Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors still working during break in schedule

After a fastbreak start to the season, the University of Hawai’i basketball team is finally experiencing a bit of a “break” in the schedule.

The Warriors are in the midst of 12 days in between games, but that does not mean they are taking it easy. The break is by design so that the players can concentrate on academics – this week is the last week of classes at UH-Manoa, and final examinations are scheduled for next week.


Acting head coach Benjy Taylor is also scheduling individual workouts this week for two reasons. One is to accommodate the various class schedules of the players, and the second is an effort to get back to fundamentals.

“Just making sure we keep our legs under us,” Taylor said. “And we got a lot of guys doing a lot of different things with tutors and catching up on papers. We just have to make sure that’s the No. 1 thing right now.”

The Warriors last played on December 6 (a loss to Brigham Young at Salt Lake City), and their next game will be on December 19 against Chaminade at the Blaisdell Center Arena. Taylor said the team will begin planning specifically for the Silverswords next week.

The break will also allow the players to recover from an opening stretch of 10 games in 23 days in three different states.

Most notably, the Warriors are hoping that starting forward Negus Webster-Chan has time to recover from a sprained right ankle. “He’s questionable for next Friday,” Taylor said. “He’s just trying to get his ankle right … he’s rehabbing like crazy right now.”

While the Warriors were in Utah last week, freshman forward Sammis Reyes underwent surgery on his broken right hand. Taylor said Reyes – a true freshman – has probably missed too much practice time already to think about a late-season return, though a final decision has not been made.

“I don’t foresee him playing this year, but we’ll discuss it and see how things go,” Taylor said.

The break after the BYU game also allowed Taylor to make a side trip for recruiting purposes. “We were already on the mainland, you might as well go see them while you’re there,” he said. “But it’s tough. It’s tough right now doing that. You have to answer the same old questions, but it’s part of the job and you have to do it.”

That part of the job perhaps became even more difficult earlier this week, when Ben Jay announced his resignation as Athletics Director at UH.

“Like I said from Day 1, I just have to do my job and make sure the guys are ready to play every night,” Taylor said. “(Jay) gave me an opportunity here and one of the things I told him when he did that is that I’m going to do my best to make sure everyone knows that he made the right decision. I want to try to continue to do that.”


  1. Run Bows!! Keep grinding finals and in gym..,show chancellor Benjy, staff and team are winners!!
    Go Bows…Warriors !!

  2. Benjy Taylor first class coach..great job..hope new AD or even Ben Jay parting words good for coach Taylor..as I say…how this team is winning..staying together and doing well academically..credit to coaches…families..great fan support
    and totally agree..Ben Jay wisest move he made retain Benjy as acting head coach..and team does well I hope new HC…fantastic job through adversity..mahalo AD Jay..thankyou from UH MBB fans !!


    Run Bows!! Keep grinding finals and in gym..,SHOW THE CURRENT CHANCELLOR, Coach Benjy, your staff and team are winners!!
    Go Bows…Warriors !!

  4. Here’s a thought that might cross the minds of the UH ADMINISTRATION:

    You already know that you have a young team that is representing Hawaii under such turmoil and so far has been successful…they will get better and better as they play with each other for the next two or three years..

    Recruiting aside, what are your plans for the Basketball Team? Are you going to keep Benjy and his staff in order to keep these special guys together or are you just going to go through the motions of opening up the head coaching job after the season to any qualified coach who would like to interview for the job?

    I ask this because you should have a plan in place no later than after you get the letter of allegations from the NCAA. If you do not act on extending Benjy’s contract, then YOU, by nature of your own neglect of YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, will have to go through the application period AFTER the Season is over, which could be mid to late March. Then comes the interviewing period and then the contract period. If you do that, then you have not only lost another Recruiting period, this is Nash all over again, but you will have put the continuity of these players at risk, as well.

    I believe it is obvious to everyone that Ben is NOT going to have a say in this process…so which one of you are going to step up to the plate and save this program? Or…is that not your agenda?

    These kids and their Ohana are too good of student athletes to be stuck in this situation by your own neglect and lack of foresight!

    GO BOWZ…I’d like to see 100+ points on Chaminade.


    Well said on behalf of thousands of loyal UH MBB fans, backing the young men and their families. UH, power, or powers that be, can they learn from past mistakes, not repeat., reward, the excellence of what Benjy, his staff, at last minute notice, and dire circumstances is doing? Or is their agenda.. What?… UH MBB for now, is a shining light for UH athletic fans.. Hope that Chancellor, or President, or whomever running the show.. does the right thing.. You are right..have the search, or no commitment to putting in place a deserving HC, here currently or new, it will be devastating for years to come. akin to a death knell..I personally , and thousands of other fans, families, and Hawaii, does not want to see these 15 great young men, and Coach Benjy , and potential recruits, put into such a Bind..Chancellor, President, BOR, or whomever at The Top calling the shots… DO THE RIGHT THING for sake of the hard working student Athletes, in this case, the UH MBB team, they have been through hellish times since Oct 28 2014.. DO THE RIGHT THING.. and get UH academics AND athletics in good stead.. No.. Great standing, if UH is to continue NCAA DI athletics for years to come.

    BACKBEAT, Great comments.. I think AD read our posts,.. does Upper Admin, and Power/powers that be read them? I HOPE SO !!

  6. PLUS ONE.
    BACKBEAT, Great comments.

    All said, this is a great coaching staff. Coach Benjy, Coach Q, Coach Loyd, and Coach Autry.

    btw I noticed the roster was not updated with Coach Autry’s name. Is he still with the team?

  7. Believe me, no one at upper campus reads these comments. Ivory tower is too high up for them to be bothered. Agree with all that there needs to be sense of urgency but I see none. Business as usual as things move at the glacially slow bureaucratic pace. Continued inaction will just accelerate the death spiral of athletics. Hopefully someone acts now in the interests of all enrolled student athletes and future potential student athletes.

  8. Key “Possible” Players to Accelerate POSITIVE UH Athletics Action:

    1) Chancellor Bley-Vroman (sp,) — OWNS UH Campus and Athletics RESPONSIBILITY —
    Probably NEEDS a Key Phone Call (Or Three) from Takai & Co. or One of Igeʻs Key Appointees;
    (The Newspaper Articles Might be Helping in This Aspect);

    2) BOR JP – Has Access to Those Knowledgeable And DOES Want a “HUGE” Big-Time D-1 Basketball Program @ UH;
    MAYBE Call & “Ping” (Text) His Show….

    3) ALLIES to be Identified in The State Legislature who want to make a Positive Difference in UH Athletics and maybe Economic Development & Tourism (Nationally Televised games like DHC, Hawaiʻi or Pro Bowl are ʻAlmost Freeʻ Two-Three-Hour TV Infomercials/Ads)

  9. This is just as a lot of us were saying yesterday that the administrative people at UH have no idea what athletics is all about and yet they want to make all the decisions. They already lit the match to burn the house down by firing Gib and Akana two weeks before the season starts. Right now Benjy and the team doing one heck of a job putting out the fire but its still smoldering and UH administrators turning their backs on it because they think everything will work itself out. That is the typical UH administration attitude.

    Benjy said it himself in the video about how hard it is to recruit right now. I am sure the UH administrators have no clue about how recruiting works and worst that they dont even care. The way things are going, the smoldering house will start up to burn again. Benjy and the team can only fight it for so long without any help.

    The more I think about it, the more it could be that UH administration wanted to burn this program to the ground and start all over and Benjy and the team spoiling those plans! Keep fighting Warriors!

  10. In the last entry, we talked about how a new AD comes in and wants to hire his own guys.

    Well, let’s examine the Ben Jay situation a little closer. Jay never got to hire any of his own guys — was this because higher ups didn’t want Jay making any employment decisions?

    It’s not like Jay didn’t have an opportunity or two to hire coaches: basketball doesn’t even have a coach right now, and every fan would have been happy to see a new football coach. I wonder if Jay would have wanted to hire a new coach himself. Check that, we all know Jay would have wanted to hire a new coach himself, someone who would be HIS guy. But he never got that chance, I wonder why. I wonder if he had his hands tied so badly, that he just checked out on the job long ago, and has been tweeting about his old Ohio St. program lately.

  11. You know whose comments on uncertainty of UH athletics and new AD hire most telling? The dean of coaches , 40 year tenured hall of famer…Dave Shoji..he is concerned..would he stay? Depends on ndw AD. Whether they clean house including the WVB program and possible new coach. Their vision. Well they keep Chow because of power support, some but enough, and too expensive. If they are thinking economics, Benjy and current staff, returnees, and a few bigs, sg?, sign Taylor up in January for one more year at least. Guys would have continuity, families know who on board, and they can sign few recruits..still right fit types..would ot be expensive and makes sense.
    why cannot still AD make decision on Benjy? Oh, right, he is a sitting AD with no authority to do any hiring and firing.
    he should inqire back to Ohio St. as assistant financial guy with their AD dept.
    names..AD. Amemiya and Blangiardi..they willing to step in and save UH athletics not for personal gain , however for the student athletes and families..better yet.

    Still makes sense before March spring signing name MBB HC for next year
    all Benjy and team have to do just keep winning, no melodrama, ncaa compliant and solid in classroom
    as I have said if team wins 19-20 games which guarantees winning season..BT resume a good one
    man I hope team wins 5 out of 6 games pre BWC play..11-5 going into conference..added positive to resume..
    Benjy just doing right thing..kept 15 guys together and probably on phone to parents of guys weekly
    awesome, good job Benjy..

  12. Sorry me no type too good
    Chow buyout too expensive and power backing some local, plus Ben , still acting AD if he recommends to chancellor hire this MBB coach or assure Shoji , his AD replacement their to help in place coaches, staffs, and athletes stay on board , a good thing
    we all know…winning games and solid in classroom brings support…MBB self supporting
    of course..football winner very important
    if chancellor, Jeff P., that interested in saving MBB, WVB, WSB, FB, they should do it soon , hire new AD and retain or search for coaches..one..our Current MBB coach..his story, keeping MBB team going is known nationally now

    Go Bows
    Warriors !!

  13. Horse, Jay recommended extensions for various coaches so you could say he was happy with their performance. He could not fire Chow because some fans wanted it. It’s about the money. What is concerning about men’s bb and women’s vb is delay in finding new AD. If they are really going to take six months the they need to let Jay offer contracts to hc for both sports. But I can’t see admin letting lame duck AD make those calls. That’s why this is so frustrating. Look at schools on the mainland. Weeks to hire replacements, Nebraska, Florida, Oregon State. But we need to consult with fans, admin, reporters, legislators, power brokers, etc before we can make a move. Will somebody please take the bull by the horns and make something happen???? I would hope that Jeff Portnoy speaks up forcefully to regents about need for action. But doubt if any one person can make huge impact. If anyone can I would think new governor could use the “bully pulpit” to focus everyone on the problem but he had the chance and passed. Where is Lassner? Where is Mercado Kim? C’mon folks. Give the people of Hawaii an early Xmas present and actually LEAD!

  14. Maybe UH is waiting for what the NCAA letter will say and also how the season ends up before moving ahead with selecting a head coach. You know what would have happened if the former coach’s contract was signed awhile ago instead of holding up on it ?

  15. Yep. Let’s wait. I am sure waiting until the end of the season will be a great idea. Should be a ton of kids out there holding off on their decision where to attend school as UH waits. That probably is what they are doing but the point is THAT DOESN’T WORK. That is business as usual and business as usual will end athletics. What a dumpster fire! UH should be a case study on how not to run things. Too bad because it is a good school that deserves better.

  16. Were you in favor of extending Gib’s contract for say 3 years with a raise from his $344,000 ? If that was done, UH would be having to pay out at least maybe $1, 050,000 .
    For those interested, rough dates on how fast Norm was hired, although it’s not for basketball :

    12-5-11 Mack resigns and takes about half of what he would be due on his remaining contract year .
    12-7-11 FB Coach Search Advisory Committee named

    12-21-11 Norm named new head coach.

    Oregon St. named on new head FB coach,Gary Andersen, within a week, i think.

  17. Shoji for AD and WVB coach?
    Keith Amemiya?
    Blangiardi, quite critical of Leadership at UH and athletics in particular, ..
    Dick Tomey?
    With the critical call to hire new AD, really UH athletics future on the line NCAA DI level.

    However, really proud of Coaches and team, and Mamma Valdes’ galvanizing letter.
    Team, guys do well on finals. Sammis, and Negus rehab up, interesting that , unless, really need help.. in two months time, if Sammis and Benjy talk about his coming back into BWC play to help team.. would only be if Sammis was ready and if a current big or bigs went down, I HOPE NOT..

    Otherwise, Sammis hit the books, and looks good for next year.. That is Why Critical , and so not Akamai of Chancellor, interim, or BOR Jeff P., or whomever calling the shots… not to lock in Benjy or another coach for guaranteed next season. So that Benjy and Que , apparently there are a few , I think it is bigs.. maybe 6’9″ rim protector type and a Shooting Wing, that are out there waiting.. If They KNEW BENJY was the man for next season, March Spring, they would sign…I am sure.
    Credit to Que and Benjy, they , on mainland, still visit keep contact with possible signees.. incredible loyalty to UH MBB program.. and we fans, the families and Hawaii.. I loyalty rewarded? Or is it just Politics.. ? sad it seems to be the latter.. Can be corrected.. seems so simple.. I know Keep has different opinion, however.. if Benjy and Staff, just a rollover, one more year, to be evaluated again after 2015-16 season, then they can assure recruits, They and the team will be there.

    True, what Does the NCAA letter say? Will NCAA lessen, or even back down, on JP and JW, death knell prophecy for MBB? Is it an inhouse correctable thing? As the Crazy UH Athletics world turns, stay tuned.. It is almost funny, however not, because it affects young student athletes lives and their families, plus loyal, the core 3500 that live and live with the Rainbow Warrior Basketball team,
    The Best MBB team , One Ohana, through stormy times, I have ever witnessed in my lifetime..

    Go strong guys.. Aaron Valdes having so far, ALL BWC type season, Negus rehab and take over, Nevels relax, and learn to use screen, and get space to shoot, last Year, G Money used to come down, with confidence, when he had that 26 pt game, just start shooting from 28 feet out, swish.. he hesitates now, not enough room.. has to learn to shoot, the release quicker, since he shoots from waist level .. and his FT shooting has to be in the 80% range.. Janks, just itching to get onto court.. a game changer.. will make a good UH MBB team.. even Gooder.. sorry, Better !!

    Go Bows. and fans, Just Enjoy This UH MBB team, in this configuration as long as possible.
    Rainbow WARRIORS.. Give em !!

  18. And Most Importantly These 15 guys competitive, really good young student athletes, want to win for UH, Hawaii and their families and fans. Want to show they are good team with post season play in view.
    Credit to The OHANA the Families of guys for supporting Benjy, Que, Loyd and Autry, Jay Goo, BB secretary, ball girl and boys, equipment managers, grad assistants…everyone for keeping UH MBB afloat, for still potential Good, very good finish to season.

    Darn the politics and political play , UH MBB just do it on the court and in class. YOU all are Winners…
    Go Rainbow Warriors.!
    Avoid trap game against Chaminade, come out strong on D !!

  19. Benji and the players doing very good, given the circumstances .
    I make fun of Jackson, but he brought up food for thought, although old food. He said UH has to spend what it can afford, he said how come UH gave the previous coach a new contract after only his first year on the job in 2011? ( He was given a new three yr. deal worth $344,000 from the initial contract amount of $244,000, or a 41 % raise). His won-loss record was a big improvement over the previous coach though.

    The “Punahou” group could have been involved as donors pledged to fund part of that increase. They could have been involved with the hiring of Norm and retaining him ?
    Remember B. O’Neil in 1976, I think Rick P. was his assistant who then became HC, but had to be let go. I’m assuming in the present case, the involvement of the assistant in any allegations was minimal .

  20. Nope, not in favor of extension in middle of investigation. So I guess we can wait until March, 2015 and then wait three weeks to name a coach? How did that work out with Nash and his recruiting that year? Is there a magic number Benjy needs to hit by end of season? Search should start now and let chips fall where they may. Benjy’s performance so far this year can and should be taken into consideration but there should be no waiting. Jmo

  21. It appears Ben Jay made the call to hire Coach Benjy, at least for now. Coach Benjy was appreciative and may have been the first I’ve heard to speak kindly, from personal experience, about Ben Jay. On the one hand, it is good that no one on haunted hill thought that this team would do well this season. If they do, do well, and to some extent they already have, it makes a great case to keep this Coaching staff in tact. As long as this coaching staff will have us, that is. I thought they would do great from the start, but this team has almost as much and as many accumulated problems as any I’ve seen, certainly without yet having heard any specific NCAA sanctions. Another sprained ankle, Auwe. Justice delayed is not justice, simply stated. Has UH been requesting the delay? Are they happy with it? Perhaps. We don’t know. Do we? Will any of the information actually eventually come out? Maybe not? Ever! Hmmm. Well. Go figure.
    Maybe there is a tie of all this to Coach Chow interviewing for the Portland State Head Coaching job. Maybe he, tacitly, didn’t want to be the cause of or tied to the Ben Jay announcement. That alone may have some lasting impact how they do business on the hill. They will have to step on, or over, this small statement. Well, I hope we beat Ohio State on the football field. Do it for Ben Jay!

  22. Oregon State ?
    That sounds better.

  23. Big Ten. Yeah !

  24. props to ‘weedwacka’ on one of the other sites …


    Trickling down, it affects BB fans too.
    Still a fan.
    Beat Ohio State !

  25. yes yes, ‘The’ Ohio State.

  26. Please someone post Coach Autry’s profile on the Roster pages. WI. Official. Whereever else.

    Mahalo !
    Always, Mahalo !

  27. What Would have Happened IF Previous Coach Had Been Extended W/ Raise…

    YOU CAN Continue to Build on a Winning Program
    Unless EXTREME BAD Circumstances
    {NOT The Case based on Every FACT So Far}
    You Are NUTS to Throw Out The Baby With the Bath Water

    When You Have GOOD People Who Make a Mistake
    OR Need to Learn / Enforce New / Better Habits & Behaviour…

    For Example…

    They Could (Should?) have Developed an Action, Recovery, Corrective Actions Plan [with the Assistance of the High-Paid Consultants] with Specific Metrics Checked and Reported, such as Verified Hours of Practice, Number of Calls to Recruits and When, Study Equipment Authorized, Available and When/How Used, etc. [iPad Signed Out, available to Athletes AND Other Students VIA Bookstore/Library, etc.), (Examples: Maybe a Whole Week of AD watching (Correcting/Mentoring) BB HC Full-Time, Regular Oversight/Report by AD, Monthly Three-Way Sit-Down Reviews with Chancellor, etc……. Adjustments, Changes, Corrections…


    THAT (To Me) Would Be a Little Closer to AD & Chancellor Actually Doing Their Job…
    “Correcting The ʻProblemʻ” and Supporting A [RARE] Effective Program…
    Developing & Improving Good People/Personnel
    (Because Good-to-Great Leaders ARE Hard to Find:
    SEE Frazier, F.Arnold, Bolla, Von Appen, Chow…)

    IF You Have BAD People,
    YOU Have a Different, Bigger? More Systemic? Problem

  28. Tennessee (B Pearl); Oklahoma, Indiana (K Sampson) and USC (Floyd) a few years ago, threw out the bath water to save the baby and seemed to be somewhat successful .

  29. islandman:

    Really curious…maybe ncaa kansas city having a jackson ha, ha , haahhh..! Moment.no letter and uh athletics in disarray..maybe they go easy..workable things..curious gib, fotu maintain clear name..uh power jump gun? With recent track record ..who knows? Eagle..uh admin. Better get it right…uh mbb spotlight on now …wish them success..we fans backing them 1000% !!:)

    the 15 mbb student athletes, benjy and staff, plus support of families to have team and fans focus on school and hoops…Pitt and Jamie Dixon know..he will tell ACC coaches/AD’s, USF coach and radio broadcast team lot of recognition for benjy and team, 24 hour hoops marathon broadcast team, kanoa leahy and espn color acknowledge uh mbb and trials, andy katz shout out and nod to uh mbb for pitt upset win by uh mbb on maui..nationally and now local media..credit to benjy and team, staying strong!!

    Go Rainbow Warriors !!

  30. RunBows; Jackson makes me laugh, he said Nebraska lost to Incarson Word and Norm has a $750,000 salary, i think he said. He also said Riley W. got things done with a lower salary or something like that.

    Also, Portnoy said Janks is not a rim protector. Maybe he could be close to it though, per others.

  31. islandman..

    .benjy knows janks skillset…bobby c…now had chance to see janks in practice and stepping up..sees him as great addition..will really help including defending..so long athletic..an inside outside guy..brian m. said on bobby c. show…addition of janks could actually give uh mbb a shot at bwc title..to me , the coach, the radio play by play who is on road with team now and beat writer brian m. ..waaay before taking , after the fact..power dat be BOR chair..Jeff P.
    he was saying after fotu left , he and jackson, ha, haaahh, that uh mbb might not make bwc tournament..

    They just keep on dissing team..motivates the guys to do better
    silence the doom n gloom negative twosome
    nice guys..but basketball gurus? ha, ha, haaahhh !!

  32. islandman

    I would take word of benjy, bobby c. , and brran m’s observations waaay before ” basketball gurus” supposed..jeff and jack…janks can shoot and from prep ball good shot blocker…they could even have stef and stef ….stef x 2 in game against big teams..Ha,ha, haaah..!!:)
    ha, ha, haaaah !!

  33. RunBows; that’s who had comments on Janks,that is right. But don’t forget Jeff P was a youth basketball coach to Scott Robbs, so may have some keen insights.

  34. Hahahaha! Now that there is funny.

  35. islandman …MY Perception — NOT Fact — Just Second-Hand…

    At Least Some of those names were ‘known’ cheaters with Track Records like Kansas/UNC — their schools even may have known that when hiring, so knew or might already have the ‘jettison’ plan in-place as a strategy when caught, maybe similar to ‘plausible deniability’ in spy-world…

    While we don’t have All the Facts yet — maybe we’ll ‘agree’ with Upper Campus when we do (doesn’t seem likely)


    To ADD to some of above…
    Even BYU TV crew was really enjoying Hawai’i’s Intensity, hustle and style of play…

  36. Eagle:

    Kind of like self imosed punishment?
    HC, assistant, and top returning scorer gone before any allegation letter even makes it to UH AD desk…sound familiar?
    Eagle, islandman, maybe like documentation confidential record made available upon request, legal system, or statute of limitations. Maybe not known until next year, soon 2015 ? Lot of media , speculation and conjecture. Strange how BOR member said month ago, very bad outcome, now on latest talk show says do not worry about “probation”..behind the scenes wheeling and dealing.

    We all just cheer on team, they have 3.0+ GPA this semester , we are very happy.Families happy !!
    Negus and Janks back and both helping team reach a higher gear, we will be thrilled!!

    To see team do this well after first 10 games..with backs to the wall..they are , in my eyes , the feel good NCAA D1 MBB team in nation so far…2014-15 season..Benjy loyal and fantastic job..

    If everything works out, people restored to move on in good way, better yet…just hope admin. know what they are doing..and for fans, athletes and Hawaii and world true story finally known..if not as bad..wow !!?
    Go Rainbow Warriors!!
    Battle the Silverswords, some 32 years after their historic wins over Virginia and Tony Webster led UH team, coached by Larry Little.

  37. What I’m saying is that it is not just the AD that makes hiring/extension decisions for sport coaches. So how can you say that it was Jay that was happy with some coaches and offered extensions, when it was someone else making the decision and let the AD announce it? Obviously the non-AD Powers That Be would not come out, make themselves known, and thus would have to use Jay as a mouthpiece.

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