Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors look to regain offense against UC Davis

The University of Hawai’i basketball team needs to start making shots and scoring points, and the Warriors are hoping UC Davis is the perfect opponent to do it against.

Hawai’i will host the Aggies in a Big West Conference game at 7 p.m. Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.


The Warriors are 18-8 overall and in fourth place in the Big West at 7-5. The Aggies are 8-18 and 3-8.

Hawai’i is coming off its worst offensive game of the season in a 60-56 overtime loss to first-place UC Irvine on Thursday. If there is a team to break out of a shooting slump against, it could be UC Davis.

The Aggies rank last in the Big West in several defensive categories, including points allowed (78.1), opponent field goal percentage (48.5) and rebounding margin (minus 7.7).

“The key definitely for us is to go at them inside,” Hawai’i assistant coach Scott Fisher said. “I don’t think their big guys are great defenders. They’re not going to score a whole lot, for sure. Both Christian (Standhardinger) and (Isaac) Fotu had over 20 points at their place, and I can’t see why they can’t do that again.”

The Warriors already own a 90-73 victory over the Aggies on January 23 in Davis, Calif. Standhardinger (22) and Fotu (20) combined for 42 points in that win, and the Warriors shot 58.2 percent from the field as a team.

“We got them pretty good at their place,” Fisher said. “They’re dangerous because they shoot a lot of 3s. If they’re knocking down those 3s, they can certainly hang with us. But they’re going to have some trouble scoring inside and they had a lot of trouble defending us at their place.”

The Aggies lead the Big West in 3-pointers made (8.0 per game) and attempted (22.6 per game), and more than 40 percent of their total field goal attempts come from beyond the 3-point arc.

UC Davis also has one of the top individual talents in the league in 6-foot-3 junior guard Corey Hawkins. He currently ranks second in the Big West in scoring at 18.5 points per game. He is also contributing 4.5 points and 2.9 assists per game.


“Everything offensively will go through him for the most part,” Fisher said. “He’s going to get a touch or two. They set a lot of on-ball screens and they set them all game … he’s very good coming off the ball screen.”

He made a name for himself last season, when he scored 40 points in UC Davis’ 93-82 win over the Warriors in the Sheriff Center.

“I was definitely down-hearted when Davis came in here and kicked our butt,” senior guard Brandon Spearman said. “But we’ll be ready this year. It’s a whole different team.”

The second-leading scorer for the Aggies is Ryan Sypkens, and he is the 3-point specialist. He leads the Big West with 81 3-pointers, and is converting at an efficient 41.8 percent from beyond the arc. He recently has been playing the role of sixth man, but is still averaging 11.7 points per game.

“He still plays more minutes than the guys who play in front of him,” Fisher said. “He’s still shooting over 40 percent from the 3-point line, and when I say 3-point line, I mean anywhere over half-court. He’s got incredible range, and 75 to 80 percent of his shots are going to come behind the 3-point line.”

Despite the subpar shooting night against UC Irvine, the Warriors still lead the Big West in scoring at 80.4 points per game, and rank second in field goal percentage at .474.

Four starters are averaging double-figure points: Standhardinger (17.3), Fotu (15.6), Garrett Nevels (14.0) and Spearman (11.3). The fifth starter, point guard Keith Shamburger, is averaging 8.8 points and a league-leading 5.3 assists per game.

“Coach Gib told us to keep our heads up and that’s what we’re going to do,” Spearman said. “It’s college basketball. You win and you lose. We’ll be ready for Davis (on Saturday) and I’m sure we’ll see Irvine again.”

Game 27 Tipoff Notes
Hawai’i (18-8, 7-5 BWC) vs. UC Davis (8-18, 3-8 BWC)
When: Saturday, Feb. 22, 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: Bank of Hawaii is the sponsor 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: “Thrift Shop Night” and students are encouraged to participate in the “Thrift Shop Lip Sync” on the scoreboard during a coaches’ timeout.


  1. Play great D. Hit your outside shots. Outstanding FT shooting, TO’s really great, get assists, and outhustle all of the final 4 opponents on regular season schedule. Not going to be easy, no one said it was. However, this team, very special, they want the Big Prize, trip to NCAA’s, Go Warriors!

    Tonganator, Eagle, Valerie Schmidt and all fans, let’s support the team, and watch them go for the Anaheim prize, trip to the DANCE!
    Go Bows!
    Seniors. Spearman, Standhardinger and Rozitis, only 2 more home games, Senior nite go out with W, and great sendoff, only in Hawaii, Thankyou Davis for your 4 years(including RS year), Christian, 3 years(including transfer RS year) and Brandon, for 2 Solid years, the heart and soul of a great, great team,. I love this team, the BEST in ten years, very exciting,and never give up!

    Go Bows!

  2. MIght have some truth to it, article by Ferd about UH’s SOS, and being prepared for BWC play against stronger , the top 3 teams. IMO, I think that UH might press too hard against LBSU, UCSB, and Irvine, play tight, the whole team, when shooting. Although those teams are good, they are not top 30 teams.
    e.g. UH played NMSU, Boise St., SMU, at home pre conference , and Mizzou on the road, those 4 teams, at least top 40-50, similar if not better than the top BWC teams. UH just over thought and over shot, or under shot, or did not get key D stops on those Thursday nite losses. They can make that a distant memory, by winning the last 4 games of regular season, 2 at home and 2 on the road, Then, they play really well in Cali, they have excellent chance to go to Championship game and possibly win it all in March. If Gib scheduled like LBSU, sure they would have had a better SOS, and possibly higher RPI, however, LBSU, it is all or nothing , they have lost so many games, their only hope is to win BWC for post season play.
    Maybe next year, Gib will schedule, at least at home, stronger competition, …And Next year, with Isaac Fleming, Negus, Jankovich, and a good shot blocking big, and shooting wing, UH will be better too!
    Season not over gang, UH can still have very good run into March, just don’t give up, team and Fans!

  3. Another thing, even Duke , North Carolina, Louisville, Syracuse, their early schedule is dotted with small NAIA, DII and DIII schools, some that we never heard of. To get their confidence up early season. So even the big boys, do it, they won’t play early season, 10 top 10 teams, it would be a killer.
    Plus, since UH can hang with the big teams, pre BWC season, those teams are hesitant to go home and home, ideally, the PAC 12 teams would be great, however, some , they don’t want to take chance to lose here, or get upset at their homes. UH tries, even since, Riley time, some of the Kansas’, Indianas’, Michigan States, will come in the future, however, UH will get better too!

  4. UH’s schedule this year was pretty much optimal. We had tough teams that we could beat. Why try to schedule tougher Top 10 teams, when a team like Cal Poly can be too much for UH? Their RPI is closer to 250 than Top 50. Have a tough time taking care of rank ~300 teams. The games were good this year. Could get rid of the softies like Hilo and New Orleans…

    Honestly to take a Top 50 school consistently, UH will need to go more than 7 deep. Those top schools have deep benches, that’s why UH could hang with Missouri for 30-35 minutes but 90% certainty would lose the game. And good teams have players that they fit into slots, that together make a good team. Gib is still putting together a team. Don’t need to fill all slots, but UH is missing too many slots.

    Remember Zane Johnson? He played on a very good Arizona team, he was their sharpshooter. Or one of them. But he wanted to do more things, so he came to UH. And he was good, he had a more complete game than just “3 point specialist”. But the good teams will have players that focus on a specialty, and put them together to make a formidable team. Good teams would rather have someone who is really good at one thing, than someone who is a “jack of all trades, ace of none”. And they have a backup plan/second string that they can put in when the starters are not playing optimally.

    UH has 3 specialists on offense, but only 3. Fotu in the paint, Standhardinger a forward that likes to drive and pick up fouls, and Nevels shooting. No specialists on defense. 3 specialists is a lot, since UH had a few games this year where they scored 90+. But when one is not on, then we see that UH is thin in other options.

  5. it would be nice to see a little platoon system tonight just to get some minutes to the reserves…..sham, nevels, spear, stan and fotu then bring in Q, enos, valdes, Thomas and davis

  6. I don’t buy the strength of schedule angle at all. The reason is that this team has done a darn good job of playing good basketball on the road. The appear to be much looser. At home, maybe they are try too hard to please the fans. Plain and simple, we are not making enough shots at home. But, it is what it is. The good omen is that this team, so far, has a solid chance to do well in the upcoming BW tournament. But, let’s wait and see how we do next week on the road at Long Beach and UCSB. Win one of those games and that bodes well for the team. Lose both of them and that’s not a good sign.

    P.S. As a parting comment, I don’t know why Arnold put in Jawato instead of Enos, especially when you need some offense. Certainly, Jawato has demonstrated that he can knock down shots and he has a lot of range on his shots also. To me, Jawato has been sorely mis-used. Again, based on his track record, Jawato is a very streaky shooter. If he doesn’t play, how do we know if he’s hot or cold? Enos is a walk-on. Jawato is a scholarship player. There is a reason why behind that. Yet, one gets splinters on the bench. I’m sure Jawato is wondering what’s going on. Now, I can see if Jawato is still bothered by a toe injury some some ailment, but there is not news about that so I have to assume that he’s fine. In the warm-ups, he looks fine.

  7. The regular season title shot is pretty much done. The main focus now is getting ready for 3 days in March (BW Tourney).

    The good news with being out of reg season title contention is that Gib has a chance to tinker with the bench rotation. UH needs to find some offense off the bench to spark the team when they have their flat spots during games. Rozitis does a great job energizing the defense, but their really isn’t anybody doing the same offensively. Quincy is primarily facilitating when he’s relieving Sham.

    From what I saw in the losses to UCSB and UCI at home, UH has issues when Nevels is getting a rest. Nobody has proven to be a consistent outside threat. Opponents are more than comfortable compacting the paint in their zone letting Spearman, Sham and Christian shoot sub-30% from 3pt range.

    Gib is going to have to get Enos, Jawato and/or Harper more minutes to get them primed for the BW tournament.

  8. Winbows… Check out Long Beach’s non-conference schedule this year. They played a killer schedule and got murdered by just about everybody.

  9. All due respect to Beeman scheduling tough pre conference…of all things, UH Wahine lose to Cal Davis on the road without Kamilah Jackson. 56-52. So , Wahine even with 79 SOS, is now currently 8-5 in BWC and 14-11 overall. Their play in the BWC against teams, lower than them on the road, Wahine have lost to. Would think with Ferds theory of MBB vs WBB SOS and getting prepared for BWC play, that women would be 12-1 at this point. Tough for wahine to win , or have winnng record on the road. And men have so far, had winning record on the road. Weird how ball bounces., Still with respect to UH Wahine, Men and Women NCAA D1 basketball, coaching, athletes and level of play entirely different, Men flying above the rim, the speed, the hops, the physical play. Hope that both Men and Women, come March can make a run.
    UH hope they beat Davis good tonite. Then, OMG, Men and Women, MBB with weaker SOS and WBB team with 79 SOS, would be both 8-5 in BWC play!
    Hope both teams can win the BWC tourney!


  11. once again, agree with Derek P.S. statement.
    It is perplexing that Jawato has not been used this year as he was one of the best shooters last year, streaky or not.
    Coach seems to not have confidence in these bench players which says a lot about his coaching skills.

  12. marley: I don’t know if it is Coach Nash, Wallace or Gib’s coaching ability, I know that in Practice, if Jawato, Hackman, Harper, etc, are not able to defend, and run O and D sets with first rotation guys, they will not see much PT time. If Jawato, was burning it up on D and from 3 line, in practice, plus driving to rim, hitting FT throws, just dominating the first teamers, he would be the 6 or 7th man off the bench.

    If you have coached, usually it comes down to Practices, what the guys are doing, then when, and Jawato, and Enos, had chances on the road, to bomb away, they did not exactly light it up. Maybe as hawaiifan09 and other said, if UH gets out to good lead tonite, and no pressure to win regular season title, Gib wants to get those bench guys 6-7 minutes of PT for sure, They, the whole team, and Valdes, Harper, Hackman, and Enos are all preferred walkons, will see time. Jawato, must be the injury, and not being able to defend, or not being in right spots, when running offense, or losing the ball , turning it over in practices. Pretty sure, from first week of season, if Jawato, was on fire in the gym and when got in he started to hit one or two 3’s in a row, he would have played more. However I agree too, NOW is the time for Gib, IF they are beating, Davis, UCSB, LBSU and Fullerton, to get Jawato, and other shooters into game. Maybe they are way behind defensively and understanding the offense. Good Question that Dayton can ask Gib: WILL HE EXPAND ROLE OF shooters, Jawato, and bench, for BWC tourney!

    Go Bows! I don’t care who starts or plays, just get 7 wins in a row and go NCAA’s and we all Stay Happy!

  13. So UH plays tight at home, but only on Thursday night? Played New Mexico St. on national TV, in Hawaii on Monday night at midnight, don’t know if there’s any worse time for college students to be playing optimal basketball than that. Enough.

    Playing tight = choking.

    Agree that Gib needs to learn to coach a bench. Just like a good point guard gets everyone involved in scoring, a good coach needs to get everyone involved in playing.

  14. Kanoa Leahey is announcing the game with Fran Frachilla on ESPN featuring New Mexico and San Diego St. In Albuquerque . Kanoa is big time.

  15. playhoopsa… You are correct… PT is determined by practices. That’s the reason why Enos, a walk-on, is ahead of Jawato in the pecking order for three point shooting.

    Enos isn’t playing because coach what’s to play a local boy… Enos is getting minutes because he’s out working the other guards in practice.

    Jawato was a poor on ball defender last year, which is why he didn’t get more minutes last year. His ankle issues probably set him back in preseason camp, which opened the door for Enos & Harper and it appears Enos stepped it up.

    That being said, Gib needs to find more bench production. The starters are carrying too much of the scoring load. Valdes and Thomas are providing good defense when in, but tend to be a little passive on offense (deferring to the upperclassmen). Quincy is the only bench player producing anything on offense. Rozitis is only good enough to get scrappy buckets.

  16. Derek… Glad to see Leahey getting a nice spot.

    You want to see a real home crowd? The Pit is going to be nuts tonight. Still think SDSU’s student section (“The Show”) is easily the best on the West coast.

    Ranking the best Student sections in the west…
    1. SDSU
    2. Utah St
    3. Gonzaga
    4. UNLV
    5. BYU
    6. New Mexico
    7. Arizona
    8. Stanford
    9. Hawaii (with Jamie Smith)

    If UH could bring 1800-2000 students they would be in the top 5. UH’s student section just isn’t big enough to be any higher than #9. Part of my criteria was consistency. UCLA, USC and Stanford are too dependent on the team being good. When they are good they have strong student sections, but are fairly weak when the team is so-so.

  17. The best student sections bring it every game, regardless of how the season is going.

  18. how can we have the 9th best student section?

  19. Northridge beat Irvine, 81-75. Unbelievable!!!

  20. Agree with Most Comments

    Got to WIN At Least One of Last Three (Weak, But Better Be At Least Competitive);

    WIN Two of Three and they ARE A Serious Contender Having Beaten TWO of
    The Top Four (Others) On The Road…

    THAT Would Give Them A Puncherʻs/Shooterʻs Chance of Running Three
    In The BWC Tourney
    Because Every Team Has Shown THEY CAN Lose on Any Given Night…

    BTW — I think They Are a Young Team (STILL)
    THATʻs Part of Why The Bench IS Weak
    Besides Practice and PT
    I Expect Bench Players to PERFORM Against The Lks of The BWC
    CANNOT Be Much Harder than Against Our Own First Team
    They Arenʻt Yet Other than Q, Davis and Aaron
    And Not Yet With Strength
    SO .. Ben Jay MUST Have a Commitment to Improvement
    AND Needs to Find a Way to Finance
    Even a Buy-In Tourney Game…

    FiX The Finances
    BUT MUST Keep Improving The Programs….

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