Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Bobbitt steals the show in 89-71 rout of Hilo


Four games into his University of Hawai’i basketball career, Roderick Bobbitt has already begun re-writing the Rainbow Warriors history book.

Bobbitt, a 6-foot-3 junior point guard who transferred from Indian Hills (Calif.) Community College, scored 12 points, dished 10 assists and made 10 steals Wednesday night to help UH soar past UH-Hilo, 89-71, before 1,966 fans at the Stan Sheriff Center. Bobbitt became only the second player in school history to record a triple-double, almost 29 years after freshman Reggie Carter accomplished the feat with 12 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds against Yale on Dec. 26, 1975. Bobbitt’s 10 steals also broke Tony Webster’s school record of nine set in 1983.

“Early in the game, I noticed I had about four steals, so I just focused on defense,” said Bobbitt, who had six steals in the second half. “I love playing the passing lanes.”

The Rainbow Warriors’ 19 steals was one short of the team record set in 1988.


Aaron Valdes scored a game-high 31 points and grabbed seven rebounds, Garrett Nevels added 14 points and six rebounds and Isaac Fleming added 12 points and four assists as Hawai’i improved to 3-1; the Vulcans fell to 1-2.

Quincy Smith contributed 11 points and five rebounds off the bench. Tre Johnson led UH-Hilo with 25 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, Marcello Campbell added 13 points, five rebounds and three assists, and Darious Johnson-Wilson contributed 10 points and six rebounds.

“The thing with this team is, we gotta get better, and we’re gonna get better,” Rainbow Warriors coach Benjy Taylor said. “The effort has to be there all 40 minutes. We’re still a work in progress, but we’re having fun, we’re having a good time. This team has a high ceiling, there’s a lot of room for improvement.”

Hawai’i led 48-39 at halftime but Hilo closed it to 48-41 after a pair of free throws by Johnson two minutes into the second half. Fleming then scored on a driving layup to start an 18-4 run capped by Valdes’ layup to make it 66-45 with 12:45 remaining, and Hilo could not get closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

“We knew we were going to get their best shot,” Vulcans coach GE Coleman said. “I felt we needed to get after their guards, but Nevels and Bobbitt got off to a good start, and we didn’t respond well to that.”

The Rainbow Warriors jumped out to leads of 9-0, 19-5 and then 28-13 midway through the first half, but Hilo chipped away and closed it to 48-39 with a 10-4 run in the final three and a half minutes before intermission.

Valdes had 19 points and six rebounds in the first half.

“He’s a stat stuffer, and I feel he could get a triple-double himself,” Taylor said of Valdes, a 6-5 sophomore swingman. “He’s that athletic. I had a heart-to-heart talk with him yesterday. He said he likes the game to come to him, but I told him no, he’s gotta go out and get it, and be aggressive. And that’s what happened tonight.”


Valdes, who also finished with four steals and three assists, shot 11 for 15 from the field and 8 for 12 from the free-throw line. “Playing with Rod (Bobbitt) makes it a lot easier,” he said. “He knows how to find us, when to find us on the lobs – right time, right place. It’s easier with Rod out there.”

Taylor also had high praise for Hilo’s Johnson, a highly active 6-8 junior forward.

“That’s a man, he can play,” Taylor said. “That’s a good basketball player, regardless of level, or island, city, whatever. He’s a monster.”

Speaking of islands, the Rainbow Warriors will travel to Maui on Thursday and practice at War Memorial Gym in Wailuku in preparation for their 7 p.m. game Friday there against perennial powerhouse Pittsburgh.

Taylor declined to confirm reports that freshman post Sammis Reyes may be lost for the season due to a broken hand suffered at practice on Tuesday.

“I’m not sure what his status is,” Taylor said. “It is precarious at the moment, I’ll just leave it at that.”


(Game photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)



  1. Nice win. Bobbett was amazing. I know college triple doubles are rare, but it’s Kind of hard to believe his triple double is only the 2nd in school history. 10 steals is incredible at any level of basketball.

    Valdes dominates lower caliber competition. When he’s got the physical advantage, he can run/jump all over the competition. I would like to see some more consistency as the year goes by. As much as the 28 and 31 point nights help, the sub 6 point games hurt just as much with as many minutes he plays.

    Now that we’re 4 games into the season there’s a few trends staring to develop…
    1. Jovanivic and Thomas are having a hard time with foul trouble. This is going to be a big issue until Reyes and Jankovic become available.
    2. UH’s trademark for this season is going to be active and aggressive defense. Their overall quickness is generating a lot of points off turnovers.
    3. Newcomers Fleming and Bobbett are the real deal. They just need more game experience at the D1 level.
    4. The lack of front court depth is already showing up. NWC has been forced to play out of position and I think it’s affecting his game. Hard to believe a kid with his talent goes 0 for everything two games in a row.

    Friday’s game vs Pitt will be a good test of where they really stand. UH has looked decent for the most part vs overmatched opponents.

  2. Looks like the foul trouble in the post will be a bigger issue if Reyes is out for the year.

  3. Hey Rod:

    Many players can scored 12 pts or dished 10 assts but, 10 STL(S) in a single game is unprecedented with UHMBB seems to me!?

    Steal, finesse & Pump-fake are “the Arts of Basketball” fasinated, admired and thrilled millions of fans.

    You are destined to be one of the best PG in Paradise; You are making Hawaii proud!

  4. NOT That Anyone has a Right to ʻExpectʻ such Yeoman Efforts…

    But for a Player that Managed Triple-Doubles THREE Times Last Season…
    Roderick ʻCouldʻ Rack Up The FIRST Quadruple-Double Ever @UH…
    As a Very Good Rebounder, Adding 10 (Five Last Night) onto His Next Triple-Stat Night is DO-able

    Awesome Effort(s) Every Night, Rod
    His NINE Straight Free-Throws also was Key to a 10-point Deficit Comeback and Winning the Bakersfield game…
    With RB Leading the Way, It’s (So Far and More Likely in the Future) a Winning Team

    Good Prospects for the Future…
    AV Learning to Play Aggressive is likely the Next Source of Double-Doubles….
    NWC WILL Get HIS Game ‘Back’ and Kick In
    Mike Thomas ‘WILL’ Become a Consistent Energy Performer
    Quincy and I.Fleming Will Likely Be The Best Backcourt-Off-of-the-Bench in UH Annals
    Jovanovic should Bolster the Front-Court into The ‘Other Team’s’ Nightmare
    (We’ll likely still Miss Isaac 4-2 And Sammis All-Season)

  5. As they said on the TV postgame, it doesn’t matter what level because a triple-double is a very rare accomplishment and should be celebrated! Congrats to Roderick Bobbitt!

    Oh man UH has had so many great guards and only the late great Reggie Carter did the triple before this. Tom Henderson, AC Carter, Savo, English, Ruffin, Chris Gaines, not even any of the Fab Five could do it.

    Of course UH Hilo did not provide a great test but this is what the doctor ordered for this team. A easy win and a lot of confidence going into the game with Pitt. Valdes back on track. Nevels showed he can score even when his shots not dropping like they should. Fleming is the guard of the future and already showing it now! We still need to get Negus and Mike Thomas on track and I think that will come because you can see the potential in both those guys.

    The only bad news was hearing about Sammis. I hope he can be ready by January and be our secret weapon for conference. If it is going to take any longer for his hand to heal then maybe better to redshirt the season and start the freshman year from scratch next year.

  6. Jaime Smith (Jimmy The Brit) posted a hopefully temporary aloha under the “Warriors wary of Hilo” topic at 7:22 pm.

  7. Bobbitt gave away one of his trade secrets :

    “I love playing the passing lanes for the most part,” he said. “Act like I’m not looking at the defender, and as soon as (they pass), I take off.”

    But he also had a lot of steals where he flicked the ball away from the opposing guard’s dribble. One radio caller to fan phones said he reminded him of Tom Hendersen.


  8. Congrats to Roderick Bobbitt, second player in UH history to score a triple-double. He was indeed amazing last night and I hope that’s a trend that continues throughout the season. I didn’t know much about him prior to the season but boy has he splashed onto the scene! Not sure if he could pull off a quad-double, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets another triple this season. Excellent court vision, anticipation, nice shooting touch…heck I get excited any time a guard even gets 0 pts but 10 assists (a la Jace Tavita).

    Somewhat worried about Negus, and at this point I think it’s moreso the coaching that needs to adjust. He will find his groove, but the coaches need to make sure he’s set up for success!! He’s come a long way and sat out a long time to be here so let’s make sure he can make the most out of it.

    Upcoming match with Pitt is a bit ominous, however the Warriors have some positives and are travelling a lot less than Pitt is to get there. Let’s Go Bows!!

  9. Valdes was on and one radio caller and the tv commentators were impressed by Fleming . He can score and also dish out assists.

    Nevels seems to be working real hard on defense, as is the rest of the team.

  10. Love what Rod is Bringing to UH MBB team, learning and getting better, he is the orchestrator, the maestro, Agree with other post, to have a PG that can score, rebound, defend, and assist , that is a very good BWC guard. Flemings, he is still learning. too, however, the benefit, of this turmoil and the lack of Bigs in numbers, the guard/wings have a lot of playing time. It will help them BWC season.
    Sammis, I think, If Sammis has surgery(?) or maybe Doctor or Trainer design a protective soft cast for his pinkie, sort of like Fotu had, wonder if he is thinking if he can endure some pain, he might make a go, sit out about 3 or 4 weeks and be ready for BWC play, or have the surgery, and he is a quick healer, and be ready by January, as another post said..That is why, Benjy, holding off , though kind of touch and go, see how Sammis recovers, or can work with pain.. just having that extra Big body, just to defend, or stay by basket..and spread out fouls would help..However, I think with Jankovich, Dec 19, available, UH can have basically 3 bigs. 6’7″ MT, 6’11” twin Serbian Brothers..Either way, whatever works out best for Sammis’ health and RS year, or we shall see.

    Team the effort, and this grueling next 4 games off of Oahu, will be test, I echo media, if UH goes 2-2 over next 4 games, will be great..

    Go Bows!!

  11. Brian McGinnis reports Reyes has broken hand, will have surgery and plans to redshirt 2014-2015 season. He thinks UH will look to get a medical red-shirt.

  12. Benjy stated on the postgame radio interview that he thought Negus was fatigued. He said that Negus is not used to spending the whole game banging 250lbers around and playing the post(which requires you to jump for every rebound and constantly battle for defensively position). I do believe there is some truth to what Benjy said.

    As a wing player you play in open space and use your quickness more to play D. In the post its about being physical and being able to bang since you are playing in such a confined space.

    Benjy hinted that he may be forced to start Jovanovich and Thomas and move Negus back out to the wing to keep Negus from being worn out. Its obvious he is getting worn down playing post defensively and is affecting his offense due to tired legs.

  13. Don’t underestimate young people’s recuperative powers. They said last year that Brandon Spearman might be lost for the post season but he surprised everyone in how quick he recovered.

    NWC is in a shooting slump and Nevels somewhat too. I think for NWC it’s a matter of rust as it has been a long time since he’s played at the collegiate level.

    We got a few guys that are a triple double threat: Bobbitt, Valdes, and NWC.

    Fleming getting better with each game. Scary to think what he can be in the years to come.

    Like many have said this team loves defense. It should be their trademark.

    The bigs gotta just hold on until Jankovic is ready to play which is 5 games from now. But they need to continue to bang and be aggressive and not worry about fouling. It’s not the end of the world if both foul out. They should not try to change their game because of lack of bigs.

    Like coach said this team has a lot of upside. Good test the Pittsburgh game tomorrow. But remember: Go to war and do whatever it takes to win. If you get blown out in the process but gave it your all, that’s acceptable. What’s not acceptable is losing a close one and you did not lay it all on the line.

  14. Yeah….I agree with Fleming’s potential. Dude could be a star. I was thinking how good he would be if he had a full year of weight training. The guy is pretty skinny and with some muscle on his frame he would be able to body up on some of the bigger shooting guards he will be forced to defend and will be able bang and grab more rebounds.

    Dude got good skill sets and athletic ability. He need strength…..maturity…..and experience to become a star.

  15. This is a good team. They’re Dogs.

    Shots weren’t dropping against High Point. That happens.

  16. I think Fleming has lots of potential because of his physical attributes and even more because of his personality. In just 4 games, I’ve already seen him improve by making better decisions and keeping his cool. The older guys are doing a good job of calming him and teaching him how to brush off bad calls and rough play.

    I’m worried about Negus’ situation, though. He is having to play out of position and I don’t think he likes it, at all. He’ll be a good teammate and do what is asked but it has really gotten him out of his game. When situations pop up that match his skills and style, he sometimes looks unready for them or tentative. Benjy needs to find a way of giving him more plays.

  17. I actually think that it would hurt Valdes less to play the 4 than it does Webster-Chan. Just because a guy is taller doesn’t mean he’s going to like the constant contact.

  18. Love ALL the comments.. this team , scrappy, however WITH TALENT.. NWC, Nevels, Bobbitt, Thomas, Valdes.. very FIRST TIME as UH MBB starting 5 to play together ONLY 4 games into season, AND the Injuries plus the turmoil with termination of coaches and Fotu leaving. Plus Sammis thinking going then returning..

    I agree with Servante That is why, unless official per BM , that Benjy will seek Medical RS year for Sammis, remember, agree servante Spearman, TWO times he recovered really fast to be able to play games, that first Jr. year.. when he went out, UH lost out on opportunity to actually win the Big West and BWC tournament, they said he Was out for the Year, And he comes back for AFA CIT game, incredible, then his Sr. year.. don’t expect him back until about month or more, maybe BWC time, and Spearman, superman, he is back playing with team by two weeks early in Season.
    Sammis broke pinkie toe.. came back, however later learning curve, they went real hard and must just be Freakish Accident.. he breaks the pinkie in his hand, don’t know if shooting hand.. That is why, unless, OFFICIAL from Benjy about the Medical RS, Benjy was saying precarious, iffy, touch and go, they are going to let Orthopedic MD and trainer, rehab, or second opinion, I AM JUST GUESSING , look, can Sammis delay Surgery? Or can he play with a Cast, Like Fotu Last Year.. If Sammis can come back for first game of BWC which is in about 6 weeks.. just be able to sub in for the other few Bigs, would help.. IF NOT.. wish Sammis Superman Chilean.. Floridian, and Slammin Sammis speedy recovery..So Many Surprises this year.. Best thing for his health and future..

    Is it just me or did Benjy do an awesome job, in setting up this FULL assistant crew along with already in place Que! I think he is doing awesome, now he has assistants and tutors, etc, to make sure no player gets behind in academics, If Sammis is RS, he should concentrate on the Books..

    Wonder if Any Football, or VB guys, 6’5″ or 6’6″ walkons, who played good HS BB would think of coming over to help BB, ? Like Chris Roscoe 6’2″ WR from FB, Miah from FB, Chris Walz 6’7″ pitcher from Baseball team, Mike Among 6’3″ OH from MVB team.. Mostly a guy about 6’5″ 250 pounds from FB would be nice, just USE 5 fouls, on Mamadou and Williams, that is all he has to do, just go in there BWC time and Bang up those two bigs.. Just WAaaay outside the box thinking..

    However fans, you know after all that junk, hit the ceiling early this fall? You know what is So Very good NOW? We talking about UH MBB hoops, supporting the boys, and just having fun!!

    I think UH MBB, will do well, have winning season, (total of 32 games before BWC tourney so lot of games to get over .500), and who ,knows, what if UH . like Cal Poly last year…they made the Dance? What then for Benjy? Only Ben Jay knows.. Wish Benjy and his great athletice smallish team success.. they are fun to watch.. Fleming bigdaddy, that guy is the real deal.. at least, 13 guys, on roster, are good athletes. finding roles and they will learn how to win..

  19. Kaimiloa:

    You know… just had the Same Thought.. Remember, NWC still not in shape, plus the RIB injury, might even affect his breathing, hard to heal, if he is banging..
    With Valdes’, and the buggah, as Benjy says, HAS TO BRING IT EVERY NIGHT.. every second, every game, be that 15 ppg, 10 rpg, 2 steals, 2 blocks.. VALDES at 4,.. and let NWC drift out to the perimeter.. so he doesn’t have to bang or get banged up more.. VALDES’ athleticism, at 6’5″ with super vert plays like a BWC 6’8″ guy.. just cannot be MR cool, has to be A Warrior.. He can protect rim, get steals, O rebound like crazy.. and IF NEED be.. if MT and Stef J. are in foul trouble.. PUT Valdes at 5 spot, with 4 guards.. what have they got to lose? Just all out, get 50-50 ball, rebound 4 guys attacking the glass, and the steals, traps.. Need to get Dyrbe and Niko in the mix..
    Reminds me fans, of when Benjy coached the Chicago St teams.. small, very quick and athletic, with 3 ball bombers, they did not win a lot, however very exciting. Well he had that 19-13 year.. which was great..

    Darn Time Warner Oceanic, At least the PPV video stream from Maui, with Gary Dickman, Artie and Tony.. UH won at Maui before, I think it was in Wailuku against North Carolina A & T, ..

    Go Rainbow Warriors.. Wouldn’t it be something, NWC, NEVELS start hitting their 3’s, Bobbitt and Fleming, Q, just go off, Valdes goes crazy, MT and Stef J. just monster up.. EVERYTHING TO GAIN, all out effort and learn, NOTHING TO LOSE.

    Go geev em Bows!!

  20. Runbows, looks like it is Sammis right hand. They showed it on TV and he was using his left hand to touch the other players’ hands during the introductions.

    I wonder if he gets to travel to the Florida tournament ? But he has to have the surgery .

  21. I took a peak at the UC Irvine results so far and they have been less than convincing. Strange, but big Mamadou Ndiaye has been a non-factor so far. Not sure if he’s hurt or not. He hasn’t logged in any more than 25 minutes in any game yet and only once over 17 minutes. His FT % is better, but all other stats are down from last season.

  22. Why isn’t UH-Hilo’s Johnson not playing for the Home Team? Johnson has the hops and is a scorer! Too bad; we could use his basketball ability…………

  23. FUHA: That is why, BWC is STILL a guard and wing driven league only Williams putting up numbers however not winning to much, early, and Mamadou, one thing he is now over 300 lbs. he is not the quickest guy, and you can get him into foul trouble.
    That is why they lost about 3 games, including to Hawaii last year, despite the 5 guys over 6’10”
    Still think though UH is smaller, they can shoot, and play as team well on O and D by BWC time.. UH has a shot to win that league and BWC tournament. As long as no more injuries, and the guys just stick together, grind and get better.. even if have to suffer some losses at beginning of year..
    Toughest games pre BWC? Pitt, Gulf Coast Classic, lonnnng road trip and fatigue, BYU on the road in Utah, and DHC against Nebraska to open up. .. If UH find way to win that stretch against tougher teams and environment.. go say 4-2, and take care of business against similar talented teams coming to SSC.. UH can roll into BWC play with a winning record..

    However, you have to leave that goal on the table, BWC championships.. Team will give effort.. looks like the guards and wings are in great shape, save for NWC who, I am guessing his ribs are bothering him.. maybe affect his breath..

  24. KW:

    Tre Johnson transfer from Montana St. had some difficulties there, and sought transfer, Hilo took chance on him.. he is a good Big..As Benjy joked.. too bad, UH Hilo and Hawaii could not combine, or have inter-school transfer for DI ball games. that would be funny.. UH-Manoa/Hilo..
    That would be the Fotu element.. Thomas, can be like that. just has to stay out of foul trouble, both he and Jovanovich, do not get 2 or 3 fouls in first half, don’t reach, be smart.. and go into 2nd half, with 3 fouls to burn, instead of only one.. Funny thing, both Jovanovich and Thomas, all 4 games despite foul trouble, They Both Have Never fouled out yet.. Good sub pattern, and credit to coaches..

  25. I think playing out of position is beginning to wear on Webster-Chan, and not just physically. It seemed that he got so frustrated last night he basically pulled himself out of the game.

    He’s better at the 2 or 3 (over even 1, as Gib mentioned), but has been asked to play a 4 and 5. Now he’s had to adjust his game, focusing more on defense and rebounding in the paint. I give him credit for being a team player and accepting that role, but it’s come at a cost.

    Where things go from here re: NWC will be pivotal to the success of the team. Hope Benjy and NWC can find some balance in crafting a role that will help the team and also keep NWC in a comfort zone.

  26. I hope NWC does not get too frustrated. I don’t think he transferred out here to guard opposing teams 4 and 5 men.

  27. I think the difference between Valdes and Webster-Chan is that Valdes is a leaper. He is used to jumping and all that so he has that over Webster-Chan. Webster Chan’s game is his all around skills with the ability to pass, shoot and dribble but he is not a leaper or a jumper so the fact that he playing post and is force to jump to rebound, jump to try and block shots and bang with people stronger and heavier than him is wearing him out.

    My guess is Negus will come off the bench and spell either Nevels or Valdes(or whomever is struggling). He may still play some post in some rotation but he will probably not play post full time like he did during the Rainbow Classic.

  28. Negus is the second leading rebounder at 5.8 avg. per game to Valdes’ 7.3 per game.

    Garrett and Stefan are tied at 4.5 . Fleming is at 4.3 per game.

  29. yeah he may be getting rbs but he is also getting beaten defensively quite badly and his shots have been off the last two games. I believe he had 3pt and 0pts. Its has to be fatigue. he even missed a point blank shot against Hilo.

    Benjy need to limit his time he play post. Give Aaron more time down low since he can leap and can do tip slams. Negus is most dangerous out on the wing. He can deflect passes and cut off passing lanes with his length defensively. Offensively he can run fast breaks with his ability to pass and shoot.

    Kudos for Negus for being a team player and volunteering to play the post but UH would not be utilizing Negus to his full potential if he is playing out of position.

  30. Like this:
    PG : Rod Bobbitt
    SG: Garrett Nevels
    SF : NWC
    PF: Aaron Valdes
    C : Mike Thomas

    off bench-
    PG: Quincy Smith
    SG : Isaac Fleming
    C : Stefan Jovanovich
    wing : Dyrbe Enos
    wing : Brandon Jawato

    Have NWC help double..Personally I think he might have reinjured his ribs plus has not played for awhile and on a team so defensively high energy..gassed
    must be …NWC is not a bad shooter..he will get it going..

  31. Heard Benjy interview on Animals this afternoon when questioned whether Reyes will be Medical redshirted..Benjy said doctor , staff still evaluate they will wait see how Reyes doing..in meantime make sure Sammis keep academics in order
    Remember Fotu broke finger in shooting hand last year? They made that special cast for him..affected his shot however, still could rebound and pass..defend..when felt better..Fotu took off cast when finger healed..better stil felt pain however he was able to play
    wonder if make cast for Sammis too..all depend on extent and is Sammis able to play with pain, discomfort?

    Benjy said they would do what is in best interest of Reyes
    so stay tuned..UH MBB has excellent ortho doctor and trainer

    Go Bows!!

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