Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors need to make up for slow start

Well, that didn’t go as planned.

The 2014 Big West Conference season is only one week old, but the University of Hawai’i basketball team already has some catching up to do.


The Warriors suffered road losses at Cal Poly (77-65) and Cal State Northridge (79-78) last week, and are now one of three teams at the bottom of the standings with 0-2 records.

The Warriors are now in a must-win situation this week, as they will host UC Riverside on Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center. Riverside is one of the other 0-2 teams in the conference. The Highlanders will play a game at UC Davis (also 0-2) on Thursday before heading to Hawai’i.

Some quick observations from the opening week of conference play:

• Based on just the opening week, UC Irvine appears to be the team to beat. The Anteaters opened with road victories at Long Beach State and UC Riverside. The win at Long Beach ended the 49ers 26-game home winning streak against Big West opponents. Against Riverside, UC Irvine rested starting big men Will Davis II and Mamadou Ndiaye, and still won the game by 20 points.

• Cal Poly was the surprise team of the opening week, scoring a convincing home win over Hawaii, and then a big road upset of UC Santa Barbara. The Mustangs had a 4-9 non-conference record prior to starting Big West play.

• Cal State Northridge is exhibit A on the importance of free throws. The Matadors are 2-0 in the conference, thanks in large part to going 50 for 54 – an astounding 92.6 percent – from the line in the two wins.

• UC Davis remains a disappointing mystery at 5-12 overall and 0-2 in the conference. The Aggies have the best 3-point shooter in the Big West in Ryan Sypkens, and one of the best scoring guards in the conference in Cory Hawkins.

• UC Santa Barbara forward/center Alan Williams is the clear frontrunner for Player of the Year honors. He is averaging 24.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game. He had 33 points 15 rebounds in UCSB’s loss to Cal Poly last week.

• There will be no easy games in Big West action, but the team no one wants to lose to is UC Riverside. The Highlanders have lost 14 of their last 15 Big West games dating to last season.

This week’s games

Cal State Fullerton at UC Irvine
Cal State Northridge at Cal Poly
UC Riverside at UC Davis
Long Beach State at UC Santa Barbara

UC Riverside at Hawa’ii
Cal State Fullerton at UC Davis
Long Beach State at Cal Poly
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Northridge


  1. Team and coach Gib, go over every second of the video of 2 road losses, look at the weak areas, the slow starts, the inability to box out, prevent teams from getting offensive boards. The FREE THROW, close out games, Shooting, so vital,. The Perimeter, 3 point shooting, maybe, in practices this weak, do your weight lifting, rehab, ice bath, etc, however, spend time on first hour and last hour of practices, shooting the ball, correct screens, the guards making on time passes to open wing shooters. Entry passes to Fotu, needs more touches. The better half court Defense. Fundamentals. You have to play 10 times harder and smarter on the road to win in ACC or WCC or Big West, then you will , like the Savo led team, have winning record on the road.

    Shooting Practice, guys, have to shoot well, when tired, from 3 line and FT line. Still take care of ball. And don’t have to scramble to catch up to teams with press, if you play great 3/4 half court defense,and run excellent half court,and transition defense. Hey you guys are still 11-5, overall, 0-2 start, you have to steal a win or two extra on the road, and still sweep all your home games, you will be there fighting for regular season Big West title, with great seeding to make a 3 game run in Big West tourney and possible NCAA’s, STill a lot of ball to play. Do not give up. learn from these losses, and get much, much better.

  2. Several things that will happen this week: the Warriors will reflect on their two road losses and think about the things that went wrong and how they can better themselves. They will get motivated and hungry, which leads to my second thing – UC Riverside will be taking a pounding on Saturday night. They have a couple of solid guards, however top to bottom we’re far more talented and deeper than they are. The victory will bode well for the team and help them gain back some confidence. From this point, I don’t see us taking any more teams very lightly, strictly business from here on out. Also, Shamburger will be back on his game, as he will have had time to grieve the recent passing of his Aunt (condolences to him and his family) and be more focused and ready to play.

    I know the guys can come back and finish strong, the 2 road losses were against top tier teams in the conference and are nothing to be ashamed about. This team can bounce back, no doubt about it! Let’s GO BOWS!!

  3. Maybe-BETTER UH MBB TEAM GOT OFF TO ROUGH start, on the road, know what it takes to have chance to win, even sweep road games.The BWC teams,all of them present challenges, …Now, Coach, staff and the players, can get down to serious business, and prepare for Riverside, shore up the weaknesses and turn them into strengths, as winbows, say, Shooting , FT line, and 3 pt line, also, half court defense, boxing out, keeping teams from getting offensive boards.

    All those things are fixable. Thinking back, the sting of 0-2 is starting to pass. Now UH can go after ever important win number 1. be 1-2,and go out on the road, and be prepared to get 2, and come back home at 3-2, worse case, split and come back at 2-3, for a 4 game in a row SSC home stand, where UH could finish at 6-3, before heading out on road again, So fellow fans, all is not lost, STILL 14 more regular season games left, and within the next two weekends at least half of their road schedule will be done, and they will have majority of remaining games at home which is good!
    Go Bows, Warriors, Rainbows!! Never give up, regress, get better, learn from the road trip and grow. Possible league and BWC tourney championships, and Dallan, team has to have something to look forward too, why not? the NIT or NCAA’s !!

    Go Rainbow Warriors! Imua!

  4. Dayton …any report of Stefan II Jankovich in school for Spring Semester, any official word from UH and coach Gib? Any updates from Gib on possible SF and athletic Center/PF, who can block shots, with athleticism?

    Thanks in Advance Dayton!

    Go Bows! Warriors Rainbow Warriors!

  5. Dayton- How did the athletes do this past fall semester? GPA? The scholarship student athletes I think contribute towards APR standing. Good if all, even preferred walkons do well. , proves they are smart young men, and will do well in academics, later life, as well as to learn BB IQ knowledge to help them win 10,11 or 12 conference games!

    Go Bows!

  6. The Warriors will not take anyone lightly from now, we play UC Riverside, we are 0-2 just like them, it’s all uphill climb from here, one game at a time, one team , one goal ,conference Champs!

  7. There’s the problem – Bench Scoring (7). Can’t win a YMCA game with the bench only scoring 7 pts.

    Gotta get Valdes some more minutes . . . 7 minutes ain’t gonna cut it. Should beat Riverside but don’t sleep on them . . . Yes, it’s great to having something to shoot for like the moon – you may land a star! Aha, ha, ha – nice try playhoopsa!

  8. Same thing like last year. Coach shorten the rotation when conference play starts. You need contributions from everyone, the more the better. It makes for a happier squad. Players feels a part of a team. They work hard in practice. The only mantra is players have to play hard and produce. Even starters don’t always produce all the time. That’s when you sub to see if someone else can contribute in a positive way. I don’t see why Jawato didn’t get some time when they needed some shooting the last game. Shamburger wasn’t shooting for most of the game. Even Hackman could have seen some minutes to see what he could do. He’s a good shooter.

    Frankly, I’m disgusted.

  9. Derek: We love the team, the increased athletic ability, the one ohana theme, how hard the guys worked in off season, if shows, they are in great shape, 1-14 on roster.

    For the next 14 games, beginning with Riverside, who if they are playing well, shooting lites out, can beat UH at SSC, the buck stops with Coach Gib. He has to get the guys going, they look totally out of sync, or maybe trying too hard, or not hard enough.
    Still, this bunch, I agree Derek, unless, there is some attitude problems developing, Enos, was a surprise, he must be working and doing exactly what Gib wants in practice, so he earns PT. Jawato, he has the bad ankles, and needs surgery, probably he is not set to go 10-15 minutes, he is physically hurting. Jovanovich, could play, however, maybe the speed, of game, with Poly and Northridge, I would like to see Harper and Hackman have a a shot at wing, bet they would bring hustle, energy, and could hit a couple of deep threes, to help UH stay even, and even take leads in games. Again, Gib, is sticking with about 8-9 guys primary time, however, Enos time increased greatly, I think Gib, he would have to, open up ALL spots agains, whomever is doing it on O and D, and shooting it well from 3 line, able to get major minutes.

    Shamburger, loss of auntie affected, him, if ever you had close relative die suddenly, it hurts, plus, he is not 100% with the hip flexor injury, really affects his shooting and game, only 6 pts, in the two road games.

    Really the Buck Stops With Coach: He will have to do what he has to do, to get wins. First step Riverside, if he has to start, Enos, Harper, Hackman, Valdes and Jovanovich…then have the starters come back in after several minutes, DO IT…anything to get the win…however, Gib won’t do that, he will stick with the starters, who got the team 9 out of 10 wins, however, now on 2 game slide, here is where , we see who steps up, the starters, or Enos, Hackman, Jawato(the guys is really limping), Jovanovich, Thomas(what happened to Mike, his learning curve must be really slow)
    Derek, before, you blow a fuse, give this team, and Gib a chance, over next 3 games, if they can go 2-1, they will be back on track.

    I still, like this team, the athletes, this is a great bunch, whom, whatever, Dallan says, has to have goals of NIT or NCAA, something to play for. NOW play for first win, even, if Gib has to use 5 guys from UH intramural gym at Klum(just joking)

    This team is better than 0-2, and up to them, and coaches, the have to as EAGLE will soon chime in, They have to step up , work on weak areas, whomever can produces in practice and in the game will play, to help team WIN!
    Go Warriors!

  10. Disgusting…Aye!

    But for a better reason (than other teams who were less competitive), Ai!

    Because We Can ALL See Somethin’ Better.. Eye Up!

    BUT Leaders Together and Individually MUST Step UP… I, ME !

    Again, GOT TO Win This Week, ZERO Last Week…Aieee!

    Even a Tough Road Split (UC-Irvine Tough) leaves them Losin — I.E. (2-3)

    NOTHIN’ To Laugh At…
    They Have a Real Ability to Use This Opportunity…
    After Years of Futility…
    i think they gotta Learn to Start Early
    And Last-Minute Comebacks and (Sometimes) WINS
    Become Just a rarely needed, although Amazing Back-Up Plan…


    Should be interesting to see and hear what Coaches and Players
    NEED to Start Doing Differently THIS WEEK
    And Continuing Through Next Week
    And The BW Season
    They already Gave Away Two
    Making a Solid 1-2-3 Finish / Seeding that much harder
    (8-7-6 opponents seem the only real tourney advantage…)

  11. Yep, agree with Derek.

  12. This was a terrible start after an amazing pre-season.

    I agree with Derek – Coach, its worth a shot to put in Jawato and Harper who in my opinion are among our better shooters.

    I’ve noticed Coach has a tendency to play Jawato all too briefly and often rotates him out after he makes a single mistake, like missing a shot or committing a personal foul. He does the same thing with Thomas. That kind of coaching weakens a player’s self-esteem, which can prove to be devastating to the player’s growth and performance.

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