But, they shoot 47.7% from the floor which is really good so maybe they don’t have to rebound too much, they put the ball in the hoop the first time they shoot. UH won’t be in this game if we don’t shoot the ball well and make shots. The team has to play sound defensively. I sure would like to see 6’5′ Aaron Valdes cover that 6’5″ Scott, but unless Arnold takes the redshirt status off we won’t see that. From what I hear Valdes is a very good defensive player. Maybe Jawato, who is 6’4″.

    Rozitis is going to have to play some valuable minutes and use up some fouls. Johnson will push people out of the paint with his big butt and score. This is a big test, a good measuring stick on where we are. I wouldn’t be upset if we lose a close game, because Miami has proved to be a very good road team. And I wouldn’t be shocked either if we win a close game either at home. The Sheriff will be rocking on Saturday. I hope we find some surprises on the team and step up. The backcourt has to match Miami’s guards. That means Spearman, Jefferson, Clair, Jawato, and Tavita collectively must score about 25-30 points to match Scott and Larkin’s production. That will be the key to the game.

  12. Derek:

    Well said. If we, the fans, no matter how we feel discipline is given, or our opinion of Gib, most important, the 10 other guys playing ball, they have ,and had a great impact on win against Chaminade..as Hauns alluded to, they need ALL, including Jace and Vander to do well in a loaded DH classic..so they are STILL A TEAM..

    MOVE ON..get ready for Miami..probably this lesson will benefit Jace, and the whole team can unite and get wins..

    I know coach and players read these posts, so: UH MBB team, just concentrate on selves. work hard in practice, keep your emotions in check. be passionate, however, not confrontational, from 1 through 12th player..hey, at least 2 parents from far, far away will be at SSC, and they are there to support the Warriors, and majority of fans on two Sports forum boards feel the same I am sure, headed into a very important and exciting holiday MBB tourney, we don’t need melodrama, we need hoops, hoops, and hopefully wins!!

    Go Warriors!!

  13. Well said Uhfanzonly!!!

    It’s great for everybody to debrief and discuss but let’s all get ready to cheer loudly in the SSC during the Diamond Head Classic.

    Only one more sleep and I am on that plane!!!!!

  14. Aussie Mum: You will have great time in Hawaii!! Let it be known at games, maybe a sign with Tonganator, you all are representing Michael Harper , the Thunder from down Under, and Tonganator: we are Frotu Ohana from NZ.

    You are right, have fun…heck with all of the sadness in world..sports should be fun and a respite..that is why I follow all UH sports, for that relief..

    Pretty soon, Aussie Mum, Aloha, and welcome to Oahu, “The Gathering Place”, Honolulu Hawaii. SSC!!

    Have fun, and have a safe trip over..Tim Tams?

    Go Warriors!!

    And Ozi Mum too, shout out to you for your very loyal support!!

  15. Watching Duke playing Cornell. Duke true freshman Rasheed Sulaimon is averting 13.1 points per game and starting for Coach K from the very first game. This is the same Sulaimon that Manroop Clair took to the woodshed in an AaU game last year for 26 or 27 points and in the infamous exchange something like:

    Manroop: “I made a shot and I told him, and you’re going to Duke!” “Man, if you can’t guard a guy like me, maybe you should go to community college.”

    Maybe, Coach K is a terrific coach who gets the most out of his players. Is Rasheed Sulaimon better than Manroop Clair?
    What does Manroop Clair say and what are his thoughts. Is Gib Arnold getting the most out of Manroop’s talents and potential. Or is the opportunity to show what he can do or lack of is holding him back? It begs the question, if Manroop was playing at Duke, how much would he be playing and how much confidence would he have. I don’t know, but I believe in Manroop’s ability and I think he’s a big time player. He just haven’t had that much minutes. You wonder what he would do if he plays 25-30 minutes per game. I’d bet he scores double digit almost every game. Granted he’s 17, maybe 18 by now, and he’s young ,but sooner or later he will get his shot and when he does, he will explode. That fact that he’s a true freshman is not an excuse for not getting minutes. All it takes is hard practice, learning, and an opportunity. This is only my opinion. Manroop is learning to play the point, but he is first and foremost, a scorer. Did Arnold think of trying him at shooting guard? He might do better. In the Big West, it might work.

  16. Here’s my questions. Are you excited about watching this team play? How do you feel about the team, positive or otherwise? What’s the difference this season as compared to the previous 3 seasons? Does this team address, the what if’s of previous seasons? I know I am excited about this season and TRUST that EVERYONE will do their best. I plan to support the team and divorce judgement. It is just my belief that if the players also read this blog, what they need from us is our support and not so many back sit drivers. I too, am waiting for the Manroop Clair show…went it comes, it’ll be something to watch; stay tuned.

  17. We all heard the Clair/Suliman matchup in an AllStar tourney in Vegas some months back.

    Clair’s problem is that he played the 2 spot and hardly any experience at the pg position. Clair knew Coach picked him up for the 1 spot though and is learning the position. Suliman on the other hand…

    On the hs level there’s some articles written about Clair and his shooting ability with some comparison’s to the Jimmer. But that’s hs playing against hs competition, then you add in his steep learning curve to play the 1 spot and laying off thinking of shooting the lights out. I read prior that Clair had to earn Coach’s and immediately I thought, Coach doesn’t want Clair to shoot the lights out at all. Clair used to score a lot of points in hs, but as you can see he’s listening to Coach learning the 1 and not being the scorer he is.

  18. I messed up above not reading what I typed before posting so I fixed it up a bit below:

    We all read/heard the Clair/Suliman matchup in an AllStar tourney in Vegas some months back.

    Clair’s problem is that he played the 2 spot in hs and hardly has any experience at the pg position. Clair knew Coach picked him up for the 1 spot though and is learning the position. Suliman on the other hand…

    On the hs level there’s some articles written about Clair and his shooting ability with some comparison’s to the Jimmer. But that’s hs playing against hs competition, then you add in his steep learning curve to play the 1 spot and laying off thinking of shooting the lights out. I read prior that Clair had to earn Coach’s “trust” and immediately I thought, Coach doesn’t want Clair to shoot the lights out at all. Clair used to score a lot of points in hs, but as you can see he’s listening to Coach learning the 1 and not being the scorer he is.

  19. Derek:

    Yes Rasheed Sulaimon is way better than Manroop Clair.
    Manroop would never play for Duke. None of our guys would. Duke
    is a very serious program.

    Manroop is a great shooter in open game. In college
    ball he will have to come off tons of screens just to get
    the shot off. Love the kid and he will do well but right now with the team we
    have it doesn’t work well to have him carry tons of minutes.

    We want Roop to be confident. He gets thrown in the fire
    now it could damage the growth. I trust Gib on this one.

    Jimmer could dribble for 25 seconds have multiple screens and than get a shot.
    I don’t think Gib wants to run that system. It’s just not sustainable.

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    RE-BROADCASTS TONIGHT 1130 pm on Channel 10/Digital1010 KHET (PBS)…


  21. According to Call the Coach, Gib stated how he wants the freshman to step up..Isaac has, Jawato has, Ozi, and Roop are getting more confidence. I don’t think Gib is telling Roop not to shoot a wide open 3, or if their is a screen for him to not pop it..just the opposite, just like Jace, Jace with confidence now if he is wide open, he can hit the 3 ball, he is very accurate.

    Roop, he has to get confidence, the speed of the game, physicality in PRACTICE, got to him..it is a huge difference from HS/Prep ball. However, this past Chaminade game , for the minutes he was in there, coaches and team have confidence in him..don’t think he has to go off for 25 or 30 pts, would be nice, he is trying to learn, probably the hardest position at any level of BB, Point Guard..Gib said they have 100 offensive sets..wow…100! that is a lot for Roop or even Garrett to remember, plus knowing what and when to run the O and D, what are

    decoys, a whole lot of stuff…Gib also alluded to BB IQ, it comes with experience..Shamburger, one caller, said if Gib going after PG for next year, he said, Keith was an all WAC PG and second leading(to Miah , I think!!)assist guy in the old WAC.
    He is really helping this year’s team with scout, playing active players tough and physical, which is helping them..
    Gib also mentioned the ongoing development of Roop..I think if Garrett was hurt(please no!), and Jace was in foul trouble, Roop and Spearman could run the team..By middle of BWC play , I believe Roop will step it up!!

    I think as soon as the DH Classic, if Roop needed, he will hit some 3’s, get a key assist or steal, you know how it goes…UH plays to the level of competition, and my observation, though this is a team not of NBA lottery picks or one and dones. ..They are a GOOD TEAM…they are friends, and look for each other on and off court..Team is still together, Roop will have his minutes, and Jace in time, will be big contributor again, they need him!!

    AGREE with you Eagle: UH Warriors , SSC is their house , they have ability to take down any top 25 team, if they play well, no fear warriors, roll out the BB, and play some hoops, you all will do well!! Get at least 2 wins in DH…would be HUGE,..get 3 and the championship..would be historic! make history,..fans got your backs!!

  22. Keith Shamburger, and all WAC player? Where did you come up with that nonsense? from Gib? and you believed it?

  23. Oahuan, er ah Riley jr, Keith is a better ballhandler than any of the guards including Spearman, and he can shoot, the kid was on a bad San Jose Team , he has good handles, can shoot outside, and free throws as well. Just wish he were 6ft 3 instead of 5ft 11

  24. Oahuan: you should have listened to the Call the Coach show..that is what Gib said..Keith was on one of the all WAC teams last year, and second leading assist man at a little over 5 per game..the Practices are open to public, go check them out..Keith, is wiry strong, he is helping PG’s and team as scout leader..a really team player..he is

    going to be good next year as RS junior…something they don’t have this year, a quick, PG with good handles..he will be a year older, a year in practice system with UH and Gib, and a year stronger..With Valdes and Thomas, and returnees, next year could be really good. We ain’t hating on Keith..if I see him walking down the street, I would say Keith, thank you for transferring over to UH, you are a great help to success of UH team..What would YOU tell him..?

    WI, is really a forum, to express opinions, I think majority are fans that want UH to do good, whether Coach K was leading program or Phil Jackson…Gib is going in right direction, and accepting transfers, and giving second chances to Joston, Davis, Brandon S., Christian, Jace, and now Keith is great,..as he said in tonite’s broadcast, whatever went down, with players before,..even the Jace incident, that is past, have to move forward..can’t keep on dumping on guy, keep them down…they learn..Ketih S. could have been with us last two years, made a choice, to go to SJSU..now he is with Warriors..kudos to Keith…

    We get a little side tracked sometimes, and I am guilty of that..also, let’s support the team, and hope they get some wins in the DH Classic, and maybe, just maybe win that thang!! Then we all smile,..and await Keith S’s arrival next year!! Smile fellow fan! People on the East Coast are having it tougher than us at this moment…sadly..

  25. Shamburger doesn’t surpass or even equal a Deonte Burton. But Shamburger is a true pg that is way more than adequate get for Coach. Wait to next year, he’ll make us forget the years Coach haven’t a pg with handles and scoring abilities.

  26. I have no doubt that Keith Shamburger is a far superior point guard to any currently available player on the team. I find no fault whatsoever in Gib Arnold’s accommodating and welcoming Shamburger’s desire to transfer to UH. My criticism has always been that lack of a good or at least solid PG was going to be a problem for this year’s team, which otherwise has at least decent. and in some cases outstanding, players in every other position – hardly a novel thought. Furthermore, Gib Arnold’s failure to recruit a lead guard prospect with at least some proven ability and who would be eligible THIS YEAR was a serious failure. Even some of the most ardent fans who post on this site are beginning to recognize that fact.

    The reason for my previous post on Shamburger should be obvious: The right to express an opinion doesn’t make it a good practice to broadcast opinions based on false assertions, even if you got them from the Coach. Look it up. Only one player from San Jose, James Kinney, got any WAC post season honors last season. He made the All-Newcomer team – not even all WAC first team, second team or honorable mention.

  27. So to clarify, Keith was not on the WAC first team, however, his profile and accomplishments listed for his last playing year speaks volumes of his “quality.” I believe this was the intended remark by coach Gib and he misspoke on making the first team. Still it doesn’t take away or a false assertion that he has the potential to be a very good guard on any level and not comparatively just who is “currently” available. I think we can all agree that the PG position is a work in progress with “possibities.” Let’s move forward…

  28. tako: Very well said! Whatever the situation of PG now or next year, whether first team or last team, or honorable mention..the UH fanbase of MBB, we are interested in NOW…PG , as you alluded to, and Gib knows, he was a guard at Punahou and in college, is ongoing , Garrett and Roop have never played it before on NCAA DI level, however, those guys are competitive, and with Keith’s help, they are going to get better game by game.

    Hey, Oahuan, just enjoy the DH classic and the 3 BWC games at home..be a fan, be happy!

    Go Warriors..we all love UH hoops!!

  29. UH have they’re work cut out for them this weekend. Good basketball teams are showing up.

  30. Don’t even think The Roop or GJ played the 1 spot in hs either, hahahahaha. That speaks volumes of why Coach is breaking them in slowly. GJ been hitting his ft’s 6 for 9 for a .667% clip while you got Jace 1 for 7 for a .143% rate from the charity stripe. The Roop is 0-2 <—WoW

    For the minutes Jace has played and only shooting 7 ft's because of being fouled says something. My theory is that he's not penetrating taking it to the hoop. Now he's listed @ 6'4" on the roster and is built pretty big for a pg, he should be taking smaller defenders to the hoop IMO. Maybe it's in Coach's design not to have Jace take it to the hoop to get fouled with the ft percentage rate. I don't know.

    We surely need a pg stepping up already, give others the opportunity with meaningful minutes. With the losses and knowing what our pg gives us already I think we need to look elsewhere giving others the playing minutes.

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