Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Spearman, Jefferson already preparing for senior season

If there’s one player on the Hawai’i basketball team who deserved an extra game this season, it’s Brandon Spearman.

When the 6-foot-3 junior guard went down with a severely-sprained ankle on February 16, it was thought to be a season-ending injury. But through perseverance and determination during an accelerated rehabilitation schedule, Spearman was able to return for the Warriors’ final game.

And it wasn’t just a token appearance. He did not start, but played 32 minutes and was a key figure in the Warriors’ rally attempt. He finished with eight points, seven rebounds and two assists.

It resulted in a 69-65 loss to Air Force in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, but it was still an indication of what Spearman is willing to do to be on the court for every game.


“When your number is called, you gotta be ready,” he said. “That’s the day I was ready, and coach Gib (Arnold) called my number and I was ready to play … I’m ready to play when ever he puts me in the game.”

Spearman will bring that Warrior spirit back for a senior campaign next season. The preparation for his final year of college basketball started the day after the Air Force loss.

“I think about it every day,” he said. “Just come out and compete, keep working hard so I won’t be disappointed my senior year. I know I gave it my all, so that’s why I’m out here doing work and getting better with my teammates.”

Spearman finished his junior season averaging 9.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. He ranked third on the team with 30 3-pointers, and second in steals with 29. But his real importance to the team was on the defensive end, where he was considered the best perimeter defender.

After the season ended, Arnold said the one play that he would like to take back was Spearman’s injury.

“If I could look back, I wish I could take one play back and I would have him out that play where he got hurt because I think it could have been a lot different with him in there,” Arnold said.

Spearman said his ankle is still not at full strength, but it has not stopped him from working out on his own – even during this Spring Break week.

“I got to get back on being explosive,” he said. “I’ll be in the weight room a lot, working on my legs, especially getting my ankle stronger. And make sure I keep putting up shots, getting in the gym, getting better.”

— — — — —

Another Warrior who has already started preparing for his senior season is guard Garrett Jefferson. He played a key reserve role as a junior, serving as both a defensive specialist and a back-up point guard.

He played on the wing as a sophomore, but was asked to learn the point guard position prior to his junior season.

“I learned a lot from it – I actually learned how hard the position is,” he said. “It’s not just passing the ball to people. It’s controlling the tempo, and knowing what’s going on with the other team as well as your team, and making sure everybody’s involved in the game.”

Jefferson said he is willing to again play any position next season to help the team. “It doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “If I play that role again, I’ll be fine with that. I’ll just keep learning and trying to progress. And if I go back to the wing, that’ll be fine, too. There’s a lot of things I need to learn about the wing.”

— — — — —

Kudos to sportsbow for the following find:

According to Rivals.com, Corey Allen and Garrett Nevels will be visiting UH this weekend.

Corey Allen: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/recruiting/player-Corey-Allen-144880;_ylt=Ai5zpT3rZ6InVHtwJKKtvjPXO5B4

Garrett Nevels: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/recruiting/player-Garret-Nevels-150445;_ylt=AqiKX7jwwP798s6pfEOBOJPXO5B4


  1. Spearman and Jefferson, two of the High Character, great attitude players on UH MBB team! Kudos and props to you soon to be seniors. With the experience playing together and the addition of Shamburger, a stronger Manroop, and better Jawato, plus, hopefully 2 great JC guards., the backcourt looks like it will be much, much improved. And that can translate into more W’s and hope for NIT or NCAA’s.

    Keep on working Garrett Gee Jefferson, and Brandon “B” Spearman, look forward to your spring, and 2nd summer UH session workouts with coaches, possibly, seeing you guys in open gym and summer leagues, Get better, stay together, you both are great attitude players, whom work well with Coach Gib, and are willing to sacrifice or do anything to help team win. No selfishness in either of you!

    Mahalo, for becoming UH Warriors, have a solid and super successful senior season, Garret and Brandon Spearman!!

    Go Warriors!


  2. Players are Made in the Off-Season
    B & G, It was clear that you both improved your Range and Efficiency Last Year…
    AND Are Two who also Can Both Play Shutdown Defense and Get to the Rim & Finish, And One…
    Similar or Bigger Improvement this year can be the difference between playing catchup or controlling from ahead,
    and ultimately, More WINS…

    Test the New Guys this Weekend and Daily
    Host & Build and Shape Your Team…


    Have a Great Trip Garrett Nevels and Corey Allen…

    THEN (Please) DECIDE To Help Turnaround the Hawaiʻi Backcourt Liability Into a Strong Advantage…

    To Make the “Historic” or Classic D-1 Post-Season (NCAA or NIT)
    Will Likely Require a Level of Backcourt Dominance…
    Especially, Finally WINNING An NCAA Tournament Game or Two

    So A New First & Highest Level for You Two, A Great Follow-Up to Your “Junior” JC Championship
    (BTW, Congratulations! )
    Would be Helping to Take This Team to the Senior NCAA Championship Tourney Win…

  3. Love the dedication by Spearman & Jefferson.

    I can almost guarantee the guard play will be better with Shamburger and Valdes becoming eligible. I think they will be immediate impact players. The PG position was a mess this season. Tavita was suppose to be the guy, but his play was very inconsistent and provided little to no scoring threat. Manroop has some offensive game, but is really raw defensively and he didn’t look comfortable handling the ball with defenders on him tight.

    Shamburger is an experienced PG and started every game while at San Jose St. He’s also a legit scoring threat while averaging 12.7ppg and had 8 games over 20pts. Gib was recruiting him out of high school, but Shamburger decided to stay close to home. He said that he really likes what Gib is doing with the program and he loves the fact UH has quality big men to balance his offensive game.

    Fotu is determined to get better… Spearman & Jefferson are fully dedicated to improve for next season… we all know Standhardinger is a workhorse… Valdes & Shamburger will be hungry to play after sitting out a year…

    It smells like something good cooking for next season.

  4. Dayton. Need your confirmation.

    Don’t know how true it is but, Brad Winton said on his twitter that Corey Allen and Garrett Nevels will be visiting UH next week. He posted this 3-hours ago as of this post.

    Brad Winton twitter: https://twitter.com/JucoRecruiting/status/317669474130096129

    Brad Winton‏ @ JucoRecruiting 3h

    Garrett Nevels (6-3/G/2013) & Corey Allen (6-1/PG/2013) of Mt. San Antonio (CA) will both visit Hawaii next week

  5. The question marks entering next season are:

    1. Can Shamburger be a dependable PG?
    2. Can UH get consistent 3pt shooting from at least 2 players out of Jawato, Spearman, Shamburger, Oz, Harper?
    3. Will Caleb Dressler contribute if Rozitis doesn’t return?

  6. FUHA:

    I think that is why for backcourt play, Gib is going hard and heavy recruiting possible scoring and PG additions for this coming year. Hope he gets that added help. PG an experienced JC, and SG who can go to rim and shoot high percentage 3’s are a priority. With whomever is coming back, and Fotu, Spearman , Jefferson, and Christian, are going to be working hard, along with Shamburger having RS one year experience working scout and practice with UH MBB team, Valdes, Thomas athleticism.

    Dressler, who is a weight room junkie. He really sculpted his body, Looks in great shape. Dressler, I noticed , open gym and in summer league, and just in background shooting around, as well as comments from Artie W., Artie likes Dressler. , Dressler is a BBIQ smart big, HE will pass the ball,as you stated, he holds the ball up high, in summer league if he made his move too slowly or brought down to chest level he got stripped, in practices working with coach Fish, I am sure he learned a lot, a huge difference from Vander. Dressler, is a leftie, his timing on blocking shots is good, since his left hand is already there for the majority of right handed shooters.

    I don’t know how far back you go in NCAA MBB history, you might remember Jack Sikma? About Caleb’s height, soft touch with that beautiful jumper. Jack was a great NAIA and NBA Seattle Supersonics world championship team member. Great player with not super athleticism, great fundamentals. Hopefully Caleb will be that way too. I think he will help, he is strong guy!

    FUHA, this April LOI day is a big one, we shall see if Gib can get some big time scoring guards who will compliment team!

  7. You have to do the math. There are no scholarship opening right now, unless a couple of existing scholarship players leave. One possibility is Davis Rozitis not returning because he graduates and decides not to return. That’s one. There is some talk that Pavlovic might not return. Who knows? If so, that Two. Or, somebody else that we don’t know about yet. As it stands right now here is the roster based on who’s going to be in the fall.

    1. Standhardinger, Sr., F
    2. Spearmon, Sr., SG
    3. Jefferson, Sr., G
    4. Rozitis, Sr., C
    5. Shamburger, Jr, G.
    6. Fotu, Soph., PF
    7. Clair, Soph., G
    8. Jawato, Soph., G
    9. Pavlovic, Soph., SF
    10. Valdes, R-Fr., SF
    11. Dressler, R-Fr, C.
    12. Thomas, Fr, SF.
    13. Jovanovic, Fr, PF/C.
    14. Harper, Soph. (walk-on, G)
    15. Enos, R-Fr. (walk-on), G

    If Arnold wants to get 2 scholarship guards, then 2 guys gotta go. I guess Gerry Blakes and Aaric Armstead are not in the picture. Don’t expect the walk-ons to get much playing time, if any. Based on this past year, we need more firepower from the outside, more athleticism, quickness, more uptempo style, and better perimeter defense. You can’t be an exciting, winning team scoring in the 60s. That’s not going to put a lot of people in the seats. Get an exciting team like the Fabulous Five, or the AC, Alika team, or Savovic, English team and you’ll see good crowds. UH should be contending in the Big West. Going on the road is a lot easier than the WAC. There should be no excuses. Our personnel and the coaching just have to be better than the other guys. Maybe, one or both of them are the reasons. With the Wahine Softball and Wahine volleyball there is no question that the players are just better than the rest of the competition and the coaches are the tops too. And the ingrediants are that they dominate the conference and win consistently on the road. We just have to get better, period.

  8. sportsbow,

    Thank you for your research and updates.

    Visits will indeed start next week (nothing this weekend).

  9. McInnis reports the two Mt Sac players suppose to be here this weekend. Let’s get these two as a package Gib!

  10. If the Mt. Sac guards are being brought in on Tuesday instead of this weekend, perhaps it’s to time their visits to coincide with the team banquet on Wednesday.

    My memory’s a bit fuzzy, but if I recall Spearman played hurt during the summer league championship game and still went for 45 and 14. Tough, determined kid. His loss down the stretch really hurt the Warriors. Nice to see his comments about working even harder to get “more explosive.”

    You could tell from the summer league play that Jefferson had worked on his FT shooting. He was much more comfortable and confident at the line than he was the year before. It was also in the summer league that he started playing the point. As he said, he’ll play wherever he’s asked because his defense will always be there.

    As uhfan stated above, these are two high-character, likable guys.

  11. Spearman =True Warrior , I like his attitude

  12. If those two JC guards committ Manroop will be the next to go. Sorry Manroop but the rise of play of Michael Harper has surpassed you in the depth chart and he’s a walk on.

  13. Thats the most evil thing about college sports athletic scholarships are no guarantee of a four-year education. They can be yanked after one year, for any reason .So Im guessing Manroop and Rozitis. Those two for my reason not division 1 quality. Chaminade needs help garanz Manroop and Rozitis are starters there from day 1.

  14. John, agree with you on that.

    In past , scholarships to athletes and coaches, University so precious, that they make sure they graduate, even , after eligibility is over. Now the APR thing, if over a period, guys not graduating, that could spell problems. Hope Gib does the right things. Must be, or else he would not offer to a couple of JC guards.

    As for who is and isn’t going to be here, or who is and isn’t on full ride scholarships, it is a mystery to me. Maybe coaches today, don’t even release that information. I know the early signees, Thomas and Jovanovich signed LOI’s so they have scholarships. That is the key, did they sign LOI’s or Scholarship Agreements.

    We shall see, if Gib can get the two JC guards, and who is still with UH after May 2013.
    True, some of the guys on UH roster, it might be a better fit, at DII level, however, have to see what happens.
    Hope UH and the coaches and players keep on upgrading.
    Freshman, actually, as Gib stated, should be developed , by their Jr. and Sr. years if they really are coached well, gain experience and improved dramatically from day one as Frosh, they would be very good players.

    Bottom line: We have to see , probably in Next few weeks!

  15. John, I would disagree with you more. Give me some facts as to why Harper is better than Clair?
    How much college basketball do you watch, either games or game tape? And Rozitis, I guess you don’t think he’s a Division I player. Well, he was good enough to be recruited first by USC, a PAC 12 school. He has his limitations, but he is good enough to play on the Division I level. Gib Arnold will attest to that too, and ditto for Clair. Next thing you know, you will tell me Arnold is not a Division I coach too! Heck, the season is over. Let’s try to be positive going into the off season and into the fall season and let’s see what happens then. No sense taking pot shots at anybody now. And another thing, Manroop Clair only made 18 years old this past December. He’s a young guy with a lot of time to grow. He started 5 straight games in the non-conference games with a high game of 15 points, and was a big part in helping UH beat Fullerton in the 2nd conference game.
    We’ve have to be patient and see how he improves his game and his strength. Arnold said himself that Clair is the quickest of all the guards. Gotta take him at his word. Bless, Harper too. Her didn’t complain, watched, and learn from the sideline, a very good team player. All these guys, it’s all about the team, except maybe Vander. Maybe he was more interested in his stats and his accolades. Mostly, he was just frustrated.

  16. I love their determination to be the best. Spearman’s a fighter.

  17. Derek: Ultimately with players consent, and input from parents and communication from coach and UH, decision made on who moves on, transfers.

    Manroop, agreed the strength and experience factor. He gets stronger, works on game, by the time he is Jr. or Sr. he is going to be good.

    Davis, agree with you their, he would not have had been given a Scholarship to USC, PAC 12 school, if he wasn’t DI material. Davis is a very, very bright student. He is set to get his degree. I think he has athleticism to play some form of pro ball after graduation.

    My take on DI one guys that transfer to DII, like Chaminade, some Hawaii local HS products, who saw that they could not compete on DI level, they transferred to HPU or Chaminade even UH Hilo. So more so , the walk on players. Would consider going to and probably doing well at DII level.

    The scholarship guys, a huge investment, the guys on team, maybe with exception of an Emotional Vander, who wanted to win as badly as all the guys, hope he gets his degree(!), all of them, they are close and friends, I don’t hear or see negative stuff happening on the bench or off the court. Except of course when a super competitive Vander, got frustrated.

    And Derek you are correct, this Warrior MBB site, is basically, we express our opinions, comments frustrations, and suggestions for team to improve, however we keep it civil, and as Dayton alluded to, earlier, a lot of YOUNG fans log on and view our comments, so want to be positive. Probably UH MBB team reads our comments as well.

    To all the players, all 16 including the 4 RS’s , good job in school and on and off the court. Good representatives of University and Hawaii. Whatever a few athletes , if any decide to do , moving forward, it is their decision along with their families

    Not only I, but many fans from around the world, appreciated this year’s team’s excellent, demeanor and wanting to exceed. UH MBB will be better, that is what Gib , or whomever is the coach in future will assure us.

    WE are all UH MBB fans. Keep it going! We love the hoops, and want the guys to have fun and win championships, one game at a time. And it takes several years to build a GOOD, consistent program. Even Laura Beeman, too early after one season, give HER 3 or 4 years, then we see how well she does. I hope she and Gib are very successful next year!!

  18. Any word on why Vander left the building? I’m happy he’s finally gone. The season is over and I’m looking forward to next year, but his actions have left a real sour taste in my mouth. He owes Gib, the team and UH fans way more than that for all the support he’s received.

  19. GLofSector808

    , For Vander’s sake, post UH BB career, he should make amends and publicly apologize to coaches, fans, University and the State of Hawaii, his family and friends. True, what he went through is frustrating, however, if he is seeking a Pro career overseas, the management will ask : WHY, will you walk out on your Pro team too? Today, the Professional sports teams are very thorough in mental, emotional, condition of potential players under contract.

    I liked Vander, a very humble, young guy from Angola, could barely speak English, to a very skilled finesse PF/C who can play overseas, Euro PRO, and might get tryouts with NBA teams.

    Vander, if you read this, the fans loved and welcomed your return to Hawaii for Senior year. It might have been frustrating for you, however the UH fanbase sufferd too. We all want UH MBB to win and do well. However, it would me MATURE on your part to apologize , say it was a mistake, and move on. Your all time UH stats will be in MBB archives forever. Now, your legacy, as an adult post UH player, what you do now, and moving forward , will impact the rest of your life. I am sure, you have a lot of friends in Hawaii, who wonder WHY?

    If not, Caleb, Isaac, Christian and Davis(whatever your decision on future MBB career), will step up big time!

  20. Derek,

    Besides Seniors Davis & Gee,
    OR Any Player(s) Possibly Not Returning
    Possible other Non-Scholardship could be Aaron Valdes who signed Scholarship Agreement vs NLOI

  21. Derek I do watch whenever it’s broadcasted on OC-16. where are the scholarships going to come from if they offer these two jc players? someone has to go right now and I think Clair is the weakest out the players on the roster. and I do think Gib Arnold is a division 1 coach and I love what he’s done for this program this far extend his contract now

    when you say he was good enough to be recruited by USC I say nope he wasn’t Davis Rozitis. he was Considered a raw project at best, he was still learning the game and spent most of that season with USC trying to add weight to his frail frame. USC recruited him because they thought he had the the potential to eventually become a Nikola Vucevic.

    Sometimes you find a diamond like Fotu and othertimes you find a bust like Rozitis.

  22. I forgot to answer why I thought Harper was better than Clair

    When Clair was recruited people was comparing him to Stephen Curry for Clair’s unlimited range and underrated passing ability. coaches were raving about his potential.

    I just didn’t see it this year numbers don’t lie Clair shot 13-46 from downtown .283 percent. His Assist 29 his turnovers 29. and in 288 minutes played he got 6 steals.

    I think if harper got the playing time would’ve shot better from 3 it would’ve helped Fotu when he was getting doubled. Harper is Taller at 6-4. and in 39 minutes played he got 3 steals. The best thing is Harper is a WALK ON.

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