Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors tune up for Big West with win over Prairie View


In its final non-league test of the season, the University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team got a good preview from Prairie View of what to expect over the next two months and 16 games.

Mike Thomas scored 14 points and Isaac Fleming added 11 points off the bench Tuesday night as the Rainbow Warriors held off stubborn Prairie View A&M, 76-68, in non-conference men’s basketball action. A crowd of 5,144 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched Garrett Nevels, Quincy Smith and Negus Webster-Chan each add 10 points as UH completed its non-league schedule at 12-4; its Big West Conference opener is on Jan. 7 at home vs. Cal Poly. Prairie View A&M fell to 2-11.

“By no means did we play great, but we played well enough to win,” Rainbow Warriors coach Benjy Taylor said. “I really liked tonight’s game, No. 1 because we won, but also because it was a conference-type atmosphere, where we were having to make plays on both ends of the floor down the stretch. Next week’s game will be the same – it’ll just be a different name on the jersey.”

Webster-Chan also grabbed six rebounds, but left the game with a re-injured right ankle with 17:30 remaining and did not return.

“He’s gonna be fine,” Taylor said.


Prairie View came out strong and did not let up until the final 12 seconds. The Panthers jumped out to a 12-6 lead in the game’s first six minutes before Hawai’i point guard Roderick Bobbitt made a steal and fast break layup to start the Rainbow Warriors on a 10-0 run capped by Stefan Jankovic’s layup to make it 16-12 with 12:29 left in the first half.

But Prairie View A&M hung tough, and Stefan Jovanovic swished a baseline jumper two seconds before halftime to give UH a 38-36 lead at the break.

“From the tipoff, they came out hard and they shot the ball well,” Thomas said. “They were playing really hard, so we knew we had to come out in the second half and get after it.”

Thomas’ two free throws pushed the edge to 49-43 with 13:39 left in the game, but the Panthers clawed their way back and eventually took the lead back at 56-55 on Montrael Scott’s 3-pointer with 9:30 showing on the clock. Thomas later broke a 58-58 tie with two free throws at the 7:06 mark, igniting a 10-0 run capped by Nevels’ runner which made it 68-58 with 3:27 remaining.

“We needed to pick up the urgency,” Thomas said.

Prairie View A&M closed it to 70-66 on Scott’s 3-pointer with 1:32 left, but Fleming answered with a driving layup and Aaron Valdes effectively sealed the game with a spectacular alley-oop slam dunk off Bobbitt’s assist from near the halfcourt line to make it 74-66 with 55 seconds remaining.


The Panthers made 10 of 22 attempts (45.5 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc, including five by Scott, a 6-foot-3 wing who finished with a game-high 27 points.

“He hit a lot of tough, contested shots,” Taylor said. “This team came in shooting 28 percent from the 3-point line, and tonight they shoot 45 percent. They shot the heck out of the ball, and that’s what kept them in the game. We were fortunate to get the stops when we needed it.”

Thomas shot 4 for 6 from the field, and the 14 points tied his career high. Hawai’i shot 52.6 percent from the field for the game, while the Panthers shot 43.6 percent.

Qunicy Smith shot 4 for 5 from the field, and his 10 points equaled the total from his previous five games combined.

Senior captain Nevels played with his right hand wrapped heavily to protect an injured thumb for the second consecutive game, but he still managed to connect on 5 of 8 shots from the field. He also had three rebounds, three assists, a steal and zero turnovers. He is expected to undergo a surgical procedure on his right hand on Wednesday.

The Warriors collected 12 steals, with Bobbitt (four) and Smith (three) combining for seven.


(Game photos courtesy Matt Osumi)



  1. First really good game by Quincy. Happy for him as he’s a returning player.

  2. Still waiting for a good game by Jawato. We have got a very deep team with so many able to play D and play together. Only high expectations for our coaches and this team.

  3. What is / are The Thing(s) that Need to Kick In for Our Talented Players to Jump Almost Suddenly to Effectiveness?

    Jankovic: About Five Games Up to Game Speed & Now Finishing…

    Q, This Season, 15 Games ’til showed up as An IMPACT Player


    Pretty Much from Day One, (Already Proven ‘Winning’ Players – 6):
    Nevels, Bobbitt, Negus, Valdes Thomas. Fleming

    Ten Plus Games In (4): Jovanovic, Q, Jankovic. Filipovich

    NOT YET (4): Jawato, Dyrbe, Stepteau, Buscher
    i think BOTH Jawato And Dyrbe Need to Show/Prove they CAN Stay On the Court for Extended Durations without being Defensive Liabilities AND Long Enough to Start Consistently Hitting their shots…

  4. i think Smallish, Pressure-Defense Hustle-Scramble Teams make for Ugly Wins…

  5. Proud of how the boys stuck with it in this one. Yes, it was against a 2 – 10 team but a team shooting uncharacteristically well from the 3 point line nonetheless. Any team that comes in shooting 46% from the 3 is going to be hard to beat. Seems like just about anything and everyting that PVAM was throwing up was going in. Can’t see that working for them very often but also can see why they’ve only won 2 games this year. I will say this, their guards handled the ball very well. Those 2 things really kept them in the game.

    Just some other reactions in reference to Hawaii’s performance….
    -Nevels, true Warrior and leader, played through a bandaged up hand and really was a difference maker.
    -Negus was having himself a night before landing awkwardly on his ankle…hoping he comes out okay and is ready come conference play. Glad they sat him out, the more he stays off that ankle, the better.
    -Q really stepped up last night and made some clutch shots. If he can maintain that level of play throughout the year, I’ll be very impressed
    -Bobbitt still seems to be in a bit of a funk. Yes, he had 9 assists and 4 steals, but 6 turnovers…so uncharacteristic of him! Hoping he can overcome whatever it is he’s dealing with in time for conference play
    -Mike Thomas seems to be getting better every game. I’m loving the improvements he’s been making, you can tell he’s been putting in work to improve his game. He’ll continue to get better
    -Jankovic made some nice offensive moves, however I’d like to see him get more than 1 board a game! For a guy that’s 6’11”, he should have that physical advantage. We were getting killed on the boards last night, that cannot continue
    -Javonavic gave us some quality minutes. The kid deserves more. He did make a couple of mental errors, but those things will go away with time

    Overall, I love what I’m seeing with this team. I think they’re ready for conference play. I’m going to predict a 10 – 6 conference record, which I think is very realistic. That would bring them to 22 – 10 at the end of the season, not bad considering the cirumstances. Let’s go BOWS!!!

  6. Man, that Prairie View team came to play last night! Was that Prairie View A&M or did they switch out with Texas A&M?!? Maybe that was their best game of the season because they didn’t look like a 2-10 team. I had to rewatch the game on TV this morning to look for things and I thought UH played about as good as can except for a few careless turnovers. The best part was seeing the team turn it up at the end and keep attacking. They did a couple lob dunks for Valdes and Isaac Fleming took it hard to the basket a couple other times. Past UH teams would of been way more conservative and hold the ball to work for a shot.

    It is so inspirational to watch G-Money play strong with only one good hand. He is my pick for MVP of the game! It is also frustrating to see Negus keep going down with the ankle problems. I really hope it is not going to be something that bothers him the whole season. It seems like every time he’s ready to show the real NWC he turns the ankle again.

  7. It was a lot tougher game than I expected and I’m glad we got the win. PVAM came out ready to play and as a result made it a good contest to the very end. It wasn’t that we played badly but more the case that PVAM likely played their best game of the season, knocking down 3 pointers, playing tough defense, and hitting the boards aggressively. As a result it was a tight game for us, forcing our team to play under pressure to the very end. This will help us in conference where many games will be close.

    Concern is for Nevels and Webster-Chan to fully recover from their injuries; we’ll need both of them to be close to 100% in conference. Glad to see Quincy shooting the ball well and am very impressed by Flemings shooting ability and creativity at driving to the basket and getting the shot up and in. We have a very good rotation now with many different players able to be the star of the game. The ability to have different players step up each game will make it tough for our conference opponents to prepare for us.

  8. Yes, happy for Q, 4 of 5 shooting, 2 for 2 on threes, 3 assists, 1 turnover; 3 steals.

    And for Mike Thomas who had 2 blocks besides 14 pts. Stef had 2 blocks too; i thought Janks had some, but the box score says none, but he had 2 steals .

  9. Good 12th win of season, most wins pre new year by UH MBB, so they made history… Parity, with great athletes from the south, southwest, southeast…not intimidated by UH, though UH turned them over.. If Scott didn’t go off for 27, say they held him to 17, UH wins by 17 or 18.. UH did not disrespect them, can tell , they are still sick, tired, and injured.. Yet…they still give effort, like Thomas, Q and Nevels, The MVP..so far..Warrior…This team the rotation when Nevels is back, is solid 9 deep.. with Garrett out after this morning’s surgery.. UH has to have Jawato Dyrbe or Niko step up to same level, I think it is in system on O and D, and especially being able to play Benjy D, like the top rotation guys… Still think it will TAKE the Whole Team to challenge for BWC crowns..

    Well, they proved a couple of dozen naysayers, wrong.. remember after the turmoil in Oct? Predicition, UH might not win 10 games.. well they have 10, and agree with IsaacM, with what UH has now, and their only getting better, 10 wins or , I go out on a limb.. the get even much better, Conference play will be down to the wire games here and on the road.. UH could get 11-5 regular season record.. No less than 9-7 record. pre BWC tourney, would bring UH to historic for Benjy, “interim” coach, a 20 win overall regular season record, with 3 to play for NCAA’s after that..

    Wish best health.. team refreshed, and Benjy if guys show proper attitude.. and go into game and produce, he will play 9-10 guys.. i.e. Jovanovich, Q, …still , me too, awaiting the arrival of Jawato, he can play D, and smart BBIQ, affect winning, pedal to the metal, Benjy will play him.. if he helps team on O and D.. All up to Wato !!

    Love this team
    What I appreciate the most of this WI forum now?.. it is NOT JUST a few commenting, newbies are joining the ride..UH MBB, lifiting the spirits of the state of Hawaii.
    These next 16 games.. so important, at least 9-7.. solid year then.. Great team, And Benjy by then should be the new HC..

  10. Just Sharing One of Coach Benjy’s Quips…(Not Seen in Any Write-Ups)

    Try to Catch the radio Post-Game Coach Interviews: Coach takes his time, and is refreshingly Frank with his comments, which WILL also serve to Drive the Improvements Individual Players and the Team Need to make:

    “I gotta talk to Jankovic about his (lack of) rebounding;
    he got ONE More rebound than Elvis, and Elvis had left the building…”


    i’m glad Negus was “able to” come back into the game —
    that even when re-injured and needing help to walk off court, that the ankle’s staying loose —
    And Negus sees enough depth and talent, he can Trust his teammates to Win It…

    And they do…

    What a Team…
    Quite a Coach and Staff
    I Would Hire ‘Em…

    The Team might have Run out of Gas or Bodies on the Road Twice and Blown the Early Game (midnight HPU, probably a coaching mistake), or even Two (Defensive substitution ‘might have’ preserved Lead versus WSU) BUT in 16 games, The Staff has ‘Never’ Been Surprised or Out-Coached… Second Half of Big West Season should be a Good (Coaching) Test.

    Agree that 10-6 is Achievable: 9-7 is Expected — CAN They Surprise and Steal Another One or Two in Conference?

  11. Cal Poly is the reigning Big West Champ.

    Since Hawaii is playing Cal Poly for our conference opener on Jan. 7, let’s take a look at how they pulled this off last year.

    *Thursday, March 13 – Anaheim, California:

    — It was the opening night of the Big West Tournament. Cal Poly (BW 6-10) was the 7th seed and was scheduled to face Santa Barbara, the #2 seed. It looked like an easy game for Santa Barbara. At that point, Cal Poly had just LOST 3 in a row, including getting BLOWN OUT at home by Santa Barbara the week before 71-55. Santa Barbara had just won 3 games in row.

    — Round #1 (BWT): Cal Poly 69 UCSB 38 – UCSB was 0 for 4 for free throws, PG Zamico Harmon had 0 points and 0 for 6 FG, and UCSB shot 33% FG and only had 49 shot attempts the entire night. Cal Poly controlled the time of possession, committed only 5 turnovers, shot 17-20 FT, and outrebounded them 38-29. Amazing.

    *Friday, March 14

    — Round #2 (BWT Semifinals against #1 Irvine): Cal Poly 61 Irvine 58 – Cal Poly limited Irvine to only 49 shot attempts the entire night, Cal Poly shot 5-11 for 3-pointers (46%), and Cal Poly shot 10-12 FT. Irvine’s Mamadou got off only 3 shots the whole night.

    *Saturday, March 15

    — Round #3 (BWT Finals against Northridge): Cal poly 61 Northridge 59 – Cal Poly limited Northridge to 33% FG, 1-7 3-pointers, and Cal Poly committed only 7 turnovers.

    Observations on CAL POLY (during that 3 game stretch):

    1. Coach Joe Callero had great game plans, and his team was totally committed to following them. Callero strategies disrupted superior teams and maximized the limited talents of his own team.

    2. Against superior teams in UCSB and Irvine, Callero had his team use ball control and limited his opponents’ possessions. As the clock elapsed, UCSB and Irvine realized Cal Poly was NOT going to turn the ball over… creating extra pressure to make their shots. A lot of their possessions against Cal Poly were ONE and DONE.

    3. As the tournament progressed, David Nwaba, not Chris Eversley, became Cal Poly’s most effective player, especially on the defense side. This season, Nwaba has become the best player on Cal Poly’s roster, overall. Hawaii needs to take notice of this guy.

  12. Good Analysis…

    Obviously NO ONE should ‘Read’ Too Much into Beating or even Blowing Out Callero & Cal Poly during Regular Season — He may be Saving His Best Strategies for The Tournament…

    May Also be Spreading His Strategies Out for Challenging Each Opponent THREE Times…

  13. ^^^^ Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  14. Garrett, #1, said his surgery went well .

  15. Eagle:
    Regarding your post under Updated Southern topic, Dec. 30 post.

    The Wahine game was shown on webcam and the one on Jan 2 also will be, per UH Athletics website. HPU has a pretty good team.

    Huff has to get her basketball hands better; though she almost made her two shot attempts.


    1/2/2015 UNC Greensboro Stan Sheriff Center 5:00 p.m. Live Stats

    Tickets Details
    Time: 5:00 p.m.
    Live Stats

  16. G-Money’s Rjght Hand Lookin’ Good…
    The Team was at SSC Supporting Na Wahine (Beat HPUI)

    Coach: Do the JJones thing: Get an Agent, Lock Up the Contract …Then TOP Recruits
    Coach Benjy says he doesn’t want to get “All Distracted”…
    Hopefully Management Will Be Approaching him…
    Pro-Active Management?… Positive Coaches Go To Be Optimistic!

    Happy NEW Year, All!

  17. Huff came in at about 8:23 left in the 2nd half and played about 7 minutes.

  18. Eagle: Bottom line, if Benjy wins even 19 games overall which guarantees a winning season, especially if he approaches that mark early before BWC tourney.. UH Admin would be absolutely foolish not to sign Benjy as HC for next two seasons.. would either make UH Admin come out as really backing UH MBB, and especially a winning exciting program, or a UH Admin.. that still does know Athletics and the timing. how it impacts current and future recruits..

    All UH MBB has to do, get healthy, have the same drive,
    Defense and sharing the ball, Effort, and wining never say die attitude. respect everyone, Fear no one. UH MBB can have , I absolutely believe the 19 or 20 or more winning season.

    Eagle, the PLAYAH in UH polititcs, who could have HUGE sway, even by being at every home game,. Governor Elect David Ige, hope he loves sports as did George Ariyoshi and Jack Burns..

    Go Bows.. And G Money, I betting on him, within 10 days or so, and with the right cast, design. even before surgery, incredible defense, running team, and even scoring!! G Money.. work with Jay Goo, the MVP of training staff, and G will be back not in 4 weeks, maybe in 10 days and 4 hours or less.. The Guy is a Warrior, or will be a Player’s Coach !!

    Go Bows!!

  19. Sorry edit to above post::

    Eagle: Bottom line, if Benjy wins even 19 games overall which guarantees a winning season, especially if he approaches that mark early before BWC tourney.. UH Admin would be absolutely foolish not to sign Benjy as HC for next two seasons.. would either make UH Admin come out as really backing UH MBB, and especially a winning exciting program, or a UH Admin.. that still does NOT KNOW ABOUT NCAA DI Athletics and the timing. how it impacts current and future recruits..

    Benjy and team, keep getting better, grind, get well.. 16 games, 8-8….can do.. 9-7 better yet..10-6… you talking about 22 wins , step up from 20 last year.. maybe 11-5.. you talking about BWC tourney championship type team.. 12-4.. even steven… Pre BWC tourney, 24-8 and rock and roll !!

  20. Sign Benjy! Sign Benjy! Sign Benjy!

  21. ^^^ he gets it right!

    Happy New Years!

  22. Pupule,,,that’s the spirit…you not jealous of success of benjy and team
    imitate the positive things we say..

    And UH MBB proving you a prophet..they going to win BWC and
    pat your okole missy!!
    Just jpking
    now go back to high school young lady from manila!!
    :we know you !!
    Go Bows

    J Akuheade pupule. I thought you died 17 years ago !!

  23. Meagan Huff …beeman needs outside and inside scorers

    MBB…who going replace G scoring..team about 6 different leading scorers this year!!

    8 guys average between 7 and 14 ppg …good balance

    Janks has to get 4 or 5 boards a game otherwise he playing like a guy 5’11
    Benjy challenging him
    want to, desire, heart, effort
    G, Q, Fleming, thomas, chan and jovanovich good rebounders
    uh mbb one of nation’s leaders!!
    Go Bows !!
    J Akuhead Papule thought you make ?died already?


  24. MY WISHES FOR 2015








  25. I hope. Benjy and mbb team are 5-3… or 6-2..or better first half of bwc ssason!!

    Mahalo to Dayton , Wes, The Schmidt Ohana for the best uh mbb site on the planet !!

  26. Mahalo to Runbows and his posse. Thought I would throw the line in one last time for 2014. And whattya know? I got a bite!!! HNY to all. See you on the other side

  27. Pupu hinu hinu
    you must be happy missy…uh mbb doing well

    Enjoy season..

    ha..ha,,,hahhh !!
    Joke !!

  28. J Akuhead Pupule…part of tv commercial mbb downer near 40 years ago!!
    Pupule have a poke bowl !!

  29. Get ready to rock the Stanley next week. Everybody show up its conference time. The intensity needs to show both halves or we will not succeed There is a lot of parity this year and teams with a lot of returning starters. Cal poly will be tough as usual. One game at a time. Show up and peak at the tournament.

  30. Happy New Year gang!

  31. Yeah, this is a great site. For all that make it so, Happy New Year !
    Go Bows !

  32. Happy New Year!

    Also, Andy Katz talks Benjy. http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:12106214

  33. Agreed with all WI UH MBB fans, greatest site on the planet. Dayton, Wes, the Schmidt Ohana, mahalo, thankyou for making this available worldwide for fans of the team, the coaches and the University of Hawaii !!

    Hey recruits that are reading, or watching video.. think about adding to building MBB program.. Another 6’9″ 245 PF, another 6’8 1/2″ 230 SF/PF and a 6’6″ 215 SF shooter, defender , creator.. All 3 guys can defend and athletic.. OR JUST the right fit, HIGH Character guys.. Fit Hawaii MBB team !!

    The BWC play. … just like Benjy says starting from 0-0.. all the BWC teams, have some 14-16 games of video on all the opponents.. UH stick to being great defensive, team.. I think UH should be better rebounders.. Jankovich..should get 4-5 or more rebounds per game, same with Jovanovich.. just have to get the boards..shooters have to hit shots.. And what is great about this 2015 spring MBB team.. they share the ball, and anyone of perhaps, now 9 guys could be leading scorer or score between 7 and 14 ppg, which is Fantastic.. which makes UH MBB team able to beat a lot of teams at SSC and on the road… Just the Health of team.. hope Bobbitt by March is 100%, same with NWC, Nevels , Smith, Jawato.

    Rehab and speedy recovery G Money ! I would bet Garrett, if he can be virtually pain free, and a special brace put on his shooting hand.. will be back within 2 weeks if not sooner.. MVP of team, staff so far., without question Jay Goo, trainer, and the guys’ desire to rehab quickly..

    Go Bows.. try to go minimum 9-7 or max 13-3….. 10-6 great too !
    Then, Win That first round game , of course.. and go for it the BWC tourney crown.
    ONE GAME AT A TIME starting Wednesday Jan 7 2015..700pm SSC

    Be there !! And welcome back soon ,Jamie Smith, aka Jimmy the Brit.

  34. Would not doubt if again, UH MBB team at SSC is leading the BWC in home attendance tickets sold..MBB makes monies, and they are winning.

    Still think Mayor Caldwell(like the late Frank Fasi Honolulu Mayor), and Governor Ige, should be at every 8 UH MBB home games, as well as those of State Legislature..creates, even political solidarity for team and UH athltics,,

    Go Rainbow Warriors !!

    And hope you and your family and Isaac are well, Tonganator !!
    shout out, to all former UH MBB athletes.. it will always be on your resume, 1 or 2, 3 or 4 years at UH MBB program and hopefully with a degree in hand.

  35. sarconic.. great link to espn and andy katz 3 point shot, or shout out to Benjy Taylor and what he is doing as interim coach for Hawaii.. Benjy and team, just keep getting better, win as many games as can. . my personal feeling.. win close to if not 20 games before the BWC.. get at least to semi final, or very hot and to the championship game.. UH and Benjy sitting at 21-23 win season, even if did not make NCAA, however,.. CIT or CBI.. which team IS NOT aiming for..or IF UH won regular season and auto bid to NIT.. What would UH admin do? as Katz alluded to? I say absolutely nutz, if Benjy and the Terrific Twelve, win 20 games, fans love the team, no problems.. guys doing well in school, no dissension.. .. UH admin and Power that be, NOT Jeff P., makes call to hire Benjy and Que and Autry, Loyd, .. let them bring in some more Bigs , athletic right fit,and a creative shooter. of course, the fast pace, is created by the perimeter and athletic wings, pressure Defense, like all good teams.. Benjy is a Defense first coach, love the style.. and if All 12 available guys healthy for BWC tournament.. Love their chance.

    ONE GAME and Victory at a Time, and never lose back to back conference games.. UH can win 10-12 Conference games.. Go Bows..

    And that take , (just joking friend ! 🙂 what is so pupule about supporting the MBB team and Benjy , plus a positive outlook and possible path to Post Season and securing Benjy a HC job.)
    Benjy and this Terrific Twelve, key.. they win about 20 games.. UH admin, would be crazy, not to hire, or consider retaining Que , Benjy , Autry , Loyd.
    BWC play, against a very well coached and disciplined Cal Poly team HUGE game, will set the tone for the first 8 games of BWC season.

    Go Bows ! Rainbow Warrior Time !

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