Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Thomas has new look and outlook as a sophomore

Mike Thomas is a quick learner, as evidenced by his accelerated pace toward an accounting degree. On the court, Thomas feels that one freshman season of learning has set up an accelerated pace for himself as he enters his sophomore year with the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

“Experience, physicality, athleticism, also hunger – I’m really ready to play this year,” Thomas said of the difference in his demeanor from a year ago.


The 6-foot-8 forward played a limited reserve role last season, averaging 1.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. This season, he is considered a legitimate contender for a starting forward spot.

He made a good early impression with a team-high 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the Green & White Scrimmage last week.

“At the 4 spot (power forward) mainly,” he said of his expected role as a sophomore. “Working on blocking shots, rebounding, crashing offensive boards as well. And finding scoring and defense here and there.”

Thomas’ playing minutes may have been limited last season, but he said he learned just by being around All-Big West Conference forward Christian Standhardinger, who happened to be his road roommate.

“He taught me a lot last year, a lot about the game,” Thomas said. “A lot about how to treat your body on the road, a lot about how to attack practice and how to go in the game.”

Along with a new demeanor, Thomas showed up this season with a new look – a shaved head. He said an unnamed teammate was partially responsible.

“I got a cut by somebody, I won’t name who, but it kind of got messed up and I decided to shave it all,” Thomas said.

He said he is still undecided on the status of his hair (or lack thereof) for the season. “It depends,” he said. “If people like it, I’ll keep it. I don’t mind. I miss my hair a little bit, but it doesn’t really matter.”


  1. MT….for three…spin and flush..putback for offensive rebound…run ..and defend..

    Go Mike….you and Valdes the athletic long..super sophs..from call..plus the 3 serbian brothers..and sammis superman reyes..

    Nice team..just want to wkn championships
    lot of reps…go Mike!!

  2. Looking good Mr. T, and you have been working hard on your game over the summer and it shows. Very good attitude, “hunger to match potential” this team will be special.

    Can’t wait for the first game. Good job D.M for your tireless work letting the global fans know what happening real time. Keep up the good work.


  3. Tonganator great comments about Mike..team grind..work together..hunger to win match talent athleticism. .team do really well
    hope Isaac the bro with the fro back is okay..much needed depth at 4 now..

    And neat to know Mike anticipates hopefully peaking at 6’9″ 235..wow…he will be a beast
    great student too..

    Love this Team!!

    Eagle ..warriorhaw..Tavs..josh..servante…chuckcheese..horssse…and warrior rainbow mbb nation get ready to rok
    in few weeks. .nov. 6 2014 ..exhibition game vs HPU..should show us how good uh mbb can be

  4. I miss my hair. Hmmm. Wait. Wait.
    I miss my hair a little bit. Hmmm. Wait. Wait.
    I miss my hair. I don’t mind. Hmmm. Wait. Wait.
    Oh, neva mind.
    Not something I could say.

  5. Hey MT, you rockin the MJ look. Not a lot of us can. I think it apropos for the new direction you have taken your game. We have seen a completely different MT ever since the summer league. Nice that you give credit to Christian for partly guiding you in the proper direction.

  6. 5 for 5.
    I’m counting MT as one of the better than .400 from 3pt line shooters.
    Jawato, Jank, Negus, etc. etc.

  7. Agree — Great That Mike Does Give Credit to Christian and The Lessons Learned that he Internalized and Can Call Upon, Draw Upon in his Own Career — MT’s Physical Abilities with even 80% (or more) of Christian’s (Repeat First Team All Conference, Repeat King of the Beach) Work Ethic would be an Awesome Player…

    …. and Christian does think the World of What MT can do…
    He spoke of the 4 position being ‘stronger’ with MT,
    Respected MT´s Quickness, Athleticism, Hard Work
    MT is so quick, he can Go Right, Go Left…

    MAYBE a Little like Shamburger, he actually talked with Gib, concerned whether he would still get to play”
    [i wondered IF Shamburger Got different answers…]

    i Hope MT ¨Surpasses¨his Mentor
    [Successful People Surpass their Mentors]

    Go ‘BOWS!
    Hunger and Intelligence, Work Ethic to S
    Realize and Live Up to their Potential

  8. Awesome (Three) Point…

    40 Per Cent Three Shooters – Proven & Demonstrated

    NEVELS – Proven ALL Season
    JAWATO – Proven ALL Season
    Jankovic – Heritage, and Demonstrated in G/W Scrimmage
    Fotu – Demonstrated G/W, FIBA, Everday in Practice
    Negus – Heritage, Everyday in Practice
    MT – GW, Practice
    Dyrbe – (.370 All Season)
    Stepteau – GW, Practice
    Valdés – (.333 All Season)
    Quincy – (313 All Season)
    Bobbitt – ?
    Fleming – ?
    Filipovic – ?
    MAYBE One-Third ? WILL Hit Better than 40% All Year ?
    AND In ANY Given Game…

    GIB Said, WE WILL be shooting Threes This Season….
    GO ‘BOWS!


    DUNKSTERS, Anyone?

  9. Great to see this piece on Mike Thomas. RunBows, maybe that athletic big you have been pining for is already here. With all the hype about newcomers we sometimes miss what is right under our nose. I hope he continues development and becomes major contributor.

  10. Sammis can’t wait for the season to start , among the others .

  11. Mike looked real good in that scrimage, with that shaved head just made me think more KG than MJ. His aggressiveness to the ball was awesome. Everyone had better put out 110% on that court because Gib has the horses to sub people out. Mike looks like he could get some serious minutes this year.

  12. Happy Discoverer’s Day

    I’m Especially Happy for Hawai’i Fans who may be about to Discover — for some All Over Again —
    How Good Hawai’i D-1 Basketball Can Be…

    But Over the Next SIX Months — and / or Two to Three Years —
    They’ll Need to BEAT Good, even Great Teams

  13. Gib and coaches will have a tough call to make on this year’s team as far as naming the starting 5. They may go with the veterans—those that started or played a lot of minutes last year. Smith was the 6th man last year so he was almost like a starter. The part that makes it tough on coaches is when the rest of the team is not too far behind and is making a statement that they want to be a starter. As Gib said 3 of the 5 positions are up for grabs. I’d say 4 are up for grabs. The only one certain is Fotu. He’s our only proven big man and there is no one else really challenging his position. But for the rest I’d say it’s wide open. It comes down to all the work you did in the off season to prepare for these few weeks of impressing the coaches. And to knock off a starter you need to really be something special because if you are just hanging with him chances are he’s going to start because he’s proven himself last year. Defense will play a huge roll in who starts this year. Your ability to pressure the offense and keep them out of rhythm is a great weapon to have. We got guns this year but do we have defense?

  14. Good observations Servante. Gib will really have to make it clear to the team how and why he selects starters. On the other hand, has done a really good job of giving time to as many players that can and do make an impact along with helping his “up tempo” offense. I think you are right on target when you say defense may be the critical element and rightfully so in who gets the most playing time. Our team will score, no doubt about it but how well we keep the other team from scoring is going to make the difference in the win/lose column.

  15. With 40 minutes per game and five players 200 total minutes, how would you all dispense these minutes?

  16. Good Defense, EVEN The Ability to Play SHUT-DOWN Defense
    Bobbitt, Fleming, Sammis “MAY” Have An Edge there…

    Shamburger’s Inability to shut-down OR at least Effectively Interfere with opposing guards’ efforts may have been a Key Factor in Bobbitt & Fleming’s recruitment in terms of size and physicality and K-Sham’s apparent belief that he might no longer be Among The Finishing Guards… i think he might have only switched off because he had ball-handling AND free-throw High-Reliability — but apparently no one was willing to offer / promise or convey that enough to extend his two-year investment into three…

    Three Returning Starters might have been enough to lift Hawai’i into the Top Four or Three in Pre-Season “Safe” Predictions …

    With Solid Abilities AND Depth, GIB Can ENFORCE Solid Defensive Play and Keep Legs Fresh, for 40+ Minutes by Rotating through; although he also seems committed to ‘Fighting Through’ to the Second or Third Wind…

  17. UC Riverside has a 6′ 3″ guard from China this year and one player from Sweden and one from the Netherlands.

    Mamodou of UC Irvine averaged 3.12 blocks per game last year.


  18. Starters: 5 guys, could be Big and smalls, or Bigs and bigger guards, or…you get the idea…

    We know how Gib does it. Practice, who are willing to run into a wall, to get the job done. Take charges, get the picks. run offense to perfection. ALL 5 possible starters, in practice scrimmages the top 5, take care the ball, in a 20 min scrimmage, the 5 that might have Zero turnovers, shoot 55% from the field, 42% by 4 guys the 3 ball, win the O and D glass, … will like each other, play for the win , not the stats… And last few minutes of scrimmage, that 5 ….NONE has to be taken out to hit winning FT’s, be like those mid major teams from Midwest, where,whole team shoots 75% or better, and in crunch time, 85% or better, or 100% .. 10 for 10 to seal, the game.. Shudown Defense.. when other team full court, trapping inbounds guys, this 5, will get the ball in, or a NWC will like a QB, nice touch, like Sensley, to hit a streaking guard, or big, for slam dunk, or layin..

    1)Listen to coach(not KS or JT or VJ)
    2)Enjoy your teammates.
    3)work hard , smart and together.
    4)Shutdown, D defenders, bigs and smalls
    5)take care of the ball 10 or less turnovers per game
    6)hit the open man, in system, more assists to turnovers.
    7) All guys active on this year’s roster, from guards to bigs, hitting 75% or 85% and 100% in PT, to seal victories!
    8)Have fun, stick together.
    9)after first loss, either devastating or close one, See how these 5, clear and go.. forget and learn, however, another game, and go and destroy the BWC..

    Interesting about this year, and enjoyed the comments.. if everyone healthy, emotionally, physically, culturally, and ability wise, bb wise deep team at PG, SG, SF, PF and C. It would be really good, if first team starters, blow up, in first 10 minutes, race out to a 28-12 lead, then Gib puts in the Second, just as good , unit, they expand that lead to 48-18…for next 4 minutes, then first unit comes back in and closes strong. FINISH STRONG… to lead 57-31 at the half.. same thing in second half, The Second unit starts the first 4 minutes, keeps that 20 pt lead, then the next 10 minutes the First unit, expands lead to 26 pts,.. then the /Second unit, Gib so much confidence in, they close out game last 6 minutes of game and uh wins 105-70… Wouldn’t that be Unreal.. they can do it.. I can see, if first 10-12 guys, NO DROP OFF, and they can create leads, and maintain and expand on, Gib , it would be really wise to have 10 or more guys that will be ready at anytime to get to that 24 game win, season, before start of BWC tournament!

  19. RunBows, you have this all figured out. Gib better keep a spot open next to him on the bench for you. you already have the formula for 35 point wins. All Gib.neds to do now is roll the ball out there. 24 wins should be a lock..

  20. Lookin’ For, Watching, Enjoying
    Repeat, Now-Familiar Scenarios…

    Lookin’ For MORE Solid Starts…
    Maybe Opposition CAN Keep Pace
    IF NOT, they’re in Early Trouble

    Maybe Opposition can Hold Close with Hawai’i’s Second Wave
    Fouls start to Mount and Frustration-Fatigue Slows them Down
    And Maybe a Run or Two Opens a Controlling Lead
    The Return of Hawai’i’s First Team
    is likely more than Most but The Best can handle
    Depth and Intensity Gives The Hawai’i Scoring Machine An Edge

    Opening the Second Half
    Energy and Another Run Turns Most Controlling Leads into 10-15
    And Opposition Fatigue And Attrition begin to Show
    Most Teams Clearly Don’t Have Enough to
    Even Mount or Pretend a Comeback

    The Best Opposition NOW Makes it a Great Game,
    A Classic Heavyweight Battle
    Shot After Shot, Rally after Rally
    THEN the Last Five, Three, Two, One Minute
    Dagger Versus Dagger
    WHO Has MORE Go-To Guys?
    Who can get ALL THE WAY to the Basket?
    Again and Again
    Swish Again and Again…
    KEEPIN’ Up?
    Tip-Slam! Put-back! Drive And One!
    Sammis? Thomas! Valdés! Quincy?

    Three-Minute Shut-Down FULL-On Press
    NO Tired Hawai’i Legs
    A Steal, A Bad Pass out of Stresed, Fatigued Opposition
    A Diving Take of a 50-50 Loose Ball
    A Sweet Break-Away Pass

    And Again…

    Tons of Excitement
    Another Satisfying Outcome
    HOW GOOD Can They Get?
    Can They Really Shoot like this Every Night?
    Play this hard every game?
    This is a Team that doesn’t take nights off?
    Intensity just like Practice…

  21. Eagle, you should have your comments compiled and published. Wow! You are the poet laureate of UH men.’a bb.

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