Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors target a Pitt stop on Maui

The pop quizzes are over for the University of Hawai’i basketball team. Now comes a real test.

The Warriors will take on national power Pittsburgh on Friday night at War Memorial Gym in Wailuku, Maui. The game is being played on Maui because the Panthers are already on the Valley Isle for next week’s EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The Warriors are 3-1, including a spirit-building 89-71 victory over Hawai’i-Hilo on Wednesday night. The Panthers are 2-0 and unranked for now (they are in the “others receiving votes” category in both the AP and USA Today polls).


“They’re a good team, very well-coached, they got a lot of talent,” Hawai’i acting head coach Benjy Taylor said. “I’m familiar with a lot of their players from the East Coast. They’re a good ball club. We have to play well to win and hopefully give them our best shot. We’re looking forward to that matchup, we really are.”

The Panthers will be the first Hawai’i opponent to feature a significant height advantage over the Warriors this season. Pitt has used the same starting lineup in each of its first two games: 6-foot-3 James Robinson and 6-6 Chris Jones at guards, 6-7 Jamel Artis and 6-9 Michael Young at forwards, and Joseph Uchebo at center.

Young is the team’s top statistical player through two games at 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Artis is averaging 13.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game; Robinson is averaging 8.0 points and 7.5 assists per game.

There are also several key contributors off the bench, including 6-1 guard Josh Newkirk (8.5 points and 6.0 assists per game) and 6-8 forward Sheldon Jeter (7.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game).

The Panthers are led by head coach Jamie Dixon, who was an assistant coach at Hawai’i from 1992-94 and 1998-99. He is in his 12th season as head coach at Pitt, and has guided the team to at least 20 wins in each of the previous 11 seasons.

The Warriors opened their season with four games in six days, and will basically have just one day to prepare for the Panthers.

“No, we’re not rested,” Taylor said. “We played four games already … most (other) teams played two games by now and we’ve already played four games so we’re not well-rested. But at the end of the day, it’s college basketball. This type of tired and a real, real job kind of tired are two different things. We’re going to put our best foot forward and enjoy it and have a ball.”

Forward Aaron Valdes, coming off a career-high 31 points against Hilo, leads the Warriors with 16.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Garrett Nevels is averaging 11.3 points per game and leads the team with seven 3-pointers.

Junior point guard Roderick Bobbitt, who recorded a triple-double against Hilo, is averaging 11.3 points, 6.3 assists and 4.0 steals per game.

“I don’t know too much about Pitt, but of course they’re in the ACC now and used to be a Big East team so I know they’re going to be ready to bang and we have to be ready to bang with them,” Bobbitt said.

Like Pitt, Hawai’i has used the same starting lineup in each game this season: 6-3 Bobbitt and 6-2 Nevels at guards, 6-5 Valdes and 6-7 Negus Webster-Chan at forwards, and 6-7 Mike Thomas at center.

Pittsburgh has one player with Hawai’i ties on its roster. Sophomore guard Joshua Ko is a Kalaheo High graduate who has appeared briefly in on

Game Info
Hawai’i (3-1, 0-0 Big West) vs. Pittsburgh (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
When: Friday, Nov. 21, 7:00 p.m.
Where: War Memorial Gym (Wailuku, Maui)
Tickets: All seats general admission – $25 for adults, $10 for students (ages 4-18)
Television: None
Streaming Video: None
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona and KTOH on Kaua’i.
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on espn1420am.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com
Promotions: First Insurance is the game sponsor and will distribute 250 seat cushions. Also, First Insurance will award up to $475 in gift cards throughout the game. Fans can register to participate at the sports marketing table just inside the main entrance. The team will host an autograph session for fans after the game and will distribute 750 team photos.


  1. Go hard Rainbow Warriors , respect everyone, fear nobody… Battle, NWC and G, go get it, Bobbitt, Fleming , Q, MT, AV, Stef J., bombs away.. a lot of fans from Oahu, going over too, should be a lot of green in the house.

    Go Rainbow Warriors !
    And hopefully you can go too Dayton, the best coverage on UH MBB on the planet !!
    Thankyou to Warriorinsider,and Schmidt Ohana.


  2. Wonder what the team would look like with both Jovanovich and Mike Thomas starting. The other team would prepare differently for us, for one thing.
    Just play smart inside. Know that we’ve got some very quick guards to help on D and adjust the way the bigs play. Jovanovich can be subbed out quickly in order to keep him fresh as necessary.

  3. If Nevels is cold to start out the game, let NWC come in to play shooting guard. Get him into the spirit of the game. Let hims take some of those 45 foot shots. He was shooting a pretty good percentage in Summer League. And Nevels also has some range. Let him step back from the 3 pt line, get some space. Get some momentum. We know these guys have some special talents, and it may be just what the Doctor ordered.

  4. This a battle of former and current assistants of University of Hawaii (UH wins);

    An indication of the “Quadruple of Luck”’s synergy (bounces of the basketball);

    A show of 15Champs’ talents and efficiency (support helps)!

  5. akuhead2:

    That is the way Benjy started the First Game of the Season:
    PG: Bobbitt
    SG: Nevels
    SF: NWC
    PF: Mike Thomas
    C: Stefan Jovanovich

    I think he went to smaller lineup with Thomas as Center, in order to have Jovanovich come off bench, to spread out fouls, however BOTH the bigs, they pick up 3 fouls in first half, which kind of messes things up. Those ARE the bigs, MT and SJ, so you are absolutely correct , THEY HAVE to play smart, don’t have to go over aggressive on D, just stay by rim, and the guards have to Stay In Front Of their men, so the Bigs are not exposed, The Big would be the Last Line Of Defense.. Valdes will actually play at lot of 4 and 5, he is so Athletic, like a guy that is 6’8″ with is quick vert.

    NWC.. that is the idea tossed about on this forum, either let him come off the bench, or just play small SF, and not bang, let Jovanovich, Valdes and Thomas do the work down low, and guards by committee go for rebounds, loose ball, …. Who knows, if UH , and I think this game, if NWC is okay, not still injured. Hopefully this is the game where Negus will break out, .. he has the Pitt game marked on his calendar I am sure, since they were announced as part of this year’s schedule..

    Go Bows Go Warriors. Geev Em !!!

  6. E…? Good comments.
    Yes hope it is great game, UH is tired, however when jump ball goes up.. they will be playing, and ready, hoping for the W. That would be huge,.. or just the experience going against a top 30 team.. ACC team… huge team…

  7. Akuhead2 that sounds good but I’m old school a baller is going to find away to get his in the system.

    G & NWC has more atempts than any body on the team if they make the extra pass they will get the ball back in rythm.

  8. Thats why I think Nevels and NWC share time at the 2, until one of them gets hot. Still sub out until that hottness becomes pervasive, and then maybe have two shooting guards. Both hot. Add in Valdes and Bobbit and Quincy and Fleming, and RUN !

    It is the ‘style’ of ball that fits our team now, rather than put a square peg in a round hole.
    We could be a hot shooting team that trys to run the opponents out of the gym. Work at our shooting and offense until it starts to click. Square hole, square peg.

    We could get them a new nickname, the RunBows ! (permissions may be required)

  9. Minimize the defense. Or play a crazy harassing defense that typically guards can play better than the big guys. Little bit better in shape. They will be panting. But we can put up the sign, ‘Get Yours – (in the system), get it now!’
    We score more then them, we win !

  10. They been trying since day 1 (get yours)lol.That philosophy will divide the team and it hasn’t work yet now make the extra pass and get your shot in rythm.

  11. Good luck Warriors Take your flu shots now. It’s spreads quickly , lots of bugs on the mainland this time of year.

  12. How the hell is the Warriors BIGGEST game of the pre-conference season against a national powerhouse not being televised?? I’m not sure if I care to listen to the radio broadcast, but most likely will.

    My synopsis of tonight’s game is we are entirely outmatched and will lose by double digit. I’m a huge Warrior fan and have been for years, and am a generally optimistic person…had there been no personnel changes prior to the season, I’d say we’d have a good chance at the win. But no doubt we will, at the least, be outcoached and very likely outplayed. Transitioning from playing a D-II school to a ‘BCS’ school, it’s not going to be pretty. I’ve watched every game so far this season and haven’t seen anything to believe we’re capable of pulling off such an upset. We lost to freaken High Point at home.

    So, nothing like an early season spanking to set the tone for the rest of the season. I’d say there’s an outside chance of us pulling out the upset, but we’ll see. I’m honestly more excited about next weeks game vs. San Fran. Oh well, let’s GO BOWS!!

  13. RunBows, 1st game of season vs. Pine-Bluff, per box score :


    It’s been the same starting lineup in every game so far, i think .

    In the exhibition game vs Hawaii Pacific, Negus didn’t play and Jovanovic started.

  14. bigdaddy…you are right , that extra pass , ball reversal will create open shots for Nevels and NWC..
    still think NWC banged up and not in shape

    Key how team responds
    they want to compete to win not get blown out
    team is really tired
    hope the hydrate and are okay after game when have to go to Florida
    still say if UH MBB team goes 3-1 or 2-2 against Pitt and in Gulf Coast Showcase they doing fine

    bigdaddy will you be able to follow Isaac Fleming at Gulf Coast Showcase since you are on East coast..

    Should be good mid major tournament!!


  15. Isaac. Watch that negativity. Might get banned like me……lol. Hopefully we do better than expected against Pitt. We at least should be able to see who plays scared and who doesn’t.

  16. bigdaddy, Isaac was in the TV post game interview after one of the games, he was sharp and respectful. Earlier, Valdes, Nevels and Negus were on the post game shows including the radio ones and also came across well. Also, Bobbitt later. And Quincy on a pre-game show inteview. Also, Thomas and Jovanovic on Dayton’s post game video. May have missed someone.

    Looks like Sammis going with the team to Florida and will have his surgery after he comes back. He comes back around Dec. 1.

  17. Yup when your backs against the wall that’s when you show no fear. You can’t be timid against Pitt because you can’t be great if your out there scared you will be hesitant and you ain’t gonna get it done. Let’s go bow can’t be scared lets gooo!!!

  18. I don’t get it. People here are actually saying that we are going to lose. It’s like watching the soldiers marching to battle and some people on the side are saying they won’t stand a chance; they will be slaughtered.

    I think this team has a chance to win if they play the way that they are capable of playing. Good luck Warriors.

  19. Jesus said: “Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing!”

  20. The team is staying at the Wailea Beach Marriot Resort, which is better than the hotels in Wailuku or Kahului, i would think .

  21. islandman: For those out there still harping on Gib and Akana.. they were very much instrumenta. in putting together this group of Still High Character MBB student athletes. I mean, they have BB talent, however , like bigdaddy, Mamma and Papa Valdes’, Tonganator, Aussie Mum, and all the Ohana, and Negus Family above everything. .. These young men what they have been through, and the grind notw… I am super impressed, even so for Benjy, Que, Coach Loyd and Coach Autry, the Admin. assistants and team managers, the trainer, the Dr. Ignacio and other Doctors, Trainer Deluxe Jayson Goo, the ball boys and girls.. the UH MBB secretary.. as Benjy Taylor said, the UH MBB p[rogram in good shape, because of the Quality of coaches and the athletes PLUS their families..Awesome.. If , and THINK CAL POLY, brother Isaac, you must be going reverse psychology, right, bet you are bruddah, think the worse, UH will get blown out by Pitt, however, if UH pulls off the UPSET.. you going.. GO BOWSSSS !! Signature win for UH MBB since the Xavier win in DHC few years ago.. I LOVE THESE GUYS.. True Team.

    Mahalo to Dayton, Wes Nakama, the IT guys, webmaster, Valerie Schmidt, Pacific Risk Solutions, and all sponsors and contributors.. if it came down to it,.. and Dayton needed help.. sorry fans,.. I would be willing to pay for monthly Debit secured, subscription.. maybe down the road.. this site is AWESOME>.. can UH MBB even without Sammis, make a run to BWC tourney title and NCAA, just ask the Mustangs of Cal Poly circa March 2014 !!

    Go Warriors Go Bows..

    And bigdaddy. you have a good young son, that military Prep academy instilled discipline, for a young frosh of 20 years of age, very, very mature,, Quincy, Nevels, Aaron, Rod, Negus, Stef and Stef, Mike T, Enos, Zach, Brocke, Sammis, Jawato, NWC, and AirCuba, Gumby, Airon flight 23, they be AWESOME..

    Go Bows, and rock that Wailuku Memorial gym, hope that 1500 in attendance will outnumber and outshout, the 800 that might travel with Pitt..

    Go Rainbow Warriors !!
    Imua Eagle, sorry .. Warriors !!

  22. islandman:

    Where you stay hear that Sammis get surgery Dec 1 ? Nice to know he will travel to Florida, probably a big reward, for sticking with team, do well in academics, rehab, and bolster with who knows.. whomever will 1 , 2 or 3, if coaching situation stablilized this March..

    Go Bows..
    And Sammis do well in school, have successful surgery and see you next summer or fall, Stay around bro.. Next year will be rocking heavy..

    Go Warriors !!

  23. RunBows,

    see Sammis’ twitter. But not sure if he went to Maui with the team or went to Florida already. He says surgery after he gets back, which surgery would be after Dec. 1, maybe .

    I wonder if Brocke and Zach travel too, to Maui, at least ?

  24. Seating capacity 2892.. Wailuku War Memorial Gym, hope that over 2000 will be Bows Backers..
    And dang that Oceanic for No PPV or stream. even delayed ..
    They can afford it..
    If this was not contracted game, they should have, UH in the contract for rights.. open up to KITV , Oleo, or K5, they would do it in a heartbeat..

    Oh well, will listen to BC, .. I don’t know about Jeff P… , I like Dickman though, very positive, yet same time objective and will critique, however, nicer tone…

  25. Hope, I know cost money, that Dayton and crew can make it.. if not, we read his excellent post game, hilite and writeup, as well as watch TV, if any station will have video on their late nite sports cast.. What a travesty IF UH pulls off the big win.. AND NO VIDEO DOCUMENTATION of a HUGE win.. kind of Not Akamai.. or smart?

    Yes… Go Bows !!

  26. islandman,

    THE man real time, up to date, minute by minute All things UH sports reports.. thanks bro.. Yes, just hope Sammis stays the course, get well, do well in school, and be back to have great year, with a very experienced team !! Wish him well..!!

  27. Maybe no Oceanic TV equipment on Maui . “Blame” J Dixon for wanting only to play on Maui .

    Note, supposed to have autograph session with UH players, after the game .

    I heard Dickman was all star ? player in local Pizza Hut league or something.

    (Minute by minute, if not doing yard/ house work or get scolding from wife)

  28. Well I here in War Memorial. Game start 8 minutes. Look to be two thirds full. Pitt look really athletic. Make g all shots in warm is. Hawaii looking focused. Hawaii looking good too.

  29. Sad to hear that Riley Wallace suffered what is being called a “minor” stroke on Maui, where he will be hospitalized at least through the night. Get back on your feet, coach.

  30. Pitt takes early timeout after UH goes up 7-2 on layup by Thomas, 3-pointer by Negus and jumper by Nevels.

  31. Aaargh. Pitt pulling away 23-13, making 7 of last 8 shots while UH went 2 for 8.Only 3 fouls called in the game, all on UH.

  32. Meanwhile, Wahine lead nationally ranked Cal, 16-9, behind Kuehu’s 11 points. If I recall, Kuehu signed with Cal out of high school.

  33. 7:12 left in half, Pitt up 27-23. Nevels and Fleming with 5 each, Jovanovic and Valdes with 4 apiece. Wahine up 24-23.

  34. Negus hits a 3-pointer, UH up 33-32 with 4:15 left in half.

  35. Nevels’ jumper puts UH up 35-32, Pitt timeout with 4:07 left.

  36. Warriors not intimidated.

  37. Thomas jumper makes it 37-32.

  38. UH up at the half 40-36. Negus with 11, Nevels with 10. Game finally now on radio.

  39. Whoa. UH wins 74-70.

  40. sheeeeeeee….wowwwww! UH MBB Warriors Win… huge, huge huge win

    Great heart,…and still tough Florida road swing

    Hey, these are Warriors !!



  41. Amazing win by Hawaii. They executed down the stretch, hit free throws when it matters, big time win!

  42. Wahine fall to Cal, 79-72, despite Kuehu’s 29 and 15. I’m guessing that Mason might have been injured.

  43. Announcers saying our zone is every bit as good as Syracuse, touted as best in the country. High praise. Benjy says we will get better ! At both ends of the court !
    Great Job!

  44. Gib showed up !!
    Won one for the Gib !!

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