Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Rotations starting to take shape

The first semblance of a rotation made an appearance at the University of Hawai’i basketball team’s Monday practice.

The “first group” featured a rotation of eight players: Roderick Bobbitt, Garrett Nevels, Isaac Fleming, Aaron Valdes, Negus Webster-Chan, Isaac Fotu, Mike Thomas and Stefan Jovanovic.


That group won a 20-minute controlled scrimmage, although Stefan Jankovic, Niko Filipovich and Sammis Reyes kept the second group close throughout.

“I thought we played together really well and rebounded on the offensive end and just making the right plays,” said Nevels, the team’s lone senior.

With the exhibition opener against Hawai’i Pacific set for November 6, head coach Gib Arnold still has time to tinker with the lineups, and it’s likely that the “first group” will change periodically.

“You just have to come out and compete every day, and that’s what we’re doing,” Valdes said. “I’m sure it’s hard for coach to choose, but we just have to keep working.”

Junior guards Quincy Smith and Brandon Jawato remained sidelined due to injuries, and both should become factors in the rotation when healthy.

“We’re a very deep team and I think it’s just going to help us during the long season,” Nevels said.


  1. Looks like the sanctions waiting game might end this week according to Ferd.

  2. Sanctions might be announced today, per the article ?

    Hope the rotation will keep most of the players happy, such as the big guy from Chile.

  3. Rotation based on performance. If anyone not happy with it then they need to step it up in practice. Simple system. You show up in practice and you play. You do not do well then you do not play. No one guaranteed spot in first rotation. Those that are injured need to get back on court and work hard at practice. Even then there is no guarantee. It’s called competition.

  4. Yes, it is all about competition and there is lots of it on this year’s team. I think Nevels and Fotu are the only locks right now and everybody else need to earn their way in. This is when you see the cream rise to the top but hope that the others keep fighting all the way. One of the problems with the kids these days is they sit and pout when they don’t get the playing time and thats why you see so many of them transfer schools. I’m not just talking about here in Hawaii because its everywhere. Its not a Hawaii thing its a generation thing with these kids.

    I just hope and pray all the guys understand their roles, like what Garrett says in the video. All the young guys, if they not in the rotation now they’ll get there sooner or later if they stick it out. Like for Sammis, he has to remember that he missed the first two or three weeks practice and thats a big step back for a freshman. He just needs to catch up and he’ll be with the “first group” sooner or later.

  5. Yes, and if I might add, these are the times when practice is long and play is short. Eat right, go to bed early, forget the girls and nightlife, and watch your playing time increase. Seven times Mr. Olympian Ronnie Coleman dieted 365 days a year except for Thanksgiving. That’s dedication; and, in his words, “That’s what you gotta do to be a champion.”

  6. Agree with your comments all.
    Sammis when knows system, and as Dayton writes he was helping the White team compete keep close with the first 8, so Sammis is a gamer. Niko that general, do whatever help team win. Janks when ready, the depth and the deeeep 3 ball. Jawato hope he alright, really beneficial to have 3 ball help. Enos, 3 ball threat too. Q when ready.. just gives that guard rotation depth.

    Hoosier, servante…Chuck C. Agree, Just Have to show in Practice, and Execute in Games, affect winning.. even if guys on the bench.. be ready.. to HELP TEAM win.. know their roles, I have feeling going to take 10-12 guys, the Whole team to win BWC and go to NCAA hopefully.

    I like this Team. Guys, Grind, get better, Work together, stay good in academics in class. be on track to graduate.. WI MBB fan faithful, we got your backs.. We backing the Rainbow Warriors!
    Every little thing gonna be Alright !

  7. Sanctions from the NCAA? So too late for self-imposed punishment? Was hoping UH would vacate all wins from the last 2 years, including the Rainbow Classic koa bowl from 2 years ago. That would have been contrite enough I think.

    I’ve been wondering what the NCAA could take away from UH. Maybe TV appearances. Imagine UH not getting on ESPN, not even in their own Diamond Head Classic.

  8. H__Champ; The article today referred to self-sanctions . Hope not too late.

  9. islandman:

    This must be the direction/ counsel of the Alabama Legal team. Get a head start in correction/s. It just might be, who knows, a lot of in house things. Wait and see. Cannot wait for this thing to be over.

    You know who I am really proud of, possibly the most so,, in over 40 years or more? The Team, for sticking together, working hard, and just Concentrate on Basketball.

    UH has their team at work.
    And coach his.

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

    And we want to see them in that championship game of the BWC tournament!
    This Sensational Sixteen, probably the most focused, and determined group, of MBB student/.athletes, and will go down in record as one of the best.. hopefully, for years to come!
    Hang in there fans, families and team.. !

  10. Glad you added “hopefully” Runbows. Lot of great UH teams in past, from Fab Five to AC/Alika combo, to Savo, English, Martin teams. You are right that they need to keep heads down and focus on the game. No worry about things you can’t control. Who knows, let’s hope this yurns out to be one of those magical years!

  11. Well first to admit.. UH had to do what they had to do…. Thanks to Gib for bringing back exciting Basketball to UH program.
    Hope team, under Coach Taylor interim, still STICK TOGETHER… as long as they have something to play for.

    Coach Wallace a return? Don’t know, however, he was good.

    Thanks Dayton for coverage, I guess you will have writeup soon….
    Just hope team as ONE OHANA, stay in school, keep grades up!

  12. Whoa. Did not expect this kind of “self-imposed” sanction. Firing a coach BEFORE the NCAA issues its letter of allegation? The problems must run deep. Sad day all around.

  13. It’s truly a sad day for the players. Who cares about Gib. We should care about the program and not a crooked coach. The real question is how do we support the players who have been put in this crappy situation by a dishonest coach. Gib did it at USC and strikes again at UH. Let’s hope that we are eligible for the post season. Player defections will be based on whether the NCAA grants an exception to all players to transfer without sitting out this year.

  14. PONO, clyde, and WI fans.. getting that awful feeling like 40 years ago, that ncaa thing.. However, in the best interests of UH MBB, the University.. and HOPEFULLY for The Team.. They do not get hit..
    Darn.. it was too good … team really shaping up…
    sad day…
    PONO.. You think , or even Hoosier, that Wallace would make good UH MBB coach to return?

    Man, I am bummed, ….

    Eagle, servante …. UH MBB hope they move on..

    The UH guys are great bunch, with great families for sure..

  15. Hard to believe, the allegations must be more than reported earlier ?

    He was recruiting better players recently.
    I wonder if some players will leave ?

  16. Wallace is not a good long term solution. He has been out of the game for too long. He might be good to just keep things together but to build a program long term we will need someone younger. Most likely a rising assistant coach. I would think the first target would be Ganot at St Mary’s.

  17. Oh,well, sad if true. Hate to see anyone fired. But I also need to say that Runbows and others on the board who were so willing to denounce “gib haters” need to step up and eat some crow if true. Coaches are not let go over minor infractions. not sure about Riley either but Jay may be looking for someone with clean rep to bridge gap. I will wait to see more than perfunctory “oh wells” from all the blind supporters of Gib. It will be interesting to see full report. UH needs to run clean program. I don’t care how “exciting” the play of the team is if it is a result of bending/breaking the rules. Sad day for UH men’s bb

  18. This is a stunner….wtf happened?

    I’ll always remember Coach Arnold but in the interim would love to see Riley Wallace back…as well as June Jones.

  19. PONO…. can the guys transfer this late into fall season?
    Even Warrior Insider, for Dayton, this is sad too, however WI MBB forum started AFTER Nash was let go.

    You are right.. All We Want… UH MBB team still stay intact, and can Play for NCAA or NIT.. must be with the Boss..
    Always, thought.. innocent until proven…
    What can we say..
    The UH MBB team.. That is primary concern.. maybe Alabama legal direction.. Then, UH MBB could stay together. make a run..
    We shall see.
    clyde, awful feeling.. Man, how do the boys feel?

  20. Runbows. Truly sorry for you because you are a great fan. Hopefully all of you now understand I’m not actually a jerk. I simply have good sources and knew what I was talking about.

  21. There is a clear pattern of behavior by Gib dating back to USC in regards to following the rules. I think BJ made the right move for the athletes by getting rid of Gib. This will hopefully minimize or eliminate any post season bans and let the players play for something. Another rotten coach ruins it for the players and they are left to deal with the aftermath while Gib will likely just move on to get another job somewhere. I wonder how many programs he will screw in his career. If I were a player and the family’s of the players I would be very upset at Gib.

  22. Depends if the NCAA grants a waiver to allow transfers without sitting out. It’s up to the NCAA. If they grant the waiver I’m guessing our top underclassman will bolt. Nevels will have to stick around but guys like Fotu, Reyes and Flemings will be pursued heavily.

  23. I bet the phone calls have started to AAU coaches, old high school coaches etc tell them that programs are interested in the players if the waiver is granted.

  24. Why do they fire the coach who is winning and keep the coaches who are losing?

  25. How come they still keep Norm ? Because he runs a ostensibly clean program ?

  26. gibnogood… yes, if he were the guy, ncaa violations.. Agreed.. No good.
    Only good, so far, some shock from MBB team tweets.. a sent out retweets,.. They are trying to stick together.

    I am disappointed in Gib, however, it is UH over a coach, even if Coach K. and Duke..
    The MBB team, the student athletes come first..
    Maybe why Gib hired private counsel… negotiate his out contract…

    Sorry to families too of the team… I really am.. Hope Team stay as One and NCAA still allows them to play for Post Season.. Why should the players be penalized for indiscretion of Boss..

    Man.. I hope Team can still play for BWC and NIT or NCAA tournaments..

    Jawato, about to graduate too, he will be here,…

    We shall, see… bummed… FB… now MBB.. however hope it is only the Coach that is dealt with.. Loved the uptempo stuff.. Maybe Wallace/Taylor, still run that, with combination of flex?

  27. Wonder if this turns into a Legal Battle?

  28. Yes… was supporter of Gib style, even the High Character of guys he recruited, And this special Sixteen… did not KNOW ANYTING of what allegations were.. did gibnogood, or Hoosier, or PONO.. or myself.. caught me by surprise totally..
    As I stated on another post, you reap what you sow.. If proven guilty, or just cause, UH would have to have that.. and under direction of perhaps Alabama Legal..it led to.. Let HC go..

    Now, I have been fan of UH MBB, through going on, NOW 9 coaches over 46 years or more.. I will Still support the Team, the interim coach , and coaches,

    good sign. so far.. tweet, retweets… team staying positive through it all.. Maybe, They can, and gibnogood, Pono, Hoosier, servante… Eagle, clyde Tavs… shocking personally, \
    However the TEAM the student athletes FIRST.. and the personalities Coach second..

    Can Riley Wallace Coach Team through rest of year, if he keeps Taylor, Carey and Akana, I think can.. Riley will run good ship..
    Very sad …. HOWEVER>. Always been KEY FOR me and many others… no matter what UH had to do.. That the MBB team can still Play for Post Season.. Then Team stays intact..
    HOPING FOR THE TEAM… most I am sure shocked.. However, looks like there is some solidarity.. Really Hoping.. Dayton Writeup soon.

  29. Update: Akana also being released. Now I know why they’re reaching out to Riley … there’s only Taylor and Carey left on the staff. How is Riley supposed to implement his system in such a short time?
    I feel badly for the players, and hope their season can somehow be salvaged.

  30. Polo is correct. Just think of all the times Gib must have told players and parents “no big deal, this will blow over”. He has known better for a long time…..

  31. I don’t know what the ncaa findings are but it seems to me the UH admin likes to make quick and rash decisions. agree that a lawsuit is coming.

  32. Looks like it’s back to the dark ages after this season…

    Even if NCAA allowed mid-season transfer, its not going to be a great situation for anybody seeking transfer because they are going to be way behind when they get to their new program. Also, school is in session everywhere, I don’t think the current players will be able to transfer this year simply because of admissions.

    I would anticipate the NCAA to allow waive the sitting out for 1yr transfer rule. After this season, if UH doesn’t have all their noodles in the bowl when it comes to selecting a new coach, UH could see the exodus of several high caliber players.

    Hopefully the players have invested enough time and UH has been an enjoyable enough experience for them to stay loyal to UH.

  33. Rooster…. If Gib hired one of the best personal counsel in the land.. Maybe, this goes to court, don’t know..
    clyde, you are correct , Wallace, if Akana also let go.. only leaves Carey and Taylor..If I were Wallace and Benjy and Senque are good to go.. keep them on staff…

    to implement the Flex? That takes years.. to get it run right, .. However as was stated somewhere.. Wallace Now has super athletes.. hope he will run.
    But question is.. ? Will Wallace take job? I think he would to finish out year..

    Incredible..man, I must retire from posting already..
    Wish Well to Gib Arnold and his great family..
    Darn it!
    Wish , Wish UH MBB can still play Post Season… That is the hope.. so Team stay Together..
    However.. under New Coach? Wallace was a good one.. discipline.. and loved his guys, ..Am sure, Gib maybe reaching out to team too.. sad….
    However. move on.. Gib has to do what he has to do.. and UH too.. Wonder how this ends?

    Eagle.. I am saddened..hope team still .. What can I say?

  34. Everyone can take heart that Gib is not the only coach in the world running uptempo, exciting game. Flex offense seemed to score a lot of points against MSU, Fresno, UTEP, Tulsa and even Indians. Not the end of the world. Hope all players stay but fact of life is many commit to coach as much as school so there may be some movement. I do not think there will be any moves this year unless second semester transfers pop up. Fotu may be playing last year along with Nevels and Jawsto. They are not going anywhere. Don’t see Bobbitt leaving or NWC or Jankovic either. Everyone else may be up for grabs so UH admin and coaching staff need to minimize damage and reinforce commitment to these young men. Nothing else you can do.

  35. Hopefully Senque Carey and Benji Taylor can take this opportunity and run with it.

    I wonder if the recruitment of both Jankovic had anything to do with this? The timing of Jankovic’s commit to transfer to UH not long after they played each other last year was a bit unusual. I’m pretty sure coaches cannot contact other team’s players while they are at school (not sure about offseason).

    I would have assumed NWC helped in the transfer by contacting his former teammate, but player to player communication is allowable as far as I know, going back to when I was at UH.

  36. Holy f’in crap! What a shocker!

    If Gib and Akana did commit such major infractions and deserve to be let go, then so be it. I have to assume Ben Jay has the evidence to make this decision and not just throwing it out there. I just hope he presents the evidence to justify this moves.

    I can not help but think of more UH bumbling and fumbling again as I’ve said many times before. The timing of this is terrible, really really terrible. One week before the first game… really?! Again, I assume Ben Jay and others in power had the evidence all summer so why wait until only now!!! If the infractions were that major, these coaches should have been dismissed months ago. What the hell UH?! Are they going to give refunds to the fans who bought season tickets and don’t want to go now?!

  37. Maybe The Timing of Termination.. might have saved UH Post Season chances? Hope so..
    FUHA… agreed, on all the forums.. if Wallace take over for season start.. keep Taylor and Senque, they Know the Team, keep morale up, and Nevels, Jawato, maybe Fotu, have great final year.

    Hoosier…Wallace, agreed one of the best.. 300 plus overall winner, the Flex when run properly, and remember had Erin Galloway and AC Carter, Alika, Mike Robinson.. Savo, English, Martin, etc,. Mike McIntyre, kept UH in games and helped them to beat Indiana, Kansas and Michigan St., Wallace, who knows, he watching David Rose and UNLV all year. ,might just keep the uptempo defense and offense.. UH has the athletes that can go. And Wallace always said you need the horses to run..

    Hope The Team is okay.. and will play for a championship..

    FUHA…. Wonder …man the Arnolds, the family great bunch of people.. wish them well!

  38. Chuck Cheese:

    If it is , … and it sounds like similar pattern, UH.. and AD.. making rash move.. you are right, I felt same.. If from April, May , June, July.. before school started, they KNEW it was the big one… Akana and Gib.. were the Primary guys.. release them BEFORE school or fall semester workouts began..
    Dang..darn it.. …
    We shall see… for what seems like forever times.. HOPE UH MBB for this season intact and can play for Post Season still.. Maybe.. That was the Key .. terminate Gib and Akana.. then NCAA would lessen blow to UH and The student Athletes.. Maybe, Taylor and Carey still remain.. I hope so.. I think Team really likes Benjy and Senque.. and Jamie Smith.. man!
    Interesting the comments from Gib.. always supported him.. if Above board.. we shall see. he will or will not have comment..
    Shocked is the least statement!

  39. Pono,Hoosier

    College basketball is a business when a University brings in a coach that knows nothing about your child skill set nor style of play after firing the head coach give me a good reason for the underclassmen to stay whom were recruited by high majors.

    Taylor is my man give him a chance once he goes players will be leaving and exploring other options I’m just keeping it real my son will be back on the eastcoast if that happens next year.

  40. ChuckCheese, can’t have it both ways . Any talk of letting Gib or Brandon months ago would have brought down your wrath for convicting before proven guilty. So now it is admin fault? Buck stops with the head coach unfortunately. Don’t have to like it but that is how it works. As I said before no one takes pleasure in seeing someone lose their job and its effect on their families. Now it is time to move on, support players on the court, and hope for no post season ban.

  41. BigDaddy, I absolutely agree with you. Personal relationships are keys to retaining players. Whatever happens I am sure you and your son will do what is right for you. Would hate to see him go but understand completely. (By the way., Tom Crean could use some guard help at IU. Gotta keep it real for my alma mater). Hope for nothing but the best for your son. Just the fact that he is willing to come so far from home shows character and independence. I have a boy living in Brooklyn now and couldn’t be prouder of his accomplishments but still along way from home. I am sure you feel the same about Isaac. Aloha!

  42. bigdaddy give Issac a chance to meet the new coach before he leaves. Already rumored on a talk show tonight some very good candidates are keeping an eye on the UH job. One of the reasons apparently is that it is possible to win a conference championship here. Can’t be said for many other schools. Many conferences have the same guys competing for the title every year and those things take a special year for any changes. But the best reason is Issac himself. Watched him all summer and it’s apparent he has grown and is excited to play in the arena before the UH fans. To be that way this early in his career shows he has really grown up quickly for a young guy being so far away from home. I’ve seen few freshmen over the years with his demeanor. Most are not ready to contribute and it’s not because they lack something athletically. It’s because they’re young and away from home for the first time. By the time they are juniors they become sure of where they are and who they are. Issac already looks like he’s almost there. You should be very proud of the young man who’s taking on the big world of college athletics and not shying away from any challenges. I had two boys go away to school and they wanted to come home every day for three years but are now reaping the fruits of their labor with very promising careers.

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