Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors already looking at 2014-15 preparations


Preparations for the 2014-15 season have already started for the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

With one more month remaining in the current academic semester, the Warriors are making the most of the time with individual workouts, weightlifting sessions, and study sessions for upcoming final exams.

“It’s just school and basketball right now,” said guard Garrett Nevels, who will be a senior next season. “Trying to get as high a GPA as I can, and still find time to get in the gym.”

The Warriors finished 20-11 in the 2013-14 season, and lose three seniors – Christian Standhardinger, Brandon Spearman and Davis Rozitis. Starters expected to return in 2014-15 are Nevels, point guard Keith Shamburger and forward Isaac Fotu. Key reserves Quincy Smith and Aaron Valdes are also eligible to return.

“We definitely have some good people coming in and people that didn’t get too many minutes this past season, I know they’ll be ready to play this year,” Nevels said. “I think we’ll be a much deeper team.”

The above video features recent interviews with Nevels and Niko Filipovich, who sat out last season as a redshirt player and will be a freshman next season.


  1. Both players come across as very intelligent. I’m actually surprised they speak as well as they do. Looking forward to see Niko’s defensive skills next season. Hopefully his injuries this past year are a thing of the past. Also reassuring to hear Nevels say he’s going to work on his defense.

    As Nevels said, we just need a 7’+ rim protector.

  2. Guys very positive, work hard in class, gym , weights and on getting better as student athletes. Good sign! Gib has to lock up maybe two more , a big shot blocker, and best available athletic creative scorer , 3 ball shooter and defender.

    As Garrett Nevels says, the guys, the 3 returning starters, plus Valdes, Smith, Jovanovich, Thomas will be ready, they know what NCAA D1 ball is about, turn weakeness into strengths and strengths into dominating traits,..Good job UH MBB team!

  3. You know die hard fans, I always look for body language, voice inflections, the eyes of athletes, Nevels and Filipovich as TAVS mentions, they are very mature and positive. Right on, good year, except , team did not meet goal of NCAA tournament run.
    DEFENSE, and that is a tribute to Gib and coaching staff, they knew team could score, from day one, Gib said this past year, no trouble for team to score, the averaged 80 plus points a game, 18th highest out of over 300 DI schools, however, to get stops, that is what takes UH to next level.
    From Fab Five era, Tom Henderson, Tony Maroney-Ruffin, AC Carter teams, Savo led teams, DEFENSE got them to NIT and NCAA’s!

    Come on Gib, go get a couple of good Defensive athletes, who can also score, however, know that Whole team coming back, will be bigger , stronger, more aggressive and DEFEND better, if UH is top 20 or better in NCAA D1 team defense, AND top 20 in NCAA D1 on offense, UH will have that deep NCAA run, or NIT at the least with regular season championship.

    I think, as long as NCAA thing good to go…UH , and for year 5 Gib era, this year’s team will be the best Gib has had in his tenure, a legitimate top 40 or better team. with better SOS, and winnining the BWC league title and BWC tourney title, NIT , NCAA within reach!

  4. Who says a rim protecter has to be 7ft+? If you take away Mamadou (who is a total anomaly) the top three shot blockers in the Big West (Taylor Johns, Alan Williams, Tre Hale-Edmerson) are all around 6’7. We need a dude with bounce someone like a Joe Stroud or Willie Wiley on top of a banger like Jaleel Cousins.

  5. Erin Galloway 6’8″, Mike Robinson 6’7″, a healthy Ahmet Gueye 6’7″ great timing shot blocker, Troy Ostler 6’10” thin,great leaping weakside shot blocker, Haim Shimonovich great timing shot blocker not leaper huge guy 6’10” 290 lbs, wide body, Bob Nash 6’8″ 210 great leaping shot blocker, Melton Werts 6’9 1/2 ” good big, shot blocker, wish he kept ball in play, WE Got The Idea, a guy 6’7″ to 6’10” who can , and is looking to protect rim, does not have to be 7’6″, Mamadou, is not the fastest guy, his team did not reach NCAA tourney, Poly did!

    Gib hope he gets a great athlete who will protect rim, no matter 6’7″ or 6’10”, need at least 2 of those, …know that the perimeter guys, the wings and guards, will all have to step up, so can stay with their man at the top, stop dribble penetration, then the big or bigs, including Fotu, can swat away the guys that get loose going to the cup. Past 4 years, a lot of times, guards would penetrate right to the hole, or dish to bigs for flush..
    Rim protecting, as Nevels says and Filipovich, Team defense has to improve, individual and team, Gib go get that one or two defensive specialists who can also score, rebound and as a team shoot lights out from FT line, like Northridge.

  6. Let’s not forget Stefan Jovanovic. I see little comment about what he has and can contribute. I think he could be an outstanding contributor and he is a good defender. He has good feet and a beautiful baby hook.

  7. anderpops:
    agree with you on that, Stefan Jovanovich, in practice, and times he got into game, whatever coaches wanted him to do, he did, Bonus he can shoot the ball. Just has to get stronger, and better lateral quickness. He can block shots, good rebounder, and can be a good one with his Serbian “brother” Stefan JANKOVICH. The two Stefans, I and II . Awesome, if Jankovich can , and he has the ability, long arms, be a shot blocker, or guard the paint with physicality and smarts, UH would have two 6’10” bigs to help down low, stop that dribble penetration and guys going untouched to the rim!
    Stefan Jovanovich AND Stefan Jankovich, over summer, actually guys are working out NOW in spring, get better , bigger, stronger, faster and smarter, UH with addition ,of another big shot blocker, and athletic scorer defender, will, or CAN be awesome next year!

  8. Good comments regarding both Stefans. Believe the wish for another big is because both Stefans are unproven. Believe the hope is that Jankovich (Missouri transfer) can up his defensive game.

    However, foremost, it seems Gib’s priority is to up the “talent” level in all positions, pursuing 3 and 4 star players. As a former U of H coach stated, you can be the best coach but w/o talent you cannot win championships.

    Both Negus and Jankovich at one time were highly touted HS players, it’s time they step up to the next levels; sure hope it’s here. Because of incoming “talent,” people are getting excited. When Nevels demonstrates improved 3 pt shooting consistency (50%+ efficiency) and as he says, needs to attack the rim more; he’ll be a game changer.

  9. tako: you are correct, Gib ever recruiting, trying to fill team with 3 or even 4 star athletes, tough to do, however, give him tons of credit for trying. Mike Thomas 3 star out of HS, Negus and Jankovich 3 star out of HS, Isaac Fleming incoming frosh, 3 star. Those 3 star, are potential game changers.
    Otherwise Gib put together the best, athletic, and defensive team that can shoot, an in system work that Defense first, along with the rim protectors, and UH will win lot of games and go to post season when hot in March.

    Sorry, I came up short on Jankovich’s height, he says he is legitimate 6’11” 242, so with his wing span, he is maybe 7’1″? Anyways, he knows he has to work on lateral, movement, and Defense too, Missouri coaches were emphasizing that part of his game, and getting tougher. I believe Negus and Jankovich are working extremely had to get ready for this upcoming season.

    Stefan Jovanovich, I hope he and Thomas keep growing, Stefan could grow to 6’11” hopefully and Thomas, could reach 6’8 1/2 ” that would be along with Fotu, some height out there to help guard the paint.
    tako, looks like if UH MBB team okay and set to go, with addition of two Best Fit athletes to fill possible 2 more scholarships(?), 2014-15 can be a great season! I think Gib working on getting the Pitt, Kentucky, how about Louisville and UCLA? for next season, home or away will help SOS, RPI and prime team for BWC run!

  10. I think that with real work Nevels, Shamburger, Valdes, Smith, Jovanovich , Thomas, will come back really much better.
    Especially key, as Nevels says, who wins national titles, NCAA D1, which is ultimate goal of over 300 D1 teams every March, outstanding guards. And UConn had lock down, albeit smaller guards, very quick and smart, UConn could play DEFENSE. Ask UCLA, Louisville, Kentucky of old, one year that UNLV team, they played outstanding DEFENSE, and could shoot the ball as well..

    tako, should be exciting off season, hope that Gib lands the best he can, to fill spots for rim protector and athletic defender scorer, then, with the guys coming back, UH can really rock and roll!

  11. it was ashame last season that nevels was pretty much the only consistent threat from the 3

  12. Good news, Bobitt committed to U of H, shores up and makes the guard positions very competitive.

  13. tako:

    Good news! a JC with two to play, from at one time Number One team in Junior College, Indian Hills. He is legitimate 3 steal a game defender, combo guard, now with Sham, Q at the point and Bobbitt, Nevels, SG, and Fleming combo, that is great depth at guard!
    From video of him, from his freshman year at Indian Hills, he can play, shoot it, drive it, and quick hands.
    Looks like pretty good 3 pt and FT shooter.
    Must have been great recruiting visit, friends, with Spear and knows Q.
    Good Get!
    Now if Jaleel Cousins or smiliar commits , fantastic!

  14. tako that is right, Bobbitt and Fleming can also play PG! Should be very competitive top 5 guards, or whomever wants to step up.
    From social media buzz, Bobbitt IS the real deal, top JC combo guard talent!


    Hopefully we get 7’5″ Tacko ‘Taco’ Fall for the 2015-2016 season.

  16. with 10 guards scholarship and walk-on you would think 1 or maybe 2 or 3 might leave…this season will be none if we cant get that athletic big….fotu and jank aren’t defensive minded and won’t play 35 minutes every game of the season plus jovanovic to me is good as a backup to the back of fotu and jank meaning backup to jaleel cousins

  17. Sham’s out of here. He’s going to graduate and be immediately eligible. Too many guys in the backcourt and not enough minutes to go around.

  18. if he’s gone it meant he possibly lost some confidence in himself, one and done, too bad, he’s a good floor general . We still need a big guy, shot blocker ,athletic rebounder , can score in the paint. Who will it be ? time is almost up.

  19. Pono: You Absolutely sure that Keith Shamburger is gone? If he graduates this May, with one more year of Basketball eligibility, I think he can transfer right away. Wonder why, he would go on social media, along with Fotu, that they wanted to prove Haters wrong, the way they came up short of NCAA tourney goal.Seems like he and Fotu were going to work super hard to get better for this coming season…I think we have to hear official word soon, if Keith Sham is gone, I hope not, however whatever best for Sham…

    would think that Keith And Q would make great one two punch at PG, and Nevels, Fleming, and Bobbitt, good SG’s, Negus, Aaron Valdes, at SF, and Fotu/ Jankovich PF/hybrid, Jovanovich and Cousins, or Bol would be that big shot blocker in the middle…seems like team was shaping up..

    Wonder, if Sham would go pro? Well PONO if you know it is true, must be…wish Shamburger the best, as long as he gets his degree this May, great!
    He had some great games, and helped UH tremendously by upgrading PG position from previous 3 years of Gib.

    Or is it just a Rumor?
    I don’t know, whatever is best for Keith and his family, wish him well, either to return or not…I hope he comes back~

  20. You WI fans are waay ahead of me on social media latest , yes…Keith graduating, and moving on. That is why, Gib stocking on Filipovich, Harville, Bobbitt and Fleming, at least 2 PG’s and two combo guards, along with Q and Nevels, so a lot of guards , however, only Q , Nevels and Jawato if healthy have D1 experience, it is up to Nevels and Q to carry team leadership, no wonder Garrett stepped up in video interview, I want to be leader of team, he has the height, needs to get stronger finishing at the rim, and use screens to get 3 looks, as well as great defense, I can see Garrett being a combo guard himself, he and Q tighten up their dribbles, like Sham, great ballhandler.

    Thankyou Keith for a great one year run, and leading team to 20 wins!

  21. well maybe fans, Gib going to have to scramble for another SF shooter defender and of course a Cousins, Bol, shot blocking big.

    Recruiting just got hot and heavy, team will ONLY have 2 returning starters, Nevels and Fotu, then 3 new starters alongside them to start season…as the UH MBB world turns…Go forward team, get better, …just stabilize the rudder..

  22. I liked Sham and hope for the best for him! I will miss his free throw shooting at the end of games, but will not miss how he went to the end of the bench when he was not in the game. Q,Nevels, and Bobbit will fill the vacancy, Webster Chan can even bring the ball up as well.

  23. ROB T, agree 100% with you and others…we could see Keith wanted to be the leader, the guy to take big shots, he was a great foul shooter, and made great assists and handled the ball the best of the guards. He GRADUATING is a good thing, At least he will have that diploma in hand, the next move is his, does he go down a level or two, DII or DIII ball, or even go overseas pro, who knows, wish the best for him…

    Nevels, seemed this past year to have a lot of talent, did not care if he scored 30 points, just wanted to win, by he going to work to get stronger, better defender, ball handler LEADER and Team guy, The team should be in good shape in backcourt alongside Quincy Smith, who probably will be bigger and stronger with better FT and FG shooting percentages. Both those guys are roomates, and close, Bobbitt, Fleming, Filipovich, will bring defense, and win as a team, hopefully Bobbitt and Fleming will be good percentage shooters, from FT and 3 pt line as well as take care of ball..
    ROB T, correct, Negus, has good handles for 6’7″ he can bring up the ball, and has good court vision, he can even play point as well, Imagine, if Bobbitt, Nevels, Negus, Thomas, Fotu, were to start season, that is 6’3″, 6’2″, 6’7″, 6’8″ and 6’8″, all guys can run, and hopefully defend as well as they can score, or UH could go big, with 6’8″ Fotu, 6’8″ Thomas and Cousins/Bol 6’10”-6’11” shot blocking paint guarding beasts! Gib has his work cut out for him, however, the cupboard is not bare, a lot of athletes to work with..

    Mahalo plenty, and thankyou Keith Shamburger, wish you the best after you graduate from UH!

  24. Don’t Under-Estimate Jankovic and eventually, (sooner or later) Fleming as well…
    (but more likely An Impact Player his second year (like Thomas or Valde’s, adjusting to D-1)

    Hope Gib can Re-Recruit K-Sham to Invest One More Season ‘PLAYING’ h ealready Sat Out The Hard One (Red-shirting) — Shamburger, with More Talent Around Him Will Be Even Better –Work His Three Percentage Back Up — WILL / Would help Win Another One or Two Games — The Really Close Ones…

    Bringing in ‘So Many’ Guards might shake some players’ confidence, but shouldn’t for one of the Top Three Points in the Big West…

  25. Sham posted on Twitter never trust a coach and that he’s going to miss Hawaii.

  26. It’ll be unfortunate if Sham does not return. He’s someone that this team really needs, a rock steady ball handler who is not going to turn the ball over. His possible loss brings memories of what it was like two years ago. At the same time, cream rises to the top in the mix of competition; there are no guarantees.

    Anyways, seems nothing is official. Hope he walks the talk, stays and does the work to improve himself and for team success.

  27. Sham’s tweets have all been deleted. I don’t think Sham wants to compete in such a crowded back court for playing time in his last year. You have Nevels, Q, Bobbitt, NWC, Fleming and Sham. That’s six guys for three spots and if Jawato comes back you can throw him into the mix or if he leaves I think Gib brings in another SF type so that will add to the competition. If Sham and Jawato leaves it will leave the program in a better place to replace the scholies with another Big that we can develop.

  28. I liked sham too but he did have baggage and an attitude…he was suppose to come in freshman year but I believe he got into it with trevor wiseman in high school and I guess didn’t wanna play with him here…so now another scholarship….gib can get creative

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