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Game week is here

The University of Hawai’i basketball team is putting the distractions in the past and focusing on the immediate future. The Warriors will open the 2014-15 season this week, and it is a daunting opening stretch.

Hawai’i will open the season with eight games in 12 days, including a game on Maui and three games in Florida.

The schedule begins this Friday, when the Warriors host Arkansas-Pine Bluff on the opening night of the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Rainbow Classic.

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“We got a tough early schedule, but this is a team that can do it,” acting head coach Benjy Taylor said. “We got a tough-minded team and they’re excited about playing all the games, and getting right back on the saddle, night in and night out.”

The Rainbow Classic will feature three games in four days for the Warriors: Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Friday, Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday, then High Point in the late-night ESPN2 game.

“We’re preparing for all three this week,” Taylor said. “We’ll prioritize later in the week for the first team and go from there.”

Adding to the challenge will be a staff shortage. In previous years, three assistants – including Taylor – would share the duties of scouting opponents. Taylor was named the acting head coach two weeks ago, and he has been working with the help of just two assistants – Senque Carey and Brandon Loyd.

“The scouting will be up to my assistant coaches; I can’t really do a full scout anymore,” Taylor said. “I trust them. We’ll be prepared. We’ll be ready.”

It should help that more players will be suited up. Junior point guard Quincy Smith and sophomore forward Negus Webster-Chan sat out the exhibition game against Hawaii Pacific last week, but both have been practicing and are expected to be ready for the games.

“Versatility – I’m going to fill up the stat sheet with rebounds, assists, points, steals,” Webster-Chan said. “What ever Coach Benjy needs, I’m going to do it.”

The players also said the shock of the coaching dismissals and player departures has diminished, and they are now focusing on the task at hand.

“Definitely, I think we’re over it now,” sophomore Aaron Valdes said. “We’re just going to focus on each other and what we have and who we got next. We’re going to be ready.”

38 Comments

  1. Mahalo Dayton !!
    Back to backing the Rainbows.. cannot wait for game to listen on radio/ TV if have..
    And the return of Quincy and NWC.. hope do well

    Team we backing you guys up..
    Go for it, ONE game at a time

    Stay Positive.. It is all about supporting the UH MBB team and coach, they need our KOKUA !!

    Go Bows. Rainbow Warriors Imua!

    islandman, and warriorhaw I am back to Backing the Bows !!
    πŸ™‚

  2. Yessss !! Negus , we been waiting for your first appearance on the court as a Rainbow Warrior cannot wait bro !!

    Jawato-6’5″ almots 215… next in line when healthy,.. I tell you fans, he will be great help in BWC.. that BWC size 3/4 man. Most important, take care Brandon, make sure concussion is okay.. you will mean a lot to team.. have to support down low and your 8 for 8 (!!) in one half 3 ball streak shooting, rebounds, steals, and bodying up

    Jankovich 6’11” stretch 4/5, he will be ready DHC time and into BWC..

    cupboard not bare, team ready, and Benjy be a rocking the team be a knocking down some wins !!

    Go Bows! Warrriors..Rainbow Warriors!!
    I am Happy , warriorhaw, season FINALLY here!!
    πŸ™‚

  3. bigdaddy with at B .

    .. well, : that is what Benjy said from outset, with the coaching change, and new system in place only few days, he let the guys know who were probable starters and first rotation , 8
    Bobbitt, Nevels, Valdes, Thomas and Jovanovich.
    off the bench, Fleming and Niko, however that was just for HPU exhibiton game..

    NWC.. I don’t know if you know much about him, out of Toronto and a Mizzou transfer, he that 6’7″ PG/SG/SF .. he is versatile.
    I like your son Isaac Fleming a lot of talent.
    I would think with Quincy Smith, another PG back, maybe, just my guess yes, 8 or 9 man rotation. Not too many bigs, so maybe Benjy Zone more!!

  4. What you all think fans? Now that Quincy and Negus back .. who are the top 8 or 9 guys for the first game of season ..?

  5. On Behalf of iUH MBB forum, thanks Dayton. We just have to support the team, Benjy and their families..
    Mahalo, I sincerely appreciate , whom I think is the BEST insider for UH MBB no matter whom the staff or athletes. Number one Media coverage with real time videos!
    Plus Valerie Schmidt and Ohana, thankyou for letting the fans, get out the word
    Back the Rainbow Warriors !!
    I am not giving up, team might have challenge, however they have, I counted 35 games including the BWC tourney if they make it to the championship game to have winning season, I think, I believe they can do it.. they stay healthy and they stay together

    Mahalo to Dayton and Valerie Schmidt Ohana.

    Now, we move on.. I wondered about that. .. well MOVE on even myself too..
    Just concentrate on support of UH MBB
    Go Bows!! Warriors!
    πŸ™‚

  6. Yes thank you Dayton! We can finally get back to talking basketball!

    We really need Negus and Quincy to make things go. I hope they are all ready to go.

  7. Yep RunBows, you got it right. We need support the team as much as we can. This what we been waiting for. I think with NWC and Q coming back, we will be much better than exhibition game. NWC is a presence for sure.
    Now this forum is back to where it should be.

    Bobbitt, Nevels, Valdes, Thomas, Jovanovich, Fleming, Q and NWC with Niko on lock down pesky defender. That my rotation.

    NWC may start though.

    Go Bows!!!!!!!!

  8. warriorhaw: super UH MBB fan,.. yes, finally here, first official game of season.. you know, it will be a battle, however UH has some good talent and Coach and staff, the team, they are going to do best to make us proud. I love that these guys, they are really sticking together.
    Hey warriorhaw, and Chuck C. , sorry about that. However Mahalo and Big Thanks to Dayton for getting this forum to what it should be , the focus UH MBB team current. and sometimes past!!

    Go Bows and Go warriorhaw and Chuck.. should be exciting to see team really going to work.. they need Our support, a UNITED UH MBB fanbase to back them up..
    Backing the Bows..

    I think they , UH, has some good 4 guards, with at least 2 more, and great 3 spot, and 3/4 guys, and a big in Jovanovich who will just be that banger.. Excited.. hey, just give all out effort.. and we appreciate, the wins will come..big test this first 8 games or so.. however UH up to challenge..

    Hey fans, yes.. we got back the WI fan of UH MBB forum back.. MBB !!
    πŸ™‚
    Thankyou Dayton..

  9. We Warrior BB fans, appreciate the keeping guys fresh and Finish Strong. They are working hard, and we see wisdom in , the resting the guys, having them prepared for stretch of games, and for later the BWC season. Ice baths, training table rest, getting up shots, shorter practices, really smart.. save the guys legs. For the team uniting, and follow coaches plan good too, keep team together. I think team when all healthy has talented, really good ball players.

    We like it..
    Go Bows Rainbow Warriors!!
    πŸ™‚

  10. It’s good that the players are starting to get of this coaching issue, but me as a fan am not over it! I don’t understantd the firing without cause… Either you have a smoking gun or you don’t! Why disrupt the season 2 weeks before it starts go ahead with non life threatening surgery to hide from the public? You just fired the coach from 1 of your 2 main sports and your out on elective surgery??? How much do we pay you? Unless this firing wasn’t that special of an occasion and happens all the time. I will not stop supporting our team and players but I won’t stop squeaking because I want answers and I believe that we supporters deserve answers. GO BOWS!!!

  11. I replied to Aaron Valdes’ parents in this site that I would support Aaron & his teammates…..WE ALL SHOULD…..it’ll definitely be a better product that what we’ve seen @ Aloha Stadium

    GO BOWS !!!!!!!!!!!

  12. I think for now, Benjy going with some experience. Smith/Fleming will play a lot. A real brotherhood. Guys still settling in, take awhile to learn to play together. Good they do have Bobbitt, Smith, Nevels and Fleming, quality guards.

    Now, that Valdes and Thomas , plus NWC

    some athleticism, and get up and go.

    Let us see… Bobbitt PG
    Nevels SG
    Valdes SF
    NWC PF stretch
    Mike T. C

    with Fleming/Smith(still not 100% yet)/ Jovanovich/Niko / Enos/ and hopefully soon Jawato.
    That is pretty good team, not huge, but get out and D up and go on Offense, and Bobbitt, NWC, can facilitate.. Benjy has some options. Key, keep guys healthy , out of foul trouble and fresh.

  13. 808WarriorFan:

    YES the Whole Point of Mama Valdes’ plea in her beautiful letter. I mean that is the stuff that goes viral, all over the nation. This is a team needing our support.. really now.. more than ever, time to step up and support MBB team no matter who at the helm. I think things will resolve, however team has maybe 35 games to play before post season, so lot of games.

    Go Bows!!
    Go Rainbow Warriors, we Backing the Bows
    and thanks to Mama Valdes’ inspiring letter!!
    πŸ™‚

  14. Mahalo Dayton…

  15. Looking forward to the games this week. Interesting to see how the team will do against a division 1 team considering they had so many distractions. Play loose guys and have fun.
    Go Warriors!

  16. Coach B., Negus and Aaron–
    Pono/”right” through the crazy past weeks to get to NOW with AWESOME ATTITUDE and FOCUS–one game at a time. We’ll be at the Stan every night cheering the whole team on! Thanks for hanging in, working through it all, and leading the team ever forward!!!

  17. Its Time ! It is Warrior Time ! No Whimps allowed ! All students come on down and raise cane ! we gottal make the house loud , crazy loud . Pump the boys up ! Where’s Jamie Smith? any late news on his coming or not coming ??

  18. jjay:

    That is what I wondered? Jamie was supposed to be back in October? What happened.
    Dayton do you know if Jamie Smith will be with Warriors this year. He is key on getting the students going, though they are really enthusiastic already, good sign for SSC.. make noise as jjay says !

  19. cmo:

    Such a great group of 14 student athletes with great folks..You are right, I am so proud and impressed by support of families, the current staff, and the athletes themselves. They want to still win the BWC. It is a long season, over 30 games, I think they can do, it stay healthy. And leave the craziness behind. Imua , move forward Rainbow Warriors.

    warriorhaw, Eagle, Palolo Warrior, Big Isalnd Fan, FUHA, and everyone, getting really excited for first game…think UH will be ready, will not lack effort.. that is for sure

    Go Rainbows Go Warriors!
    πŸ™‚

  20. I believe I saw Jamie Smith handing out the Manoa Maniacs T shirts at the exhibition game against HPU.

  21. Coach B knows that the other teams are preparing for us by preparing to rough us up down low and get our bigs into foul trouble. Coach and our bigs are expecting this, so Coach B should play them sparingly in the first half, and our bigs should be practicing free throws to make the other teams bigs pay for playing rough. Don’t really want to hold back, cause that does little good, but to use our quickness to draw the other teams bigs into foul trouble, good ! I don’t think our guys play like Christian, (who does?), but instead have quickness and bb IQ and their own style of drawing fouls. I would think, as a counter to what we might expect from other teams, that for now, drawing fouls should be an integral part of our game plan. We have speed, quickness, and big guys that can shoot so that we don’t need to get into foul trouble down low. Solid D, and draw the fouls.

  22. Mahalo Dayton…he is helping to keep forum going forward and aright. Thankyou very much on behalf of the WI MBB faithful, just wanting to go on and support Team.

    RunBows.

  23. akuhead2:

    Agreed. Benjy has to really work his rotations, and be able to protect the bigs he does have. You know, majority of the over 300 NCAA D1 schools, they are similar in size and amount of bigs like UH is. Some, that top 128 or so that make it to NCAA and NIT tourney, they play smart ball with those 6’7″ two forwards and 3 guards on perimeter, great team defense, excellent half court offensive sets, and can shoot that 3 ball shot.

    Hey, you too, akuhead2, like warriorhaw, Eagle, Palolo Warrior, 808Warriorfan, jjay, Chuck C., so many that will be their supporting team at SSC and cheering them on, as well as some of us who cannot attend, will support by listening or viewing game, and chiming in our support through this Forum.
    Mahalo to All The WI MBB faithful, WE STAND UNITED.. Team has a lot of games over 32 at least, so great chance to get wins, a lot, if team stays strong !!

    Go Bows, Warriors !!
    πŸ™‚

  24. Imagine my surprise this weekend after returning from China for nearly two weeks to learn of what has transpired while gone. I have followed this program and been a season ticket holder since the mid 80’s and like many here, look forward to each new season and what it brings. It is very hard to believe what has happened and forgive me, but I have to vent.

    I have a brother-in-law who is Chancellor at one of the other lessor UH campuses who was interviewed to take the job at UH Manoa. In no mincing of words, he said he would have to be nuts to take a position at Manoa. It is micro managed by the politicians who insulate themselves with a President, Chancellor and Board of Rejects.
    .
    I feel sorry for Ben Jay. It is his first chance at being an AD. He is an AD that is micro managed and has the unenviable task of doing whatever he is told. I suspect he is smart enough to be sending his resume out as those same politicians that put Norm Chow in charge of destroying our athletic program will soon need yet another scape goat.

    As for a our newest Chancellor De Jour, the first statement out of your mouth is to declare that the firing without cause of the first coach in UH history to never even have a losing season is what is best for the student athletes and that basketball program…Really, you are going to stick with that? Why do I kinda get the feeling that you are one of those guys that is jealous that the UH Sports Program is receiving any money at all. I look forward to when your day comes and it will.

    I come back to see that the very day SA posts the firing of two UH coaches that they have a parallel story announcing the availability of Coach Riley Wallace…gee, how does that happen so quickly? I have had the displeasure of being stuck in the Red Carpet Room at the airport with Jeffrey Portnoy, ESQ. Listening to his over exuberance about the greatest sport with so little real knowledge of what he is talking about…well, it is understandable why he teams with Jackson Wheeler in order to give him some resemblance of street cred. Jeffrey…if you are on the Board of Rejects, stay off the radio. Riley was right, he never took anything you said seriously…put the brown bag back over your head. Think of it as a beautification of Hawaii.

    Blangiardi- get over it…KFIVE does not have the clout that Oceanic has. UH likes the idea of having something to hold over their people’s head…it is the nature of politics.

    Thank you Dayton and Val…I feel better now. Let’s move forward.

  25. BACKBEAT……………Really well stated and shared by many, your thoughts.
    Sad… However, all we can do as UH MBB fans is move Forward and support the Team and their families, and the coach. Should still have potential for exciting season. Looking forward to it.

    And , BACKBEAT, wholeheartedly agree, all posts, and contributors, we have to give kudos , props and shoutout, Mahalo plenty to Dayton and Valerie Schmidt , and her Ohana. Without, we would not have the Fantastic MBB forum, and site with all things UH MBB.

  26. Being a UH Fan means we live for those special David and Goliath moments. That, to me, is very special…even though those defeated Goliaths always blame the distance…the same distance that we endure every time we have an away game.

    IMO, Coach has put together one of the best groups of players that I have seen…amazing that he has done it with freshman on up, as well. What a great and meaningful gift we all read from the Valdes family on this site. It rang thru with such truth and insight. I have not been shy about saying that their son is one of my favorite players.

    BM lead off one his articles on this team with a quote from the movie Hoosiers. The next line from that movie was “I hope you support who we are as these dedicated kids have earned it.” I liken our situation to that of the real Indiana University Hoosiers who got the death sentence from NCAA when Coach Sampson got the axe. They rebuilt that program with freshman and the fans realized that it would take one step at a time to get where they inevitably did go. Hoosier Hysteria was alive and well.

    Now I heard that there were over 500 screaming Manoa Maniacs at our Exhibition game…that truly is good start. The community needs to back this group of kids. I know it will take awhile, so do not expect miracles over night…but this group of kids, once they learn to play with one another, could very well be the David in times to come. We are not starting out with just frosh, we have some real serious ball players who just need the time to heal and work with each other. This next 8 games in 13 days will be a killer, but what does not kill us will only make us stronger.

    MOTIVATION…HELL YES…this team will not lack and no matter what they do this year, you can bet that they will be so much better next year.

    From one of your biggest fans…GO BOWZ

  27. Well said BACKBEAT! Some of us have already been questioning the integrity of Portnoy and the BOR that he can go on the radio and give out information that he shouldn’t even be hinting to people in public. As said many times already, the bumblers and fumblers at UH continue to mislead and earn the distrust of the public. It is both alarming and not surprising at the same time that the UH BOR would allow the nonsense to continue. I like the name you give them Board of Rejects!

  28. Stoked basketball is starting up this week but I fear the worst as the UH administration has put a number on the team. Prior to their debauchery, I felt like 25 wins was very do-able this season. Now I’ll be happy if they get 18. Stoked to see NWC finally get out there and do his thing. He alone will be the X-factor on how well the team does. I love his attitude, total Warrior spirit that’s not going to let anything get him down. He’s going to make Coach Taylor look good. Exciting upcoming weeks, let’s GO BOWS!!!

  29. BACKBEAT for UH President, Chancellor on down the line… !!

    Really well thought out, and without question whomever side on, things have to be fixed.
    The team, the 14 great guys and their supportive ohana, family, they deserve better.

    BACKBEAT I agree, and Chuck, Isaac, 808 , I mean there are a lot that read the posts, and just want things to be better, really how UH and Hawaii should be.
    All of the chatter that UH MBB and current staff might falter, I don’t think so, National Champs, that is the mindset, just play for team and the Hawaii fans and people that back them up.
    In my mind BACKBEAT..The guys are wiinners already.. and Isaac is a 18 to 20 win season, and BWC tourney titlet Possible.. maybe.. Think: Cal Poly, Cal Poly, what they did, everyone counted them out, and booom.. they were NCAA bound.

    Just hoping for the best, we are doing our part, supporting team and staff, Now the guys will get after it, I am sure they are really anxious to get that first win..

    Go Bows..Rainbow Warriors..
    And again BACKBEAT.. I echo you words.. really well stated..

    Back The Bows!!(and BACKBEAT.. glad you came back to Hawaii, and ready for BB season despite all the goings on.. it is a POSITIVE INJECTION of Hope WI MBB fandom nation needed.. just at the right time.. Mahalo fellow Fan!!
    πŸ™‚

    πŸ™‚

  30. Clarify Isaac my statement about possible outlook for season. Eternal optimist, and having at least 10-11 guys, really the support of whole team.
    With ones like Bobbitt, Fleming, Nevels, Smith, Valdes, Thomas, NWC, Niko, Enos, Jovanovich and Jankovich, Enos, and wish him speedy recovery Jawato, with Buscher and Brocke Stepteau, who knows, if need their play too, if really in foul trouble.. It takes a village to raise a child…it takes 14 hardworking BB guys who have been through a lot, and are focused.. To raise a banner, BWC champs..As AV said on above Video, ONE game at a Time.. and Benjy, get the first win, then the second, etc.. I like that.. “put some Pep in your Step” !!

    Pre BWC games= 16
    BWC games= 16
    BWC tourney possible = 3 games… Maybe UH playing mininmum 32, or even 35 reaching championship game.
    Not talking about NCAA champs, this year.. I mean that would be fantastic.. never say never, however,.. I say doable, if the top 10 guys stay healthy, 20 game win season within reach.. If they win 19, go 19-13 pre BWC tournament , FANTASTIC.. we will be rocking..
    Either way.. Just jump ball, and go after Pine-Bluff, no matter the outcome.,, and jjay, yes 700 students or more, set another record !! You watch team, if they are cohesive and get better game to game.. don’t count them out.

    Warrior Insider Fans, We Are United, Back the Bows… Go Warriors !!
    πŸ™‚
    Hey I am really excited for some Hoops Heaven in Hawaii.!!

  31. Isaac we didn’t come to the Pacific to be losers we rockout at a 110% daily.Believe me I’m beating against the odds UH guard play can compete with anyone just watch those young men SWAG.

  32. I was curious to see how Shamburger was doing at Mizzou. He starts in a three-guard lineup. Had 13 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 0 turnovers in 31 minutes of last Saturday’s exhibition win over Missouri-Saint Louis. Guess he’s doing OK.

  33. UMSL is a D2 school so those number may not indicate much. We shall see when he played D1 competition. I don’t see Shamburger being that much better since he will be playing one level up at the BCS level. I think he will struggle. He should have stayed at the mid major level where he belongs.

  34. clyde:

    have to agree with kahuna on Shamburger, the guy is gone.. whatever said reason.. And we have to move on.. same as Trevor W., Bobby M., Shaq, Salter, Barnes, Coleman.. What can we do.
    By our support of CURRENT team, shows them, the current staff and their families, we are focusing on THIS group, the Fantastic Fourteen and their Ohana. I give them a lot of credit for staying the course, and having good season. As far as UH MBB ohana, and fans, Shamburger is pau. He helped UH to win 20 games, so did the other 8 lettermen who returned..and one who is now a Pro…

    Move on, and Go Bows..
    kahuna has a point,.. the SEC quite another animal, the P5 conference..
    However, I like our guards, forwards and bigs, The UH Team.
    That is just the way it is.. guys move on, and UH MBB team, current they cannot dwell on the past,.. MOVE AHEAD..

    That is whole point of MAMA VALDES’ letter, one for the ages, leave the past behind, support the guys.. and we hope for good season.. I think they will surprise, … They want to win so bad, to show, that they ARE the One Ohana… who are going to make a run..

    Go Bows.. and Former Bows.. well wish you well, though they are memories.. hopefully far distant..
    Great that Shamburger got his degree, keeps UH APR and GPA up there..

  35. Dayton Mahalo again.

    Don’t know why? Just don’t have anything better to do.
    Anyways, bigdaddy, with the small B in the name. Yes, I agree, UH has good guards, and Isaac, will probably be called to play the 3.. I think.. a lot of skill,.. and you are right, your sons, all of the guys who came from far away, they WANT TO WIN..
    And The UH MBB fans, Are supporting team all the way.

    With NWC..now he and Jankovich, really talented, and a healthy shooter in Brandon Jawato.. UH , I still believe will be there to compete for BWC crown..

    Go Warriors and Go Rainbow Warriors..

    Thanks Dayton, now let’s get back to cheering on the Team!!
    πŸ™‚

  36. The team has to work for the inside shots that are high percentage shots besides the outside ones. The players like Thomas, Valdes, Jovanovic and also the guards driving in when they can. Have to make up for the higher percentage shots and points of Standhardinger and Fotu inside. Most of the guards are good at driving to the basket.
    When the outside shots are on, that’s good, but they don’t always go in .

  37. Yes. Don’t want to just be jacking 3’s…you know might take this 8 game stretch , really the fine tuning..
    Rainbow Classic goood tournament at home to get things together.
    Hey, hope good crowd near 5000+ to support guys and chase that first win..if not Saturday or espn game Monday..
    really looking forward , team ready as can be..

    Go Bows..Warrior time !!
    πŸ™‚

  38. I’m excited to see what the guys bring against some D1 competition. Bigs will really need to watch their fouls or BT will need to mix in more zone to protect them.

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