Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Open gym sessions continue

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Even without coaching supervision, the Hawai’i basketball team can find ways to get better on its own.

At a recent open gym session, the Warriors had a shortage of players so they opted to play full-court games of four-on-four. It resulted in more of an up-and-down style of play, but these preseason weeks are for getting in shape, so there was a method to the madness.

The four-on-four session brought out some scenarios that are not likely to be seen once the season starts, such as sophomore forward Isaac Fotu leading the fast-break – and doing it quite impressively – for his team, or senior guard Brandon Spearman defending the low-post.

The foursome of Keith Shamburger, Aaron Valdes, Christian Standhardinger and Stefan Jovanovic proved to be the most formidable, winning seven consecutive games during one stretch of the session.

The shortage of players was due to injuries and schedule conflicts. Sophomore point guard Quincy Smith (toe) and sophomore guard Brandon Jawato (ankle) appear to be getting closer to returning to action.

The preseason conditioning workouts will continue throughout this month.


  1. Mahalo Dayton for video update Open Gym: Hey the guys are gym rats! That is what it takes to stay in shape and get better!

    Back in the day, remember, 3 on 3 full court, and 4 on 5 full court, whomever wold play, yeah, go first team to win seven games.


    Fun stuff, just don’t get hurt guys!


  2. I think that is what Gib eventually wants, 5 athletic guys that can run the whole court, and play all 5 positions, interchangeable. Good that Fotu and Christian bring up ball on breaks after rebounding, the BWC teams, will have to deal with that onslaught, guys, all 5 or 4, on 1 or 2, fast breaks, and finish!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

    Getting close, 21 days till first practice, time will be here soon!


  3. MAHALO, Dayton

    Keep Pourinʻ ʻEm In, ʻBows!

  4. most of us believe that sham and spear start but I cant see nevels out of that starting lineup…I think a lot of 3 guard lineups with those 3 along with stan and fotu getting most of the minutes….we are still weak at the wing position but Thomas has a smooth stroke and if he can consistently hit that mid-range shot he’ll be solid in a year or 2…nothing impressive but I know it’s just an open gym

  5. After watching these open gym sessions, it is confirmed that Michael Harper’s shot is looking “wet”. Absolutely lethal. Even better than last year. I really hopes he gets playing time and lots of it this year. Not to be negative, just providing my opinion, I’ve always thought, overall he’s better than Jawato and Michael should be ahead of him on the depth chart. Mansu Mansu Mike. To UH BBall!!

  6. Agree with above posts about player development. Looks like Michael Harper, just more mature, shoots better, not scared of anyone. Nevels is a baller. He is always , looking at other guys, to see , “hey what happened, that was your man”, at least trying to be a vocal leader.

    One thing I agree with hawaiifan09: IT is only OPEN gym, not IN System, regular practices yet, so we don’t really know what guys are going to do running Gib’s stuff.

    The guy, I want to see, and he could be real key against other teams with Bigs, or post season run, Davis Rozitis, how much better is his game: if Davis is a beast on O and D, will help that Post depth.

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

    Nice to talk about UH MBB, thanks to Dayton and WI, now all year long!!

  7. Looks like Garrett Nevels can handle ball, well enough, looks like he is working on PG skills, if he doesn’t see anything open on the break, or guys not set on O, he will bring ball out, and run his own set. He basically can score, at least in Summer League, D league and Open gym whenever he wants to.

    Quincy Smith, is interesting, the guy has major D1 quickness and hops. When running Gib’s system, in particular half court sets, he can handle the ball, however as with all the guards, has to protect it. Nowadays, all opposing guards and wings, hands are so quick, they will steal the ball, or deflect any one not protecting ball with arm, body, or positioning.

    Ball handling will still be major, if Hawaii uptempos and runs sets for Fotu and Standhardinger down low, as well as drive and dish to shooters. Keep turnovers down, run Controlled fast breaks.

    Hey, we are all arm chair BB coaches, it is fun. UH has PG’s, Keith Shamburger, Quincy Smith, Dyrbe Enos(combo), Garrett Nevels(Combo), Brandon Spearman (combo), Niki Filipovich(combo PG), Gib has a lot of guys at the guard position to handle ball.

    However, even better than dribbling length of court, you can advance ball faster and effectively by making good passes, passer and receiver in sync.

    No doubt, emphasis : Good ball handling, Protect the ball, good passes, good hands, Bigs, keep ball high, etc.

    Looks, like guys on their own, especially SG and PG’s, are trying to handle ball more in open gym

    Correct, kind of thought that MT and AV, would not be primary ball handlers, in open gym, regular practices and games. Good if AV and MT, work on that. would help, if they can handle and protect ball too.

    I would like to see too, hawaiifan09, Michael T. and Aaron V. just fly up the court and receive pass and flush, or else, create and go to the cup. Of course, open gym, so guys are going half speed.

    As Bill Amis said on a summer league update about the new and old MBB athletes, they are always in the gym, working to get better. That is a good thing!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

    And Shout out to Davis, hey Big D, we want to see what you got in open gym video!
    You of the working out in Latvia this summer. Hope you are beasting it in weight room, and personal workout!

    Have a great season Davis, and thanks for graduating from UH this May, and coming back for final athletic year as grad student!!

    Go Davis Rozitis! Go get em!!

  8. Can we force a mule to drink pure water, if it is addicted to salt water from Waikiki only?

    How long does it take to acquire Basketball Sense (if ever)?

    A pass sailed through a confirmed butter-fingers demoralized TEAM-work, accumurates TO!

    Technique and/or skill avoid(s) those who’s mind-set is inadvertent to it.

  9. Actually Aaron, Michael Thomas and Jack Hackman good shooting form and release, not fading back.

    Brandon Jawato, on his 3 ball attempts, he is leaning back and shooting fadeaway trifectas. He is streaky, either he could hit 7 in a row, or miss 7 in a row. Brandon, J, if healthy, has some lift, he should shoot, the ball with spacing, off of screens, or wide open, just go straight up, and shoot nice arc 3 pointer, also have that 15-18 foot mid range jumper, he would be effective.

    Maybe , the college guys imitate, NBA players who shoot fadeaway jumpers, I guess Dirk Nowitzki does, and some guards and forwards, and they make them. either way Brandon J., if the jumper goes in, shoot the way you want, also, take it to the rim hard , finish and one!

    Hoping you are as healthy as can be Brandon J., still awaiting that 11 for 11 3 ball nite, 33 points, 100% from 3 line!

    Take care Brandon J, and Q!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!


  10. Yes. Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan have or had the turnaround fadeaway jumpers, when they were on , money and championships.

    Maybe , I still feel bad for Brandon Jawato, one of the better athletes, and strong guy played through injury last year, and bad ankles this year. Take care brother Brandon J., just stay healthy, and do your thing, just your presence on court, or sidelines will help team. You are a Warrior!

    Just to clarify, I am a fan of Jawato, from when he first came, RS year helped him tremendously, however, those dang ankle problems! When he hit that 7 for 7 for 21 pts, last year, to open BWC play, awesome, never knew he got hurt shortly after that half!

    Brandon Jawato and Ohana, shout out to your courage and being a part of Rainbow Warrior basketball. Take care, and hope to see you on Open gym Video, rockin the rim, and shooting from all over the court!

    Davis , Q and Jawato, awaiting your video appearances!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!


  11. Hawaii fan09 I totally agree and that’s why I think we will see the three start with Fotu and Standhardinger

  12. Rob T: That lineup, mentioned before, Keith Shamburger, Brandon Spearman(who can guard a 1, 2, 3)and Garrett Nevlels(if he can play D1 defense), Fotu and Standhardinger. Very quick, with scorers.

    Gib could also go big with one of the three centers, Lot of options, however, the 3 guard and two PF’s in the BWC, would really be competitive, a BWC type of starting 5. Now if Fotu and Standhardinger are consistent with mid range to 3 line shot, look out! Should be exciting.

    We shall see, when practices start who rises to the top 10 or 11.

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

    Gib wants guys that play D, guard the 3 and penetration to the rim, then Offense, uptempo, or half court sets, with Fotu and Standhardinger doing their thing, kickouts, and the 3 guards drive and dish game.


  13. Im sorry, people but with the way nevels looks, and spearman back at full health, and Jawato being gimpy right now i dont think he’s gonna sniff the court.

    Just being honest. He really isnt that great of an athlete and he’s too streaky.

    especially since michael harper appears to be able to do his job.

  14. xer 21:

    I assume you are talking about Brando Jawato? That is why I feel bad for the guy. He is in his third year in program. Too bad he got hurt. His game, the 3 ball. Maybe Brandon could provide leadership off the court, in practice, and when need outside shooting. To have bad ankles hard to play uptemp O and D.

    Too bad, Brandon J. could not petition for medical waiver RS year. I guess he really wants to play this year. We shall see. Must be the reason why, Gib has about 6 or 7 guards, PG and SG’s on roster this year, just in case of injury or otherwise.

  15. The recruiting that Coach Gib and the other staff did this past few months are amazing. I honestly think all of the players; scholies, new recruits, returnees, and walk ons all are talented and skilled in their own way. Everyone has something different to add to the team. I have been reading comments about Jawato from other fans and the comments are quite disheartening. Jawato can shoot, no doubt and he shouldn’t be overlooked by some of the newbies. Yes, there are a lot of guys that have a “wet” shot and nice outside stroke but we all know that the UHMBB season hasn’t even started it. People are judging what the newbies can do based off of the open gym sessions and the summer league. When the season starts, that could be a whole different story, especially because Coach Gib doesn’t encourage transitioning ball but rather initiating plays. We’ve seen Jawato hit 7 three’s in the first half of a game last season and the student section went crazy. Let’s wait to see what the newbies can do in an actual game before throwing Jawato underneath the bus. Get healthy man and I’m sure you’ll be out there on the court in no time.

    Quincy, rest that toe of yours. This is why a lot of your fans and some of your team members on your summer league team questioned your choice to play in the playoffs and championship game. Nobody wanted to see you reinjure your toe. I hope you get well and make a wise decision next time and sit out of a game if you’re injured. Honestly man, the UHMBB season should have been more important to you than trying to prove something in the summer league.

    As as student, I do hope Jamie Smith comes back because he really vamped up the student section. On a good night, roughly 300 students out of over 20,000 attend the UHMBB games. These players need the support of the students.

  16. UH Senior: Well said on behalf of the solid UH student MBB fans who support at SSC. I too wish Jamie, though these Visas getting back into USA , seem to be getting more complicated. Wish Jamie well, and soon, he will be visiting dorms, and drumming up support!

    As for Jawato, very good student and BB player out of Cali. I feel sad, and very bad for him having the ankle problems, both my ankles and knees are like his too.

    He said he needs surgery after season, I hope he is okay this year, and doesn’t wear down the joint too much.

    As for his 3 point shot, just wonder if all UH guys have to fadeaway when shooting, well UH senior, maing thing, when Brandon J, shoots, as long as it goes in. Poor Jawato, what he had to experience as to injury last year, total bummer!

    You are right though, Gib will play the guys who listen, run his system , are in control, play D, in practices, new or older guys, then, see if they can run system in games, real time, and WIN.

    Wish the best to whole team, and No, I would not throw Jawato under the bus, I just hope he is well, takes care, so in the rest of his adult life, he is alright physically!

    Get Well Brandon Jawato, and have a great Soph. season!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

    and thanks UH Senior, for voicing the opinions of the students, the 300 who make SSC a great place to play NCAA D1 BB!


  17. UH Senior, good thoughts on Q. He needs to play with TEAM, Gib will reel him in. He is an athlete, thought he doesn’t have to win a game all by himself, especially if hurt.

    Quincy , get well, and you as PG, have a lot of scorers around you to dish the dime. Plus, work on your mid range and 3 ball shot, and the guard rotation can be very effective on D and O.

    True, and I echo your thoughts UH Senior, Summer league, Open Gym, is not real regular season practice or game situation.

    We all have to be patient, the top 8-10 guys, new or returnees will rise to the fore, if the run Gib’s system and play, I know Gib wants this first in his guys, solid D, stop penetration to rim and the 3 ball!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  18. not just in sports but life itself……once the lights are on and you’re in the spot light…….you either flourish or diminish

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