Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors look to take defense on road

The University of Hawai’i basketball team feasted quite nicely during the last two weeks of November.

The Warriors went 3-0 and regained some of their swagger during a three-game homestand that was completed last Friday. They out-scored those three opponents by a combined score of 277-182, or an average of 92.3-60.7 per game.


“I like where the momentum is coming from because it’s coming from our defense,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “We’re just getting better defensively, so we’re going to continue to stress that. I think that’s a big deal for us if we can continue to guard … I think we’ve proven that we can score against just about anyone, but it’s all about defense right now for this team to reach its potential.”

Hawai’i is 5-2 overall and will take its three-game winning streak on the road this week for a single game at Northern Arizona on Saturday.

The Warriors rank among the top 20 teams in the country in scoring offense at 89.6 points per game, but the players appear to be taking as much pride in their recent defensive improvement.

“The key is I think it really slowed down and all the coaches just taught us our spots a little bit better and we really focused on some drills,” junior guard Garrett Nevels said.

Nevels and fellow guards Keith Shamburger and Brandon Spearman have played key roles in the improved defense, as the Warriors currently rank 16th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage defense. Opponents are hitting just 25.2 percent from beyond the arc against the Warriors.

“Spearman locked down Montana’s best player last game, so hopefully if I keep working then they’ll put me on the best player sometimes, too, and I can play that same role,” Nevels said.

Arnold noted that it has been a group effort, and starting forwards Isaac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger have been able to utilitize their quickness to lead the Warriors to a rebounding margin of plus 10 per game, which also ranks 16th in the country.

“Everybody’s doing their part,” Arnold said. “And we need to keep doing that, and keep getting better at it.”

It also helps that the Warriors have been showing a variety of defensive looks at opponents, switching from man-to-man to zone to full-court press at any given moment.

“We’re playing together, we’re supporting each other, and everybody knows that if, by some miracle, he gets beat, there’s going to be three guys helping behind him,” senior forward/center Davis Rozitis said. “I think we got that trust and that chemistry going.”

The 7-foot Rozitis has been a defensive sparkplug, coming in to play at the top of the team’s full-court and 1-2-2 zone defenses. “Just come in and give energy boost, help the team,” he said.


  1. Have a great game UH Basketball team. Get rest, and drink a lot of fluids. Get the win.
    This is a good test. Win first road game of year, so important!

  2. NAU’s leading scorer from last year, Dewayne Russell (former UH recruit), quit the team before the season started. They are struggling to manufacture points without him. This will be their first D1 home game this year. But like always, the road is always rough for Hawaii teams…especially in altitude. NAU’s dome (also a football stadium) is the second highest in elevation for D1 football (behind Wyoming). Like others have said, it should be a good test this early in the year.

  3. Use Our Team Depth to Push Hard, Push Through, and Keep Fresh Legs on the Court, at Elevation

    Keep The Pressure on The Three Line, and
    On The Boards,

    Keep Up the Tempo and Pace
    Use This as an Opportunity to Build Blood Cells, Push Through, Build Stamina, Self Confidence and Winning Attitude

    Start Now, Racking Up The Road Wins…

    Hope Fotu’s Hand is Getting Better Daily
    Quincy’s Back getting Stronger, Looser, Better, Less Pain & Discomfort
    Keep Hydrated

    Team Improving Daily,
    Team Improving As The Game Progresses
    Winning Minute by Minute
    Posession by Posession
    Game by Game

  4. Love the attitude of team. Defense, defense, individual and help. The three Captains, seniors, Davis, Spear, and Christian are really taking the lead. On D, diving to the floor for hustle play, 50/50 ball, doing everything, coach wants, and taking pride in a national leader defensive squad. Reminds me, of the Bill Amis, Hiram Thompson team , Gib first year, they were a good D team, and almost won 20 games!

    Go Warriors, Bows, Rainbow Warriors!
    Defense. UH trying to find identity, if they are know, as winners and a tough Defensive and team rebounding team, alongside their ability to score, from the floor, transition, 3 line, FT line, and despite what JP, says, I think UH PG’s are very smart, and run their half court sets well.

    What do you think Eagle, When Smith or Sham are running the half court offense, they make good passes, and get guys in a position to score. JP, I don’t know what he sees, if am at the game, I love that UH can score in half court too!

    Go Bows!

  5. I believed Shamburger and Quincy were doing a credible and improving job in Protecting and Moving the Ball as well as running the Offense — thay ARE Pass-First and Both either Effectively Penetrate and/or shoot when needed, like at end of halves or when shot clock is running out — i “felt” they were doing Really Well, Especially for (Both) being First-Year in-System Players…

    So i “thought” they were doing well — BUT ALSO The Independent ʻMetricsʻ Support that Impression/Conclusion:
    They Beat a HIGH-Efficiency Control Team (Previous Number One in Country scoring 62.5% of Possessions) at their own Control Game:

    1) Points 72-61;
    2) Turnovers 11 to 12
    3) Assists: 12 to 6
    4) Steals: Even @ 6
    5) Field Goal Percentage: 57.1% to 35.7%
    6) 3-Pt Field Goal Percentage: 33.3% to 18.5%
    7) Rebounds: Offensive 10-10 (Tie); Defensive 25-19
    8) Personal Fouls 19 to 22

    i.e., WINNING or Tying EVERY Game-Control Statistic Except Free-Throws (13 to 16, Dead Ball Stat)

    Of Course they “Had” Reversed Many of those numbers on their home-court (Two Seasons ago)

    Keep On Keepinʻ On….
    GO ʻBOWS!

  6. The keys for the game will always be:
    1. Field Goal shooting percentage
    2. Rebounding
    3. Turnovers

    A subset of shooting is of course, 3 pt. shooting and free throw shooting.
    Win 2 out of 3 of the keys and the team has a great chance of winning.

    Some key games last night:
    1. UCLA beat UC Santa Barbara by 13, but the game was tied at halftime, 42-42 and was tight for most of the second half. Santa Barbara will be one of the top teams in the Big West.
    2. Boise St. beat Utah, 69-67. Coming in, both were undefeated. Coming in to that game, Boise State led the country in scoring. Broncos will probably be undefeated by the time they play Hawaii in the DHC in the first game. That should be a great game.
    3. Long Beach St. lost again, this time against Creighton at home. They are now 1-8, but their schedule is full of basketball powers and they will be ready come Big West time.
    4. Cal beat UC Irvine the other day. They are now 5-4. Irvine still will be in the top half of the Big West.

  7. Eagle, Sham’s been in the system for a year. he was redshirting last year, so he could practice.

  8. Defending the 3 point line. Rebounding, and Scoring. UH right up there according to NCAA stats, as of Dec 2 2013.
    Hawaii Basketball Men’s team, quite impressive so far. Hope they take it to the road. Just my thought, fans, Now, Jawato, Harper, Hackma, Jovanovich, Dyrbe Enos, those 10-14 guys on bench become really valuable, able to run out to guard 3 line, and get back to prevent penetration to the rim. So, UH won’t be gassed, trying to go uptempo on Defense and offense on the road. The Road, always a challenge for Men’s sports teams at UH, for decades. I think , if UH gets the wins at Flagstaff, and can shutdown, Chaminade on Kauai(which, I think will be a good ball game) , UH has something, very special going against , perhaps an undefeated and very high scoring Boise St BB team
    I have watched a couple of home games, NMSU, WMU, Montana, and watche on CBS sports the Mizzou game, This team very special, they want to win, and now are buying into the Defensive philosophy. Have to hit their own 3 pointers, and shoot lights out from FT line , plus protect ball, they have chance to win some on the road this year. As others stated, and we know, BWC, those top 5 teams, no cakewalk for UH, BWC play will be exciting!

    NCAA rankings for UH:

    Rank Averages
    Scoring: 17th 86.9 ppg

    Rebounding: 38th 40.4 rpg

    Defending 3 :16th 25.2 %

  9. Derek, I really, really hope that you’re right and that Boise St. comes in undefeated (and no doubt ranked) by the DHC, but I seriously doubt that they get out of Rupp with a win. Their defense just isn’t good enough. You’re right though, it will be a great game regardless!

  10. Sarconic….if Boise St. defeats Kentucky at Rupp Arena, they are a top ten team! Anyone knows, how did Boise St, who has a great system for Football, get so good at Basketball? It wasn’t too long ago, that Bosie St, was a junior college?

    Must be those Idaho potatoes!
    Good team though, they can score, however, if they cannot defend as well, that is a great equalizer, the better teams will defeat them, the teams that can score and defend, like hopefully Hawaii is becoming, and I think UH will be there at end of season, up in that top 3 or 4.

  11. it’s just that!….football got them known and then came recruits for every sport at boise….our football team could hurt us if we keep having horrible seasons

  12. I Believe (been watching for evidence that supports or ‘proves’ it is so…) that the NUMEROUS Years of Boise BCS Success has driven and elevated Boise’s Budget And Athletic Program — Intentionally, i should add, i think they were aiming high — i believe their other sports — that used to “All be Weak” in the WAC — have gotten better driven along by The Football Engine — IF Hawai’i had several Year 2007’s we’d probably also be hummin’ along …

    Xer — yeah, K-Sham had a year to ‘sit and prep’ And Two-Years D-1 ‘Prep’ @ SJSU — it’s just usually different on-court — some do well, some take a while …After sitting out (practicing?) his freshman year (?) it took Troy Bowe Three Years to Learn to be a Good-to-Great pg …

  13. Boise hired a guy from Mark Few’s staff over at Gonzaga when we hired Gib.

    also, Boise isnt playing at UK as a body bag game. that team has holes.

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