Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors aim to slay the giants

University of Hawaii SPORTS

The students need to bring their wigs. All of the fans need to wear green shirts. The University of Hawai’i basketball team needs to bring it’s A-game … and maybe a proverbial slingshot.

If all those things come together on Thursday night, it should create a frenzied atmosphere for the Warriors to find success against the first-place team in the Big West Conference, UC Irvine. The Warriors will host the Anteaters in a much-anticipated showdown at the Stan Sheriff Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

UC Irvine is 17-9 overall and alone in first place at 8-2; Hawai’i is 18-7 overall and tied for third at 7-4. Much has already been written and said about the importance of the game.

Here is a look at the positions:

Point Guard

Hawai’i: Keith Shamburger (5-11 junior) is averaging 8.8 points per game and leads the Big West in assists at 5.4 per game. His most memorable game of this season came last month at UC Irvine, where he had 17 points and 11 assists. His off-balance 3-pointer banked in at the end of regulation, forcing overtime, and the Warriors would go on to upset the Anteaters, 90-86. In his last five games, he has 39 assists with just six turnovers.

UC Irvine: Alex Young (6-1 sophomore) is averaging 9.2 points and 4.5 assists per game. He also leads the team with 28 steals. He had 14 points, three assists and five steals in the loss to Hawai’i last month.

Shooting Guard

Hawai’i: Garrett Nevels (6-2 junior) is averaging 14.1 points per game and leads the team with 51 3-pointers. He scored 19 points and played 44 out of a possible 45 minutes in the OT win at UC Irvine.

UC Irvine: Luke Nelson (6-3 freshman) is averaging a team-high 12.1 points per game and leads the Anteaters with 54 3-pointers. He has been in a recent slump, averaging just 4.0 points on 2-for-10 shooting in his last two games.

Small Forward

Hawai’i: Brandon Spearman (6-3 senior) is averaging 11.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, and has reached double-figure points in nine of the last 10 games.

UC Irvine: Chris McNealy (6-4 senior) is averaging 11.6 and 4-6 rebounds per game – nearly identical numbers to Spearman. And like Spearman, his value goes beyond the stats. McNealy is the only senior on the UC Irvine roster.


Power Forward

Hawai’i: Christian Standhardinger (6-8 senior) leads the Warriors in scoring (17.6) and rebounding (8.1). He has recorded eight double-doubles this season, and won the Big West Player of the Week award on Monday.

UC Irvine: Will Davis II (6-8 junior) is averaging 10.3 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game. He has been slowed by a back injury in recent weeks, and is averaging just 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in the last three games.


Hawai’i: Isaac Fotu (6-8 sophomore) is averaging 15.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, and ranks seventh in the nation with a .607 field goal percentage. He had 30 points on 13-of-16 shooting in the win at UC Irvine. He has reached double-figure points in 10 of 11 Big West games this season.

UC Irvine: Mamadou Ndiaye (7-6 freshman) is averaging 8.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He leads the Big West with a .746 field goal percentage and 84 blocked shots. He is 88 for 118 on field goals this season, and 35 for 91 (.385) on free throws.


Hawai’i: Guard Quincy Smith (5.4 points, 2.7 assists), center Davis Rozitis (3.4 points, 3.2 rebounds) and forward Aaron Valdes (3.0 points, 2.2 rebounds) are the key reserves. Rozitis could see extended action if the Warriors opt to use their full-court press defense. Expect to see freshman center Stefan Jovanovic if help is needed on the 7-6 Ndiaye.

UC Irvine: The Anteaters have a deep bench, with at least five reserves normally seeing action each game. Sophomore guard Dominique Dunning is averaging 5.5 points per game, but has scored 20 and 11 in his last two games. John Ryan, a 6-10 junior, is averaging 4.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, and often sees extended minutes when Ndiaye gets in foul trouble.

Game 26 Tipoff Notes
Hawai’i (18-7, 7-4 Big West) vs. UC Irvine (17-9, 8-2 Big West)
When: Thursday, Feb. 20, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu
Television: Live on OCSports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
Streaming Video: BigWest.tv
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM. 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 HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: $26 (lower); $18 (upper-adult); $16 (upper-sr. citizen); $5 (upper-youth, ages 4-HS); UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Parking $6.
Promotions: First Hawaiian Bank is the sponsor on Thursday and will award $100 in cash and $200 in Zippy’s gift cards throughout the game. UH season-ticket holders in all UH sports and members of the military receive 50% off adult tickets. Bank of Hawaii is the sponsor of Saturday’s contest and will distribute 1,000 tote bags and award a $100 gift card at halftime. There will be an autograph session with the men’s basketball team in the arena concourse near Gate B following the game.
UH Student Promotions: Thursday’s game is “Wig Night” and the first 400 students receive free wigs. Also, students are encouraged to wear green to the game. Saturday’s game is “Thrift Shop Night” and students are encouraged to participate in the “Thrift Shop Lip Sync” on the scoreboard during a coaches’ timeout.


  1. Don’t let Mamadou be The Factor, controlling boards, blocked shots, even if he gets 6 or 7 plus alters, UH has to run away, and shoot accurate outside shots. Get him and the Irvine bigs into foul trouble.
    The thing is….This is UH MBB team’s House, they have to win, bottom line, Protect the House..get this HUGE win, and get a Trap Game against a nothing to lose Davis team on Saturday, UH will have 20 wins, and be second at least in BWC or tied.
    Huge game, Huge win.!

  2. Good Luck to the bows tonight. Fotu and Standhardinger need to hit the mid range shots to draw Mamadou away from the hoop. What’s more concerning is the status of Akana. People are saying that there are major recruiting violations going on. Hope the rumors aren’t true and he’s back on the bench soon. Go bows.

  3. DAYTON –PLEASE Feel Free to DELETE IF You have Any Doubt About the Inappropriateness of ANY Such Discussion…

    i “Think” it’s Harder to Comply with ALL The Churches Decrees, Rules and Expectations…

    NCAA Black-Out Periods, Hours per Week, Days of Week, Phone Calls, (Initiated by Who) All Get Tracked…

    IF Anything, i would ‘Expect’ the Problems were ‘Too Much Honesty’ —
    something along the lines (This is NOT a Real Example) of My ‘Smart Phone’ Butt-Dialed /Re-Dialed By Mistake, a Number to a recruit after the International Date Line Changed Dates, we hung up the phone immediately, but our coaches (Pure Honesty) recorded it into their Log…”

    That would be Administrative — IF we’re “Intentionally” Breaking a Rule, that would be a whole ‘nother level…

    Hope we Get “Official Word” including ‘Early’ agreement by Compliance Office and NCAA so we can get past any Conjecture…

  4. Go ‘Bows!

    Christian AND Isaac — Leave Mamadou Spinning & Reeling — He Can Block or Alter a Few, BUT Both of You Attacking from Either or Both Sides, Body Up Contact And Ones OR 80-90% Free-Throws, Clean Mid-Range Jumpers and Letting Him Work Through His Own Inner Demons @ The Free Throw Line should Leave Him Punchy and Frustrated… We Can OWN The Boards, especially on follows and put-backs …

    Wings/Back-Court Lights Out, Wig-Out High Percentage shooting ‘Can’ Continue, Even Improve, as on the Road, Back Home with Familiar and Friendly Rims… i KNOW Garrett doesn’t let a 6-6 OR 7-6 “Screen” prevent His Clean Shots — Take a Page from Nevel’s Book, Team…

    Already WON The Hard Way @ Irvine
    Leave the Ants in Their Pants
    WIG Them Out
    Jamie & Co. — Set the Psyche for The Tourney Re-Match
    WIN Again — SWEEP!
    Show Everybody How Much UHMBB Has Improved Since January
    Like From 0-2 Road to 4-0 Road
    AND Now @ Home, Too

    Then, Honors to Irvine
    They Can Serve As Among Our Best Road And Home Win(s)

    Go ‘Bows!
    Go Fans!
    Time for a Thursday Night WIN Party!

  5. get mamadou fouled out with a few minutes left and it’s a win for us.

  6. Eagle agree with you…this forum not place to discuss what we don’t know.,
    Team focused.and Gib to get wins ..nuff said.

    Go Bows!!

  7. Initially, I wasn’t sure if UH would have what it takes to pull out the W tonight…yes, we won in their house, but it took season best performances from our starting PG and C, along with a last second 3 point prayer to send it into OT. However, after reading about their SG being in a slump as of late, along with Will Davis’ back problems, I think we might have a chance. They do go 10 deep so it will be a challenge indeed.

    I think a winning game plan tonight would be getting the reserves more involved, specifically the backup C’s to get in there and hack-a-mamadou early on, get him flustered and possibly in early foul trouble. Force them to have to make the harder shots. Take care of the ball, draw the fouls, play to the home court and we’ll be off and running in no time. Let’s GO BOWS!!!!

  8. The best scenario is if UC Irvine is not shooting a good percentage from the field. Then the Rainbow Warriors can push the ball quickly up the court and get some easy baskets from the likes of Nevels, Christian, and Spearman, and even Valdes, maybe on some dunks. One of the goals is to try to tire out Mamadou and by speeding up the tempo he would be using a lot of energy going up and down the court. When he is tired he also is apt to pick up some cheap fouls. To prevent easy dunks from him, I would front him with our bigs, including Davis and Stefan to make it more difficult to throw the ball in. Rotating them with those two and Fotu might give him different looks and make him hesitate.

    Irvine plays about 10 players so our backups needs to contribute with energy and fresh legs. Key players of course are Smith, Valdes, Davis, Thomas, and Jovanovic and if we need some shooting, Jawato.

  9. I’m really excited with the hawaii
    Basketball team.hawaii will have at least 20 wins.i hope

    they can make the ncaa’s.they really deserve it.they might


  10. Beat irvine tonight.then uc davis on saturday.
    Lets sweep the homestand.lets pack the stan sheriff
    Center.if we win out then we win the regular season
    Title and the number one seed in the bwc.

  11. If UH wins this game, then the reg season standings will shift. Irvine will have to go to CS-Northridge next on Saturday and they will be vulnerable in that game. Then Irvine plays UC Santa Barbara, who spanked them by 20 already.

    Honestly I’ll be disappointed if UH loses to this first-place team.

    Irvine has trouble scoring in road games, which is why their biggest losses have come on the road. As in they have a tough time breaking 65. I’m down for UH scoring 69 against Irvine. Why? I know UH played over their heads in the first game. It looks to me like UH will get 20 FT, so I think 69 is right. Really, that’s the minimum that should be accepted. UCSB was able to hold UH down because they interrupted so many shots.

    Beware that Irvine did not play their best in the first game. Keep Davis off the offensive glass, and don’t let the outside shooters get going.

  12. We need to pack the house with a crowd over 7K at least. Hoping for closer to 9K tonight. We really need all the help we can get with crowd noise and energy in the SS.

  13. I don’t think we’ve seen UH firing on all cylinders yet. I have a strange feeling that tonight is gonna be something special. This team is due due due for a big big game. It’s time to shine in the sun.

  14. sad to say but I think 6k at most but other than that davis and jonvanovic get ready to bang

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