Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors looking for road wins


A road trip to Southern California two weeks ago didn’t work out so great for the University of Hawai’i basketball team, so the Warriors will try their luck in Northern California on Thursday.

The Warriors will play a Big West Conference game against UC Davis on Thursday (5 p.m. Hawaii time) at The Pavilion in Davis, Calif. The Aggies are the only team from Northern California in the Big West this season.

Hawai’i is 12-5 overall and 1-2 in the conference; UC Davis is 6-13 and 1-3. Both teams are coming off a Big West win – the Warriors routed UC Riverside, 100-69, in Honolulu, while the Aggies earned a 69-61 home win over Cal State Fullerton.

The Warriors arrived in Davis on Tuesday evening, and had Wednesday to acclimate and prepare for the Aggies.

UC Davis has struggled this season, in part due to the loss of its most experienced post players. Senior forward Josh Ritchart averaged 17.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game through the first nine games of this season, but is out for the rest of the season due to a lower leg injury. Junior forward J.T. Adenrele, who was a starter alongside Ritchart last season, suffered a season-ending knee injury before this season even started.

Still, the Aggies are a dangerous opponent because of their guard play. Junior Corey Hawkins was a first-team All-Big West pick last season, and is averaging 18.0 points per game this season, including a league-best 21.0 per game in conference action. He averaged 30.5 points per game in two wins over Hawai’i last season.


The Aggies are also the Big West’s top 3-point shooting team, led by senior Ryan Sypkens. UC Davis has made 153 3-pointers (8.1 per game) this season, which is more than 30 more 3s than any other Big West team. By comparison, Hawai’i has 102 3-pointers (6.0 per game).

More than 40 percent of the Aggies’ total field goal attempts come from beyond the 3-point arc.

Sypkens is ranked sixth in the country with 63 3-pointers, and is shooting .423 from 3-point range. He is averaging 11.9 points per game.

Freshman point guard Darius Graham is contributing 7.6 points and 3.9 assists per game. Georgi Funtarov, a 6-8 freshman, has emerged as the top post player, with averages of 9.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

In contrast, the Warriors are led by their post duo of senior Christian Standhardinger and sophomore Isaac Fotu. Standhardinger ranks second in the Big West in scoring at 18.6 points per game, and also leads the team in rebounding at 7.6 per game. Fotu is averaging 13.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, and ranks second in the Big West with a .597 field goal percentage.


Hawai’i also has solid guard play from its starting trio of Garrett Nevels, Brandon Spearman and Keith Shamburger. Nevels is averaging 14.0 points per game and leads the Big West in 3-point percentage at .479; Spearman is averaging 11.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game; Shamburger is averaging 8.8 points and 4.8 assists per game.

The Warriors’ front-court depth could be tested, as senior center Davis Rozitis did not accompany the team on this road trip. He was recently declared academically ineligible, but it is believed to be a temporary status. There is even a possibility that Rozitis could become eligible by the end of this week and join the team for its next game on Saturday at UC Irvine.

(Photos courtesy Charles Simmons / www.chasingthemomentphoto.com)

Game 18 Tipoff Notes
Hawai’i (12-5, 1-2 Big West) at UC Davis (6-13, 1-3 Big West)
When: Thursday, Jan. 23, 5:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: The Pavilion (5,931) – Davis, Calif.
Television: None
Streaming Video: BigWest.tv
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM with Bobby Curran. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona and KTOH on Kaua’i.
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on espn1420am.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at UCDavisAggies.com


  1. From the start, UH MBB team, get the lead, hang on to it, at half and close out the game in second. No let down, shoot well, defend. The effort on the road, in small arena, small crowd, except for the Cali fans, of guys, have to give 1000% and more, you guys are good, however not great enough to just step on the court and think you got the W, even though Richart is out. Play tough, D, shoot well on O, and get the hustle plays, 50-50 ball, and Offensive rebounds, do not let Hawkins and company start raining 16 treys on you, Defend, and win guys, have to, just have to, come out with 1, or better yet 2 wins, this trip, NO O-Fer, 0-2, Go Bows!

  2. Let’s GO ‘Bows!

    The Time IS NOW
    To Start having a Great Big West Season
    For Starters, How ‘Bout REVERSING Last Year’s SWEEP Versus UC-Davis?
    Tonight Could Go a Long Way to Exorcising Many of Last Year’s Weaknesses and Shortcomings

    Hey, WHY NOT Dominate THEM With Our Guard Game!?
    An Unsoppable Spearman, Nevels & Shamburger
    Big Three Plus Q & AV & Dyrbe/Jawato
    Please LIGHT THEM Up, Light Them Up!

    Then Let OUR Front Line Put ‘Em Away
    Start The ‘Bows Road Winning Streak
    IF We ARE Good Enough, May Be Start a Tradition!?

    Are We DONE Pussy-Footing and Walking on Eggshells?
    Let’s Hope So
    REQUEST: Been Waiting for The Appearance of SUPER-AV
    Show Cam & Kaepernick what Superman Really Looks Like
    He FLIES, Man!

    Go ‘BOWS!

  3. For a guy who is a graduate student and a tri-captain on this basketball team I am very disappointed in Rozitis’ leadership, and frankly his production. He should apologize to all his teammates and his coaches for letting the team down. Being a caption on the team is not to be taken lightly.

  4. Warriors need to get in there and quite frankly, destroy UC Davis. This can either turn out to be a highly encouraging road win or a severely disheartening road loss. Hawaii is favored by 7.5, and I can see why as they recently thrashed Riverside by 30+, a team that was was down by 19 against Davis yet came back to win by nearly double digits. Given those figures, you would think an easy double digit win by Hawaii. However, no road win comes easy, as Hawaii will need to really lock down on the perimeter and utilize solid frontcourt play. Losing Rozitis is highly disappointing, however Jovanavic has filled in nicely in his absence. Need to be firing on all cylinders tonight, and hopefully bigwest.tv has their feeds FIXED and ROLLING! Let’s GO BOWS!!!

  5. I’m confident the team will notch the W in Davis today and get the conference road monkey off their backs. Their perimeter D this year is like night and day compared to last year. Irvine, though, is going to be a real litmus test.

  6. Big win on the road tonight one more to go Warriors ,2-0 on this trip,go for it!

  7. How awesome it feels to shake that monkey off our backs! On to Irvine!

  8. these bigwest teams really need to update their video/audio coverage badly

  9. The final score is misleading. Rainbow Warriors put in all their sub in the last 1:30 minutes. When they came in it was 90-66. When the game ended it was 90-73. Oh well, no matter. It is still a butt whipping. When Shamburger plays well, Hawaii wins. Shamburger was solid. But the entire starting five all scored in double digits. Would have liked to see more production from the backups, but there’s always another opportunity on Saturday against Irvine.

    Irvine is a better team, but a slower team. With a lot of players who can play uptempo, I think Arnold should go team into the rotation to keep the team fresh.

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