Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors need to recover and regroup this week

The University of Hawai’i basketball team may have let one get away at UC Riverside last weekend, but that doesn’t mean the Warriors can’t get back in the Big West Conference race.

Hawai’i is 13-6 overall and 1-2 in the Big West. There are still 13 regular-season games remaining before the Big West Conference Tournament.

As sophomore forward Stefan Jankovic put it after the loss at Riverside: “This is all stuff we can build on and get better from. This is not the end of the world. It’s our third conference game.”


The urgency steps up this week, however, as the Warriors host two of the conference’s top teams – first-place UC Davis on Thursday, then potentially second-place UC Irvine on Saturday.

“We got a chance to make some noise; I still like where we’re at,” Hawai’i head coach Benjy Taylor said. “Hopefully nobody gets (hurt) this week.”

The Warriors played with starters Garrett Nevels (hand) and Negus Webster-Chan (flu) in the loss at Riverside. Webster-Chan is expected back this week, but Nevels remains questionable.

Starting forward Mike Thomas (thumb) and reserve guard Brandon Jawato (back) brought back injuries of their own from the Riverside trip.

The Warriors will need as many healthy bodies as they can get this week.

UC Davis has continued its surprising fast start. The Aggies are 14-3 overall and alone atop the Big West at 4-0 (as many Big West wins as it had all of last season). They also have the early leader for conference player of the year in senior guard Corey Hawkins, who ranks ninth in the nation in scoring at 20.9 points per game, and is shooting an impressive 50 percent from 3-point range (47 for 94).

Last season, UC Davis finished last in the Big West with a 4-12 conference record (9-22 overall) and did not even qualify for the Big West Tournament.

UC Irvine won last season’s regular-season title, and was the preseason pick to win it again this season. The Anteaters are currently 9-8 overall and 2-1 in the conference. They could move into second place with a win at Cal State Northridge on Thursday.

WarriorInsider.com will have more on these games in the coming days.

(WarriorInsider.com file photo courtesy Matt Osumi)

— — — — — — — —

Cal State Northridge senior forward Devonte Elliott was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week after leading the Matadors to a pair of upset wins last week.

Elliott averaged 19.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and shot 73.7 percent from the field as CSUN won at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, then against Cal Poly on Saturday.

Hawai’i is now the only team in the Big West not to have a player selected for Player of the Week honors this season.

Thursday’s Games
UC Irvine at Cal State Northridge
Cal State Fullerton at Cal Poly
UC Riverside at UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis at Hawai’i, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Games
Cal State Fullerton at UC Santa Barbara
Long Beach State at Cal State Northridge
UC Riverside at Cal Poly
UC Irvine at Hawai’i, 7 p.m.

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  1. When You Get The TEAMS ABOVE You in the League Standings on Your Home Court…

    You Better Be Ready to Take Advantage…

    UC-Davis and UC-Irvine @ Home This Week and

    CSUN and LBSU on the Road Next Week

    are Four of the Five Teams Above Hawai’i

    ‘Bows Better Beat ‘Em THIS Week
    ‘cos they are Certain (Predicted) Underdogs Next Week…

    So… No Room for Excuses…Only Results (We Want)
    Injuries, Illness, Focus and Readiness…
    Whoever IS Available HAS TO Play At Their Highest Levels
    And Find the Ways to Win The Next TWO and More of the Next Four…
    Losing Two of Three for Starters IS NO Immediate Cause for Panic
    BUT The BWC Winning has to Start NOW…
    Can’t Choose to Start Out of The Loser’s Bracket like Cal Poly Last Year

    GO ‘BOWS!
    Elevate Strong and Stronger
    Your Best to Date is NOT Enough
    Dig Deeper, Find More Focus
    HIT More Free Throws and Field Goals
    UP The Defense, Reduce the Unnecessary Fouls
    Get More Steals AND REBOUNDS
    Get In The Game and Make The Difference
    With and For Your Teammates
    Make (Not Watch) Plays

  2. Noticed teams that have beaten UH this year? They have gotten key rebounds, hustle play, calls, and physically beat up the leaner athletic Bows.. That is why in practice, the 2 Stefs were getting banged with that bumper whenever going up for shot.. or Benjy had All the guys be with bent knee position to get rebounds even when air ball. Athletic leaner, teams have to shoot better, think better, execute better, and be fundamentally sound.. sure gamble and scramble for steals, however 2 guys back protecting rim.. This will be real test of Coaching for Benjy too, he has the team on the right track, sadly due to injury or defection, S. Reyes, they are not that deep in frontcourt, however by committee they can score and be tougher.. just ask G Money.. he is the toughest guy on the court, and he has the UCL tear.. you watch, if doctor and trainer can make that padded cast/brace for Garrett by this Davis game, and Garrett in shape to play, HE WILL PLAY and have a Big Effect on outcome of game.. They need all other 11 guys to be Warriors like Captain Nevels.. Quincy if you have all noticed, past 3 games, has played really well, maybe time to start him till Nevels Ready?
    We Need tough, don’t back down, finish, strong with the ball, and bang.. with the BWC , teams, they are out executing and getting more physical.. however the loss to Poly, by few points in OT, and Riverside, UH should have won that game.. UH is almost there.. when all 12 are healthy and Ready, they are as good as any MId Major or High Mid Major team in the country.. just watch when NWC and Janks go off.. have both great games.. UH will be rocking and rolling, and my boy Jawato, get well bro. Wato, we need you to bomb some 3 balls

    It All begins, the march to March Madness, this Thursday nite Jan 22 2015 SSC at 700pm
    Go Bows !!

  3. Some of the commentators were mentioning that many of the teams in the power conferences are not doing well this year. That opens the door to the mid-majors if they can have an outstanding season, might get an at-large berth. So this team needs to put everything together to be at the door come tournament time. It is realistic now to say that any mid-major team with 20 or more wins that shows improvement towards the end of the season could get at-large berths. This is huge for our conference if one team can sneak through the backdoor. Hawaii could very well be that team if they can put it all together. It starts Thursday night in the Stan.

  4. I found out recently that Brandon Spearman is playing D-III basketball in Germany. A ‘Where Are They Now?’ section could make this site even more fantastic.

  5. I think the key to winning the next two games is to play smart, in other words no sloppy passes, no showboating, block out on rebounds, high percentage shots, reduce turnovers, play tough defense and make free throws, especially the one and ones. I hope Nevels can return soon; we miss his discipline, scoring, rebounding and most of all, his leadership on the court. We have a lot of talent and just need to focus on one game at a time, i.e. forget the past games and don’t look forward to future games. We’ll be cheering the team on this week !

    Go Bows !!!

  6. servante, much respect to you for being so positive but I think even us die hard fans need to understand the realities. I think the only way UH gets an at-large is if they win every single one of the rest of the games and even that would still make them a long shot to get it.

    I hate to say this, but the best way for Big West to get two teams to NCAA tourney is UC Davis continue to run the table and finish with a 27-3 or 26-4 record. Then some other team would have to beat UC Davis for the Big West tourney title and automatic berth. This is where UH can sneak in because they take the automatic then UC Davis can get an at-large if they finish with a crazy good record!

  7. ChuckCheese…

    You make a good point about UC Davis… they are pretty hot right now and look like the most impressive team in the Big West.

    Unfortunately, the NCAA Selection committee doesn’t only look at your overall and league record… they also look at your out of conference schedule and wins. UC Davis has NO wins over teams with sub 100 RPI’s… except for Long Beach State (RPI – 61)… and you know that Long Beach’s RPI will get worse with more games they play in the Big West.

    On the other hand, Hawaii has nice wins over 2 teams who are Sub 100 in RPI (Pitt – 68 / Colorado – 80). If any team were to run the table in the Big West and receive an at-large, it would be Hawaii…

    1. Hawaii has two better wins based on RPI
    2. If Hawaii can win ALL of their remaining road games, the NCAA Selection Committee would look more favorable upon that than UC Davis’ road wins over fellow California schools.

    If Hawaii runs the table, with all those road victories… and then loses in the Big West Finals… I am 95% sure we’re an At-large team. Our out of conference victories are better than anyone elses in the Big West.

  8. Hawaii has zero shot at an at large birth. It’s just the realities of the SOS and the strength of the BW. Our SOS was weak to begin with and will go down with the BWC conference schedule. The BWC is a one bid league for sure.

    I like what Benjy has done this year but the one thing I hate when coaches bring it up is making excuses for why they didn’t win. Obviously it hurt not having NWC or Nevels but that is not the reason why they lost the game. They had capable players on the court and they gave the game away. When you blame the refs or not having players it doesn’t focus on what needs to be worked on.

  9. servante, I do agree that most likey more mid-major teams will get at-large berths this year than years past, however even if UH wins out I don’t see them getting any kind of at large bid. Despite having wins over teams from 3 “power conferences”, their RPI and SOS is just not where it should be. Based on this year’s schedule, the only way I could see Hawaii getting an at-large berth is if Wichita St. was their only loss and if they went like 14 – 2 or 15 – 1 in conference then at least made it to the championship game in the championship game. I’ve been following UH basketball since the early 90’s and I would say there was probably only one or two years where they might have received an at-large bid, however I believe they won the conference tournament and didn’t need one.

    As far as this team goes, I think they’re an awesomely athletic team that’s highly entertaining to watch. I also believe that even if NWC is back on Thursday, they need Nevels to pull off the “upset”. That, or Davis has to have an off night, i.e. Corey Hawkins gets shut down. UCD appears to be a strong road team (6 – 3 so far this year) with no “bad” road losses to teams currently totalling 25 wins/24 losses (9 – 8 Seattle U, 9 – 8 Was. St. and 7 – 9 Idaho), all of which were by single digits. Most recently they’ve won 2 in a row on the road by DOUBLE digits.

    UH is good at making defensive stops/steals, but they NEED to capitalize on them more. Saw so many blown layups last game, it was ridiculous. They also NEED someone to step up to the plate and confidently shoot it when we need points. Also NEED someone to make hustle plays and crash the boards on both ends. If these needs aren’t met, the looming possibility of UH being 13 – 7, and a 1 – 3 conference start could become a reality.

  10. Hey…all above comments, excellent points, from benjy on down…team get better and just keep winning next game..:)
    focus: beat uc davis

    These next two ..shame if cannot get 6000 in the house
    UH should drum up support…
    every bwc game is like wild west
    remember the wacky WAC?
    Possibility very strong G will be playing Davis game..on court, even limited minutes help team..he is tough mature young man, team needs him on court..leader..
    and guys on team get emotions in check , don’t want to gripe back at each other or coach too much, focus on winning game..stay together…!!
    one ohana, finish strong!!

  11. This week’s games are must win games. Gotta take care of our own house and cannot afford any more losses at home, period. If win one and lose one and the team is still behind the eight ball at 2-3 in conference. Lose these two games and we are looking at 1-4 and trying just to make it to the conference tournament. Losing the last game after leading most of the game against Riverside is a killer, not to mention losing Webstar-Chan and Nevels for the game. We need everyone to play and contribute and play wel, and win. Somebody’s got to be the leader and take charge. Somebody’s got to step up big time, like that guy Elliott from Northridge. It doesn’t have to be a starter too. Winning, that’s the bottom line. If it’s ugly and win, so be it!

  12. I’m really worried about Nevels coming back too early because he’s such a competitor. I think the loss at UCR is making Nevels press a little and he might be rushing a return to the court. As most people have chimed in it’s all about winning the conference tourney to get into the dance. I’d like to see Nevels take it slow to make sure he is 100% instead of coming back early and reinjuring the hand. It’s his dominant and shooting hand which makes it that much more important that he’s healthy before stepping on the court. We need him for the stretch run and should be able to tread water with him out for a couple more games with the return of NWC.

    Not sure if this has been brought up before but the only thing I don’t understand about Benjy’s play calling was at the end of the game he brings in Enos cold off the bench to hit a three. That’s an extremely tough position to put the kid in since he didn’t touch the basketball let alone step foot on the court all game.

  13. Get Well Coach Riley Wallace, SA just reported Riley suffered more severe stroke than in November 2014, a few months ago when he was on Maui for the Pitt game and Maui Classic
    He is the chairman of the selection committee of the Colleginsider.com tournament Post Season tournament.

    One thing with Riley, passion for Hawaii, the people, fans, his own family and his hard working effort athletes.. he loved them all like a Father to sons..
    Get Well Coach !!

  14. RunBows…

    Thanks for mentioning that about Coach Riley. Coach had a stroke last night… I believe he’s in Las Vegas. Let’s all send prayers his way… We hope he has a speedy recovery.

  15. The only UH team that made the NCAA tournament without winning a conference tournament was the 1971-72 Fabulous Five team. They were 24-2 before the NCAA’s and were not in any conference.

    After that, Riley’s teams of 1993-94, 2000-01 and 2001-02 made the NCAA’s by winning the WAC tournament. Three of his teams made the 3rd round of the NIT, two the 2nd , one the 1st round.

  16. islandman .. once again , to the man with the stats !! Metrics ! Archival Artist !

    For BigWest that formula again, and even the old WAC.. before demise, or what it is now..
    Win Regular Season Title=auto invite NIT
    Win BWC tournament=NCAA invite Big Dance
    CBI=pay to play
    CIT=pay to play

    Big West has to have high profile, not only LBSU schedule those tough teams, they have to win them.. maybe, UH too, go out on the road or at SSC and beat the top 25 teams.. Maybe when half of league is doing that they will get respect and that 2nd ncaa at large invite,.. imagine how nervous, Vince Goo(pathetic , he had several 20+ win teams, and no at large bid), Shoji awaiting this year.. ,
    One thing certain, if UH MBB were 19-0, with wins in Utah Salt Lake City against BYU, the Pitt Maui win, Nebraska, Wichita St, and Colorado wins for DHC crown.. no matter overall SOS.. They would have to be Top 25 right..? Hope so.. almost have to run the table.
    More importantly if Benjy has team’s attention, full focus, and NOt lazy, play , attitude, or slack in school , practice, personal life or in community.. This Team , starting with Davis.. guys ALL contribute, even last 3 guys on the bench cheering.. and UH pulls off HUGE win agains hottest team in the league the Davis Aggies.. That is All that matters.. Then,.. get ready for the team with 4 guys? 6’10” to 7’6″, whom other smaller teams have beat.. So UH get healthy, steady, stay together, rebound, fundamentals.. even Bobbitt, control, maturity, lead at the point, not frenetic.. slow down, and the Bigs finish down, low,, home or on the road, and Valdes.. take that high flying act to 4 game upcoming road swing, go at minimum 2-2, UH would be 5-4.. heading into the final 7 games.. which they try to run the table..

    Fans.. Love it , we talking UH Hoops, a UH MBB sport, in running for titles and post season, with exciting team, that is only going to get much better, if all healthy in mind, attitude heart and body!!

    Go Bows Warrior Time.. Be There !!~

  17. Ok Warrior Nation we need everybody to get to the Stanley Thursday nite , the team needs to pack the house We need it loud and unbearable for the UC Davis team. Students you gotta come and support the team. This is a must win. Protect the House Warriors!!!!! Be there !!!!

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