Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Arnold’s comments on recent signings

The two recent signings for the Hawai’i basketball team are proof that persistence pays off in recruiting.

Garrett Nevels signed an official National Letter of Intent on Friday to play for the Hawaii basketball team, just two days after Negus Webster-Chan signed his paperwork to complete a transfer from Missouri to Hawai’i.

Both players said an early-established relationship with the Hawai’i coaches were a reason for them selecting to play for the Warriors.


Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said he saw Nevels early in the 2012-13 season, and knew immediately that the 6-foot-2 shooting guard could help the Warriors.

“Once I saw him, he was exactly what we were looking for,” Arnold said. “I thought he really fit what we needed. We needed to get more athletic, we needed to get deeper on the guard line, quicker, more athletic, and he fits that.”

Nevels averaged 19.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Mount San Antonio College (Calif.), and also led the team in 3-pointers with 49. He shot 57.8 percent from the field, 81.4 percent from the free-throw line, and 47.6 percent from 3-point range. Perhaps most important, he led Mount SAC to the California Community College Athletic Association championship. He scored 32 points in the championship game, and was named the MVP of the tournament.

“I thought he was the best junior college player in the state of California,” Arnold said. “He had a monster year.”

Arnold’s recruiting relationship with Webster-Chan goes back several years, when the 6-7 combo guard was still at Huntington Prep in West Virginia. Webster-Chan was also being recruited by many of the top programs in the country, and he eventually signed with Missouri.

Despite appearing in 32 games, including six starts, as a true freshman at Missouri, Webster-Chan opted to transfer, and Hawaii suddenly became his first choice.

“Saw the light and decided he wanted to end up at the University of Hawaii,” Arnold said with a smile. “He’s going to transfer and he’s got to sit out a year, but when we get him eligible, he’s going to be a real special player.”

Arnold went so far as describing Webster-Chan as a player who “got a chance to be one of the best players ever to play here.”

Another recruit, point guard Quincy Smith from City College of San Francisco, is confirmed to be on an official visit to Hawaii this weekend, although Arnold can not comment on recruits until they sign the official paperwork.


  1. Hey NWC,

    “Got a chance to be one of the best players ever to play here” says your up-and-coming mentor, smiling as broadly as a big fat cat, who has just swallowed a big fresh fish!
    “He is going to be a real special player” your new fan here “saw the light” too for UH MBB.

    Happily here, you got a whole year to prepare..
    And, three years to improve & perform as “The Best 6’7 PG from UH Ever”!

    NBA will draft you highly for that distinction.
    Start & enjoy a long & successful career.

    We will be proud of you from now on!

  2. Welcome Garrett and NWC!

    Go Warriors!

  3. Hey Nevels,
    Mahalo for your saying: “I made my best decision for myself” and followed-up with your LOI to the right destination immediately after your SAC special signing ceremony as promised.

    For the 1st time, seeing this many positive, approving comments from our Warriors MBB Visionaries on your choice.
    Probably impressive basketball stats plus inspirable GPA of 3.6 really swung it.
    Hawaii realistically offers the best opportunity for you to excel as much as you would like to achieve!?
    Ten-thousand-fans’ applause is not impossible!

    Special appreciation to Mr. & Mrs. Nevels for allowing such an outstanding scholar-athlete to be with us here in Paradise. Your son will turn our good TEAM into an outstanding one!
    Please come visit us sometime!

  4. Gib, now you got the right mix of freshmen to develop and JC,DI transfers with experience to add to the exisiting team, a solid 10 or 11 returnees, All the guys, including the ones who transferred out, are the high character type. Good Job Gib. Now you have your type of athletes and team, go out and with Michael Thomas, Stefan Jovanovich, Garrett Nevels, hopefully Qunicy Smith, and next year Negus Webster-Chan, go chasing and capturing BWC championships and the NCAA invites!

    Welcome Garrett and Negus to MBB Ohana!!


  5. Mahalo Dayton, You ask the very questions we want to know! The type of character, student, skill of new recruits, who is on campus this week, and a biggie, anymore visits, possible gets after this week? Interesting, Gib cannot comment, so there is that anticipation! A possible wing/athletic big?

    We shall see next week!

    Mahalo Dayton, WI, the Schmidts, Hunter, Ameriprise, and the WI Global Warrior MBB nation! Enjoy all the robust comments.

    Thankyou Gib, going into your fourth year, you have created a great interest in UH MBB again. Look forward to 2013-14 season., it could and will be a great year!!


  6. Regarding NWC… “he’s got a chance to be one of the best players EVER to play here.”

    Whoa… you don’t hear that too often from coaches. You hear a lot of: “he’s got a chance to be great/very good player,” but you rarely hear any coach say he could be one of the best EVER at a school.

    Let’s hope it pans out because UH might potentially have two of it’s best players in its history on the court at the same time in 2014-15. NWC will be clear to play and Fotu will be in his Jr year. Fotu clearly is on track to be one of the best ever to put on the Green & White. NWC looks like a totally different level of athlete to make it to Manoa.

    If the SSC doesn’t average 7,500 in 2014-15 then there really is no hope for UH fans. I am super pumped up for the future of the program.

    Gib and the staff are doing a great job of addressing the team’s weaknesses in their recruiting efforts.

    People need to appreciate the unbelievable recruiting network Gib has made for himself. Everywhere he’s been, he’s able to sign great players. Although he is still learning nuances of being a head coach and the additional responsibilities that job carries, he is one of the best recruiters in the nation.

    Although Vander left unceremoniously, just the fact that Gib discovered him and signed him 3 years ago is pretty damn amazing if you really think about it. Seriously, how do you go from Angola to Honolulu via JUCO in-between? Same goes for Fotu. UH doesn’t play in a power conference and doesn’t have a storied tradition to attract mainland recruits, so UH isn’t on any recruit’s radar when playing high school or AAU ball. It’s all on the coaching staff to sell UH, Honolulu, and the aloha spirit. All the recruits have mentioned they love the family-like atmosphere.

    Yes, players haven’t panned out and some leave because of lack of playing time, but that happens at every school. Coaches have to over-promise to get players to sign. What do you think Coach Calipari tells his recruits on his home visits?

    Other than football, you can’t tell a highly sought after recruit that he’s going to have to red-shirt or sit on the bench the first year. Every recruit is told they will be the guy or will have a fair chance to compete for the starting position. The only exception is when an All-conference or All-American or team MVP player returning at their position.

  7. EVEN Better than i might have initially thought …sounds like Gib figured A Long Time Ago that both Negus and Nevels could or would be great players — not in a vacuum either — Louisville/Missourri and St. John’s saw the talent and potential –we experience both sides of the ‘Freshmen Transfer’ Tendency — (we’ll follow & miss Ozi & Manroop, always lament the loss/separation from here, yet appreciate investing their year here…)

    (some of the boobirds at ‘other sites’ “Act as if” some percentage of what comes out of coach Gib’s mouth is ‘All Spin’ — the more i see and hear over time, and maybe like these outstanding recruits, the more accurate and considered it seems to be and bette fit …and at some point they ‘see the light’ of day, or a bulb turns on, the seed of the idea takes root and a new reality begins to form….

  8. Getting Transfers with D-1 Experience is A Plus (St. John’s, Missouri) in the players’ understanding and Expectations of D-1 Intensity … should be able to perform from Day One…

    Interesting Counterpoint to also see the ‘other path’ of development for the (potential) four or five year players…

    AND At their Personal UH Apex, ideally their PenUltimate, ‘Money’ Year, what can this years’ seniors make happen?
    All Transfers,Christian Standhardinger, Brandon Spearman, Garrett Jefferson and Davis Rozitis…
    With the Improved Supporting Cast, More Returnees and Better Depth and Guard Play…

    Expectedly More, Maybe Much More….


    P.S . Jump In Quincy! The Water’s Fine !
    (Fresh & Saltwater, FINEST in the World)

  9. The new guys coming in sounds like they’re quick, athletic and can shoot.
    Let’s go Warriors……’Bows!?!?

  10. I think Coach Gib made a mistake… I checked the St. John’s roster for the past four years, and Garrett Nevels was not on any of them. However, there is a player named Amir Garrett (a four star recruit) on the current roster who actually requested his release a couple weeks ago. He is listed on Jeff Goodman’s transfer list. He might be a Hawaii recruiting target as well? Gib might have gotten mixed up between the two?

  11. DK –PROPS to you for Great FACT-CHECKING!

    Might Have also discovered a near-future “Visitor”…
    Fits… Coaches Canʻt Talk about ʻProspective Transfersʻ as Potential Tampering…

  12. Thanks Eagle.

    Amir Garrett is also originally from the Los Angeles area, so it would make sense if we are targeting him as a potential recruit (with Gib’s ties to that area and us being in the Big West).

  13. Mountiewire.com mentioned that Garrett Nevels transferred out of St. Johns. They mention last year and the article was written in 2011. So it must have been his freshman year in 2010 that he transferred.

    It is amazing how many solid players have held out until the regular signing period. We still could use an understudy freshman point to back up Shamburger, a wing player, and a center. That would be icing on the cake. With the exception of the 2 (Spearman/Nevels) and 4 positions (Standhardinger/Fotu) we need to be at least 2 deep in each spot. Of course the 2 can go big or small and ditto the 4 spot, and everyone plays, but that leaves the bench thin and some players will not be in their natural positions.

    Right now we have no proven, true wing players. Webster Chan (Julian Sensley mold?) would fit nicely there but that’s next year. Are athletic wings hard to find? I think marquee ones are gold because it is perhaps the most athletic of all posititions and most demanding (2 is very close to it). You gotta be tall, long, quick, jumper, shooter, athletic, and energy to get open. Hence, if you can’t see God from this position it means you have not played hard enough.

  14. You are right servante. There was a small blurb that said he redshirted his freshman year at St. John’s in the Mountiewire. I can’t find much else about his time there, but it must be true because he graduated in 2010 from Palisades HS and would be a senior next year if he didn’t redshirt or greyshirt a year somewhere in between. The odd thing is that he isn’t listed on the St John’s 2010-11 roster on their website. Anyhow, I still expect him to be a great addition to the team.

  15. servante,

    I still think recruiting quality bigs over 6’9″ is the toughest for coaches, and even tougher for non-power programs. There are so few kids that are athletic at that size. 95% of tall kids can’t walk and chew gum without looking awkward.

    Based on height, you would think PG would be the easiest position to recruit, but its pretty remarkable how few high quality PGs there are in D1 basketball. Case in point, UH hasn’t had a quality PG since Mark Campbell, and that was over 10 years ago.

  16. I don’t like when a recruit gets too much hype. for example Manroop Clair when he was recruited people was comparing him to Stephen Curry for Clair’s unlimited range and underrated passing ability. coaches were raving about his potential.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m happy we got Webster Chan but before we talk about NBA draft
    he needs to take Hawaii to multiple NCAA tournaments first.

    I just get disappointed when you hype too much and he doesn’t live up to it. just like Roderick Flemings.

  17. Probably, and we know and Gib knows, quality PG’s and SG’s, both that can handle the ball, run sets, play D, quick and can score out to 3 line.

    The athletic Big 6″9″ 225 runs well, rebounds, block shots, not a Vander type, passes the ball, that would be a luxury.

    Would be ideal if incoming class had PG: Quincy Smith SG: Garrett Nevels SF: Michael Thomas PF: secret athletic Big 6’9″, could still happen, have to wait and see C: Stefan Jovanovich and RS DI transfer SF/SG.

    That would be , even without an athletic big, one of the better recruiting classes, Gib has put together in his four years. All appear to be GOOD students and not head cases or ego maniacs, neither were Manroop and Ozi, who were very good student athletes, and well liked by coaches, fans, and community.

    Kind of neat, the athletes, Gib is getting, to combine with the ” hard hat” players, Fotu, Standhardinger, Spearman, Jawato, Dressler, Jefferson, Harper, Enos, Shamburger, looks like team could be solid, with another, few additions next year, and year after that, to be primed and ready to do battle in the wild Cali BWC for the NCAA big dance. Give LBSU, Irvine, Northridge, Poly a run for their money, should be exciting. Gib is a master recruiter, he recruits, not only the kids, also the parents and families. now Gib has to go to summer coaching clinics too, to gain knowlege on fundamental teaching, mentoring, and implementing O and D schemes that his athletes can execute. With the quality of Good BB players, that physcially can do what he wants, combined with the BB IQ, UH MBB potentially, and that is the key word. potentially, be very, very good team for several years to come.

    Can’t wait for the final , possible 1 or 2 signees to complete Gib’s highly athletic and strong, 2013-14 recruiting class. BWC look out!


  18. Hey Micheal T.,

    While everyone is busy with late-signee one way or another..
    You are one of the two smart ones who got that done as early-signee; worry-free from scholie slot availability. Deserving our admiration for planning ahead for youselves.

    Since you’ve earned that extra time on hand, you probably spend it on getting a better GPA for UH admission requirements to be met with Flying-Colors!

    Congrats for your team went 10-0, an undefeated season in West Valley League.
    Only a couple more good players away from a >28-4 overall record.

    Physically, you grew 1″ => 6’7; Gained 10lbs => 210lbs.
    Athleticly, current season: Total PT/441, PPG/15.2, RPG/7.6,

    Your future TEAM will be a much improved one. Means competitions for PT from top to bottom going to be fierce. Ability to play multiple positions will improve your chances accordingly. The system demands all-around improvements; total contribution toward TEAM successes; You good, you worked hard, you’ll be rewarded.

    We’ll love to enjoy your outstanding athleticism more & often all season-long.
    Be prepare to witness our loud & rocking excitements!?

  19. After watching/hearing Coach talk or not about recruiting in the clip. When asked if there’s a possible recruit touring UH and kinda hesitated and said yes and that’s all he could say. We all know it’s Quincy here this weekend and I believe it’s Quincy of Bust for Coach for his last scholarship offer. He was asked if there was anymore recruits lined up to come in and he didn’t respond that they had lined up anyone as of yet. Although Coach says they are continually recruiting

    So my feelings is it’s Quincy if he wants it, other than that there’s no one else lined up at the moment.

  20. I can’t get excited right now. After all, we are in the Big West and we finished 5th last year and the conference was “weak” compared to other leagues and it showed in the NCAA tournament. So let’s not be talking about “irrational exuberance.” MBB has a long way to go. NWC is a nice addition. But, he can’t play this coming year. Nevels looks like he can make a difference. The guys that left can be replaced (that’s about 33 points to make up). The guys that are returning and who played last year are a known quantity. The question is how much better will they be or will some of them regress! Who is going to take over the slack? The X-factors as I see it are Aaron Valdes, Caleb Dressler, and Michael Thomas because they are unknown quantities? Shamburger should be just as good if not better than when he played at San Jose St. which is about 13 points per game and 5 plus assists per game. That’s good numbers. So for me, it’s a wait and see attitude. You never know about injuries creeping up or nagging ones and it’s always tough. I don’t think Vander was ever 100% after he hurt his knee in the pre-season practices. Spearman going down as the worse time of the year didn’t help at all. You just hope for the best.

    But, if I had my way I wish we could get one more player who can play like Cal Poly’s Chris Eversley, 6’7″. That guy, to me, was the best player in the Big West. I saw James Ennis of Long Beach St. who was the conference’s MVP, but no way he was better than Eversley.

  21. What’s the status of the other guy from Bishop Montgomery HS in Torrance…I believe his name is Niko Filpovich ??? If I’m not mistaken he gave a verbal at the ’12 Midnight Ohana. Anyone out there in “Warrior Nation” know ???

  22. Quincy Smith commits to UH per the SA.

  23. gib hyping up negus and quincy very much….could it be the hype to keep his job???…2013-14 will be exciting but 14-15 will be the most enticipated season and hopefully bring in another top prospect

  24. Pivotal year coming up for the program. Welcome Quincy !Bring on midnight ohana.

  25. Yes! Welcome Qunicy Smith to UH Warrior BB team! Great addition. Now there is depth at the PG position. SG- Nevels, Jawato, Spearman, Harper
    PG-Shamburger, Smith
    SF-Aaron Valdes, Michael Thomas
    PF-Chrisitian Standhardinger, Isaac Fotu
    C-Davis Rozitis, Caleb Dressler, Stefan Jovanovich
    RS DI transfer- Negus Webster-Chan

    Very good recruiting to need: Athleticism, ball handling, BBIQ, and winning programs

    hawaianfan: KEY UH returning 11 guys who had played actively on team or RS scout, that is a lot of experience returning. Of the 9 guys that played last year, 7 were starters at one time or another, that in itself is huge. With Nevels and Smith bringing the athletic guards to the table, alongside Aaron Valdes’ and Michael Thomas’ hops and length, and D. Team will be vastly improved!

    Way to go Gib. And hawaiianfan09, we don’t have to wait to 2014-15, next year UH can win and win big. Go NIT or the BIG DANCE NCAA. They now have the athletes, experience and the type of coaches and roster to do it.

    Huge, huge uprgrade, Good job Gib, excellent recruiting class so far(?) Probably Gib will annouce when or if this is it for 2013-14 recruiting.Fantastic!!

    Huge, huge, athletic upgrade, accompanied by the experienced DI Returnees, UH as home SSC will be hard to stop, On the road, probably can close out more games.

    Can’t wait for season to begin. hawaiianfan09, let the wiinning beging towards NIT or NCAA’s this Nov 2013 for first regular season game. In the meantime look forward to the new guys, 2nd summer UH session, workouts and possibly play in Manoa Collegiate Summer League.

    Awesome job Gib!! Awesome!!


  26. hawaiifan09: Sorry, I spelled your screen name wrong! However, next season, will be a good one. And hopefully 2014-15 with , maybe Evan Fitzner 6’10″(Cheri Boyer Fitzner’s boy) and Negus Webster-Chan joining team, will be continuation of a great run in 2013-14!

    Wow!! Good Job Gib, Awesome gets!!


    The last wunderkind is gone, should be different type of team, a TEAM next year, athletic, and winning!

  27. Almost forgot, our Hawaii Combo guard: Dyrbe Enos, Dyrbe show you can play with NCAA DI boys, just go for it!!

    Great work in classroom and court. Just get stronger, and as physical and fast as the other guys, and you can represent the 808, last guy to do it , was Miah O. !!

    😀 !!!

  28. Somebody forgot the shutdown corner, Garret Jefferson.

  29. Derek:
    With the great signings of two key targets Nevels and a backup PG Smith, I forgot, one, Garrett Jefferson, who is a very nice young man, plus a good student and great defender. Now Garrett will have, Nevels, Smith, Shamburger, Spearman, Thomas, Valdes, Jawato(injury free) to help lock down teams next year.

    Derek, maybe Gib goes back to that Year One , when his team was one of the Nation’s leaders in team Defense. Defense creates a lot of transition opportunities for Quick strike offense.

    Sorry Garrett, probably, Gee, Spear, Jawato, Harper, and Enos, will all up their game along with Shamburger, and Gib will have a lot of depth running 3 guard or even 4 guard offense/defensive units, should be pretty exciting. Hey , I know they haven’t even played a game yet, however, Nevels and Smith should really create the depth at SG and PG.

    Go and have a great senior season Gee Jefferson, get a lot of high flying flushes off of steals!!


  30. I thought playhoopsa leaving out Jefferson on his roster for next season was a simple oversight… Then I read in the SA that Jefferson is leaving the team. Oversight or insider knowledge?

  31. gobows: I am as surprised as you are! Sort of like when Bo Barnes left two years ago!

    Garrett Jefferson wish him well. He wants to play, or be a starter on Cali college team and be close to home doing it, I liked Garrett, however, his offense did not catch up with his defense. If he could shoot, with control, and still play defense, he would have had major PT last year and going forward to next year.

  32. Big deal. all these brothers are going to transfer at some point.

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