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Standhardinger and Fotu join elite lists

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Christian Standhardinger and Isaac Fotu joined elite company in the history book of Hawai’i men’s basketball on Monday, when they were honored by the Big West Conference.

Standhardinger, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, was named to the All-Big West Conference first team. This is the Warriors’ first season in the Big West, but in 33 previous seasons with the Western Athletic Conference, only 14 Hawai’i players were named first-team all-conference.

“I think it’s be consistent at what you do,” Standhardinger said of his key to success this season. “If you’re a hustle player, go hustle every game and every practice. If you’re a shooter, go extra shooting.”

Standhardinger, a transfer from Nebraska who is originally from Germany, leads the Warriors in scoring at 15.9 points per game, and is second in rebounding at 7.9 per game. He is shooting 50.7 percent from the field, and also leads the team in steals with 44.

Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold noted that Standhardinger’s value to the Warriors went beyond the offensive statistics.

“He’s been real consistent – scored it and rebounded it,” Arnold said. “And a lot of times gets to guard (the opponent’s) best guy. And he’s brought it every night.”

The previous 14 Hawai’i players to earn all-conference first-team honors: Clarence Dickerson (1982), Tony Webster (1983), Reggie Cross (1989), Chris Gaines (1990), Phil Lott (1992), Trevor Ruffin (1994), Tony Maroney (1995), Anthony Harris (1996), Anthony Carter (1997), Predrag Savovic (2001 and 2002), Carl English (2003), Michael Kuebler (2004), Julian Sensley (2006) and Vander Joaquim (2012).

Joaquim, a 6-10 senior center, was a first-team All-WAC pick last season, and received Honorable Mention status from the Big West this season. He is averaging 14.1 points per game and ranks second in the Big West in rebounding at 8.4 per game.

“I think the most respect Vander sees is every night when he gets double- and triple-teamed,” Arnold said. “Obviously the coaches in the conference really respect him or they wouldn’t guard him with two or three guys. That maybe kept some of his numbers down, but I think Vander’s had a really good year for us, too.”

Fotu was named the Big West Conference co-Freshman of the Year, sharing the honor with UC Irvine point guard Alex Young. Fotu, a 6-8 forward, is averaging 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and leads the team with a .643 field goal percentage.

In the 33 previous seasons in the WAC, only one Hawai’i player received Freshman of the Year honors – Dominic Waters in 2006.

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The Warriors are scheduled to depart Honolulu on Tuesday afternoon for the Big West Conference Tournament at Anaheim, Calif.

Hawai’i will face UC Irvine in a quarterfinal game at the Honda Center at approximately 5:30 p.m. (Hawaii time). The Warriors are 17-13 overall and the No. 5 seed with a 10-8 Big West record. The Anteaters are 18-14 overall and the No. 4 seed at 11-7.

“We played two very close games with them,” Arnold said. “They beat us by four and we beat them by six here, so I think we match up well against them.”

Junior guard Brandon Spearman, who has missed the last three games with an injured ankle, will travel with the team to the Big West Tournament, but he is not expected to be ready to play, according to Arnold.

Spearman is averaging 9.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, and is considered the team’s best perimeter defender. He has made progress in recent days with his rehabilitation, and was able to practice jump shots on his own on Monday.

Freshman Ozren Pavlovic is also expected to travel with the team to Anaheim. He missed the last road trip to catch up on his class work.

2 Comments

  1. From Coach Gib to Michael Harper. Give your best effort, coaching, guys following scout, Defend, Rebound, take care of the ball and shoot well. Finish a close game and move to the semis. Don’t ever, ever give up, several thousand MBB fans, in Hawaii, the Mainland USA and around the Globe from Australia to Angola will be cheering you guys on.

    Key: Bring the same intensity 100% on every play, just like a 4th leader , (a junior leader too)in Christian Standhardinger! Isaac, up your game, don’t hold back from putting up 18 pts, 15 rebounds, 2 blocked shots, and some key defensive stops. and Vander, we know MCL slowed you down, as well as all of the double and triple teams. Make your move in post fast, either score, or pass out to wide open perimeter shooters, or cutters to the rim. Vander, Jace, and Hauns, this could be your last game, for your sakes, an to keep this momentum going towards a really great finish, battle to the end, get a good lead, and extend it. Guard closer, to the 3 ball shooters, and the whole defensive unit work in syn. On offense, try to run and score off of transition a lot. Have to get to a 10-12 pt lead in first half, and go into half if possible double digits, then second half, in first five minutes, extend the lead to 12-15, then play agressive, and finish off Irvine.

    Huge KEY: Irvine is a very good rebounding team and defensive team , well coached, so UH, you have to outrebound Irvine on the offensive boards and defensive boards, just dominate, remember, if you lose, season comes to an end, and 9000 faithful at senior nite, don’t want your season to end yet! Play as a team, shoot well, have fun, hope Gib lets you get that rebound and bigs start break, and Hauns, Jawato, Christian, Jefferson, Clair, just drive all the way to hoop, get basket, or basket and foul, or 2 foul shots, if covered, kick out to wide open Jawato, or Hauns, Perimeter, guys, to help Bigs score and ease the double and packing in on D against Isaac and Vander, you have to hit your 3’s and midrange. A huge Must, maybe go 10-18 for game. Then FT shooting at end so critical, as a team, throughout the game and especially to close out in last few minutes, hit 80% or better , and beat Irvine and go on to semis on Friday.

    Hey: UH MBB, nothing to FEAR, have fun, play loose, play ball, like at UH practice gym two or Manoa Rec center, just hoop it up, and the win will come, fans will appreciate your effort, never give up, play smart, hard and together, you have a very good chance to beat a very hot Irvine team. The Bigs, box out, and the perimeter players have to chase down Daman Starring’s 3 ball shots that bounce long. Also, at FT line BOX out! So important, can mean, maintaining a lead, or closing out a game, or catching up!

    We, got your backs, when you guys Defend, shoot well, take care of ball, run and score in transition and have fun, give effort, you guys are a joy to watch. Go get Irvine, you can do it, don’t let the negative comments get you down, think positive, play well, and you guys will win!!

    Go Warriors! From Vander to Michael Harper, the 1 through 12(including Brandon Spearman making the trip!)

  2. Congratulations to Standhardinger and Fotu. Good job guys.
    Ok, now the 2nd season starts. All that workout you did in the off season……..make it count.
    Stay loose and have fun. Go fo’ it!
    Go Warriors!

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