Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Recruiting visits begin

The Hawai’i basketball team is on the hunt for new players, and it will begin hosting prospects this week.

Assistant coach Brandyn Akana, who also serves as the recruiting coordinator for the Warriors, said recruits will be making official visits to UH this week and next week. He could not identify the players, per NCAA rules, but it has previously been reported that Mount San Antonio College (Calif.) guards Corey Allen (below, at left) and Garrett Nevels (below, at right) are visiting this week.



“If you look at our team, we had three seniors,” Akana said. “We of course need to fill the gaps of Jace Tavita, Hauns Brereton and Vander Joaquim. We feel we’ve done a really good job and been on the right guys, it’s just a matter of bringing them here on campus and letting them see what we’re all about.”

Allen and Nevels formed a dynamic backcourt at Mount SAC, and they led the Mounties to the California Community College Athletic Association championship last month. Allen (25 points, eight assists) and Nevels (32 points) combined for 59 points as Mount SAC set a championship game record for points scored in a 102-88 victory over Chaffey College.

Allen, a 6-foot point guard originally from St. Louis, led the Mounties in scoring with 21.1 points per game and also in assists at 4.2 per game. He had impressive percentages both from the field (.618) and the free throw line (.828).

Nevels, a 6-2 shooting guard originally from Los Angeles, averaged 19.8 points per game and a team-leading 5.6 rebounds per game. He also led the Mounties with 49 3-pointers and had percentages of .578 from the field, .476 from 3-point range, and .814 on free throws.

Both players are sophomores and would have two seasons of NCAA Division I eligibility.

The official signing period for basketball recruits runs from April 17 to May 15. Akana said the number of players Hawai’i is looking to sign during this period “is still up in the air.”

The Warriors have already secured two freshmen-to-be recruits in 6-6 wing Michael Thomas and 6-10 forward/center Stefan Jovanovic.

Head coach Gib Arnold now appears to be targeting junior college players for the upcoming signing period. Arnold has made at least two road trips for recruiting purposes in the past two weeks – ever since the season ended on March 20.

The Warriors’ annual awards banquet is scheduled to take place on Wednesday night at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Akana declined to comment when asked if there was a possibility of recruits attending the banquet.


  1. Welcome and Aloha Corey Allen! Hope you have a great experience on recruiting visit. Enjoy the sights, sounds, the beaches, the people , coaches, University and team!

    Hope you become a Warrior, take UH MBB hoops to the next level!

    BWC champs and NCAA’s!

    Have a great stay!

  2. Aloha to Garrett Nevels. Great story of you as freshman on youtube! Hope you can form a great backcourt with Corey, and help UH hoops to the Big Dance.!

    Mahalo and Thankyou Garrett Nevels and family!

    Have a great stay in beautiful Honolulu Hawaii!

  3. Hmmmm. 3 Seniors departed, UH looking to fill 3 spots, interesting. Anything to augment team and returnees. Let Coach and staff and University figure out the roster. Looking good so far!

    Great Video, and keeping us up to date as Warrior MBB Insider Dayton, again you scooped the other Media sports guys!

    Great Job!!

    Possibly one more JC, HS , recruit to visit?

    Wait and See fans..Hmmm?!!

  4. Cal State Northridge hires Reggie Theus so the big west just got better.

    Coach Arnold still recruiting so if Nevels and Allen sign will other JC players join them can’t wait

  5. I think Reggie Theus is an excellent hire for CSUN. He’ll get them on the fast track immediately with his recruiting prowess. He was a great recruiter by the bounce back method (recruiting high major talent in Iti, Hawkins, and Peete). He also had very good in-conference road wins in his two years there.

    I hope Coach Gib is able to sign at least a couple of these highly touted JC players. We will need the firepower to stay ahead of the middle of the pack and to creep into upper echelon of the conference.

  6. Nicky Flash:

    Yes, I saw that tweet too. Reggie Theus, ex UNLV star and NBA great. New Mexico St. Coach. UH vs NMSU with Davis fouling out in first half, battling all those trees, the Bigs for NMSU, and giving Vander chance to come back in 2nd half, UH won that home game. Great game!

    Theus at Northridge. Monson at LBSU. Now Gib starts the JC pipeline, will only help team. Ready to play, ballers!

    Flash, I hope they get whatever they need for coming season, if it is several JC’s great. Next season should be very exciting!
    No problem in recruiting also 3 yr to play Jucos, who have the credits, finished up JC academics and can transfer after a great freshman year. That is another possiblity. Incoming Soph. JC transfers. Anything to be competitive not only in BWC but all of NCAA MBB today. Need athletes, that can defend and shoot well.

  7. Nicky , sorry, screwed up, that was Coach Marvin Menzies not Theus that coached against Gib when UH won at SSC two years ago. Theus was coach at NMSU before Marvin.

    Any ways, as DK says, and BWC commissioner is happy, raises the profile of BWC. Now with the BWC teams, going after Bigs to compete with Hawaii. , hopefully BWC overall rating will climb. Hoping that LBSU, Northridge and Hawaii can make it to NIT and NCAA’s and win. BWC overall has to get better.

    JC recruiting is okay, a lot of great athletic talent to be found!

  8. Allen had a relatively poor 3-point shooting percentage, but what’s nearly unheard of is how a 6-foot guard shot 61.8 percent from the field. By comparison, Fotu led UH at 62.3 percent, and nearly all of his field goals were scored within a few feet of the basket. Allen must be a good medium-range shooter, or got a lot of his baskets off drives and breakaway layups. He must be quick with the ball.

    Nevels shot well from 3-point range, and he and Allen both shot more than 80 percent from the FT line.

    Still wondering how the scholarships will be divvied up since all 13 have already been spoken for with the two early signees (Jace was not on scholarship). Guess we’ll find out in the next couple of weeks.

    Gib obviously focusing on immediate help (JC) because expectations will be high in his fourth season (and with no contract extension as of yet). Despite the pressure to produce, I hope he sticks to the mantra of getting high-character guys who fit in. There’s good chemistry among the expected returnees; it’s important it stays that way.

    Thanks for the update, Dayton.

  9. Agreed. Coach Gib needs to bring in immediate help (high character preferred). Neither he or team has the time to wait for a consistent outside producer to develop. They need to bring in a guard or two (with defensive quickness) that can impact the game immediately in order to free up room in the paint. Last season, teams were able to clamp down in the paint. As a result, our big men, Brandon Spearman, and Christian had little room to operate or had difficulties finishing off penetration. It was just so cluttered in the post. We need to be able exploit our mismatches, which we were unable to do successfully last season. Imagine what Isaac Fotu can do with the possibility of having a one-on-one iso in the post.

  10. are we saying all 13 scholarships were accounted for last year?


    being preferred walk-ons?
    Joaquim and Brereton eligibility expires and Coach signs Thomas/Javanovic

    where are the other 3 scholarships coming from? This is another story in itself.

  11. Theus to Northridge? That’s interesting. He’s a quality coach but he really had to settle for a lower profile job. I don’t mean to backhand the Northridge faithful or to a larger extent The Big West, but Theus must have been desperate for a head coach job to take the Northridge opening… in which his salary will be paid in peanuts, a coupon book, and a map to find his way around to use aforementioned coupon book.

    If he does well quickly, expect him to be gone in a few years. He was in the running for the UNLV and DePaul HC jobs a little while back, which are much higher profile conferences. Shooting for his dream jon of coaching his alma mater UNLV (and Las Vegans wanted him as coach) and winding up at Northridge feels like a temporary stepping stone for his coaching career.

  12. Dayton,

    thank you for asking some of the important questions for us. Although I feel we only got generalized answers from Brandon, I’m thankful you asked some of the right ones that we all are interested in. Of course all your question/answer video’s are appreciated here.

  13. It’s really interesting which 2-3 players currently on scholarship will transfer out or be asked to pay their own way. I’m strictly speculating but Davis would be a good candidate since he’s graduating. I have no idea who the other guys would be (Roop? Dressler?Jawato?)

  14. …AND IT Cannot be Over-Stated or Over-Appreciated

    MAHALO to ALL Players, and their Family & Supporters

    WHO Have Enough Interest, Dedication & Talent to:
    – Garner an Invite here to U.H.;
    – Work So Hard to be Part of This Team and Work to Raise its Overall Fortunes
    – Do the Labor of Love EVERY DAY it takes to be a U.H. Student in Good Standing;
    – Be the Good Citizens we need to bring honor to the Program;
    – Earn a Scholarship, Fight for Tuition Aid, Loans, etc. to FIND a Way to Keep this Engine Moving;

    SO Many of the Above are Beyond the Comprehension or Understanding of we, The Beneficiaries
    [i can hardly imagine the effort — one to two hours a day 2-3 days a week (much less 3-4 hrs 6-7 days a week) of Really Working out Hard in the weight room and on the Court wouldʻve probably knocked me out to 1030 at night…then still more studies needed to ʻsurviveʻ much less Earn Honors…

    IT IS, After All, Your Lives…
    AND I Pray and Expect that these Huge Efforts on Your Parts are Part of Why In ʻStaying the Courseʻ Youʻll Likely Benefit & Enjoy Lives of Mostly Continuous, Resounding Success…

    Mahalo Nui Loa, Warriors and Future Warriors

  15. Opportunity to be a HC: Opening at UH-Hilo!?

  16. Rutgers reported that 5 players transferred out in the last 2 years under fired coach Mike Rice. That pales in comparision to the amount of players transferring out during the last 3 years at UH. Last year alone 4 players didn’t return before their eligibility expired, Joston Thomas, Bobby Miles, Trevor Wiseman, and Shaquille Stokes. Sometimes change is good, but it’s hard to get consistency in the program when people are changing all the time and the continuity of playing together as a team and knowing each others tendencies. That’s not good. You don’t see the top programs with wholesale changes, maybe with the exception of Kentucky where they lose players to the NBA after one year. Good basketball programs keep their core players for 3 to 4 years, unless they leave early for the NBA. If you bring in players, the coaches have the responsibility to develop those players to get better on the court and ensure they go to class and get their academics in good standing. If the player doesn’t make it on the court, the coach(es) also fails because his evaluation of that player was wrong or he didn’t bring out the best in the player. In the classroom, the player is accountable to his school work and his efforts. They should take advantage of the tutoring provided to athletes. I hesitate to name any names of players who are staying or who are not staying. You want to see the players get their degrees and become a contributing part of the program. Young guys need development and time. Older players have had enough time to show what they can or can’t do. Coach has a tough job. Again, it’s down to his and his coaches evaluation where the program should go. Heck, maybe a change here or there in coaches would be good too. Who knows? All I know is that winning 17-18 games a year is decent, but not acceptable. All you need to know is watch the games and see if the team is cohesive and are being coached well. There are a lot of flaws and many times the team is not in sync. If a team is improving, they should be playing their best basketball at the end of the season. You can’t say about this UH team. And I refuse to use the excuse that the reason the team got worse is because of Brandon Spearman’s injury. It was a loss, yes, but the team has to rally around it. They didn’t.
    The coaches didn’t make the right adjustment to compensate for it. The main reason can be traced to one major non adjustment…..the failure to defend the 3 point line.

  17. I think one or two guys might be leaving the program.

  18. If one leaves, that means only 1 new signee can come in. More likely 2 will leave. If Arnold wants Allen and Nevels, and they want to sign here, then 2 scholarships must open up for them because all 13 are accounted for right now. You never know what’s going to happen in this crazy world.

  19. On a side note: Interesting to read that Pitt 7-foot freshman Steven Adams, whom I believe played with Fotu on the New Zealand national team (or Tall Blacks?), will hire an agent and declare for the NBA Draft. Adams is physically mature, and probably has a big upside, but he’s very mechanical and I don’t think he’s nearly the polished player that Fotu is. OK, Isaac, don’t get any rash ideas. Stay in school … at least for a couple more years. Besides, you won’t find poke bowls on the Mainland!

  20. In above video, Brandyn Akana did mention, team looking to replace loss of 3 seniors. Jace, Hauns and Vander. Fill those spots. How many guys to offer and bring in? They have to see how things play out off court. Coaches, tutors, academic advisors, etc, and especially maybe one , or who knows two, kids have to take care of school and finish strong this May.

    As for Derek , any possible way for open scholies. I agree with some other posts, I don’t think UH coaches would offer possible scholies and invite mabye 4 athletes over next two weeks, if they didn’t think roster spots would be open.

    Correct, Gib is on a WIN at all cost time frame. I agree with Clyde and Eagle too, keep the High Character, including guys that do well in school in the program.

    Potential: One player perhaps graduates and moves on in his chosen profession this May. Another, wanted to be a professional player out of secondary schooling, now wants to pursue that dream. So, hypothetically, 2 open scholarships upon LOI April 17 2013 signing day.

    I think if, a player, finishes in good academic standing, and goes on to Pro Ball, that is a good thing., He did not flunk out of school.Also , an athlete who graduates, with one more year of athletic eligibilty, and forgoes that opportunity, a final Senior Season, that is a good thing too. I don’t see, actually 5 players leaving this year like last Spring.

    Joston Thomas: left to pursue NBA dream
    Orel Lev: left because of National Military Obligation
    Shaq Stokes: left to be close to grandmother, granted special exemption, and accepted to play immediately at Hofstra. Sad situation.
    Trevor Wiseman: Playing Time, and felt hard to meet up to whatever.
    Bobby Miles: Ditto as Trevor.

    How this plays out Derek, anybody’s guess, a key, what these incoming recruits, inform their friends , families and coaches team, about their visit and wanting to become Warriors. We know, until the LOI, cannot annouce officially.

    ESPN the magazine, had a great article about this kind of movement happening all over the NCAA MBB scene yearly.
    UH and whomever the coach, even if you had a former North Carolina, Duke, UCLA assistant as a new hire in two years., same thing. Hard to recruit. Have to make sure kids are good students and NOW GREAT Athletes, and bottom line can win, and go NIT or NCAA’s,. AT the final four, the coaches talk about the UH HC position, they Know It is probably the toughest HC NCAA DI job in the country bar none. Just ask, O’Neil, Pitino, Little, Arnold, F., Wallace, Nash and now Gib.

    We all want the best case scenario: Great young student athletes who can win a lot of games , stay with the program, unless, catasrophic injury, or go pro, and go to Post season NIT, NCAA’s every year. Develop Freshmen from first year till senior, along with good JC transfers.

    And I disagree, Brandon Spearman’s loss WAS HUGE, when he got hurt, the whole team, emotionally, physically , went down several notches. The wanted to, including Vander, pick up the slack , however they could not.

    What boggles my mind, is with that tailspin at end of year, they STILL WON 17 games and finished 10-8 BWC play, with a chance to have possibly closed out 3 games without Spearman, and won 20 games.

    Derek, it ain’t no perfect world, Coach, whomever is the next or current, is trying hard, the kids here, are doing their best ,, unless they graduate early or purse a pro Baskeball career.

    It is a waiting game. I personally agree, with FUHA, and eagle and some others, that UH MBB with possibly a good Scoring JC transfer will be vastly improved. The returnees, have experience, and if they work hard in school and off season. I think UH MBB will be right up their at 1 or 2 top finish in BWC with a chance for NCAA’s, guys like Spearman, Standhardinger, Fotu, Jefferson, and the MBB ohana will finish strong in 2013-14.

    Derek , we all want UH MBB season, and all UH athletic teams to do well, it takes the sting out of a crazy, world, …very crazy.(world situation, and tensions)
    Basketball is just a sport, millions, possibly billions of human lives at stake is the harsh REALITY.


  21. It’ll be a great time at Banquet tonight, get your ticket now! Be there!

  22. Can’t wait to see Shamburger play, hopefully at the summer league games, he may display the quickness, scoring and the change of direction that the team needs. Aaron has the hops, maybe jumping even higher than a year ago; let’s see how he’s improved his b-ball skills after sitting out this year. Have no doubts that Dressler, Fotu and Spearman, all will have break out years next season. Not sure about Christian, however, if he dedicates himself to the weight room he’ll be scary awesome.

    Watch out for Harper….he has maturity beyond his years and confidence to match – brings blue collar work habits; he’ll sneak up on everyone.

    Clair is young but he reminds me of rikki tiki mongoose, don’t blink your eyes next year, ’cause he’ll be a surprise. Ozi is just another young ‘um who needs to grow into his body, believe he experienced growing pains this year.

    Here’s where the rubber meets the road, “if” all these returning players are high character and ball players and if they work hard during the off season, we’ll have a very good team. The true measure for success is how hard ALL the RETURNING players work during the off season, starting now…..

  23. I know it’s along shot, but I hope coach Gib gets a chance to talk to Argo from Kansas who just got his transfer accepted by the university. It was probably tough for him behind a senior backcourt and mclemore, then know that several McDonald all Americans coming in. May not have a chance, but gotta try. Apparently this kid wants to play, and we need a guard or two.

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