Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

A big week back at home awaits Warriors

After a hair-raising pair of victories on the road last week, the University of Hawai’i basketball team will be busting out the wigs for a big game at home this Thursday.

It will be “Wig Night” when the Warriors host first-place UC Irvine this Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. The first 400 students through the turnstiles will receive free wigs, but the Warriors are hoping for thousands of others to show up for what could be a make-or-break game at the top of the Big West Conference standings.


“That place gotta be packed on Thursday,” head coach Gib Arnold said after the Warriors’ 83-80 win at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. “That’s for first place, basically, that game.”

Technically, the Warriors can’t move into first place just yet, but another win over UC Irvine would certainly help point them in the right direction to get there.

Hawai’i is 18-7 overall and tied for third place in the Big West at 7-4. UC Irvine is 17-9 overall and alone in first place at 8-2.

The Warriors scored a thrilling 90-86 overtime win at UC Irvine on January 25, so another victory over the Anteaters in Honolulu would give Hawai’i the home-and-home sweep and the advantage in any tie-breaker situations.

Thursday’s game will also feature the two hottest teams in the Big West, as Hawai’i has won three in a row and UC Irvine has won four straight.

The Warriors returned to Honolulu on Sunday afternoon following its historic road wins at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. It was the third and fourth consecutive road wins for the Warriors, tying a school record set in 1972.

“Let’s go home, protect the house and see where everything ends up at the end of next week,” Arnold said.

Following the UC Irvine game on Thursday, the Warriors will host UC Davis on Saturday.

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Hawai’i was the only Big West team to go 2-0 last week, which would make it very likely that the Conference Player of the Week honor will go to one of the Warriors. The big question is, which one?

Take your pick (with two-game totals for each player) …

Christian Standhardinger: 37 points, 22 rebounds, 12 of 25 field goals, 12 of 14 free throws

Isaac Fotu: 32 points, eight rebounds, 11 of 22 field goals, 10 of 11 free throws

Garrett Nevels: 32 points, 11 of 20 field goals, 6 of 10 3-point field goals, 4 of 4 free throws, go-ahead 3-pointer in victory at Fullerton

Keith Shamburger: 22 points, 20 assists, four turnovers, seven rebounds, 5 of 13 field goals, 10 of 12 free throws

There are a couple of other contenders from the teams that went 1-1 last week, namely Fullerton’s Alex Harris (51 points, including 29 in the loss to Hawai’i), UC Santa Barbara’s Alan Williams (38 points and 25 rebounds) and Cal State Northridge’s Stephen Maxwell (35 points and 19 rebounds, including 17 points and 12 rebounds in an upset of UCSB).


  1. Have Fun. Defense, and run. Shoot that ball!

    Go Rainbow WARRIORS!
    Get Irvine first!

  2. I’d like to see Keith or Garret get it simply because they never got Big West Player of the Week honors yet and they are deserving of it. Both were clutch down the stretch. Between the two I’ll go with Keith. 20 assists and only 4 turnovers. That’s some game if you ask me.

  3. @servante Keith won his after the road win @Irvine, this one should belong to Isaac, he kept us in the game @Fullerton, shot 50%FG and only missed 1 FT in two games. No sophomore slump for him so far, I just hope he will stay his four years….

  4. Shamburger won it when I think Fotu should have so Fotu deserves it this week.

  5. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if a non-UH player wins it. None of the Warriors had standout performances this past week. Although, two road wins in this conference is pretty huge, even if it isn’t against top league talent. If I had to pick a UH player, it’d be Nevels. He’s kind of been the unsung hero as of late, and if not for him, Hawaii doesn’t make history. Super clutch down the stretch, need more of him as the season comes to a close.

  6. I agree with Isaac. Nevels should get the award. That three-pointer with a minute left against Fullerton was clutch.

  7. That is a hard call Dayton. Spearman, consistent. Shamburger great job running team. Nevels Clutch, his 3 point shooting is back, Smith great relief as well as Valdes and Rozitis, Standhardinger all out motor, and Isaac, going one on one, and passing the ball out of double downs, now, really great vision and quick with move, ..great week. Hey, the Whole Team and coaches got 2 great wins, historic.
    I would vote for Nevels, I don’t know, it could be Fotu or Standhardinger or Sham too.
    Know it is important for placing on first or second team all BWC at end of year.
    However this team, is really focusing on winning the BWC season crown and the BWC tourney crown!
    Go out on a limb and say Nevels.
    (though whole starting 5 deserving!)

  8. UH needs to review the film of the last few games UCI has played because big Mamadou has been a non-factor. He hasn’t had many shot attempts the past four games. Some of it is him getting in foul trouble, which is what UH needs to do again, but some of it is the opponent doing a better job of preventing the entry pass.

    I still think UH needs to hack-a-Mamadou once he catches the ball. He’s still only shooting 38% FT so they need to make Mamadou beat UH from the foul line. UCI feeds off of the attention Mamadou attracts to get McNealy and Nelson open.

    I like UH’s chances vs UCI because UCI is not a good FT shooting team (not counting Mamadou). So UH will have an edge if the game comes down to foul shooting. UH must win the TO battle and ABSOLUTELY MUST not allow many 2nd chances.

    Hopefully UH found their shooting touch on the road and if UH shoots well at home, UH should be the winners.

  9. Great Beginning of Week Discussion…

    “Every” Week ought to start with a ‘Bow Win Sweep Discussion
    of Who UH Nominates for Player of the Week

    ALL FIVE-PLUS Players had solid Road Games
    Great Team Wins, and Evenly Good Performances (but for a Few Fixable(?) Minutes)
    So The ‘ONLY” Outrageous Stat is TWENTY ASSISTS
    Isn’t THAT AC-Like? Ha, Jackson! Just Keep it Up, Keith! Up the Percentages

    Other than Two Lackluster Thursday Night Home Shortcomings
    Where The Opponents Demonstrated The Kind of Performance NECESSARY
    This Team IS Getting There…Keep Improvin’ ‘Bows…
    Do IT This Week — Knock Off “Number One” On THURSDAY, then Sweep
    And They Are Nearly There With a Chance to Show a Major Step-Up
    And Over-Achieve (Versus the Pundits) @ LBSU & @ UCSB
    ‘Simply’ (NOT So Easy) Correcting the Thursday Night Lessons


    THIS IS The Difference…
    Tracking The Leaders as they Round the Turn
    WILL They Elevate & Sprint Through The Next Four?
    It’s Like The Last Mid-Term Setting Up The BWC Finals…

    Have Another Great Thursday, ‘Bows!

  10. Okay… here’s some data to look at…

    *Hawaii is 5-2 in games decided by 6 points or less… with wins over St. Mary’s, Oregon State, and Irvine. Last year’s team would have lost at least 3 of those games, and would be 2-5 instead.

    *Hawaii is 4-2 on the road in conference play, with one of those losses having the chance to win at the end (they could have been easily 5-1 on the road).

    *Hawaii is 2-0 on the road against conference teams defending their courts on Homecoming… not an easy position for Hawaii. But yet… Hawaii has found a way to win at the end.

    What’s my point? My point is this… Hawaii plays BEST when their backs are against the wall, when the have a chip on their shoulder with something to prove, when their in front of a hostile environment, and when they’re playing in California (I read many of them have ties in California, including Sham).

    I appreciate Jamie Smith doing all those great things to get the fans out… but I hope it doesn’t distract the players… Hawaii’s players need to be focused, they need to be pissed off, and they need to play the team in front of them at that moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose to Irvine at home, then promptly travel to Santa Barbara and kick their ass their… on the road…

    It may not matter how Hawaii does at home… but if they can knock off Santa Barbara and Long Beach on the road, I’m willing to bet that they’ll be unbeatable during the BW Tournament at the Honda Center. It’s nice to win at home, but it’s more gratifying to win on the road.

  11. nelson.jacinto: good points. UH has to play well AT HOME and on The Road, they have to think run the table? Why? In second year of Big West conference play, with team picked pre season to finish 6th, that would be huge statement. 20+ wins and possible Regular season title!

    You are right, though, UH played Mizzou very, very tough in KC, Mo. for a half, and did not get blown out, Standhardinger and Nevels had great games. N. Arizona, they just turned up the jets, at altitude, on the road, freezing cold outside, burning lungs, very long trip, and they win big. Cal Poly and Northridge, Mustangs were ready, UH not…Northridge, shots to win it at the end, plus some questionable calls, you are correct, sir, UH could easily be 6-1 on the road.

    Now protect HOME COURT. Guys have to be focused, and since Poly game, tone down the superheros greeting team on the court, as well as the Aloha Shirt nite. We love Jamie Smith, he should keep the activities in the stands, and help team concentrate on getting the 3 game sweep at home. Jamie is outstanding, the UH students, will enjoy the party more, if UH wins. I have feeling ,Gib will have the boys, ready…and NO Thursday, lack of energy, step on the court think you got the game won, effort by UH ,then they might lose. I pick with my head and heart, UH fears no one, and NOW, I believe, they will uptempo and try to put up 90+ points again against, Irvine, they do that score 88-90 pts, and hold Irvine to 79-80, UH will win.

    Go Bows!

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