Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors ready to exhibit new look

An exhibition game has perhaps never been needed as much as this one for the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

The Warriors will try to put the distressing distractions behind them on Thursday night when they host Hawaii Pacific in an exhibition game at the Stan Sheriff Center. It will be the first public appearance for the Warriors with Benjy Taylor as acting head coach.


He replaces Gib Arnold, who was abruptly dismissed “without cause” by UH officials last week. Assistant coach Brandyn Akana was also dismissed; star forward Isaac Fotu withdrew from school to pursue pro basketball; freshman Sammis Reyes has requested a release from the team so that he can transfer.

“These kids are ready to play; these kids are looking for (fan) support and they’re going to play very, very hard for them,” Taylor said. “They’ve moved on and I think at this point everyone needs move on because we’re going to have a season and we need to be ready to play.”

Taylor said the starting lineup will not be announced until just before tip-off, but seven players are expected to see extended minutes: Garrett Nevels, Roderick Bobbitt, Isaac Fleming, Negus Webster-Chan, Aaron Valdes, Mike Thomas and Stefan Jovanovic. Junior point guard Quincy Smith could also see significant time as long as his sore back allows.

Nevels is the only returning starter from last season’s team that finished 20-11. Smith and Valdes played key reserve roles last season, and obviously will be counted on for more this season.

Bobbitt, a junior college transfer, is in his first season with the Warriors but could get the start at point guard.

“We’re ready, we’re just going to have to change the way we’re going to play,” Bobbitt said. “We have to be more scrappy since we don’t have as much height. We just have to play defense, harass the guards and I think we’re going to be fine.”

HPU – which is now known as the Sharks (previously Sea Warriors) – finished 15-13 last season and is predicted to finish eighth in the Pacific West Conference. The NCAA Division II Sharks return two starters in guards Justin Long and Darry Jones Jr.

Long, a 6-foot senior, is the team’s top player and was named to the All-PacWest Conference Preseason Team. He averaged 18.5 points per game last season, while shooting 45.2 percent from 3-point range and 91.5 percent on free throws.

Tip-Off Notes
Hawai’i vs.Hawai’i Pacific University
When: Thursday, Nov. 6; 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, O’ahu
Tickets: Lower level – $26; upper level – $18 for adults, $16 for senior citizens (65-older), $5 for students (ages 4-18). Parking is $6.
Television: None
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Live Stats: HawaiiAthletics.com


  1. UH MBB TEAM : UNITE, Stay Strong, 3000 and many more fans got your backs. UH support you all to have great season
    You all , Go Green, and Go Beat up the BWC and go to NCAA’s , still out there for the taking.
    We love you guys.

    Go Rainbow Warriors!
    Finish Strong!!


  2. I think this team will be the OFFICIAL RUN-BOWS.. not me, the guys.

    Roderick Bobbitt, JC elite, great defender, quickness , handles, can score, and facilitate, Niko pesky defender, competitor, and Q with hops quickness hope his back gets better,.. yes, if they rotate the PG’s pick up pressure on other teams, before they set up their Bigs in half court, that is a great scheme,.. UH has a least 3 PG’s, 3 SG’s, 2 Three spot guys, a PF with talent, and A Big Big, Stefan, stay out of foul trouble, just hands up, don’t reach, and rebound, get some blocked shots, score with putbacks, dunks, and his hook shots mid range jumper, I always liked Stefan Jovanovich, NWC, Valdes.. Enos, Stepteau, Jawato, and Buscher, Fourteen to Fear No one, hey the underdogs, however smaller, yet 3 ball small athletic teams Always gave UH with a big lineup, tall with Fotu, Standhardinger and Vander a tough time… Now UH’s turn as smaller quick athletic team will harass and go to bucket, transition.. I mean, just that athletic team that has hurt UH in past..

    More and more impressed with statements by Nevels, Smith, Thomas, Valdes, and now Bobbitt..they are ready, even Enos interview, NWC.. they be ready. Grind, and they going make noise

    Roderick.. Fans will be there, Rock The Rock, shake up the NCAA by your play.. and You all Brothers Are winnahs!!

    Go Warriors!

  3. Plus Benjy Taylor how he is steadying the team, very impressed. Just keep simple, New look team.. and max effort…Good job Coach Taylor..
    A team, I think will surprise,..now no one expects anything too much, however don’t tell these 14 great guys.. for sticking with UH MBB.. they will be rewarded.. can be the story of the first part of 21st century MBB for sure

    Go Bows!

  4. 2 Great Leaders in different positions with our basketball team. Good! Is Bobbitt healthy, back to 100% yet? His spirit is there. Still haven’t seen him play we think to his potential. But he is a good interview ! I too think we are going to shock a lot of people.

    We know Benjy is ready to go. Great team to coach.
    Hurricane Katrina ! Yes, that was a real tragedy. Actually no comparison here. Just to let you know Benjy. Some of us know that. A bit of a disruption, yes. More for 42, and perhaps Sammis. But it is business as (mostly) usual for the rest. And Benjy, you may well be a better, ‘on the floor’, ‘in game’, coach. Will tell you up front Benjy, we don’t want to be one and done in the tournament. We want to be shocked ! No pressure of course… We put up with Gib all these years. Yes, its not Katrina. Loosen up !!!! You’ve got some really great players. Do your best. Shock us ! Get us to the Dance ! Gib left a legacy in many aspects, but not ‘post-season’ wise. It is wide open for you there. You’ve got the reigns. Take us home !

  5. akuhead2:

    You know some, not too many, radio talk hosts Jeff P. and Jackson. W. hoopstalk, don’t think UH MBB will do well at all. However they said the same, who knows UH could surprise. They were picked 5th and 6th preseason polls to finish in BWC. So, Even with Fotu and Sammis, UH was picked to finish in the middle. Without them, some are picking them last, fighting to get into the BWC tournament which only takes the top 8 out of the 9 teams in the league. So nowhere to go but up. Same with radio sport host Bobby C., he doesn’t think UH without Fotu and Sammis will go anywhere, so samething, play loose, have fun, and who knows, shock the world..

    You know UH MBB, the Fourteen Fantastic MBB team, the guys who stuck it out, NO WAY are they thinking last place of missing the BWC tourney to get NCAA bid. And you know what was the best part about that Hoopstalk show, Wednesday night, the day before first game, exhibition against HPU, which give me and thousands of other UH fans hope.. Absolutely NO MENTION OF UH NOT PLAYING FOR POSTSEASON… It, the NCAA or NIT bid is still out there for UH MBB to shock all the negative people, and just have fun, run and gun, behind the back over the head, slam, jam, and thankyou Samm! Would have been nice if at least Sammis stayed, however he was very

    close to the one who recruited him, Gib. And the uncertainty . Well I am certain, UH, is going to be better than most think.. actually faster, and athletic, the fun type of team,, watch, if they get on a roll, really bond, and have that solid 10-12 man guys as a Team getting it done, would not count them out of Post Season play and beyond.. akuhead2 how is That For Staying Positive.. I am sticking with team, all the way.. They do have talent, maybe short one more big, however TALENT.. and go and SHOCK THE WORLD like Muhammad Ali !!

    Go Bows, Warriors. Let’s Go Rainbows.. and you are right, Bobbitt, if you watched YouTube video from his NorCal HS days, and Indian Hills JC days, he is a legit great guard.. a good one, and he feels better. Now have to get Quincy’s back better, Jawato’s(he is a huge key, about 6’5″ 215 that can play small forward and help D up , rebound and stroke the 3 ball)concussion gets better, and Negus’ ribs get healthy… UH with Janks eligible this December.. they will be Shocking the BWC.. and going Dancing,.. I am sure…they got everything to gain.. NOTHING TO LOSE!

    Go Bows!!

  6. Play loose ! Wrap around passes ! Make it a game on the horizontal plane !
    Play fast ! Use the whole court ! Team speed ! High basketball IQ, geared for speed ! Run silent, run deep, and run Bows run ! Play better than the other guys !

    Don’t have to be so serious, (except about studying and off court assignments and responsibilities and such). The game is the fun part !! For the guys who are trying to make it to the NBA, give them the showcase where they can look good, where they can learn and grow as players. Benjy has to include focus on getting those guys to the next level.

    Don’t have a radio here. And thanks for the injury updates !

  7. akuhead2, if no radio, you can try listen, at 7 pm,


    also live stats available at hawaiiathletics.com

  8. Lalalalalalala. Sorry, just warming up my voice. See everybody at the game. Runbows, be thinking about you.

  9. Isaac Fotu @Ifotu42 · Nov 3
    Hawaii will always be a special place to me, such a great place filled with wonderful people. Much aloha to everyone!


  10. No radio or tv coverage according to the story. I couldn’t find anything on UH site either.

    I posted a comment earlier about morning radio but must be in the moderation.

  11. warriorhaw: Give em!! Go Bows, Let’s Go Bows, Let’s Go Bows!!
    I hope, I think at least couple of thousand in attendance. And in the arena, KKEA AM is doing live broadcast, Benjy said on hoopstalk show last night interview, He was really happy and surprised that KKEA was DOING a live coverage like the past, when they did the Exhibition game

    That is positive support!! Hope that 2000-2500 at least, with warriorhaw yelling Loud With Da Crowd.

    Go Warriors!
    Hey warriorhaw, no matter what went down, and now past, and will be fixed,
    The season we been waiting for, for some 7 months is Finally Here , Go Warriors!

  12. Trying again here.

    On this mornings radio show the McNamara guy came on to “promote” the games for this weekend. He mentioned how everybody in the athletic department is supporting the basketball team. But then he rambled on and on about how big the Wahine volleyball games are this weekend and that Saturday’s volleyball game is a Green Out.

    I noticed that he didnt even mention basketball game tonight being Green Out or that the students can get FREE shirts! Thats the kind of promotion that can bring out extra students! I might be just me but it sounded like UH wants to talk the talk about supporting basketball team when they really not. The Wahine games are big and I give him that but he could of at least tried to promote the basketball games too if his job is the promoter.

    I don’t know it just made me even more mad that the UH athletic department managers is throwing this basketball team under the bus. Stay strong Warriors! Some of us die hard fans get your back!

    Never mind this Ronald McDonald guy because thats what I going call him from now. No forget to wear the green shirts everybody!

  13. ChuckCheese:

    If you can get newspaper of Star Advertiser in paper, mentions KKEA AM radio coverage. Also , on last night’s Hoopstalk, Jeff mentioned he and Gary D.will be doing the game,.KKEA is stepping up, so even Canada, Indonesia, Serbia, Califorinia, Delaware, all of Hawaii the 808, can hear the game.

    From online Star Adv.:

    » Hawaii Pacific at Hawaii
    » Thursday, 7 p.m., at Stan Sheriff Center
    » TV: None
    » Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM or http://www.espn1420am.com/ online internet.

  14. islandman: Sorry about that, I duplicated your post about AM coverage, NO LIVE TV OR STREAM, so if want to support the guys in person, Go to Game.
    Some, like perhaps ones that work, or the difficulty in going down to Manoa SSC, or Mainland and around the globe, can listen to online or over the airwaves KKEA broadcast with Jeff and Gary.

    I though that was a real POSITIVE on Hoopstalk, support the guys, and they would do Exhibiton game broadcast, so KKEA is stepping up too.
    And Mahalo to whatever Video, Hilites that Dayton might provide.
    I wish, sincerely,, as Jovanovich says, Thursday night, game, so maybe couple of thousand, core supporters will be The Sixth man..
    Feeling team ready, however still have to show on the court, Really, Bobbitt, Fleming, Stepteau, Buscher, first time for them on the SSC in a real game under the lights.

    Go Bows Go Warriors!

  15. Thanks RunBows! I will still go to support these Warriors!

  16. ChuckCheese as PONO would say, I am with you brother, Or I feel same way.

    This UH, and the POWER or whomever running the ship. I can be divisive. And it is. We support, however, we .. well not really, yet go to games, buy ticket packages

    warriorhaw, Eagle, jjay, TAVS, ChuckCheese, you must comprise that core about 2500-2800 or more that go no matter what, same like Football, that group of about 17,000 or so, I went with family to Von Appen’s 0-12 year , and still supported team..

    ChuckCheese YOU GO MY FELLOW Fan, The team, they reading all kind of junk, however Benjy is doing a Good Job uniting the guys.. Now, they just have fun and learn to play as ONE.. The more Bobby on his radio show, says, UH MBB will be last place team, or even not make the BWC tournament as the top 8, they will or could finish 9th last place, boy that gets, me, However, he and Jeff and Jackson, say, if guys get it together, who knows, they might have good season.

    I would just say: Go Bows!! Support the Team, and the Student Athletes, Especially since these 14 are representing UH, Hawaii the 808.

    Chuck, I will be listening to you, Eagle, warriorhaw, or whomever can go.. shout out, I am sure even, local TV will have late night hilites.. The Media has to support the guys too.

    Go Bows. …and PLEASE UH POWER THAT DOES EVERYTHING AND MAKES CALLS.. Get it right for sake of the Student Athletes, and the taxpayers of Hawaii, AND the Dear Families of these guys far away from home..

    Go Warriors!

  17. Correction to my above post:

    This UH, and the POWER or whomever running the ship. IT can be divisive. And it is. We support, however, we .. well not really, yet go to games, buy ticket packages

    ChuckCheese, Go Bows! Go Rainbow Warriors, I hope they shock the naysayers and just go out as champions!!

    Chuck C. Hoops time is Finally Here .. for a lot of MBB fans, the best time of the year!!

  18. Article from Ka Leo – http://www.kaleo.org/sports/the-apple-arnold-connection/article_7a67ce40-6488-11e4-8b23-0017a43b2370.html

    Pretty much nails my posts during the past week exactly, although it is written much better than I could have done it.

  19. FUHA: Some of the best written articles about goings on and problems at UH , were written by Ka Leo, remember Mark Takai when he wrote for Ka Leo. They do really well informing the students and we in the public, I know not too many outside the UH read the paper, or online. however your link is good. See, You myself and thousands of others, Still Question,. like Leahy and Leahy: WHY? Reason for, Why the timing , few weeks before start? It does not make the Student athletes look bad, it makes the Higher ups, The guys or gals in The background Making the calls from the Observers Box at UH manoa stadium campus, (figuratively speaking).

    This thing, New Governor, Mercado Kim, still that Chair..and Tokuda, some legislature people who can see the craziness, NOT OF THE ATHLETES WE SUPPORT THE ONES SOLID and making it work.. just This firing and hiring, and rush to do things before thinking things through..

    He said, She said, They said, No one said, Cannot say, well, we know, I don’t know..

    FUHA, you and I and thousands of others: WE JUST SUPPORT MEN BASKETBALL TEAM. Wish they blow up and have good season..

    And hope legislature, or someone with integrity, will get things fixed.. wow.. great link.
    And FUHA and Admr, those that do the heavy lifting to inform the masses, good job, X files, The Truth is Out There, and can be found.

    UH MBB forget this, and I hope all innocent parties, THEY get deserved Justice. If so be.

    Go Bows!

  20. Tonight should be a fun. The team can finally go out, have a good time and just play.

    Result of game will not matter. I’m sure Benjy is going to be experimenting and tinkering with lineups. So playing time won’t be like how it will be when the real games start.

  21. You know, lot of us on this forum are UH or UH system graduates, several decades ago, don’t remember these type of things. Simpler times, and tuition much cheaper. For Sake of getting things pono, correct, true right..
    That Ka Leo article, and some Oped write-ups, and Bobby C., Leahy’s we are not alone…
    Would that not be sweet, if clean sweep? Just get broom, and clean house..from Top, to well bottom is doing okay,.. from The Attic on down..

    For Benefit of , or Betterment of Student Athletes,..and UH Manoa reputation.
    It is still a great education school, great research, Pacific Rim studies, and world , global makeup of students.
    FUHA, great search and doing your homework.
    Things will come to light and get fixed. Just obvious, we are not throwing out conspiracy..wow !

    Go Bows,.. ignore this,.. JUST PLAY SOME HOOPS.. have good time..
    Go Rainbow Warriors, and have fun playing HPU with hopefully several thousand there live in person cheering you on.

  22. Team A: Roderick Bobbitt , Garrett Nevels, Aaron Valdes, Mike Thomas, Stefan Jovanovich., Dyrbe Enos, Zach Buscher.

    Team B: Quincy Smith, Isaac Fleming, Brandon Jawato when healthy, Negus Webster-Chan, Stefan Jankovich., Niko Filopovich, Brocke Stepteau.

    Whomever working and grinding, and getting job done, and having FUN…Go Bows !!

    By BWC play time,.. if everyone healthy.. yes, could have TWO units, just get up and go.. lot of guards and some good SF’s/wings.. and TWO 6’11” bigs.. so UH MBB team.. have to adjust, small ball with One Big, with athletes around him.. can be done, no question.
    Season of Redemption!!

    Go Bows, Go Warriors!

  23. Former UH Athlete, yup a great article written very well. Paige Takeya writes better than 80% of the SA staff maybe even more. Just my opinion and the SA could use a person like her.

  24. HORSSSSSE_Champ;

    Regarding your Nov. 5 post, 6:20 pm, i forgot about that contract in 2011. The AD at that time or someone was trying to get a new 5 year contract for Gib, after only one year on the job. He did get a new contract for 3 years in 2011, with a raise from $240,000 to $344,000. He did have the big turnaround from the previous coach’s 10-20 to 19-13. Backers were to pay part of the raise. That contract replaced the original 3 year contract.

    But your point was that there was an investigation of the program going on at that time, in 2011 .

    Getting back to current events, after listening to Portnoy, i got the impression that letting Gib go was the decision of the AD and the Chancellor. i had thought that maybe Portnoy was more involved, but doesn’t look like it.

  25. I don’t understand why Benjy Taylor would have to change a whole bunch of what the team’s been doing. Also he keeps calling them kids, this is not high school they are young men and he should refer to them as that. I feel like this season may already be lost but I hope not. But…I feel sorry for those young men.

  26. Former. Result does matter to the extent we certainly can’t lose. Ok if we win by a small margin but certainly matters if we lose….IMO

  27. kp3409;

    For one thing, Benji said the might not get the rebounds like before, since they lost No. 42 and the other big guy, and may not be able to run as much off of the rebounds. So he is trying to be more efficient in the half-court game.

  28. Key to success is play ur role that’s givin everything is will play itself out.

  29. Key to success is play your role that’s givin everything else will play itself out.

  30. i agree with bigdaddy.
    Note: UH def. HPU in 2012 by only 75 – 67 .

    HPU has a good point All PacWest guard and some Div I transfers. However, they are picked to finish 8th in the PacWest.

    BYUH, which UH scrimmaged last saturday is picked 4th and Chaminade is picked 3rd. UH plays Chaminade on December 19. UH Hilo, who UH plays on Nov 19, is picked 12th.


  31. Regarding why Benjy is changing his offense, he spoke on the radio and said the lack of depth has forced his hands. Gib was originally going to go up tempo and run and gun. With only Jovanovich and Thomas being true post players, they would get worn down fast and probably force to play 35-40 minutes.

    Playing half court will allow you to control the clock and also kind of “rest’. I think its a smart move. As much as I like to see up tempo, we need depth for that to work. We have depth at the guard and the wing but have NO depth in the front court so running and gunning with only two big men available is not ideal…especially if one of them(Jovanovich) is not the fleet of foot type.

    For those who like motion offense and slower offense, I guess this is your type of team. For me, I don’t care. I JUST WANT TO WIN!!!!!!.

  32. bigdaddy..

    you are right..fulfill role…get better game to game day by day..even smaller team with good wings/guards..one , two bigs..they can do damage in BWC
    some say no way success..I say there is a way
    Isaac Fleming and GMoney , Q, Bobbitt, Niko. MT, AV ! Jovonavich, Negus they can get it done!!

    Guys fans backing you all
    go for it and stick together listen to Benjy, Que, and hopefully two more great assistant coaches
    team will have good year, just grind
    think Cal Poly last year’s ncaa rep. 2014 for BWC..

  33. Season long one…pre BWC 16 games…BWC season 16..possibly 3 games in BWC tournament..
    so 35 games before selection sunday..that is a ton of games
    chance for team get wins..good ones
    and hope post BWC championship game

    Giving up?

  34. Thanks for getting back islandman.

    Actually my point was that there was a hush-hush investigation (involving, quote “ridiculous accusations”) of Gib from the beginning, by a law firm that has Portnoy as a partner. Means he’s a direction giver there. Now 2014 and Gib is fired, I’m curious about this.

    That law firm has been employed by UH “on other matters, including the case of Daniel Smith, a football player who sued the school when he claimed a scholarship offer was rescinded”. And then Portnoy became a BOR member, privy to even more UH info.

    Probably not so surprising that Portnoy can get inside information. He’s on the BOR and his law firm is consulted by UH often!

    So what were those accusations that Portnoy’s firm was investigating?

  35. Pretty good crowd, including lots of students, per Gary D.

  36. Good team defense..hustle.short NWC rib injury, Q. back sore, Jawato recover from head injury , Janks await Dec. Eligible.
    yes.students came out in support !!
    Only listen on radio..only 7 guys playing..many first time major minutes.
    as Benjy promised..effort is there
    wait until the 4 on bench ready to add to rotation..can be good year. !!

  37. New student attendance record over 500 breaking a record of about 156 or so.

  38. Good win, playing with basically only 7 players + 1 minute for Enos.

  39. Jovanovic only scored 2 pts., but he had 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 blocks, per the stats. That block figure is just as good as Mamadou’s .

  40. Gary Dickman did a great job on broadcast. His outlook realistic yet really positive.
    true comments loss of some guys however agree with fanphone comments…uh fans have still not seen the official NWC…Negus…he is that scorer, facilitator, defender, rebounds athltic and long..much stronger…he can replace polnts, assists from past team..

    Huge positive look foward too. Plus Jankovich, that NBA range 6’11” stretch big..Fleming and Bobbitt got their first game at SSC under their belts..they going be good, Quincy strong..when well

    Brandon take time heal well from concussion , a guy whose game and body/ height is made for BWC play
    Aaron and Mike are ready,,,good and getting really good.
    positive the turnout..Fantastic !!

    And going viral Mama Valdes touching positive, heartfelt letter

    I like THIS TEAM and they are champions already for moving forward repping the 808 and UH ?.

    It is one of the best , turnaround from turmoil I have been aware of in long time..

    Go Rainbows and Real Warriors

    And Mama Valdes …Mahalo and thankyou in behalf of thousands of fans of the team !!
    Take care, it will be okay. !

  41. Jovanovich and Mike …they rotate with Valdes who is real deal..a baller..and Negus going 3 and 4
    with 8-9 man rotation and GMoney hitting his 40 % 3 ball again..challenge however would not count them out..
    lot of athletes..Rod and Agent Zero (Fleming) just settle in to D1 ball..they going be good..key..be ready BWC
    However tons of positives

    Rainbow Warriors…just move on up!!
    Good fresh start
    very exciting..
    Go Warriors !!

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