Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Open gym sessions begin

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Official team practices are still a month away from starting for the University of Hawai’i basketball team. For now, the Warriors have individual workouts, physical conditioning, and unofficial open gym sessions.

The open gym sessions offer an opportunity for the players – especially the newcomers – to get to know the playing styles of their teammates.

Sophomore guard/forward Negus Webster-Chan, who redshirted last season due to NCAA transfer rules, said: “Everybody likes each other on this team and everybody is playing hard right now, trying to show what we can do. We just have to keep working hard, keep getting better.”

The only problem has been getting the entire roster together for an open gym session. Junior forward Isaac Fotu – the top returning scorer and rebounder from last season – is currently in Spain, competing with the New Zealand national team at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Junior guards Brandon Jawato (ankle) and Roderick Bobbitt (arm) are still recovering from injuries and have yet to be cleared for participation. Also, there is the conflict of class schedules that sometimes forces a player or two to miss an open gym session.

With that said, here is a recent session:


  1. Nevels scoring good. Jankovic and Jovanovic look alike. Jank can shoot from outside. Sammis hit one from outside, also Zach and Brocke.

  2. Gib’s contract not signed, if you didn’t see my post earlier. Other 9 coaching contracts were signed by Apple on Friday whose last day as chancellor was Sunday.

  3. I said who’s that white guy ? It must be Filo .

  4. Looks like filo gained some weight. Aaron flyin’.

  5. Mahal, Dayton
    The Man with The Videos and THE Site…

    Early Signs…
    It Begins…


    Apple 90%
    Woulda All Been a Big Waste IF ALL The Coaches weren’t Covered
    After a Rough Start, He Earned Some Cred…
    Hope Ben CAN Start Raising Some Bucks to Take Care of The Student-Athletes (VS P5)
    And The Assistant Coaches

    Surplus? Kakaako/Rail/Road Spending?
    Step Up Legislature…
    MOVE UH Athletics UP The Financial Ladder
    Several Rungs Each Year
    Not Just Scratching and Scraping
    It’s An Investment that pays back Dividends

  6. Best thing I noticed…. though very hot in that practice gym, guys are competitive, …looks like even the walkons, Niko, Zach, and Brocke, they play that same uptempo, get it to the open man UH system.
    Janks, he will be a weapon. Noticed that Jovanovich might have put on some weight. And as was stated, Aaron Valdes can fly, he grab that dime off the top of backboard yet? Maybe.

    Remember fans, only Open Gym, However, thanks to Dayton, The Man, Morinaga, which other media guy has video of this workout? No One. Thanks Dayton!

    First one , of probably many.
    Still have to see, Fotu when come back, Jawato and Bobbitt on the mend, …
    Sammis, he adjusting, he will help, losing some weight from almost 250 earlier in the year, he really looks trim and strong.. only can help UH 3/4 spot.

    Great looks, what we Die Hard and Positive fans are awaiting.
    islandman, would not worry about contract, if Ben has to redo, or whatever, he will get it done.
    This team, even with HC not there, are working hard , as NWC says to get better, stay together, and do some big things together, .. very competitive, however, they are GRINDING!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!
    Eagle, warriorhaw and fellow WI UH MBB faithful, it is finally here.. OPEN GYM VIDEOS!

  7. Also thank you to Gib and staff for allowing Dayton to video the open runs so us guys g get to watch.

  8. Fotu update: Just saw the box score. Isaac got a double-double, with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He shot 5 of 8 from the field, missing both of his 3-point attempts, and 0 for 2 from free-throw line. Interestingly, he didn’t start but logged the second-highest minutes with 25. Oh, New Zealand beat Ukraine, 73-61.

  9. Valdes looked god in the video running the floor and being active at the rim. Sammis doesn’t look as big next to these other D1 guys as he did in his social media pictures. The one disappointing thing is that it looks like the bigs weren’t keeping up with the pace of the guards. Hope they get into better shape so we can be a running team this year.

  10. Conditioning.
    They will get there.
    Edited .
    With time…probably too with workouts..
    More vids to come.
    Mahalo Dayton and echo your thoughts warriorhaw. ? Big thanks to uh mbb hc for allowing open gym vid recording.

  11. Looking at open gym video for first time I noticed that Jovanovic looked impressive. Valdes looked very impressive, Nevels looked real good and very impressive. Niko looks strong and so did Negus. They both looked good. The other Stephan looked a little slow as well as Sammis. I will watch again and see what else I may have missed. First impression tells me who came on ready to go. I agree it’s only open gym.

  12. Only open gym, yes, and there are some moments of “slacking off” but that is easy to do in these open gym runs but I still like what I see as far as an outside perimeter game. Interior really needs work, but I bet it will look different once Isaac returns.

    All I can say for Valdes … wow!

  13. Aloha Tonganator! Congratulations to Isaac! He had great game, second highest in minutes played as clyde mentioned at 25, and he produced! 10 pts and 10 rebounds, and helped the Tall Blacks stand Tall.
    We WI UH MBB positive fan faithful , are very, very proud! Tell Isaac we love his effort, and hope he has a great run in FIBA against next opponent!
    We all look forward to Isaac’s return, he will be pumped up, maybe take time to heal up, however, even his team members are probably very excited to watch their guy, play with the best in the world FIBA World Championships!

    Mahalo Tonganator for keeping us updated real time with your son Isaac!!

    And agreed, UH has great potential, as I mentioned, OPEN gym, guys are not in season shape, yet, in another month or so, they will! Jankovich,…he has time, and Jovanovich, looks like he will be enforcer type, never back down to Mamadou, looks like Stefan HAS put on some good weight, if he is at about 245-48, that is great, nice jump hook, and back down moves.. I like it.
    Remember ONLY THE FIRST OPEN GYM look we have, as time goes by, the team turns it up, as they get into better shape, and learn a little more about positions, with the coaches workouts..

    2014-15, looks like ready to
    Rock the Rock at the SSC to win the BWC!
    P.S. To think , no more, Fotu, Jawato, and Bobbitt, yet…. when they are ready.. and team in shape.. look out,.. Quincy and Nevels, ready to rumble!

  14. Wow first open gym…from the looks of it, there are hints or clues of what’s coming:

    Reyes plays physical, let’s see if it continues.

    Negus showed he can shoot, dribble and pass. Waiting to see his physical game.

    Valdes is playing HARD and flying high, let’s see if that continues.

    You gotta like what Nevels and Q continue to do, let’s see if that continues. Waiting to see how both handle defensive pressure.

    Can tell Niko has improved over the summer, let’s see if that continues.

    Jankovich can shoot, let’s see if that continues. He looks gassed, hope that doesn’t continue.

    Jovanovich is the closest we have to a rim protector, has a physical presence. Doesn’t appear to be very quick in the box though, hope that doesn’t continue.

    Hints of what is and much more to come as we see more and more as they continue to develop and get into shape. For me, the hints spell POTENTIAL, we are going to like this team.

  15. tako: agree with you 100%, probably the most rounded talent Gib has had in going into his 5th year. And wait until all BWC, and FIBA veteran Fotu comes back! Also, elite JC, hope he is okay Bobbitt and excellent academic all conference student athlete and great young guy, Jawato, hope his rs freshman streak 3 ball shooting comes back. A team, POTENTIALLY ready to do major damage in BWC.. Remember, this is only about a week of running open gym, they will get better.

    One thing you all notice, I would have NO PROBLEM, is Niko Filipovich was running the point.. the guy has that mentality, the floor general, ..UH has a lot of good guards.. Potential,,,… and to a man, tako, they want to silence the critics.. they want to dance, we shall see. this is going to be a FUN and challenging season, however with Fotu, Nevels, Smith, NWC , Valdes leading the charge, look out, here come the Rainbow WARRIORS!!!!

  16. Hope Gib and staff, have their targets, for a Big rim protector too. That athletic 6’9″-6’10” rebounder, shot blocker, shot alterer, deflections, and finish inside. Too bad, could not get, though they tried really hard, and almost had one of two bigs, ..lined up for this year. Well, we all know, that that extra big would help defend in addition to Janks, Jovanovich, Thomas, and Fotu,..

    However, by great team defense, can have effect too, just ask Cal Poly , they played really well on D and O and especially shooting lights out at end of season when mattered. They did not have a couple of 6’11” shot blockers. they just played really well. Hope the same for UH, just be playing super well, come March 2015!

    Man, fans, a lot to get excited about, Coach
    Gib and staff, work the guys to be the best Defensive team can be, and get that offense clicking to the tune of over 80+ ppg again.. bet they will be scoring within 8 seconds agains, when opportunity arises. and if Bobbitt healthy, remember, he was the JC nation leader in steals, UH has some guys, great anticipation, get steals, as good as a blocked shot!

  17. The “New Guys” seem a little shell-shocked,
    Not Quite Ready for the Pacing (versus the Here-most-of-the-Summer and Returning Guys)…

    Speaking of Non-Returning…
    IF Still HAD Grad Shamb, NO Question Solid Running All 40-Minutes Offense…

    BUT Between Sen-Que, Q, Bobbitt, Nevels, Fleming, Negus, Dyrbe, Filo, Guard Play is Probably Improved Anyway…
    JUST NOT A Pre-Season Slam Dunk — NOT Really First-Team Proven –WAY Better Depth and Experience…

  18. Eagle…great thing uh mbb team getting ready and we have warrior insider covering open gym.
    you are right..last year open gym ..sham , spearman, Christian. Fotu…nevels..smith could run and familiar..this only first video..guys still getting used to each other’s game..plus not in full bb condition..I think this year no King of the beach? So lot of gym and ching track running..maybe up an down stairs of SSC Arena?
    About month they will be running their lanes….really only new brand new guys. Fleming who is good guard..Bobbitt …Sammis ..preferred guys Brocke and Zach ..they will be okay..

    GMoney Nevels and Quincy ..even Dyrbe..they know the guard system..Jawato the wing..

    Eagle..UH should be exciting..from Negus’ comments..they goin grind and get better
    then showtime starting November early..hoping..very sure they will be good..got athletes..
    go bows!!

  19. So. Ive now watched this open run 7 times. Runbows and Eagle and Tako. Please give us your honest opinion of Mr. Sammis. Thanks. I would actually like to mostly hear from Pono. He is most rational. Has Dayton learned why Gib contract extension not signed yet? Or I guess we r suppose to simply ignore that minor issue on this sight….

  20. i wouldn’t expect admin to ‘provide answers’ —
    IF they do, Great, but i would expect a ‘gag order’ is in effect…

    i don’t expect “Pre-Season Impact” from First-Year Players — even Mid-Season is Hit or Miss
    i see enough potential and talent, but obviously The Experts, The Recruiters –Both Ours and The Numerous others who Offered — who Actually get PAID to Evaluate (The PROS) who Vote On that with their Highly-Limited Scholarships have Already ENDORSED These Scholarship Players — No Matter What Any Arm-Chair Experts Post Plus or Minus —

    More Important is How Well First-Year players adapt to The Environment, The System and Coaches —
    There’s Few Things in Basketball So Common as Great Talent and First Impressions relegated to “Slow Play” needing to think in system, until they can react instinctively…

    I’m Glad and Happy that many can take JOY and Project Excitement with or Without The Critics …

    Many Good Things ARE Settled…
    Some are in the Future…

  21. Remember the rules of message boards and ignore the trolls! Please, please, no one respond.

  22. Chuck Cheese correct…I like team program and warrior insider
    Gal or guy no make sense..
    Go Bows!!

  23. Regarding Reyes…as written, he plays physical. Reminder, that this is just the first open gym, however, when coupled w/ his highlight clips. My honest “opinion” is I like his fearlessness, he does not shy away from contact. Best example is if you were playing against him don’t expect him to back down; he’s like the juggernaut, the tougher it is the more he likes it. He’s raw on the inside but has quickness. He also has good court awareness and can pass. Seems to have good technique for his outside shot. The unknown for me is his temperament, not sure how he will respond to coaching. The best thing is, he is here! ‘Cause honestly, wouldn’t want to play against him. Hope this clarifies…Like I said, let’s hope it continues…

  24. Apologize…

    (Convinced Myself that i was providing useful answers for use “out there”, etc… Tccch…)

    Don’t FEED…


    Great Game, Young Fotu
    More like Back-to-Back

  25. tako:

    I appreciated Sammis never gave up hope on getting cleared..that shows huge character..also you notice
    how sammis and others high five or low five each other after good pass or shot? That shows evidence of what a leader of team Negus mentioned..this team likes each other..no one guy putting up all the shots..stat stuffer..coachable? He kept working out all summer..he is disciplined beyond 18..19 year old..

    Sammis …notice too..he is very close in height to Negus..maybe 6’6 1/2″..that was good ..plus the guy very low body fat..he backed Negus down and laid ball in..from pass from Janks…and janks was directing him to seal to get his entry pass..tako..the team and Sammis…as Isaac Fleming said past thread..no cry babies..very competitive..I really believe their one goal? Win BWC season title and make tourney run no matter whom on court…believe uh mbb got a real probably future 3..a great late get..combo strength and finesse..as you say..hey only one week in school? Give team a month..huge improvement..defense first..offense second…I very much the 4 preferred athletes same mantra one team..one goal..

    Gib has a great bunch of atletes..they stay together and follow coaching staff direction..will be great year..as long as peaking in March 2015
    Sammis thankyou for sticking with uh mbb we appreciate you and all of the sweet sixteen uh mbb team members! !

  26. without reading any comments here is my assessment….nevels looks like the second best on the team behind fotu….negus is in the top 3 but who knows about his defense and team ball once season comes around…possibly sammis first open gym with team and no way gonna guard the 4 or 5….didn’t show much, looks like has good form on his shot but wasn’t hitting…still looks slow as a 3 but small as the 4 no way 5…..super thin and will be our downfall is the 4 and 5…jank is no where near a 4 or 5 as a defensive player but looks to have a decent offensive game shooting and running….jovanovic will be in foul trouble every game and don’t count on his scoring….we will need to protect fotu on D not letting him get into foul trouble…valdes athletic and good jumper but don’t count on him as a creator with the ball/shooting….he will always and only be a energy/garbage man….quincy will be more experienced but nothing has really changed…flemings may wow us at times as a freshman but exactly that…..i expect freshman growing pains….mike thomas…..man i don’t even know….not sure he had one highlight…..seems from everything i’ve seen in the past is that he loves to shoot….he’s another one that is too slow to guard the 3(bad foot speed/foot work) and too weak for the 4….it will be a bad sign if our walk-ons get playing time this season…first team assessment way before the season so i expect a bunch to change….i know only open gym and some play better/worst once the lights are on….who will step up?

  27. Good observations..free of other comments opinion..you hit it on head hfan..only open gym..team nowhere where they will be come first game..Fotu…big part of team..young team..should be neat see them improve
    Get Chance? Absolutely..!

  28. Suggestion? Continue Player-by-Player Self- and Coach Analysis?

    What are they Specifically Working On?
    Where might we look for their area(s) of Targeted Improvement?

    Watching these Players’ Growth and Development IS A Joy..
    NOT True with All Staffs…..

    and Almost Assured As Hard as this very good group of young men work….

  29. We haven’t seen much of Bobbit yet. I think he along with Michael Thomas will be the other guys making an impact this season. Everyone else are pretty much a known factor with the exception of defensive abilities. That we will find out in real games how they stack up to the competition. Sometimes a good defensive team can overcome the lack of bigs. But you can only go so far with a good small team as UC Davis learned. We got more athleticism this year, so on paper, defense should be better too. And better shooting—hopefully. Fotu a 3 like in World Cup? That could be his ticket to NBA if he can do it. Hybrid 3/4. Two more years to develop. Find your niche in the pros where you can contribute. Like AC Carter—a backup most of his playing years. And he made a good living doing it.

  30. you are right servante and Eagle, what Gib and staff have to work with, JMO, I think though young guys, except for Nevels, Smith, Fotu, Jawato, Bobbitt, Gib has from 1 through 16 guys on roster, the best overall talent. Shoots if he could have landed that one more Big, would have been perfect, however that big brother thing.. you know how it goes. So challenge for Gib, and Senque, Akana, Benjy, develop the team. Gib , and Riley, always, who plays Defense and on offense makes smart decisions. Roderick Bobbitt , recover, hope he is okay, that was a horrific injury , the broken arm, in a weird place, if he can be cleared, his thing DEFENSE… and the ability to go to the rim…Jawato, has to be my favorite, the ultimate HIGH CHARACTER athlete, on track to grad this May 2015, the FIRST of Gib’s recruited freshmen to grad in 4 years!
    Well, only first week, about a month till first official practice… Would not doubt by then, and then possible exhibition against HPU early November, the cream, the Defensive guys and guys that run solid offensive sets and transition will play. Gib , I still think, he cannot go short leash, or 7 or 8 guys, unless he trying to win a close game, before BWC play, has to go 10-12 deep. For that important March 2015 run. So guys are not burned out. With Fotu, having an excellent FIBA world stage, performance, probably the shining star for the Tall Blacks, man, the sky is the limit for Isaac, he really work on handles, create, and defending NBA talent, he could have legit shot to make THE LEAGUE, and to think we , the fans and Gib, could have him for 2 more seasons, including this one.
    Should be EXCITING 2014-15 season. Team, seems to be deep , at least 2 deep BWC talent at every position. I think Sammis will help, has to, since Janks won’t be eligible till mid December!

    UH MBB fans, the positive, not bottom fishing type, are looking forward to rock and roll that SSC to win the BWC!
    Go Bows!
    favorite time of the year, so much UH sports!

  31. Fotu is looking great. 9 points in first quarter.

  32. 14 pts for Fotu in first half

  33. IF NZ Earns its Second WIN and Continues Out of Pool Play,

    Safe to Say Hawai’i Fans See Isaac Fotu as a Starter…

  34. Fotu update: Isaac scored a game-high 18 points (7 for 9 shooting, including 1 for 1 from 3, and 3 for 4 on free throws) and grabbed eight rebounds as New Zealand held off Finland, 67-65. He didn’t start, but tied for most minutes played with 26. I have no idea if New Zealand has a chance to advance, but my guess is Turkey would have to beat the Dominican Republic if the Tall Blacks to make it out of group play.

  35. Aloha Tonganator:

    Great job by Isaac in FIBA do or die games! The more Playing Time given by Tall Blacks coach, the better he does, AND he helps NZ win!
    Eagle, ROB T, and Clyde (mahalo for updates, and for viewing game).

    Eagle, you got it , at Chuck Cheese and others, well majority on this forum, we cheer support team and program, not engage, the bottom fishers(you know what I mean…:)….)

    Man, Quincy played ProAM San Francisco Summer League, sure it helped him a lot, Nevels championship team Drew League, MT.. shows so much promise, Sammis a work in Good Progress(1), Isaac Fotu doing well in FIBA, and yes he is being watched….This past summer was productive for UH MBB guys!

    Go The Mighty Warriors. Tall Blacks, and The Rainbow Warriors!
    Go Bows!
    Get well Brandon Jawato, and Roderick Bobbitt, and a big welcome home when you are finished FIBA Isaac Fotu, he will be awesome this junior year!

  36. clyde:

    I am watching the replay of NZ vs Finland game now…the commentators said, that USA would probably beat Ukraine(which they did), and the winner of NZ vs Finland would move on to knock out round(sweet sixteen)of FIBA …Since NZ Tall Blacks won, and Ukraine lost, looks like , NZ moves on to that Final Sixteen!
    Isaac and his team did well, very small team, like UH MBB team, yet they are playing well, Isaac will probably bring a lot of leadership with his experience coming back to UH. Wow Gib and all of Hawaii, and the Fotu Ohana very, very proud of our Kiwi Son, Isaac Fotu!

  37. Here link about NZ win and how they advance to final sixteen knock out round:

  38. RunBows: thanks for the link.

  39. No problem clyde! Hey a ton of support for Isaac and the UH MBB program, that is why we are here!

    Tonganator and fans, check out, Isaac’s shoes in FIBA, what color? Green! Might be, and probably is, JMO, a shout out to UH MBB Rainbow Warrior Team and Hawaii!

    Mahalo if so Isaac, and a shout out to you, watching replay, Isaac , they mentioned, the commentators, that his game starts with his offense, he hits shots, make spin moves, offensive put backs, scores.. then the defense and owning the boards comes, interesting, something we know,.. when Isaac starts scoring, as do a lot of BB players, they turn it up… Isaac, as the commentators said, is getting a lot of notice.. and Isaac says this FIBA is helping his overall development.. Fantastic!
    We as UH MBB faithful, fishing for the Ulua, Opakapaka, Mahimahi, Aku, Ahi, have a Great catch, in Isaac Fotu, !!

  40. RunBows, clyde, tako, Rob T.

    Heart attack material towards the end of the game, but the Tall Blacks comes through and into the last 16. Isaac is loving the challenge and continue to develop his game. Spoke to him regularly and he is feeling good. They will travel to Barcelona from Bilbao where they will rest up and get ready for the next round.

    I am sure Isaac appreciate the support from the Rainbow Nation.

    Good to see the UHMBB team starts going to work, ready for the season. Missed the King of the Beach work out, but all the same, guys need to be ready comes the first game.



  41. RB how are you watching replay? TV? Internet?

  42. warriorhaw:

    It is on espn3 replay… you would have to have Time Warner or other available carrier to log on. I don’t know if they have ESPN TV replays, Definitely espn3 stream replay, the game is there. Just choose Time Warner when prompted by the espn3 site, log in to your account, then boom, access the replay of NZ vs Finland game. Hope that helps.

    Why, SA, and those guys don’t hilite Isaac Fotu doing so well, at least a front page article, I don’t know.. you know how it is.. WI UH MBB fan nation and Dayton will have ongoing dialogue, and Tonganator will have real time update by speaking to and relating how Isaac is doing in Spain.

    Gib must be smiling from ear to ear. Huge grin and pride.. yes , that get, from NZ 2 years ago, Isaac will prove to be a very, very special Forward, and athlete from UH MBB, a great young man and awesome Ohana!

  43. Keep in mind…Sammis is the new kid on the block. Actually the ONLY player who was not in Hawaii about a month ago. At least guys like Bobbitt and Fleming was here for the summer and got themselves at least used to Hawaii and stuff.

    I think Sammis doesn’t want to make a bad first impression so he probably not going to do all the theatrics and moves he does in his high lights. I can see him though…when he gets into a groove and start to gain confidence, I think he will just blossom and play ball.

    It’s no difference from going to work on your first day. You not going to be all rah-rah and acting the fool. You make a good impression first and then later on…you show your personality.

    I don’t think you have to worry about Sammis going into a shell(like Manroop). Sammis does have the swagger and I have no doubt it will come out when he gets comfortable.

  44. I agree with you Kahuna.

  45. Kahuna: Excellent points about Sammis. He wanted very badly to be here enrolled in 2nd summer session UH, to get head start on school, used to Hawaii, and start training with Bobbitt, Buscher, Stepteau, Enos, Thomas, Fleming. You are right, Sammis has game, … He will have to play a lot, if he gets Gib’s system, the D and flow Offense. Because , they will need his body on front line until Janks ready. Watch the open gym video… again… Negus listed at 6’7″? Sammis was guarding him, and THEY BOTH look about same height, which is good. Sammis at a shade about 6’7″ or 6’6 3/4″ with great hops, and THAT POWER TWO handed dunk, which Valdes could not swat away, PURE STRENGTH… I agree with you Kahuna.. Sammis will be okay, that is why the 20 schools offered him in that one weekend in March 2014 the AAU showcase.. he was impressive. Like his form on his outside shooting, very good.. working with Janks, to seal, and power layin over Negus, take advantage of his strength.. very sure, imagine Kahuna, when Fotu and Sammis in the game.. Fotu, by example and ability, his demeanor, so calm, very sure Sammis will learn from Isaac too. What a contrast last year, Christian, hi motor, emotional, and Fotu, calm, and diligent.. Hey UH MBB fans, really what a last second shot, and get for Sammis to get into UH…he stick it out, work hard, HE will be a good one…!
    Go Sammis, Power dunk City Honolulu, Hawaii.. USA! Chile to Florida to Hawaii to NCAA’s!

  46. Thanks RunBows. Sadly I do not have Time Warner acct.

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