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Warriors face game-time decisions against Southern

It appears nothing will come easy for this University of Hawai’i basketball team, and that is just fine with the Warriors.

Hawai’i will host Southern University on Monday night, and then Prairie View A&M on Tuesday. Both games will start at 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

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The Warriors should be considered clear favorites in both games, but they still enter with several significant question marks in the starting lineup. Senior captain Garrett Nevels could participate on a limited basis, but a thumb injury on his right (shooting) hand has made it difficult for him to be effective offensively.

The injury happened in the second half of the Warriors’ victory over Colorado on Christmas Day, and Nevels played through it, mostly as a situational defensive player. For what it’s worth, the 6-foot-2 guard has been practicing – and making – shots with his left hand in recent practices.

“I want to make sure he can catch and dribble, but we didn’t really throw the ball to him at the end of the Colorado game,” UH head coach Benjy Taylor said. “He seems to be confident he can play a little bit.”

As if that weren’t enough, starting point guard Roderick Bobbitt and starting forward Negus Webster-Chan missed Sunday’s practice due to illness. Both players are also recovering from recent injuries – Bobbitt with a cut above his eye, and Webster-Chan with a sprained ankle. Taylor described both as game-time decisions.

“Just wait and see how they are (on Monday),” Taylor said.

Sophomore forwards Mike Thomas and Aaron Valdes are set to start as usual, but who lines up alongside them remains to be seen.

Reserve guards Isaac Fleming and Quincy Smith, and post players Stefan Jankovic and Stefan Jovanovic all should see extended action, whether they start or not. Three others – Brandon Jawato, Niko Filipovich and Dyrbe Enos – will also have to be ready if the sick players are unable to suit up.

“To me, it doesn’t matter if I start or come off the bench,” Fleming said. “I love the game of basketball and I just love to play. It doesn’t matter where I come off, as long as I play.”

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The Warriors cannot overlook a Southern team that is 3-10, but is used to playing bigger teams in bigger arenas. The Jaguars have already played – and lost – road games at Mississippi, Minnesota, Iowa State, Wyoming and Baylor.

Southern’s top scorer is Tre Lynch, a 6-foot senior guard who is averaging 13.6 points per game, and connected on 14 3-pointers in the last eight games. Adrian Rodgers, a 6-4 junior guard, is averaging 12.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, and is coming off a 26-point outburst in the loss at Baylor.

Jared Sam, a 6-9 freshman, is Southern’s top post player, averaging 5.1 points on 56.4 percent shooting, and 5.3 rebounds per game. Frank Snow, a 6-10 senior, is contributing 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

“They’re a pretty good defensive style team,” Taylor said of the Jaguars. “Pretty much everything they do is off defense. Offensively, they like to push it – opportunistic break team, and then they run some sets in the half-court.”

The Warriors are led by Valdes, who continues to lead the team in both scoring (15.6) and rebounding (6.6). Nevels is next in both categories at 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

Fleming, who averaged 15.0 points per game in the three games of the Diamond Head Classic, is contributing 9.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

“Be ourselves,” Fleming cited as the key to success against Southern. “Not be selfish, not get beside ourselves. Just be the team that we are and the team that was in this (Diamond Head) tournament that we need to win.”

Taylor said of the team’s situation: “I think every team in the country kind of goes through this. Of course, what happened to us at the beginning of the year, we had to do it more so than many other programs. But we’re a program now, we’re not just a team. We were a team six weeks ago, now we’re a program. Just put the next piece of the puzzle in and go from there. We started with the edges, got all the corners, now we fill in the middle. Somebody’s got to fill in and be ready to play.”

Game Information
Who:
Hawai’i (10-4, 0-0 Big West) vs. Southern University (3-10, 0-0 SWAC)
Date: Monday, Dec. 29, 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, $5 for students. Parking is $6.
Television: Live on OCSports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
Streaming Video: BigWest.tv
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

14 Comments

  1. Go Bows…get better G Money..take care hand for BWC run !!
    🙂

  2. Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  3. I love the heart of Garrett Nevels and he wanting to help the team no matter what. Just one day ago, the news media and other sites were saying he was out indefinitely and it looks like G-Money is out to prove the naysayers wrong again, playing with his hand wrapped up!

    I think he can help the team with his defense just like in the Colorado game and Benjy can do the sub in and sub out with Garrett again. Garrett for defense and maybe he keep subbing in and out with Jawato? Hopefully Jawato will be on his shooting game and knock down some 3 balls and that would be perfect combination.

  4. In all honesty, G-Money is too valuable to risk further injury against 2 of the crappier opponents UH will face this year. At best, I’d have him on stand-by if for some reason the other guards can’t go, but other than that, this UH team is deep enough to lock down a 3 – 10 team. I don’t care how ‘close’ they were to beating other ‘big name’ teams previously this season, they’re not going to win tonight and it’s probably gonna get ugly.

    Even if G-money can play, it’s better to rest him up until conference play starts. That’s when the games really matter, locking in regular season champs to get a guarenteed postseason bid and having top seeding come big west tourney time. This team can do it, as long as they keep playing how they’ve been playing and stay healthy.

    Other than that, I want to see Negus get loose tonight, start bombing those 30 footers bruh! I know you can hit them but for some reason you seem to stray away from leading the team. Kinda reminds me of Julian Sensely but I think the talent level is greater. That’s saying a lot! Also looking forward to see Jankovic break out tonight and really find his comfort level. Can’t wait to see! Let’s GO BOWS!

  5. Negus was sick yesterday . He actually has the best 3 pt. shooting % for the team at 41.5 % ; his overall FG % is 39.6. He has one less 3 pt. shot made than Garrett at 22 ( 32.4 %; 38.6 % overall for Garrett) .

    Valdes is 2nd at 38.7 for 3 pt. FG % (52.3 % overall).

  6. How about 9 healthy guys available? You think that , Fleming, Quincy, , Jawato, Thomas, Valdes, Niko, Dyrbe, Jovanovich and Jankovich could paly well and win tonite? All starts on Defense..

    If NWC, Bobbitt infection, fever and out sick, along with decision to rest Nevels.. 3 starters out…how about this starting 5:

    PG: Quincy Smith( you are right has to play smart, shoot well from FT line too)
    SG: Fleming,.. this freshman making believer out of a nationwide audience, keep cool, calm and just ball.
    SF: Aaron Valdes.. Air Cuba, nuff said.
    PF: Mike Thomas
    C: Stefan Jovanovich.. steady.. true Big…

    off the bench:
    PG: Niko
    SF/wing: Jawato
    SG/wing: Dyrbe
    PF/C hybrid: has to pick up intensity and get into game shape,.. he has all the tools inside and outside game.. the guy can block shots.. has to grab every board like Jovanovich.. Benjy could also, have Stef x 2, in there at same time, two 6’11” posts to battle the southern athletic bigs..

    I think without Nevels, Bobbitt, and NWC.. those 9 would be competitive, play smart on O and relentless on D.. mix it up.. UH has to , all season be great defensive and rebounding , 50/50 ball team.. love the steals and runouts, for 3 ball shot, mid range floaters, to the rim and one, or those once in awhile lobs to Valdes..

    Most Exciting Team , I have seen in nearly 50 years !!

    bigdaddy.. Showtime, UH grab that BWC title.. starts with the prep of last pre BWC games, tonite and tomorrow, for us die hard, hard core.. could it get any better.. TWO NITES of exciting UH MBB ?

    Go Rainbow Warriors!!

    bigdaddy, cream.. the WHOLE TEAM rising to the top.. of the BWC…!!
    🙂

  7. islandman, ..

    from previous thread.. true, no lie.. wow lau, lau, the famous harville going to southern DIII school transfer from Gaels? Well , never knew.. Okay, he was now show, Fotu gone, Sammis gone, and team just move on and win.. Says something about Benjy the staff and the team and their family support, from BB secretary and mid season MVP trainer Jayson Goo.. !!

    Go Bows !!
    🙂

  8. RunBows—

    sammis also listed, as well as K Smith .

    http://production-24.c66.me/transfers/2015

  9. Get some bigs on that transfer list that UH should try a go after. We need a true center on the team and there seems to be quite a few intriguing ones. One from Louisville and one from Tennessee that is 315lbs….LOL

  10. I think Nevels out 6 weeks minimum after surgery, or at least he will be shooting left handed for 6 weeks. That’s just past the middle of the season. He should be good for the BWC tournament, and a few games before that. Don’t want to see him aggravate the injury. I am really looking forward to making the Big Dance this year. I am not worried really as we have a great coaching staff that’s focused on getting this team to play to its level. The cream will rise to the top.

  11. IMO, it’s going to be pretty tough singing on a Big when the coaches can’t even confirm they’ll be @ UH if any recruits signs.

  12. RunBows did you send over jake1210 and gibnogood to the RSN Network?

  13. It’s going to be tough to sign any recruits in the current situation. This all goes back to the bumblers and fumblers at UH as they panicked and mistimed everything. Gib had a big man recruit locked up before he got let go and the kid went to Oregon State instead. Of course looking back in hindsight is always 20-20, but what if Gib had been kept on for a little bit longer to sign the big kid and maybe others he had ready in the waiting? If those kids signed with UH they might of looked to get out of it if Gib firing came after signing day but they could also be able to see how this team has bonded and they might want to stay and play for Benjy.

    Of course not signing Benjy to any kind of contract beyond this season is terrible decision making as well but what do you expect from the bumblers and fumblers in UH administration. Auwe!

  14. This is another week of games, but Isaac should have been nominated for Big West player of the week last week, i think . UH sports info person still too busy ?

    http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=18171

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