Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors getting defensive after road loss

The University of Hawai’i basketball team is getting a bit defensive after returning from its first road trip of this season.

The Warriors were back at practice on Monday afternoon – their first practice since a 92-80 road loss to Missouri on Saturday at Kansas City.

“Today’s practice was nothing but defense,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “I think once we catch up defensively, we’ll be a much better team. That’s something we need to work on obviously throughout the year. Our biggest negative right now is we have to be able to stop teams from driving, and our interior defense needs to be better.”

November 11, 2013  at the Neil Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii

The Warriors are 2-2, and will return to the Stan Sheriff Center on Thursday when they host their NCAA Division II brothers Hawai’i-Hilo.

“We’re going to prepare exactly the same for UH-Hilo as we did for Missouri and go about the same way,” Arnold said. “We respect everybody we play and we fear no one we play. That’s the mindset we take into every game.”

The Warriors have lost their last two games, and allowed an average of 93.5 points in those two losses. The two opponents (New Mexico State and Missouri) both shot 58 percent from the field against Hawaii.

“We learned as a team that we can’t give up penetration,” senior forward Christian Standhardinger said. “That’s all (Missouri) did – just penetrate into the zone. We need to help each other so there were open spots for other players.”

Indeed, Arnold said it will take improvement on both the perimeter and in the post for the Warriors to succeed defensively.

On the other end of the court, the Warriors are averaging 82.8 points per game while averaging just 11.0 turnovers per game.

“Our tempo is really good,” Arnold said. “We’re ranked the 19th highest tempo team in the country, meaning that we’re pushing the ball and making other teams play fast.”

While the Warriors received praise and respect from the Missouri coaches and players, Standhardinger said it was not a consolation.

“I personally never get a good feeling out of a loss,” he said. “They were a tough team and we fought, so we can take that, but I don’t think you can take anything positive from a loss. A loss is a loss.”

Standhardinger leads the team in scoring at 17.0 points per game, and is second in rebounding at 6.5. Junior guard Garrett Nevels is averaging 15.5 points per game and is shooting 60 percent (12 for 20) from 3-point range, and sophomore forward Isaac Fotu is averaging 14.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

Senior guard Brandon Spearman made his first appearance of the season at Missouri after sitting out three games with an ankle injury. He wasn’t exactly eased into the lineup, as he started and scored 11 points in 31 minutes.

Arnold said Spearman’s full return to practices and the starting lineup this week should help solidify the defensive effort.


  1. Exactly….That dribble penetration, the Mizzou perimeter guys were going through the UH zone like a warm knife through butter…too easily…Come on guys, get the D going…and to Gib and staff, what you all saw against NMSU and Mizzou, yes, we fans noticed too. Cannot trade basket for basket, have to get stops…then score, of off those 5 or 6 in a row stops, will win a lot of games.

    Rebounding, and especially D, the offense if getting there, still could be better from 3 point land, and from more guys, however, Defense helps win games, Outstanding Defense helps win championships!!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  2. Should be fun, recruiting watch, for those potential, I would if were Gib, look for a couple of long athletic, shot blocker, sky walking, slam dunking athletes. One thing, they can show video to a possible recruit, of UH without an athletic big, and tell them, if you come to Hawaii, along with the perimeter athletes we have coming back next year. ,your presence can help us go farther into possible Post Season!

    Keep posted, for potential big, athletic, shot blocking bballers!

  3. If Hawaii can get ahead in this game against UH Hilo we really need to get more time for Valdez, Thomas, and Jovanovic more playing time. They won’t get better without real game time. I hope we will not need the services of Jovanovic this year, but if we do end up needing him….. I would rather have him a little more ready for the moment.

  4. Gauging Year -Over-Year, Season Over Season,

    I would estimate This Year’s Team is:

    Obviously More Solid than Last Year’s
    – with Solid Starters at ALL Positions
    – with Capable Depth developing Top to Bottom
    – NO ‘Wasted’ Roster Spots, Every Player IS Valuable and
    – has an Important Role to Develop For and Step Up Into;

    Still Has D-1 “Holes” Needed to Fill
    – but these deficiencies are only exposed or evident (or so far costing Wins) at the Upper Levels of D-1 (e.g., Top 70)
    – BIGs have a ‘Long-term Fix’ in place with Fotu, Jovanovic and Dressler; and
    – “Should Improve” with one or two Athletic/Ready-to-Play signings
    – Guards still need more height (like Missouri, Miami) to go with their athleticism (like Fleming)

    Probably Ahead of Last Year; maybe 5 to 8 games ahead as they already appear to have an understanding of
    – How to Play On The Road (NEED to Show ‘Know How to WIN on the Road”);
    – Already Have Turnovers Under Control
    – Already Have Full-Court Pressure in their Hip Pockets;
    – Able to Score Consistently And Continuously;
    – NEED To Solidify Perimeter and Interior Defense; and
    – OUT-PLAY Top 100 Teams (DH Classic)

  5. Actually Eagle and ROB , this team with a healthy Spearman. .and being really together. .I think can if they adress the D..will roll into DHC with a possibly 9-2 record! !
    And agree ROB ..MT and AV ..Stefan ..have to step up..Stefan. must be speed and physical aspect of D1 game..He could block some shots..

    Eagle. after only 4 games this team will be a big winner this year..the guys are One Ohana!!
    Go Rainbow Warriors! !



    Also Need to Validate (Prove)

    UH Has An Effective Multi-Dimensional Perimeter Attack (Not Just One or Two as now); and

    Can Blunt or Shut Down Opponents’ Perimeter Game

    Development of Bench and

    Performance Consistency (Offense, Shooting, Passing throughout The Line-Up)

    IS the Opportunity available in The Immediate Schedule…


    Mahalo, Vulcans!

  7. Eagle, I love this site, fan, and family friendly!
    Agree with you, and even Rob, servante, warriorhaw, and all the other faithful posters. This team, UH, has a huge upside. They can score, and this year, of all things from the FT line! They shoot it pretty well.
    Agree with Gib, their Defense interior and guarding penetration has to be emphasis, his guys can score, however, it seems like only Nevels at 60%, and what is so impressive about Garrett, I thought he would just be jacking 3’s , he does it when he has room, a good shot, as well as defers to Keith S. to run offense. There will be times, I think it is NOW, where, Keith has to become a SCORING PG, remember last couple of years, the PG, teams layed off, and knew they could not hit 3’s, I think Keith has to spend a lot of time, working on his shot, and getting into position to hit those treys. Spearman, can provide, some streaky 3 pt shooting. Standhardinger and Fotu, have to hit maybe 4 or so, at least 2 each, per game to stretch defense, pull bigs away from basket.
    This team will be alright, the smarts, in the classroom and the court, after 4 games, I think , a lot of long time fans, thought, I did, that NMSU and Mizzou were possible losses for a New Mix of UH new and returnees.
    I like this team. I think they will be good! And Eagle, you are correct, now , UH can get on a run, as hoopsa says, win possibly 7 in a row before DHC, then , who knows, get that championship, …if they go into BWC play at 12-2 or maybe 11-3, wow, fantastic, they are ready to make a run for NCAA’s.


  8. Defense takes a lot of work, and team being on same page. I think , UH team, got so caught up in uptempo, going fast, which they are. Plus take care of ball, which they are doing great job of. The Defensive scheme, or mindset not there yet. Very sure, Gib and coaches, have a lot of video, from 4 games with different types of teams, they will get if down. Once UH team, has their defense shutting teams down, and making stops, UH will win a bunch of games, as the other posts mention. Good Team, and I have got to go back and watch in person, when work schedule permits, at the Stan Sheriff Center. They are fun to watch.

  9. keep hilo under 70 while we score 100 sounds about right…..looks like going to be a super uptempo game with hilo having 6’7 as their tallest player….this will be a good chance for everyone to get minutes

  10. We are a quick tempo offensive-minded team and our fate will rest on putting up numbers. But we need to be fundamentally sound on defense. That means not allowing easy buckets, uncontested drives to the rim, not boxing out when rebounding, and not leaving their 3 shooters wide open. We don’t need to be in the running for best defensive team of the year. Playing defense is like eating oatmeal. It’s plain, boring, and tough to swallow every single day. But it’s good for you in the long run and so is being a student of fundamental defense.

  11. Leahy and Leahy ,great show with Gib tonight. .he echoed what we see about his team. .great bunch..Jim and Kanoa are fans of this year’s team as we all are..interesting take on rules and WBB fight..extra video on pbshawaii.org

    Go Bows


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