Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors top Oregon State for fifth place


Sparked by a halftime challenge and second-half surge, Hawai’i broke away from Oregon State and then held off the Beavers, 79-73, on Christmas Day to take fifth place in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

A crowd of about 4,800 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors improve to 9-3; the Beavers fell to 7-4.

“This was a real good win over a very good Pac-12 team,” UH coach Gib Arnold said. “They beat Maryland at Maryland, and they have a high efficiency rating. We played some very inspired basketball and did the things you need to do to beat a good team like that.”

Isaac Fotu scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds, Garrett Nevels added 16 points, three boards, two assists and two steals, and Christian Standhardinger had 15 points and five rebounds.

In addition, Brandon Spearman finished with 14 points, 10 boards — including five off the offensive glass — and two assists, and was named to the All-Tournament team. Keith Shamburger contributed nine points, 10 assists with just one turnover, and two steals.


“As a team, we had 18 assists and only nine turnovers — that is a great stat,” Arnold said.

After leading 40-38 following a tight first half, UH exploded for a 23-4 run early in the second half started by Shamburger’s shot clock buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the right corner and capped by Fotu’s slam dunk with 8:08 remaining to make it 65-46. Fotu scored 10 points during that run, on three layups, two free throws and the slam dunk.

He had only three points on four shot attempts in the first half, during which the Warriors used an 11-2 run to build a 37-28 lead with 3:07 left, only to see Oregon State finish with a 10-3 run heading into the break.

“At halftime, Coach (Arnold) challenged me, he called me average,” said Fotu, the team’s second-leading scorer. “I had to do something about that, and in the second half my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball.”

Arnold said getting Fotu more shot attempts has been a priority.

“I challenged him to shoot more, I love it when he has the ball down there,” Arnold said. “Even when he misses, he draws (defenders) to him and so that opens up the backside — that’s how we get a lot of offensive rebounds. When he gets the ball, good things happen.”


Oregon State chipped away and later closed it to 69-62 on Roberto Nelson’s putback with 2:10 left, but Nevels answered with a 12-foot baseline jumper 13 seconds later and the Beavers could not get closer than the final score.

“We tried to speed up the play and get them to play our style,” Spearman said of the second half. “We ended up getting quick shots and started finding Fotu in the lane. It turned out pretty well.”

Spearman’s 10 rebounds were a career-high, and it led to the first double-double of his Hawai’i career. He had four of his offensive rebounds in the second half, including a follow of his own miss which he converted into a short bank shot to help ignite the 23-4 run.

“Those offensive rebounds were huge, because they came in key moments,” Arnold said. “Off those five offensive rebounds, we probably scored eight or 10 extra points, and we won by six, so if he doesn’t get those rebounds, we don’t win this game.”

Spearman also credited Shamburger for quarterbacking the offense and finding the open man.

“He did a wonderful job controlling the tempo, he controlled everything,” Spearman said. “He’s a great point guard.”


Arnold said as pleased as he was with the fifth-place finish, the Warriors are not satisfied.

“We lost one game (to Boise State) by one point (62-61), and if not for that, we would be in the championship game,” Arnold said. “That’s where these guys felt they should be, and I like that. They’re not happy with just being the host, they want to be playing for and defending this title. This team wants to get better, and that’s what I love about them. I really like this team.”

Said Spearman: “The sky is the limit for this team … I’m thinking NCAA Tournament, that’s what I think.”



(Game photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)

Wednesday’s Results
Championship: Iowa State 70, Boise State 66
Third place: South Carolina 69, Akron 59
Fifth place: Hawai’i 79, Oregon State 73
Seventh place: George Mason 65, Saint Mary’s 63

All-Tournament Team
MVP-Deandre Kane (Iowa State)
Melvin Ejim (Iowa State)
Georges Niang (Iowa State)
Anthony Drmic (Boise State)
Brandon Spearman (Hawai’i)

2014 Diamond Head Classic Field
George Washington
Wichita State
(Two other teams to be announced)


  1. If we can’t beat ’em in football let’s take ’em out in hoops !!!!! GREAT WIN ‘BOWS…..

  2. Now UH MBB team go get big wins against very competitive, they have winning records, I think 8-5 Norfolk State( a lot of those south eastern USA athletes) and a 9-4 Nebraska-Omaha team who are good as well. Both NCAA DI schools.

    Team, we are proud of you all, just keep getting better, in health, in school, with your families and each other, Hawaii embraces you. A real hilite, for UH athletics, who so far had a rough year with their other sports!

    Go Rainbow Warriors, win on Dec 30 against Norfolk St and finally before BWC play on Jan 3 2014, against Nebraska Omaha, should be two more wars…don’t let up, stay focused, keep eye on the prize, possible NCAA invite March 2014!!

    Go Bows!

  3. Yes. They have guys from east, east, east one from China! Good Challenge for Hawaii, these guys are coming a long way from Virgina, should be good game, Hawaii MBB , keep staying together, get better, and get ready to win against Norfolk and Omaha, hopefully!!

    from: Norfolk University site–

    00 Kievyn Lila-St. Rose G/F 6-6 185 R-Jr. Corona, N.Y. / CJEOTO Academy (N.J.)
    3 Jamel Fuentes G 6-4 190 R-Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y. / CJEOTO Academy (N.J.)
    4 Marese Phelps G 6-1 190 R-Sr. Norfolk, Va. / Wallace State CC (Ala.) / Louisburg College
    5 Anell Alexis G/F 6-6 200 Gr. Hillsborough, N.J. / Marist / St. Benedict’s Prep
    11 Pendarvis Williams G 6-6 195 Sr. Philadelphia, Pa. / The Hun School (N.J.)
    21 Jordan Weathers G 6-5 200 Sr. Los Angeles, Calif. / Fairfax HS
    23 Brandon Goode C 7-0 235 Sr. Bronx, N.Y. / James Monroe HS
    24 Zieyik Estime G 6-6 185 Sr. Harlem, N.Y. / Panola College (Texas) / Jamestown CC
    25 Malcolm Hawkins G 6-5 210 R-Sr. Norfolk, Va. / Delaware / Norview HS
    31 Riley Maye F 6-8 220 Sr. East Stroudsburg, Pa. / The Peddie School (N.J.)
    32 Paulius Vinogradovas C 7-1 210 Jr. Švencioneliai, Lithuania / Westchester CC (N.Y.)
    33 Hefeng Sun F 6-8 245 R-So. Shenzhen, China / Fresno State / Shenzhen Sports Institute
    35 RaShid Gaston F 6-8 230 So. Warren, Ohio / Warren G. Harding HS
    50 LaTre’e Russell F 6-6 215 Jr. Chicago, Ill. / Des Moines Area CC / Bolingbrook HS

  4. BTW, The Rest of the Way…The Big Picture Prediction from 10,000 Feet…

    IT Doesnʻt Mean Hawaiʻi WONʻT Find a Way to WIN, Similar to The DHC Round 2 “Upset” of Saint Maryʻs…
    But the Pomeroy Ratings “Predict” UHMBB As Underdogs (Losing in) ONLY THREE of their Remaining Games this Season …

    (Yeah, i think theyʻre Earning A LOT More Respect than The BW Pre-Season Predictions)
    The ONLY Underdog Games are 1/9 @ Cal-Poly; 1/25 @ UC Irvine and 3/6 @ UC Santa Barbara.

    IT Does Not Mean Hawaiʻi wonʻt get caught Flat OR An Opponent Wonʻt Hustle or Shoot their way to an Upset…
    BUT Hawaiʻi THIS YEAR Has NOT (Yet) Under-Performed, Usually Meeting or Exceeding All Predictions…

    I Would Think IF The Team Stays On Track and/or Keeps Improving (MORE Likely), Then Three Regular Season Losses On the Road While Winning ALL @ Home has to be at least a Place in the BW TOP Three (OR #4 @ Worst; Everybody meets Twice so the “Other Three” Gotta Have Six Losses somewhere)

    THATʻs A LOT of FUN!

    Hawaiʻi Might Lose a Game or Three, BUT
    Likely (ONLY) in the NIT or NCAA….
    Might we ever see Hawaiʻi “Out-Classed”

    TRUE? B.Spearman: “The Skyʻs The Limit for This Team…”
    The Analysts with The Facts would seem to agree…

    Go Ahead, ʻBows!

  5. Coach Gib and team, correct attitude. That meeting after the game, even after some jawing by fellow UH Basketball athletes on bench, the got things straightened out. This team, if you witness at the game, everyone is into the game, whether on the court or supporting from the bench , a sign of a Good Team.

    Like, how, things were settled, Gib met with guys, and they let out how they can improve and goals to shoot for.
    I would think, next game against Norfolk, play that 40 minutes of the best ball they can. See if Mike Thomas, Aaron Valdes, Dyrbe Enos , Jovanovich can play more, Even Hackman , Harper. Of, course secure the win first. Norfolk, will be coming in to the Stanley to win, not to travel thousands of miles and take the loss. So UH has to focus on winning, every game, including these two last ones before Conference play.
    In Conference, as was stated by others, formula: Win out at home, 8-0, Split or better 4-4,5-3 on the road, that would leave UH at possibly 12-4 or 13-3 and top 1,2 or 3, or maybe even finish as Regular season champs, which would be auto NIT invite . Secondly, prepare for , at that time March, a run at Big West Tournament Championship, which the guys really want, and the NCAA invitation.
    This is a good team, if you all can make one game, pleas go in person, if not, I think all games are on OC or video stream feed.

  6. The early season success is a confidence booster and speaks for the tenacity of the 7 players that saw meaningful action. But we need to continue to develop the rest of the bench because thats the key to how far we will go in post season play. There will be days when one of the key players will either be injured, sick, or not have a good game. That is the luxury of a deep bench in that the drop off in ability is not too
    noticeable. Our starters plus 2 are battle tested. Now its the rest of the guys that need to find their groove and some playing time. And they need to play some in the heat of battle and not only blow outs. Specifically, the other 3 needs to get their hands dirty and feel pressure situations. So Aaron, Derby, and Michael, if you want your team to go far it’s up to you to dedicate yourselves to improving (no late parties and other body killers) and helping the team reach the Big Dance.

  7. Spearman is my Ultimate Warrior! the man leaves it all on the court each and every game, I admire his heart and abilities, always taking on the toughest defensive assignment. We are going to miss you next season, all around great skills, and the biggest heart . He won’t back down from anybody, thats the kind of guy I want to build a team around. Spearman U Da Man!

  8. servante- I don’t watch practices, so, for Dyrbe to get into game, a key one, against Oregon St., means that Gib trusts him, and will put him in for a few minutes. You and probably 100% of us on this forum, the fans, and coaches, want, more than 7 guys to be ready for battle.

    We have seen the season ending injuries, and ailments, Spearman’s ankle, Zane’s Mono, etc, to know that, if key Big, or guards go down, or go into mid conference slump, Enos, Valdes, Thomas, have to step up, and help team win. I really think Gib, was thinking, as did Rocha, Little, Wallace, to get the win first, or really have the score secured, and then put in Thomas.

    I would like to see Jovanovich play more, he probably will have to, if Rozitis, Standhardinger, Fotu, ill, hurt, or foul trouble, or fouled out. He must be having challenge in practice, the speed and physical nature of NCAA DI ball.

    servatnte, you, FUHA, Eagle, DK, Derek, jjay, Palolo, warriorhaw, all the faithful MBB fanbase, want the bench guys, the 8,9, 10 and even 11th guy, to step up. It begins in practice, then when you go into game, either for 3 minutes, or 13 minutes, affect winning.

    Aaron Valdes had a break out game, though, with the ligament damage in his elbow, it is very painful, as Aaron gets better, and have 8-10 minutes a game, and contributes, like he did against St Mary’s , UH will be tough on defense and offense, Aaron is an athlete. As for Mike Thomas, the guy is young, however, might be might be my imagination or not, Mike seems, like he is still physcially growing, he might end up the year, at 6’8 1/2″ tall and 220. You can tell he is working in weight room, and a great student in class.

    Shout out and challenge, 100% agreed servante, to win Big West, regular season, and tournament, and have shot to not only go to NCAA’s, but win games, UH needs, battle tested, bench. at least, 10 guys, who are contributors with no major drop off. If UH has that from Enos, Valdes, Thomas, even, Jawato(though the guy is hurt, should have surgery!), Hackman, Harper, UH can dance, dance, dance in March, and on towards April!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  9. jjay:

    Without a doubt, at this point in season, and last year, when Brandon S. got hurt, UH lost 5 out of their last 6 games, tailspin, reason? Spearman was out, A miracle, he made it back for C.I.T. game against AFA.
    Again this year, they were talking about, his return from High Ankle sprain, coming back at about this time late Dec, be ready for BWC play, what happens , the Warrior Spearman, fear the spear, he comes back, within a couple of weeks, and is playing really awesome ball. Leading by example and affecting winning. If team follows his steady game, and effort, all out, and he being perhaps the strongest physcially on team. UH will go far.

    Next year, according to Isaac Fleming, he is in that combo guard mode, though Isaac F. can play PG too. Nice size, 6’4″ about 195 or so, he would try to fit that role of Spearman. For a two year run, Brandon Spear, puts it all out, with control, very steadying influence, and works the boards like a guy who is 6’8″ tall, his offensive rebounds, and securing defensive boards, are key, to helping the Bigs.
    This team so many guys affect winning, Spearman, Smith, Nevels, Shamburger, Fotu, Standhardinger, and hopefully Valdes, Thomas, Enos, and the whole bench.
    Yes, Spearman, keep on fearing the Spear!

    Go Bows. Warriors!

  10. Just for Reference and General Public Perception/Feedback…

    Two Co-Workers on a Part-Time Project i’m helping on Today:

    WERE IMPRESSED that Hawai’i Knocked OFF Oregon State in Basketball:
    One was a Colorado State Project/Construction Management Graduate (who recently attended CSU VB Match in Hawai’i);
    The Other a General Foreman from Texas; made sure they knew that while All Three Games were Significant Indicators, Really, Saint Mary’s And Boise State were the Better Teams (Both TOP 60) versus OSU (TOP 120);

    WHAT’S IN A NAME [Program?]

    IF Hawai’i HAD Beaten Boise/ WON THREE Games,
    i woulda Considered Shamburger Also Deserving of The All-Tourney Team…

  11. The “Other Guy” who may be AIM-ing to Fill Spearman’s 3-Role is One Negus Webster-Chan…

    As Much as Jankovic is Eye-ing Standhardinger’s Role…

    “COULD” GIB Lose Such Outstanding Performers As Standhardinger AND Spearman…
    All-Conference and ALL-DHC-Tourney…
    AND Still IMPROVE (Almost “Immediately”)?
    Check Back In About A Year…
    Intriguing Just for The Possibility…

  12. Eagle, you were right, as UH wins against higher Pomeroy, BPI ,and RPI opponents, pre BWC, and just keeps on winning at home and on the road, in Conference play, they move up, in all the rankings.
    BM,…UH after beating OSU, as of Dec 26 2014, they are, now 97th, RPI, a big move from start of the season, where they were 200 or something?

    UH MBB, get better, and better, stick together, and then hopefully Dance, Dance, Dance, to sweet sixteen, well…at least make NIT and, go for NCAA’s!

    Go Bows!!
    Focus, practice, develop the bench, and get stronger in finishing, can have a wonderful, pre NWC, SJ, and IF( so far, 3 star, guys coming). next year 2014-15!!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!!

  13. Latest RPI: Iowa St.-5. ,Boise St-22, Missouri-23, UCSB-34, St. Mary’s-66,Nebraska-Omaha(!)-75, …
    UH will play UCSB 2x, and this Jan 3, 2014 , 75th ranked as of Dec 25 2013, Nebraska Omaha, ..

    Interesting how plays out, now I understand, the need to have BPI,RPI, in case UH gets the invite to NCAA’s , can mean difference between 15-16 seed, or possibly a 11-13 seed. Important, UH keeps on winning!
    Go Bows!

  14. our rpi’s never going to be high enough to get an 11 seed, and we’ll never get a 16 seed and a 15 seed would be unlikely given how many truly awful conferences make it in.

    in short, dont worry about rpi. it’s pointless for us. if we do make it, we will be a 14-13 seed, i’d bet a hundred bucks.

  15. I think UH has to think of winning the regular season title, then go for the Big West tournament title, however, Xer21, NCAA owns the NIT too, so whatever RPI, BPI, pomeroy, might come into play on that 32 field seeding, and who hosts.

    Bottom, line, as hoopsa, Eagle, servante, FUHA, and others commented on, UH just has to get better, and take one game at a time. Staying healthy, and getting healthy for Quincy, Isaac, Spearman, Valdes, important too. However, comments on developing Thomas, Enos, Jovanovich off the bench and peaking in March first week , what it boils down to. For NCAA’s , UH wins that tourney, the Big West, they are going to Dance, the big one, if not, a good little Dance the NIT, which is not bad at all.

    One game at a time guys, and keep humble, honest, hungry to get better!

  16. The FOCUS is on Improvement, Performance and Ultimately, WINNING;

    The RPI/Pomeroy Ratings etc. are just Independent “Score-Cards” that Give Us An Indication that
    We May Be (Or Not) Heading In The Right Direction… as we approach The Prizes…

    1- BIG WEST Regular Season Championship (HARD Three Months #1 Winning Effort); OR

    2- BIG WEST TOURNEY Championship — Hard Three-WIN Effort…

    UNLESS UHMBB — Maybe In the Future, Next Year? Just ONE Year? (Maybe)
    Cracks ~ TOP 50 or TOP 30, etc. NOT Getting Invited to NIT/NCAA Other than 1 or 2 Above

    Funny That The Discussion Really IS The Same…

    The GOOD NEWS — Just One Year Ago…
    This Woulda Been Laughingstock Material for Putting Any Energy Into This Discussion….
    Whoʻs Laughing NOW?

    Whoʻs Laughing Next Year?
    (WE DO…)

  17. Eagle-Gib stayed the course, taking over for Bob Nash, with Bill Amis and Hiram Thompson, excellent leaders, and a great Defensive team, they win 19 games in first season. 2nd season, 16-16, Zane’s mono, killed momentum to have another 19-20 game seaso. 3rd season, 17 win and 2nd CIT buy in tourney, with the infamous VJ walk out, still lingers for me..too bad.

    However, each year, had mid term, and spring, movement, Gib to his credit, he makes, sure, he and staff get the young student athletes, that are good in class, are first class people, love the culture, and Hawaii, the fans, the lifestyle, they are buying into his system, D first, and he now has 4 or 5 really good guards, who are unselfish, quick , athletic, can score, and get up and down on O and D.

    With Negus, Stefan Jankovic, Isaac Fleming, and maybe(?!)another athletic shot blocking, offensive and defensive minded big, 6’8″-6’11” from USA-Senegal…UH and Gib’s program, with outstanding preferred walkons, who contribute and work as hard as the whole team. UH is on the move upwards.

    Eagle, have a great start to 2014, Hope that UH will finish this 2013 with two more great wins, and go into BWC at 11-3 record overall, then try to win the regular season(NIT auto invite), and the BWC tourney championship–the Big One, NCAA’s..

    Remember, Eagle, some forum, “fans” were saying Gib and program would IMPLODE..more like, his team, and their ONE OHANA desire to get better, finish stronger, settle for “not average”, is EXPLODING, with potential to win BWC and the Post Season, and hopefully deep run in March through early April 2014.
    Eagle, what a difference, 3 1/2 years make. Good young guys all, and for Fotu Ohana, with eighteen in tow, to come out and support, Michael Haper’s awesome fan and Mum to make trip over from Oz, as well as Spearman Ohana and TribeVx4 Valdes Ohana, AWESOME..

    WE were taught when young Eagle, “look on the bright side”, work hard, “strive for excellence”, always, do your best, and good things can and will come about..
    well Eagle, we are starting to see, not just a good team, rather as Gib stated, a GOOD MBB PROGRAM starting to develop. Gib keep those, gems, whether 1, 2, 3 or even 4! star, One Ohana, student athletes coming, Jamie Smith, welcome back, in about a week!!

    Go Rainbow Warriors, Go Bows!!
    Uhfanzonly1.Keep the faith Eagle, no negativism, here, just keeping it real, and the guys, are doing well, still have at least 10 weeks plus into BWC tourney, so a lot of ball to play!
    Aloha to all , see you all in 2014!(next week!!)


  18. Congratulations again, some other forum member mentioned, less we forget, for Gib and his team getting career number 61 victory, with at minimum, 18 more games before the Big West Tourney to go.

    Mahalo Gib, and great accomplishment, in a little over 3 years!
    61 career wins and counting.

  19. I dont worry about RPI ratings until March. Besides, the BW is only getting 1 team in (tourney champs) the big dance.

    UH lost the only game that would have put them in the at-large conversation (Missouri) and would have needed to win the DC over Iowa St.

    UH rating will get boosted by the SMC win but unfortunately, SMC is a little down this year and likely will end up 3rd in the WCC behind Gonzaga and BYU. Plus Oregon St probably end up in the ottos half of the pac12 when it’s all said and done.

    Ratings aside, is clear that UCSB and UH have established themselves as the top two teams in the BWC. All we can ask for is to pack the SSC on the remaining home games.

  20. Former UH Athlete: I think what Eagle is stating, with Pomeroy, BPI, RPI etc, has UH MBB program improved in year 4 of Gib era, from previous years, even from start of season. As Brian M. alluded to today’s current RPI, UH jumping from 108 last week to 97 this week, when is last time UH was in the top 100 RPI..just a gauge of how team and Gib’s BB program is doing.
    I hope too, that, the last 10 home games, at least 6000 will come out or more, if UH perhaps is running the table. Jamie Smith coming back will make it great for fans, young and old, and Aaron V. and other UH BB athletes are correct. ..UH MBB team guys went to a lot of WVB and Men FB (Chow Time)games, maybe Aaron also went to Women’s Water Polo games, pretty sure he did, so , the STUDENT athletes from the other sports, now is the time to Support Your UH MBB team!!

  21. This UH team has possibilities, BUT they lack the killer instinct. They let the other team hang around, hang around, and then things get interesting. Thus, there is room for lots of improving as coach Arnold has said. Not good to look ahead, lest we get some serious humble pie. My advice, look ahead only to the next game, that’s it.

    The depth chart is getting smaller and smaller with only Smith, Rozitis, and Valdes getting meaningful minutes. I think Thomas should get some minutes (how are you going to learn and get better without playing). The starting five is solid. We don’t miss Joaquim at all. The difference between last year and this year is like night and day in our guard play because we have Shamburger, Nevels, and Smith as opposed to Tavita, Jefferson, and Clair. Good people all, but talent level is noticeable.

  22. Agree with Derek, bench players need minutes to learn and gain confidence. Not only Thomas, others bench players too.
    Being put into a game for 30 seconds or a minute is a tough challenge to gain that experience.
    Sham they don’t get that chance in preseason as it might be needed in conference play.

  23. marley….yes I agree with you and Derek, even Former UH athlete, have to get Enos, Thomas, especially, and even Jovanovich. We have seen in the past where, UH Basketball guys, on short rotation got burnt out at end of year, and did the downslide, and we all went shoots…they just came up short of first place of championshp of the tourney, because of depth.

    However, marley, Derek, you all probably, played ball before, or even coached, what is happening in practice with Mike(who knows he might even be sick?), whether, he is grasping the offensive and defensive assignments, I know that Gib is really high on Mike Thomas, he is a 3 star HS , athlete, it shows, his ability, length, can run, jump, and can shoot out to three line. Gib wanted to play him more during Classic, however, games were so tight, he had to leave in those 6 or 7 guys, and finally only 6, in and out for Offense and Defense, when UH could not hit free throws. If the win over OSU , in closing minutes, even last 8 minutes, UH was leading by 22 or 23, Mike would have been in there, so would Enos, and maybe Jovanovich. Gib has to get wins, and this team, they want to win first even if , only 7 or 8 , actually 9 guys played against OSU.
    Now against, Norfolk, who have good athletes, and Nebraska Omaha, who is ranked RPI number 75, and is 9-4, if UH can get out to good leads and hold, then Enos, Jovanovich, and hopefully a healthy, if he were sick, Thomas will play., The performances in practice, dictates who plays. Valdes is a gamer, he might defer, to others in practice, however when the lights are on , Aaron really shines.
    Hope to see Mike Thomas, Dyrbe Enos, and Stefan Jovanovich, Jawato, Harper and Hackman get minutes, for BWC play, need depth!

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