Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Freshmen already contributing for Warriors

Just five games into the 2013-14 season, University of Hawai’i basketball head coach Gib Arnold is confident that he can turn to any player on the roster at any given time in a game.

Keep in mind that this is a roster that includes five freshmen and four sophomores among the 14 total active players.


“I was real proud from 1 to 14, everybody that played, played hard and played together,” Arnold said after last week’s 114-63 romp over Hawai’i-Hilo. “They played for 40 minutes. It didn’t get sloppy. It was enjoyable as coaches, and it was enjoyable for the players.”

It was especially meaningful because all five freshmen on the roster – Dyrbe Enos, Jack Hackman, Stefan Jovanovic, Mike Thomas and Aaron Valdes – scored. When was the last time a Hawai’i team had as many as five freshmen each hit a basket in the same game?

“When ever you can get your bench to come in and play longer minutes, it helps you,” Arnold said. “You have a good idea of what your starters are going to do and what your veterans are going to do, but every minute is good for the young guys and the guys coming off the bench.”

Valdes led the freshmen breakout with 16 points and seven rebounds in just 15 minutes; Enos added nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point range. Not coincidentally, both players sat out last season as redshirt players so they could learn the team’s system and build strength.

“They’re a little bit further along than the other freshmen because they’ve been in (the system) and they know what we expect,” Arnold said. “You could see the improvement from both those guys, from coming right out of high school to spending a year with us in practice and really learning how to play college basketball.”

Enos said: “My teammates say I got bigger (physically), and I guess mentally too, I feel like I got stronger. Coming off a redshirt year, I feel more confident, used to the pace, the physical-ness of everything”

They will try the same formula with guard Niko Filipovich, who will redshirt the 2013-14 season. He was in uniform for the first four games of the season, when other guards were injured, but he did not see any game action, and the decision for him to redshirt was finalized last week.

Another redshirt freshman, center Caleb Dressler, is out for this season with a back injury. He underwent back surgery two weeks ago, and is currently recovering.

Also of note, the early signing period for recruits ended on November 20, and Arnold said prep guard Isaac Fleming is the only signed new Warrior. The next signing period will start in mid-April of 2014.


  1. Building Depth, A Stronger Team Future And Improving their Ability to Win Games NOW…

    Real PLUS to have a Year of Development in a Meaningful Redshirt Program

  2. I think that is a great selling point on recruiting to Hawaii for Gib and staff. Hawaii, itself, world class academic university, research…AND if the frosh, MT, SJ, are needed to contribute right away, and they have ability, they will see court their first year. If can, and it works out with all parties, RS. However, Gib this year needs, Hackman, Jovanovich and Thomas as true Fr. eligible, along with RS Fr. Enos and Valdes, they will be really good Eagle by BWC time!


  3. What does that announcer for MBB call them ” diaper dandies” young freshmen who can play. This is the right fit league for UH too, the BWC.
    Enjoy watching team, exciting, and they take care of the ball.
    DHC, will be a challenge. however, expect, Valdes, Thomas, Enos, Hackman, Jovanovich to have impact, whatever takes to win, Gib Arnold will use whomever can play and affect winning!

    You all, if you can, join the core 4000, that come down to games, especially during holiday time. A great bargain, to see, finally , since the Fab Five and Henderson days, a team that will press and run all game long, and currently averaging just shy of 90 pts per game!

  4. …And Really No Team Really had the Depth and Depth of Athleticism to even Talk of Pressing 40+ Minutes (Would Gib really use the same strategy All 40 minutes on very many opponents … How Many D-1 Teams would be As Vulnerable as, say We Were Last Year at this time…?)

    I’m hoping in a year or two (Month or Two? Longer…) that This Program Outgrows the Big West a la’ Long Beach or UNLV in the past…

    These Freshmen and Sophomores OR Their Immediate Followers could Elevate Beyond….

  5. wonder if gib can comment on which positions he’s trying to fill with his last 2? scholies

  6. These Freshman and Sophmores are all high character individuals and from great families We have had the pleasure to meet most of them and spend quality time with them. We have said this before and it bares repeating. This group is going to make Hawaii proud in the years to come. Let’s not forget the Juniors and Seniors too. We are proud of all of them and so far are having a blast following them. Go Bows,

  7. TribeVx4- Mahalo, and Thank you so much, Tribe Valdes Ohana for sharing Aaron with UH BB for next 4 years. Outstanding student, citizen, young guy and athlete. Same with Michael Thomas, Stefan, Niko, Jack, Dyrbe, the whole group from Seniors to Freshmen.

    Gib has that pipeline , and it is worth noting, for really fine, good quality, young student athletes who have love for Hawaii, the University, the people. We , TribeVx4, love Aaron and all the guys, we can tell, or are starting to see the fruition of the labor of the coaching staff’s efforts.

    Great group of Basketball athletes and personalities.

    Let’s Go Bows!
    Uhfanzonly. With so much appreciation for the Ohana, families of all 17 on the UH BB roster!

  8. Attention posters and Dayton. Is there any way to get updates on the 2014-15 recruits that have visited and were mentioned earlier. Evan Fitzner, Tai Wynyard, Josh Fox and Noah Togaiai. Were any of these players offered scholarships and with only two to give is that a first come, first serve or can Gib retract an offer once it is given. It is clear where we need help next year so just wondering. If Gib is recruiting now can he still look for 2014-15 or is he scouting the out years.

  9. Yes, there are some sites, that list recruiting, offers, etc. A local periodical, will have writeups of guys that made visits. You might have to do search. Yahoo, Rivals, ESPN, the social media feeds.

    Gib: A priority, he knows, to fill Spearman’s spot, He got LOI from Isaac Fleming.
    I believe he has maybe, 3 more to offer , scholarships. Could be to a progressive athlete on board now. So that would leave 2 to offer. I am just guessing, since 3 scholie guys graduating, Spearman, Rozitis and Standhardinger, and one scholie he had saved from last year.so, 4, with Fleming receiving one already, so 3 more to offer…could be wrong..

    I believe on Gib’s recruiting checklist, instead of the SF’s, he is targeting the 4/5 6″9″-6’11” athletic, skying, rebounding and especially Rim Protecting shot blocking bigs. Good if he got Two of them.
    Just my opinion.
    However, the only way we know for sure who is on board and signed, official word from Gib and UH, when paper work in. We have to wait till April-May 2014 signing period.

  10. Otherwise, even, Dayton with WI, might have some updates on potential recruits. Dayton does a great job, with that. And we thank him so very much. I believe, WI, with the forum started a few years ago, and the real time access to, and video updates, interviews and game hilites, is the best online site for all things UH MBB team!

  11. KKEA espn 1420 AM – “Call the Coach” with Gib Arnold(from KKEA site online)

    Monday Nov 25, 2013 7:00pm – 8:00pm the Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach

    Should be fun . Neat, to have drink or food and ask question of Gib , live or by phone. Sure will be lot to talk about , team, recruiting, the upcoming schedule, etc.

  12. Believe Evan Fitzner signed with St. Mary’s. He would have fit nicely with Hawaii. But St. Mary’s got a good thing going too. They are family just like Hawaii. I can see UH MBB head and shoulders with them one day.

  13. SO, i have often wondered and re-kindled Based on the Above Article,

    Would Manroop And Ozi Now have been Big Emerging Stars This Year Like Dyrbe or Aaron
    IF they could have been afforded redshirt years?

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