Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Bigs out-shoot the Guards at Green & White


Now this one was a little bit of a surprise.

The “Bigs” tandem of Stefan Jankovic and Isaac Fotu won the 3-point shootout over the “Guards” team of Garrett Nevels and Brocke Stepteau at the University of Hawai’i basketball team’s Green & White Scrimmage event on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The 6-foot-11 Jankovic and 6-8 Fotu each made 11 3-pointers for a total score of 66; Stepteau (10 3-pointers) and Nevels (nine) scored a total of 57. Jankovic (leg) and Fotu (back) both have been sitting out of recent workouts due to nagging injuries.

“It’s not as much working on that as getting confidence to shoot it,” Fotu said. “You saw with the (New Zealand) national team I was shooting way more. It’s just come to me more easy this year so you’ll probably see me shoot more 3s this year if it’s what the team needs and its within the system. I’ve definitely been working on that in the off-season.”


Fotu made just one 3-pointer all of last season, but went 5-for-12 from 3-point range in six games for New Zealand at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in September.

Nevels, who led the team with 59 3-pointers last season, noted that the team went through a tough practice earlier in the day … and Fotu and Jankovic did not fully participate in the practice due to their injuries.

“I don’t know man, no legs – I blame it on that,” Nevels said with a smile. “Practice this morning wore me out.”

(Photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)


  1. Nice shooting form by the big men. Stepteau good too.

  2. Offensively Isaac Fotu got no weakness this year. Opposing teams won’t know how to defend him. All they can do is double and triple team him and keep him out of the paint. That will open up his outside shooting since they rather he kill them from there than destroy them inside. And if our shooters can help him too Fotu is going to be riding the gravy train underneath.

  3. Whoa, this Jankovic can really shoot it for a big man. This changes a lot of things when he gets eligible. I’m thinking Gib can use a 5-out offense with Jankovic able to pull opposing center far away from the basket or shoot the 3 ball if the other team chooses to keep the center inside. Fotu can bring the same problem for the other team. A 5-out offense could also work for driving guards like Quincy and Fleming and slasher/shooter types like Valdes and Negus. Exciting possibilities all around.

  4. Chuck, islandman, servante :

    Good comments. Have to attribute the makeup of team to Gib and staff. They got more athletic, the guys doing well in school, TWO freshmen just made it in, Fleming and Reyes, thankful for that! From what I see, including the 2 808 greats Buscher and Enos.. 15 out of the 16 on roster can shoot the 3 ball, and actually shoot it well.
    Only Jovanovich hasn’t, or maybe he did in open gym, hit the 3.

    Chuck and servante , you both are very spot on… Janks when eligible, with Fotu, stretching the Defense, they hitting the threes or mid range shots, drawing out guys like Mamadou, Alan Williams, etc, leaves that rim and the lane to, wide open, and here comes Quincy, Fleming, and Bobbitt slashing to the rim, or drive and dish to the bigs for dunks.

    This team was put together, really well, a BWC type of team, with 6’8″ and 6’11” bigs that can hit the trifectas.. Heck, if they are shooting like that, for good percentage, and at Mizzou, that is what they asked Janks to do, shoot the 3 ball, and bring offense,.. All team has to do now.. Play Lock down, shut down, nation’s leaders team defense, and … wow.. have the makings of championship team.

    Love, the dunks, however the three ball by 5.. or as Chuck says the 5-out offense, hard to stop…UH can finally match, hoping that Nevels, Bobbitt, Enos, Valdes, Fleming, Niko all hitting their mid to 3 ball shots too, Man it going be exciting at SSC, and always gives UH a chance to win on the road.

    Remember guys, if you all want to play, that top 10-12.. PLAY DEFENSE, and take care the ball, shoot smart.. team wins!!

  5. “SOON” — maybe as late as December when Jankovic can join the mix — and maybe glimpses even sooner
    we’ll see how well Gib’s Planning and Vision Bears Out —
    At Least a Couple of Years in the making,
    GIB has been encouraging Isaac (and Christian and ‘ALL’) to work on and work their three-shooting INTO the game…
    So we’ve suffered some as players All take one (or two) threes, generally at sub-33 per cent clips…

    BUT it would ‘appear’ that Isaac Fotu, Garrett (season-long ‘Proven’ 40%-Plus), Nevels, Jankovic and (probably) Negus can ALL hit in the 40%-Plus Range) , a Conversion Rate that Works at (pretty much) any level…

    And This Team appears to have the intelligence (BBIQ) and skill to Execute…

  6. Jank has a smooth looking shot from the perimeter but looks awfully skinny.

  7. Janks looks skinny, but he has plenty strong looking muscle.

  8. But we need bulk inside against Alan Williams, Mamodou, etc. That’s where Sammis
    can help out Fotu.

  9. Also, Javonovic .

  10. Janks, workout feverishly in the weight room , you need to have a strong inside presence , Warrior Nation is counting on you big time , Big West Title 2015

  11. In the past, College and NBA greats that were Bigs, could go inside and shoot outside, Larry Bird 6’9″, Jack Sikma 6’11”, Dirk Nowitzki 7’0″, Mel Counts 7’0″, Kevin Durant 6’10”, Kevin Love 6’10”..that ability as a Tall 3 ball shooter, their release point so high already, harder to block their shot attempts.. Huge weapon for UH to have, Jankovich 6’11”, Fotu 6’8″, NWC 6’7″….yes Nevels has help this year..You have 5 or 6 guys hitting the near 40 or 38 % from 3 ball line, it opens up the painted area,..and UH’s scoring ability, increases.

    Stefan Janks Jankovich, correct, that guy , he looks thin, he is Looooong, lengthy, his arms are bigger than the average 5’8″ guy walking down the street, plus his leg muscles too. He must have been and is still working in the weight room.

    Coaches, have good mix, guys that can finally go to rim, Not just a Spearman, Fleming, Bobbitt, Smith, …..a Power Guy in Reyes, The outside shooters…the Athletic guys, that can have positive effect on both O and D… should be interesting how staff can develop maybe10-12 guys into One Unit… all playing their roles..I know some still fell only 7 or 8 will be the main rotation, however, even Gib knows he has to have at least 10 deep, 2 deep at every spot to Finish Strong, and win BWC tournament, and win games in NIT or NCAA’s

    Go Bows.. Hey Fans, Eagle, Tonganator, Tavs, servante, BigFan, josh, jjay, ChuckC, Horssse, and all the great UH MBB fans, on this site, ISN”T IT GREAT TO TALK UH HOOPS?

    Go Rainbow Warriors! Go The Mighty Warriors, Let’s go Bows. Warrior Time!
    Hope the shooters, when need to close out and win game, have good legs, and are not afraid to shoot the big shots.. have 5 guys on the floor, anyone of them willing to hit the winner!

  12. Whats up with Fotu’s Bulaia front tooth?

  13. We can’t forget about defense. Yes, our bigs look like they can shoot it from far and pull the other team big guys away from basket but on the other end? The two Stefans, Fotu and others (Sammis, Mike Thomas, others) really need to play strong or this team will give up too many easy insides. Thats where I’m still worried about lack of depth with big men. I’m still excited about the possibilities!

  14. Was it Princeton? or Harvard? Butler? Gonzaga,? Western Michigan? Some low to mid majors, they played excellent team and fundamental defense. Make it hard on teams to run their offense, and caused turnovers, shot clock violations, etc. last line of defense, was the Whole 5 on the court, keep guys out of paint, and take charges. Another way to defend the hoop if no shotblockers.

    Would think Valdes, Fotu, Thomas, Jankovich and Jovanovich, would have to block some shots, or alter, as you said Chuck C. don’t let guys go uncontested for dunk or layin like last few years.

    That is whay Gib was looking for the rim protectors, I think he has to still go to the African continent, or Senegal, Paris France, that coach friend of his, that brings in talent from Africa, see them develop in Prep/HS USA and JC.. then get that pipeline of 6’9″ + rim protectors…. that last line of defense,.. Gib said Louisville had about 5 of them!… so team could pressure, go for steals out front, and the bigs would protect the rim..

    Think that UH By Team, by Committee, has to play fundamental Defense, if have to take charge, learn how, without getting the blocking foul called on them..

  15. A rim protector is going to prevent 300 pound Mamadou’s dunks. We need some bulk to try and keep him some from the basket. Luckily, he averaged “only” 21 minutes per game last year. Also, someone to lean on Alan Williams’ 265 lbs.

  16. S/B ” A rim protector is not going to prevent . . .

  17. islandman: Too bad, could not sign Cousins, he had bulk and long arms, could take up space, and block shots. Riak Bol, really thin, however his role, rim protector.

    the investigation, probably knocked them out of the picture as possible LOI’s..

    Now, Reyes, if can learn from Tim Shepherd’s example, They are about the same height and weight, Tim used superior bottom his leg strength to keep out guys a foot taller, and perhaps 40 pounds heavier.

    One thing, about Mamadou, now he is 300 pounds, he is not Shaquille O’neal.. Shaq was a HUGE athletic freak, could jump, could run, even handle the ball, great passer, and could dunk on guys that were taller than him, he being 7’1″, a Chamberlain type of big great athlete, and a nice guy too.

    Mamadou, is nice guy, well likes, however, he is slow afoot, if he can run on fast breaks, and play 30 minutes a game, he would be averaging 20 ppg 15 rb, 5 blocks.. he only goes 20 minutes, because he is gassed.

    Last year’s UH vs Irvine game and win by the Warriors, one of the best road wins of UH MBB history.. Irvine favored, and with their HUge Big, that Fotu, could stretch their defense out, make Mamadou, reach out, to corners to try to block Fotu’s jumper, he was always a second too slow, same with Nevels, going right at Mamadou with his high floater, Fotu finished with 30 pts that game, Great win, and a team win…

    That is how UH MBB has to do it this year TEAM DEFENSE, and guys rotating, a mix of man, even matchup zone, with Bobbitt at the top getting steals, or Fleming, Smith, Valdes, jumping the passing lanes, and the rotation, helpside, so no one floats to basket for dunks.. love the DEFENSIVE teams of UH past, those are the teams always in or winning the ball game and going to NIT or NCAA’s.

    TEAM DEFENSE… maybe in the future,.. hard to do, very hard, The athletic, Big strong, Big, 7’0″ 275 that can play O and D…would be a dream

    However, islandman, with this year’s team, they lockdown as Team defensively and score 80ppg, they will be doing very well

  18. I’ll drink to that, runbows. And tire out Mamodou, so he has to sit on the bench. Alan W., not so easy to tire him out.

  19. islandman: Fotu, with that all world FIBA experience and going against larger, taller bigs, I say with his ability, he can battle Alan Williams toe to toe. Fotu is a real difference maker.
    We shall, see, Gib has to get the Whole Team playing that One Defense, and Help Defense, they can defend.. That AC at the top of that match up zone, caused a lot of steals, so even if other team had the bigs, AC , Alika, Micah Kroeger got the turnovers.

    Alan William, is good, big, However OUR All BWC first team and maybe POY… is a good one.. battle to draw, or maybe this year, Two Times Fotu wins the battle, with help from Reyes, yes… Sammis, just bang Williams up, use up his 5 fouls,.. play smart…
    Exciting, MBB and WBB ready to Rock !

  20. Mamadou is foul prone. And he can’t make his free throws. So you know what that means.

    Last year we gave up too many easy baskets. And a lot of them were not even contested. We will see what kind of defense we have this year. It only takes one puka—somebody that plays soft—to throw your whole defense off. We need 5 guys that can work together to seal the holes, give weak side help, cover ground fast, break through screens, anticipate moves, study film of players tendencies, take away spots, force them to go another way, throw their rhythm off. communicate with one another. It takes 5 not 4 to do the job. Chain link is strong as long as they are linked together. No good if one broken.

  21. Hope you all can start focusing on defense. It will be the difference of wining or also ran the Conference. Glad to see some input. I have mentioned this on two or three posts and just got no comments. We have the offensive talent – we need to develop the defense to go with it. Pick and roles were killing us last year – to many easy baskets. Valdes needs to show he can play defense if he wants more minutes this year. I would rather not see Mamadou but we can deal with him. All the comments above were right on target.

  22. Now that Senque has revealed the guys being developed and challenging for PT at PG.. we can assume this:
    If Gib let the Old, retunees , vs. New, RS’s and Newbies..it would look like this:

    Last Year guys:
    PG: Quincy Smith 6’0″ 180
    SG: Garrett Nevels 6’2″ 190 Dyrbe Enos 5’10” 170
    SF: Aaron Valdes 6’5″ 210 Brandon Jawato 6’4″ 200
    PF: Mike Thomas 6’7″ 215
    C : Isaac Fotu 6’8″ 235 Stefan Jovanovich 6’11’ 235

    New and RS’s:
    PG: Roderick Bobbitt 6’3″ 205 Niko Filopovich 6’0″ 160 Brocke Stepteau 5’9″ 160
    SG: Isaac Fleming 6’3″ 180 Zach Buscher 6’3″ 165
    SF: Negus Webster-Chan 6’7″ 205
    PF: Sammis Reyes 6’6″ 240
    C: Stefan Jankovich 6’11” 235

    8 versus 8 end up with hopefully GREAT!

  23. We all know of Isaac’s ability to score around the basket with his killer spin moves but now the addition of his three point shooting is just going to make him more deadly. If the opponents play off him, Isaac will make them pay. If they play him too tight, Isaac will just use his superior footwork to get to the basket.

    The one concern I have that I hope UH can work on is if he is double teamed. Sometimes last season, there didn’t seems like the team had any idea of where to go when Fotu got double-teamed. There where occasion where two players ended up in the same area or no one cut the the hoop or find the open spot. Some just stood in one area and wave their hands. There need to be cutting to the baskets and movement if Fotu is doubled. Standing in one spot waving their hands are not going to get it done.

  24. kahuna…yes…sometimes reminded me of Vander…team work to get ball to Fotu..he doubled or triple team…so isaac ..think..still try to shoot or pass to shooters…I believe isaac now in junior year very smart
    and work with other 4 guys ..doubled..he can kick out and post up again when defenders are one on one..

    This one falls on coaching staff..they make sure half court defense and offense running high level..
    Isaac can have great year and a bunch of assists

  25. I also think (almost in Vander’s ‘Defense’) that VANDER “knew” who he Could Count on to Hit the Shot;
    Versus his own High Percentage;
    but Holding the Ball without a Good, Clear shot was not a good/ preferred choice;

    Isaac clearly has Better Choices to Pass to…
    And I think he’ll be quicker to see and hit Open Options…
    His Smart Choice on a 55% (or potentially Higher) own shot
    or a Pass to a 40%{+?} Three-Point Shooter/Driver

    Could be Poetry in Motion

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