Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Redshirt season was learning experience for Dressler

Is it possible to improve without playing a single game during the season? Caleb Dressler thinks so.

Dressler sat out the entire 2012-13 season as a redshirt player for the Hawai’i basketball team, in part so that he could become accustomed to the rigors of college basketball.


“I think I’ve done the job, but I have a long ways to go,” he said. “I lost 25 pounds and I gained 20 pounds on every lift. But the feeling is you’re never done. You just have to keep going.”

Dressler, a 6-foot-10 center, now has four years with the Warriors to build on the foundation he set for himself this season. He definitely learned a lot during practices, as he often served as the scout team “opponent” against senior Vander Joaquim and junior Davis Rozitis.

“Seeing what Vander had to go through, what Davis had to go through, even (Isaac) Fotu and Christian (Standhardinger), I’m going to need to be a whole ‘nother gear to even get up there,” Dressler said. “I feel like I’ve gotten better, but I still need to get way better.”

Dressler was one of four redshirt players on the 2012-13 roster, but he was the only one who made the travel roster for road trips (mostly because of his key role on the scout team). In effect, he did everything a freshman could … except play in the actual games.

“It did a lot for me, just to see how much work is actually involved – what you have to do on the plane to keep your mind right, what you have to do on the road, on the bus,” he said. “I could see what I have to do next year to bring the maximum out of my redshirt year.”

Dressler also understands that he will still be a freshman next season, and he knows that his immediate role will not be as a go-to player.

“We have a lot of scoring options,” he said. “We’re going to need somebody to get down there and when they do miss shots, because they will eventually, get their rebounds and put it back in. Or create more possessions for us and … make the most of the possessions I’m given.”


  1. Caleb — OUR/Gibʻs proclaimed Center of the Future…
    Iʻm hoping the Future is Now…
    As in emulating Christian & Isaac and Crashing those Offensive & Defensive Boards
    In H.S., 14 Rebounds per game, to me in Any League speaks to “Want To” and Relentlessness, Timing and Instincts, Hustle to get there, but also Discipline to have bypassed your defender or already have blocked out your opposition…
    In these traits, teaming with and working with (Vander,) Christian & Isaac has to help build that skill and habit On Every Possession…

    Your Blocks per Game were also good, hinting at Timing and Deceptive Quickness;

    In the Summer League i Was Impressed with How Quickly YOU Earned the Respect of Accomplished Teammates that i respect — like Julian Sensley — he DOES NOT Just pass to anyone — because He Can Always Hit His (Own) Shot, he only passes to teammates who demonstrate they will put the ball to good use and Finish — Your Quick Response was to go up quickly from 15 or Three Several Times, Even with the Game On The Line and Swish, Nail ʻEm — Every Time …AND in that Result you very much remind me of a Bill Amis who just consistently nails his jump shots (Yours Look Really Good, Clean, Smooth Stroke), FIGHTS for Position, Spaces the Floor and works well in The Team Motion…

    Like (i can tell for) You, Iʻm Looking Forward to Your Smart, Consistent, Improving Center & Power Forward Play with Range to Burn… Welcome, Caleb!

  2. Caleb,

    what a great attitude you’ve have there, practice hard, listen to the coaches and hopefully everything will fall into place in the future years of Hawaii bb.

    sounds like a team player, knows his role. As we don’t need more head cases in the years to come

  3. If Mr. Dressier will mimic the stat line like Haim Shimonovich then the program will get better. Not flashy, but solid. I liked it when he said to keep the turnovers down. Good luck!

  4. Dated Aug 17, 2012

    hey, Caleb:

    “you are a big loser!” I said to him. “I’m alright with that!”, he would smiled then, goes on to explain as to defend my friendly but true accusation, “on my sophomore year, my body ballooned out to 280 lbs., in just 3 months, I’m a loser of 40 lbs!”. found out he sings too, another things we had in common.. well? I would said is “it’s really unique vocally!”. he quickly points out that “was just to accommodate his friend’s experiment on uploading video technique”.

    soon after his Hawaiian visitation, then proclaims “Hawaii is my home away from home with a perfect weather!” and “..anybody charging-in for a layup, has to go thru me!”.. confirming me to believe that “this guy wants to win!”

    you’re a lucky young man, got Isaac to polish each other’s game for D1 career (duplicate his spinning moves around the hoop.. plus one full year to learn from my MBB hero, Hauns. worked extra hard for 2yrs.. by then when Evan comes in to compete with you to be my “new MBB idol” (promise me you guys!?).

    upon your LOI arrival, Coach Arnold happily advertised that “Caleb will be our Center of the future!”
    (the Ohana will cherish Caleb’s progressive developments always; Family & Friends are you here, too?).


    Hey Cal,

    You are the 1st significant Big to joined the TEAM.
    You’ve made tremendous progress; Established your accountability for a successful long future here.
    Every things you said are exactly as expected & are truly representing your down-to-earth humble manner.
    It’s fortunate for you to have a Fish to swim with you. A bright career is ensured.

    Anxiously hoping that we will see you further polishing your speed & endurance with the upcoming NCAA College Summer Basketball League. We’ll enjoy celebrating your 1st Hawaiian Championship with you!

  5. Love “Dirty grimmy players” who know their role and are unselfish. He’s going to focus on rebounding and help us get second chances…I’ve been wishing for our center to do that for years now.

    He’s gonna be a good one!

  6. Good job on and off the court Caleb. Your hard work, great attitude, and experience as a RS Scout and travel team member will payoff for next year!

    From first time I saw Caleb on WI video of summer league , open gym videos, and fall workouts, I noticed, Caleb was not afraid to bang with older players. Caleb would go chest to chest, elbow to elbow, blow for blow with Vander. Would not back down. That was as good sign. Plus, Caleb is a guy willing to work out in weight room, which not all players will do! Caleb is also BBIQ smart, he will pass out from the block to cutters and shooters. Look forward to Caleb’s contributions next season!

    Mahalo, Caleb for becoming a Warrior and an important part of the Warriors Front Court!

    Have a great off season, continue to get stronger, and turn your weaknesses into strengths!

    Go Caleb!

    Go Warriors!!

  7. Good job Caleb!
    About the road trips, and adjustments. I think that is why Fotu had some off games, or couldn’t get going on Cali BWC road trips, the sleep patterns, the time change, also, the Cali teams were ready for him.

    If Isaac and Caleb can adjust to travel, as Gib has stated, he is doing whatever he can to help team get acclimated to travel of over 2500 miles across the Pacific, and proper rest, those two young Bigs will be good for several years to come.

    Dayton great job. Christian, Isaac, Brandon Spearman, Garrett Jefferson, Keith Shamburger, Caleb Dressler, interviewed and ready to go. Davis, whatever his future plans wish him well, he is a great student athlete, and funny guy.
    Looks like returnees have vision, and want to be here and get better and WIN.!!

  8. Caleb, keep working hard and getting stronger. Saw you play during last year’s summer league, displayed some nice smooth near basket moves. Displayed desire to learn by listening to the older players. Work on your strength and quickness, you’ll need this to be successful on the D1 level, gotta explode off the first step to clear space. Looking forward to see your continued improvement.

  9. Caleb,

    I like your outlook and maturtiy in handling your redshirt year…It will alll pay dividends in your future with the Warriors…

    That being said, there are rumors that you may not return…I hope it ain’t true, as I think you have a bright future in the program.

  10. bowwar:

    Read some post about that too. If Caleb was not part of plans for future, why would Gib take him on road trips? Might be someone out there in cyberspace, social media, doing exactly , that , unfounded rumors. Dayton’s video interviews really help, Caleb’s friends, the University , fans and his family can see his dedication.

    Otherwise , I would think he wouldn’t even do interview with Dayton. It would make the young guy look not too bright. With Caleb, on the sidelines, cheering on team, working hard in weight room, and Scout, and doing well in school, he says, he is coming back , to be bigger stronger and better to help team, I take his word for it, instead of the rumor mongers. Glad Dayton does these real time interviews, answers a lot of questions! Too much of this posting of speculative information, I wondered too, however Caleb confirmed his desire to be ready next year for the Warriors.

    Go Caleb, and thanks for working hard! You will be a very good Post player, who will help UH MBB team have great season next year!

  11. can’t wait to see caleb in action next year. It’s good that he redshirted because he enhanced his strength. I hope for the Kelly Olynyk effect.

  12. I like that comparison to Haim Shimonovich. Haim, big and physical like Dressler. Not looking to score. Great timing on shot blocking. Didn’t jump high, however good anticipation. Wide Body. Not scared to bang. Go to floor, or box out with his size and posterior to get rebounds. Pretty good passer as well. If Caleb brings that type of Center to augment the shooters, and Fotu, Christian, Shamburger, Spearman scorers, UH can do well. Can’t wait for season, (!)and it is still 7 months+ away!

    Dayton look forward to your next video interview. Looks like you have had, Isaac, Christian, Brandon Spearman, Garrett Jefferson, Keith Shamburger and Caleb Dressler, as well as Davis Rozitis state what they needed to work on for getting better next season. Look forward to, Brandon Jawato, Manroop Clair, Ozren Pavlovic, Dyrbe Enos, Michael Harper, and Aaron Valdes.

    Thanks for updates. Nice to hear it from the athletes themselves, what they project to do, and also if they like the UH MBB experience, which is nice to hear!

  13. I hope Mr. Dressler will live up to his recruiting hype by Coach Arnold. However, judging from his summer league performance, he is too slow and not athletic to help the program in the near future. Remember we were told Davis Rozitis was a player of the future and sitting out would help him to get bigger and better, it hasn’t happen. UH needs athletes and a couple of outside shooters who can keep the floor spread for driving lanes. UH personnel is builded for a power game for the WAC but the BW is quick up and down league with outside shooter to keep the driving lanes open for it slashers. UH can get away with playing its big line up on offense but on defense they struggle to keep people in front of them.
    The big question is how does UH get better with no scholarships and facing APR sanctions if they get rid of players on their current roster. This was the problem Bob Nash faced, he couldn’t recruit players who didn’t qualify out of high school and all junior college transfer must have 3 years of eligibility. There are not too many get players in junior college with grades that can turn a program around, so for 3 years UH had the same group of low D-1 players. I see Coach Arnold as headed in that same direction with the current roster and possible APR issues.
    Who has Coach Arnold’s assistants coaches recruited? Isn’t this the year we are suppose to get Blake and that recruiting class back to UH? Have those relationship decided to go to bigger programs. are is it the only reason they signed with Hawaii anyway was they were told they could get into UH with their bad grades.
    What has Coach Arnold done to build the program that he he promise he would do in the first 3 years?
    If we are satisfied with the few more wins in a bad conference and a weak schedule then the program is moving forward.
    I leave you with this, Coach Arnold was paid $12,000 for UH buying its way into Riley’s tournament. When add the cost of the fee to get into Riley’s tournament, travel fees for AFA and Coach Arnold’s bonus. UH lost a lot of money it didn’t need spend. Did the AD realize he would have to pay Coach Arnold a bonus for a tournament he paying to be in? He is suppose to be sharp money guy, I question his decision in this matter.

  14. Notice what the 4 final four teams (Louisville, Wichita St., Michigan, & Syracuse) have in common.
    1) Terrfic defense
    2) Ball handling and passing
    3) Athleticism & quickness
    4) Great coaching.
    5) Outstanding point guards
    6) NBA talent, with the possible exception of Wichita St..

    I’ll go with Louisville and Syracuse in the championship game. Tough to pick a winner. Looking at that criteria, I don’t think UH meets any of those, YET!

  15. The thing about Wichita State is they recruit through Junior College. Junior College transfers Carl Hall and Cleanthony Early has helped through there run in the NCAA tournament.

    I think Hawaii can have the same success if they find the right players like Brandon Spearman.

  16. buzz-

    I was surprised that the team won 17 games overall and were 10-8 in BWC play. If they could close out a few more games, they would have possibly finished 13-5 BWC and 20-10 overall before BWC tourney . At one point, before team went on the 5 game win streak , which included the 3 game win streak on the road, a lot, including myself were thinking , this team might not win another game for rest of season, possibly finish at 10-20 overall, 6-12 BWC. Whatever you think of Gib, and I know he does not have the experience of a Pitino , Dixon, Coach K., Larry Brown etc. He and assistants must have done something right to keep the guys battling and in a lot of games at SSC and on the road.

    I still say, the UH MBB coaching job, is a super tough gig. Hard to attract elite athletes. UH academically is harder to get admitted to than some PAC 12 schools. That is why Gib, or Nash, or Riley in later years till retirement, had a hard time getting the top 100 HS or JC players to come here from mainland USA. It is much harder than Red Rocha’s time, even Larry Little’s tenure.

    Whatever the outcome, extension or not for Gib, I give the young men on this year’s team a lot of props for winning 17 games. When I saw Brandon Spearman go down at Pacific on the road with the ankle injury, I went ” Oh No!”, there goes, any real hope for BWC top finish. Of course we know what happened. Even if Phil Jackson were coaching the team, it would be like Phil losing MJ or Kobe and expecting his team to win the NBA championship, possible, but very, very hard to do, since Jordan and Bryant were the super glue that held the Bulls and Lakers together to win several NBA titles.

    Whomever next coach for UH MBB is, if that is the route you and many others are thinking, I would be as convinced as you are with your line of reasoning for Gib’s shortcomings, any coach you put in UH MBB HC seat, with UH not able to afford close to a million dollar per year guaranteed 5 year contract upfront, and be within NCAA recruiting guidelines, i.e, UH receiving the NCAA sanction years in the 70’s, even for that amount of money, that HC would have difficulty recruiting top 50 HS or JC talent to the islands. Now, if you go global, international, Savo, English, Martin, Fotu, and supplement with JC and HS developmental players, along with experienced coaching, you can have success. However, it would have to be a coach that makes less than what Gib is currently making.

    For Gib to average 17 wins a year for first 3 years, and two CIT’s , including competing in a lower rated conference, I guess that is a good thing. Do we want the 24-25 game, NCAA or NIT teams of past with Rocha, Wallace? Without question. I think this UH MBB coaching job is a challenge, Gib has tried recruiting the elite, the Biggs, Blakes, and come up short. Now, the developmental players, Dressler, Valdes, Thomas , Jovanovic etc., along with a real gem in Isaac Fotu, and great effort player in Christian Standhardinger who stuck it out, and now is posed to have a great senior season.

    buzz, What is the Answer? New Coach? No Extension? Or, let Gib do his thing this 4th year, and give the guys on team our utter support. The guys read our posts. I know they do. They are working very hard to improve. Now, they know what you and hundreds of other fans know, they have to more athletic, smarter, better shooters, defenders, Gib and Staff are hitting the recruiting trail hard, and it is not easy. Gib was hired under the JD watch. I don’t think Coach Arnold is going to give up on the guys he brought in, or the guys he is after to help with scoring and defending. He is not a quitter, and neither are 15 or his 16 players, active and RS’s.

    buzz, What is the answer to an NCAA bound 20+ win team for next year. You can outline it here, next time you post. You make good points all. We know the failings too. A lot on this forum, who view, are parents and families and potential recruits, so I try to keep it positive , unless I could contribute positive insightful suggestions for coach and players. These are 18-22 yr old kids, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. I hope Mr Dressler can have a great off season, and fulfill his role and help UH MBB team win. I am not going to dump negativety on the student athletes who do well in school and don’t quit.

    buzz, I hope the team does well next year. You should give at least some commendation to the young guys on the team this year and incoming for next, I am sure they and their families would appreciate it. I don’t understand the griping. buzz, the UH HC job, is not easy, and if Gib cannot live up to expectations, then, Ben Jay makes the call.

  17. Coaching change- I don’t think it will serve the program well to make a head coaching change at this time but do think Coach Arnold need to surround himself with more season assistants. Hiring a buddy is great but this business. Coach Taylor bring nothing to the table, he couldn’t get his own son eligible to play for UH.
    Coach Akana has no real mainland recruiting contacts. He hasn’t gotten anyone from China or any other Asian country.
    These are the top two assistants with no players recruited to justify their salaries. Coach Arnold need to up grade his assistants to aid with recruiting or he need to go because program can’t survive with one man recruiting and coaching.
    Riley had Coach Wheeler as the lead recruiter and Coach Nash recruiting and and helping with the X and O’s.

    UH builded their schedule this year to win 20+ games. They had a very weak non conference schedule but they underestimated teams in BWC. The only problem with this formular is Hawaii fans value their time and money and they won’t show up no name teams. This is the problem when AD give bonuses for wins, coaches schedule to get wins rather than to help their players to play up to talent rather than down to it.

    If the coach doesn’t reach their goals they don’t give an money back to the program.

  18. Wow, reading some of these comments, its gotta be April Fools Day. Perceptions and judgements not based on facts are dangerous, especially when posted; some would say they are unfounded opinions.

    Fact: U of H played Illinois, was this a very weak non conference game?

    Fact: Isn’t the purpose of this forum to support the players and the program? Please advise..

  19. This forum is to talk about the UH basketball program and about basketball in general. It’s to support the players and the program, yes, but I think Dayton just wants people to be honest and frank and everybody is entitled to have an opinion or two and that everybody should be respected. Good or bad, people tend to be very passionate about what is written. Nobody I don’t think anyway has bad intentions and I don’t think anybody wants to have a student athlete have a scholarship taken away from him, unless the player wants to transfer on his own accord. The players know that scholarships are for 1 year and there are no guarantees. If the player is contributing to the basketball program in a positive way the coach is likely to renew the scholarship. But at all times you want the player to be in good standing academically. Sometimes things work out and sometimes it doesn’t. The bottom line is the Head Coach must win or he can say Aloha.

    Let’s be honest. The Big West is a weak conference this year. Just look at the results. If we were in the Mountain West we should be near the bottom. With a few exceptions, UH’s schedule was also weak. Some questions need to be asked and the public needs to know the answers.
    1) Who did Benji Taylor help recruit to Hawaii?
    2) Who did Brendyn Akana help recruit to Hawaii?
    3) Who did Scott Fisher help recruit to Hawaii?
    4) Who coaches and teaches the forwards and the front line guys?
    5) Who coaches and teaches the guards?

    Let’s be honest. There is nothing wrong with getting Junior College players. Examples, Anthony Carter, Trevor Ruffin, Vincent Smalls, Nerius Puida, Michael Kuebler, etc. etc. etc. Spearman is a solid player, but let’s not compare him with MJ or Kobe, please! Standhardinger is a JC guy. Shamburger. Oh yeah, and Vander is a JC guy too. And Joston Thomas! Sorry, maybe I went too far. How’s Mike Campbell. And Mindaukas Burneika, and Erin Galloway, and Ray Reed, and Anthony Harris, and Aaron Stayhorn, and the all time JC player from UH, Tom Henderson. Tommy Barker, Jimmy Baker, on, and on, and on! Arnold decided last year he would get mostly high school seniors to our program. In a way, we are paying for it now as we have a very young team. The mantra is patience. If, and that’s a big if, the players develop and improve the team will be better next year and the year after that. Supposedly, the pay off year is in 2014, or 2015. That’s when Isaac, Jawato, Valdes, Clair, Pavlovic, Thomas, Jovanovic, Dressler will be Juniors and Seniors. If Arnold releases players then he is saying that he made mistakes in his recruiting.

  20. Saw on the Warror Beat that Corey Allen and Garret Nevels committed to Long Beach State. I know this is April 1, but it makes sense to me. They ain’t coming for a visit.

  21. A clarification regarding the post above that quotes the Warrior Beat re the scheduled visits:

    The person who posted that comment clearly acknowledged a few minutes later that it was just his attempt at an April Fool’s joke, and added that he had no reason to believe that the two players would not be visiting this week.

  22. Yup. Shoko’s post got me going for a bit, so I asked him and he fessed up — he was just joking about Allen and Nevels. What’s not funny is that they’re making jokes about North Korean missile launches … and the 49ers trading for Colt McCoy (egads!).

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