Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

‘Huge week’ for Warriors

Studying for final exams, preparing for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, and spending time with family and friends during Christmas week. Taken alone, each of those duties can require extensive attention. The University of Hawai’i basketball team will try to juggle all three this week.

“It’s a huge week,” head coach Gib Arnold said.


The first part of the week was reserved for studying, and Arnold gave the players Sunday and Monday off from practices to concentrate on final examinations. “Most of the finals were Monday and Tuesday, so a majority of the finals are over,” Arnold said. “Everybody usually has about one left, but we’re through the hardest part so hopefully we’ll be able to continue to concentrate on academics – get these finals kicked out and do a great job, and then focus on the tournament.”

The Warriors are 7-2 overall and will take a five-game winning streak into the Diamond Head Classic. Hawaii will open against Boise State on Sunday night. The three-day tournament is set for December 22, 23 and 25, and seven of the eight teams in the field have winning records, including two undefeated teams – No. 17 Iowa State (8-0) and Saint Mary’s (8-0).

Others in the field are Akron (4-2), Boise State (8-2), George Mason (5-4), Oregon State (5-2), and South Carolina (2-4),

“You’ve got six teams that played in post-season (last season) and you could have eight this year,” Arnold said. “I don’t look at one opening match-up and say I can predict this team is going to win. I think it’s going to be real even.”

Interesting enough, the UH-Manoa graduation ceremony is scheduled for this Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center, so no teams in the Diamond Head field – not even Hawai’i – will be allowed to practice in the arena this week.

Some of the visiting teams will even have to use nearby high school gyms for practice time this week. “The rims are 10 feet high in that gym like anywhere else,” Arnold said. “You still have to make shots.”

What’s more, several UH players will have family visiting Honolulu this week, and Arnold said there will be a Christmas Eve get-together. “It’s still business, but we enjoy the holidays as well,” he said.

Of course, much of the buzz for this year’s tournament has focused on the potential attendance of President Barack Obama. His brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, is the head coach of Oregon State.

“We’ll see, I’m waiting for the call – I’m waiting for him to call me on the cell and see if he can get my parking pass,” Arnold joked.

— — — — — — —

And here’s something else big for the program this week …

Stefan Jankovic, a 6-foot-11 forward, is visiting the University of Hawai’i this week. He appeared in three games for nationally-ranked Missouri this season, but opted to transfer after receiving limited playing time.

Mizzou head shots, Mens Basketball 2013

Interestingly enough, the announcement of his departure from the Missouri team came a few days after the Tigers defeated Hawaii, 92-80, on November 16. Jankovic had one rebound against the Warriors. He averaged 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in three games this season. He is currently a sophomore, and thus has 2.5 seasons of eligibility remaining.

Negus Webster-Chan transferred to Hawai’i from Missouri after the 2012-13 season, and he is currently serving a redshirt season with the Warriors. Jankovic is originally from Serbia, but grew up in Canada. He and Webster-Chan played together in AAU tournaments before both signed with Missouri in 2012.


  1. Get it done in the classroom. In the practice gym. Then….do some winning in the DHC!
    No fear, protect your home court, go get the Broncs. Should be awesome ESPNU game, for national and international( those that have conncect) fanbase!

    G0 BOWS!!

  2. Sorry for the Heavy Quoting of the Pomeroy Ratings…
    They DO Seem More ‘Accurate’ and Forward See-ing
    because they look at “All the Data” in Miniscule Detail
    Similar to The Baseball Data Analysis Revolution
    i think they are seeing “Facts” and Trends Earlier…
    That Pomeroy System which was somehow Wise Enough
    to start Hawai’i around #207/210 Early this Season
    also Quickly has Elevated Hawai’i to #123
    And For Weeks (And Holding there) has been
    Predicting Boise-Hawai’i as a ONE-Point Boise Win
    With a (Very High) 48% Chance of a HAWAI’I Win,
    Almost A Toss-Up OR The Favorite…

    Several Things i’ve Noted:

    – Hawai’i has Consistetly Beaten That Systems’ Good Predictions,
    By About Five Points

    – The Early Season HIGH Advantage of Boise Returning ALL FIVE Starters
    From a Successful (NCAA Tourney) Team
    Improving from RPI Previous Year 180 to ~50 Last Year

    – IS NOW Leveling/Equalizing for Hawai’i (and its Top Eight ‘Starters’)
    Now Entering their Tenth Game Together
    With All Five Starters Displaying Double-Figure Scoring Capability And Consistency

    – Boise’s Power Rating #69 is On Par (To Date)
    with previous NMSU #70 [Like a RE-TEST?]
    and Near-Future UCSB #72

    – NO ONE Else has been able to Knock Off Missouri (10-0) Either
    Including 115 Northwestern, 61W.Virginia, 26UCLA,
    also losing by 9-12 points or 170W.Michigan
    (BUT Mighty MO Also Played ALL Games @ Home or Neutral Sites So Far…)

    – An Improving Power Rating, Like #123 for Hawai’i
    IS Tantamount to And Approaching NIT/NCAA Playoff Ranking Level
    (Assuming the Top 100 Are NIT/NCAA Tourney Consideration/Challenge Teams
    At Least On or Approaching ‘The Bubble’)

    -The Team IS Deserving
    -The Team IS Better than Many Experts Thought or ‘Predicted’
    -The Team is Improving
    -Better, RAPIDLY Improving
    -Able to Consistently PERFORM In Games
    -Able to Elevate Itself Against Tougher/Improving Competition
    -As ALL Good-to-Great Teams DO

    WHAT A Great Time for a Tough (But NOT TOO-Tough)
    Diamond Head Classic
    On Our Home Court
    What a Great Opportunity…

    Then, Nail The DHClassic…


    FOR Freshmen & First-Years (Sophomores Quincy & Negus, JR Nevels)
    – FINALS Challenge, Followed By
    – DHC Step-Up Challenge

  3. Possible Inbound 6-11 Recruit (Presumably to Experience The DHC…)

    Missouri and fellow-Canadian Buddy via Negus Webster-Chan —
    BUILD Your Team, Negus! Mark of a True Leader…
    6-11 Sophomore (probably JR Eligibility @ UH?) Stefan Jankovic (discernible from Jovanovic? also originally from Serbia)
    SO “Three-Star” Jankovic ‘could be’ eligible as soon ad 11/22? (2014) IF in good academic standing….
    Attending U.H. as soon as January, 2014 would allow getting familiar with the System and Teammates…

    Merry Christmas, Gib?
    Jankovic Plus One? Plus Two?
    Plus Three Xmas DHC WINS
    for some that would be our version of Hitting the Jackpot?

    Consistent with Recent Posts, Oracle-Sponsorship would be like Winning the Lottery?

  4. Eagle: Is the Big West a One Bid invite to NCAA league? Just the winner of the Big West Tournament , or do they also qualify for an at large invite if their RPI/POMEROY rank is high enough? Always, thought BWC was a one NCAA team league, maybe I am wrong, or else that is what BWC teams are trying to do, win more, and play tougher out of conference schedule?

    Anyways, we shall see with Stefan, whether, a vacation trip, or future home visit trip!
    Still think , as we all know, Gib looking for that Senegal(?), France, from Africa, or wherever, India? 6’11”-7’0″ mistake erasing shot blocker athlete that can run and jump!
    With Stefan J. II, could make two additional bigs, to Dressler(if he can make it back BB shape wise, hope he does, or graduates), Stefan J. I,..Nice to have 4 guys that are 6’10” – 6’11” who can play. Lot of high MId major, and Major teams have at least 3 guys in that range!

    Go Bows. Do well on finals. All so important APR!

  5. I really believe this visit is a “im signing but wanna see Hawaii first”…too bad will have to sit out a year which is always with Hawaii….could’ve been sham, nevels, chan, jank and fotu….still need that true big!

  6. Playhoopsa- ESPN keeps an updated list of their NCAA Tourney ranks based on their system, the ‘BPI’


    The big differences between BPI and RPI or Pomeroy are that blowouts are not as heavily weighted and missing key players is taken into account. So, it would recognize if Fotu had unusually low minutes in a couple of games. Anyway, you can see how far away we are from consideration for an at-large bid.

    Here’s their breakdown of each game we’ve played.


  7. hawaiifan09:

    yes, that is what I think possibly, unless he just falls in love with Hawaii and the team, maybe Negus will host.
    Gib, and staff, know immediately concern, scour the globe, France(those Senegal transplants, good athletes that moved from Africa to Paris, etc), remember the Senegal 6’11” guy that Gib was looking at this past summer, raw, however, the guy could block shots , rebound and run. That would make UH good for next 3 to 4 year, really highly competitive, they have the perimeter guys now, next level, those 6’9″ – 7’0″ shot blocking, athletic Bigs, maybe two of them , if can, very, very hard to find, because, with the new rules, all NCAA DI teams, looking too. Who knows, maybe with Gib’s connections, by April -May 2014 signing period, even up to August 2014 enrollment, Gib will surprise us with one or two athletic bigs!
    That would be awesome. I Stefan II, comes aboard, and RS in waiting, or as Eagle stated, he might be eligible early Dec, late November, if he transfers now, and enrolls in UH spring semester. Hfan09, just like you, love to talk about potential recruits, and what team is looking for!

    Go Bows! Rainbow Warriors!

  8. Sarconic:

    Has the One Bid NCAA invite, for Big West, winner of BWC tournament changed, or does UH have to be top 25-30 for BPI? It would be hard, because of BWC teams, not being , or many of them not being in top 30 BPI.
    I guess, Sarconic, bottom line, UH has to just keep winning, and focus on TWO championships, simply put., They end up regular season champs=Auto Invite to NIT …They win the BWC tourney=Invite to NCAA’s….This team, has to work, day by day, week by week, practice to practice, and game by game, peak in March. Fun team, and look forward to a very competitive and evenly matched(great job ESPN)DHC field. Hope UH can go at least 2-1 reach championship game, or win the whole tournament.Going to be Hoops Heaven for next 2 weeks and on into 2014!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  9. Sarconic, went to link for ESPN’s BPI rankings, UH at 97, very good! Better than the 200’s and 300’s.

    UH MBB team, just geev em. Do your best , have to have that 3.0 or better GPA, all guys attitudes and academics and athletics in order, ONE OHANA, like the Savo teams, Fab Five, UH will be there at the end in March. Nice if they can get 20+ wins,

    One game at a time, keep improving, from day to day, practice, to practice, week to week and stay on top of the academics.
    Hoops Heaven!
    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  10. I was gonna say we could use Ronnie stevens but just found out he committed to Nevada way back

  11. I like the idea that Hawaii has a former teammate of his, Webster, and a Serbian, Jankovic, on the team. Gives Hawaii an advantage in getting him.

  12. Sorry, that should have been Jovanovic, on the team.

  13. Regarding Big West getting an at large bid…think that is what Don Monson at LBSU is trying to do..killer non conference scheudle, and hopefully has good record going into Big West tournament, and have a shot becuase of RPI, if they fail to win the Tournament, they would get at large bid. Would think, more than half of Big West would have to schedule that way. Tough to win games though. LBSU, takes a beating on the road, against those Big Major schools, and usually is competitive in the Big West.

    Hard to get that at large bid, because of the PAC 12, might have 6-7 in, ACC just about the whole league gets in, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12. those big budget schools, with the scholarship and McDonald All Americans.
    Just hope that UH, can be ready, and clicking during March, and get on a 3-0 run, and get the NCAA bid. If not, as hoopsa says, win the regular season, title, and the auto invite to NCAA, either one, would prove, very successful for Gib and the MBB program, however you know this bunch, including the seniors, and Jrs. Shamburger and Nevels, want the NCAA big dance. Hope they can get it.This team works their butts off, just have to step up big time Defensively, as everyone on this forum knows, shutdown, team, whether, Major, or Mid Major, they should be in the hunt March 2014.

  14. apology, I meant Dan Monson, his dad was a coach, DON Monson.

  15. Winbows1 and playhoopsa- I think at this point UCSB would be the only team that the committee would seriously consider for an at-large bid. They seem to be the favorites of the BW in the media, especially since 2 of their losses came without Williams. Winbows1 is right and it’s been pointed out here before, those at-larges are mostly for the big boys. A team like us with a likely seed of 14+, there are probably only one or two invites out there and a ton of programs that would be fighting for them. We’ll show them though. We’ll show them on ESPN come Christmas.

  16. Sarconic:

    Mahalo for the insight. With the tradition of Big West not having a great out of, or in Conference schedule, the BPI, RPI of teams, BWC basicially a One NCCA invite team. However as, you mentioned, the team, that BWC is promoting, and has the highest BPI, is UCSB, probably the team to beat in the conference. So possibly, a Big West team, could be ranked in top 25-35 BPI, and a long, long shot for at large bid(unless they expanded NCAA tournedy to 128).

    You are right, and very sure the die hard, fans, we know UH is out in the Pacific, so the only way to make national noise, i.e., the undefeated 12-0 Sugar Bowl FB team, would be to WIN. The Diamond Head Classic, and burning it up in BWC , and the BWC tourney would do it.
    One game at a time, and what an excellent showcase, all up to staff, and the team, to get it done, I hope they are focused, did well on finals, heal up well, and go get the first victory against Boise St.!
    Should be fun week!
    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  17. hoopsa and sarconic,
    … both correct. Very sure the athletes on the team, their main concern, winning as many games as possible. As we all know, Regular Season Champs-NIT invite automatic…Big West Tournament Champs-NCAA invite…the ultimate.
    I can see where Eagle is coming from, with his Pomeroy Rankings, to see UH, start in the 200’s plus ranking, and now, in the 100’s and climbing, it is a way for all to see, including UH fanbase, that the team and program is making progress. They all have to continue to get better.
    As Gib states, and it is true, UH has to get much better Defensively, somehow, mix and match, the 3 bigs, with help of Mike Thomas, maybe even, Stefan Jovanovich, to help down low, and spread out the fouls the starters will pick up in Conference play.
    I like this team, as we all do. They really listen to coaches, and try best to put into practice, as Coach Gib said, on video interview, the defensive things, and not getting to fancy with the lobs, maybe once in awhile, as well as getting back to 12 or under per game turnovers, with more assists, and rebounds, UH should be okay, very competitive in BWC.

  18. If our RPI rankings are to move up this is the week to do it. When we settle down in conference play it won’t matter much since just about every team is low in RPI with the exception of Santa Barbara. And there’s two sides to the coin as far as gettiing into the NCAA tournament. You can be like Long Beach State and try to play a tough schedule. But if you don’t win some of those tough games your record and RPI will be dismal. I think the Beach gambled that they could win some of those games. But I give them credit for trying. They are battle ready and could win the Big West Championship. But that’s the only way they will get in this year since you need 20 plus wins to sway the selection committee and get an at large berth. We are Big West not SEC.

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