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Warriors target sweep of CSUN

The last time the University of Hawai’i basketball team played CSUN, the Warriors tied a school record with 20 steals in an 83-68 victory at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Warriors will need to be at their defensive best again in order to steal a needed road win on Thursday at CSUN. The Matadors will host the Warriors in a Big West Conference game at 5 p.m. (Hawai’i time) at The Matadome in Northridge, Calif.

It will be the first of four consecutive road games for the Warriors.

Hawai’i is 14-7 overall and 2-3 in the conference; CSUN is 6-15 and 2-4. The teams previously met on January 10, making this a relatively quick rematch.

Valdes2_Flores

“Seeing them for the second time, we’re going to make some changes and I’m sure they’re going to make some changes, too,” head coach Benjy Taylor said. “The fact that we’ve seen them kind of helps a little bit, but seeing Long Beach for the first time on Saturday, we only have one day to prepare so we gotta have kind of everything in.”

After losing at Hawai’i, the Matadors went on to upset wins over UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly, but then lost home games to conference leaders UC Irvine and Long Beach State.

“They got some big wins,” Taylor said. “They got the talent to do it, and they’re certainly a lot better at home than they are on the road.”

The Matadors remain an undermanned squad due to preseason suspensions. They have just nine players on the active roster, and normally use just seven players in close games. However, they possess two of the conference’s top individual talents in seniors Stephan Hicks and Stephen Maxwell.

Hicks, a 6-6 wing, is averaging 16.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, and leads the Big West with 110 free throws. He had 14 points and seven rebounds in the loss at Hawai’i.

Maxwell, a 6-7 forward, is averaging 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He finished with 20 points and nine rebounds in the loss at Hawai’i.

Other key players for the Matadors include 6-10 forward Devonte Elliott (8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds), 6-7 forward Tre Hale-Edmerson (5.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks), and 6-2 point guard Landon Drew (5.8 points, 4.6 assists).

“Reggie (Theus) is a good coach and I’m sure they’ll be ready to play,” Taylor said. “It’ll be a tough game for us. Every game from here on out is going to be a dog fight.”

When the Warriors beat the Matadors on January 10, they did so without senior captain Garrett Nevels, who was recovering from hand surgery. He is expected to be in the starting lineup on Thursday.

Sophomore wing Aaron Valdes led Hawai’i with a career-high 34 points in the win over CSUN, and he leads the team in both scoring (15.3) and rebounding (5.9). Nevels is next in both categories at 11.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

The Warriors continue to lead the Big West in scoring at 73.4 points per game, and they are doing it from various angles. Valdes and Nevels are the only players averaging double-figure points, but they are followed closely by: Isaac Fleming (9.7), Stefan Jankovic (9.6), Roderick Bobbitt (8.8), Negus Webster-Chan (8.6), Mike Thomas (8.2) and Stefan Jovanovic (5.1).

“We’re waiting for everybody to put it all together on the same night,” Taylor said. “We’ve had it a couple times, when it was really, really good. We’re young, but we still need to do some things a lot better and we will.”

Bobbitt ranks second in the nation in steals with 3.0 per game, and he got eight in the first meeting with the Matadors. He also leads the Big West in assists at 5.8 per game.

Game Information

Who: Hawai’i (14-7, 2-3 Big West) vs. CSUN (6-15, 2-4 Big West)
When: Thursday, Jan. 29, 5:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: The Matadome (Northridge, Calif.)
Television: None
Streaming Video: www.bigwest.org
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM with Bobby Curran. 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 HawaiiAthlectics.com

11 Comments

  1. Go Bows !!
    Benjy Ball
    prove it…you guys are winners !!
    We be waiting !!
    🙂

  2. And long overdue.. Welcome back Jamie Smith !
    Last 5 home games at SSC should be rocking.. and Jamie is a great Basketball mind, great resume, performance analyst, breaking down film.. just in time, for UH MBB to make that stretch run. hopefully to March Madness.

    Aloha and Welcome Back Jamie !!
    🙂

  3. Hope the Jamie Smith–ACTIVE UH Student Sections help provide The Edge to sweep the remainder of Home Games…

    Surprised Jamie didn’t stop-over and join team on road trip…
    BUT i know he’ll re-build Base-Camp Strength for The Team’s (Hopefully Victorious) Return

    Last Home Game ALL SECTIONS had seats occupied through the Top/Last Row…

    With Jamie’s Boost (and a couple of Road Wins OR Better)
    SSC Should be The Noisiest Highest-Energy Venue in The BWC

    Bows: IF The Team Does Step Up to Multiple Road WINS on This Trip,
    ‘Maybe’ you’ll have Near-Sell-Outs THIS Season…

    —————-

    THIS TRIP….

    IF ‘The Players’ CAN Find Their INNER Strength, Consistent Focus and Performance…
    I Would Look for Players Like Fleming, Jankovic, Negus, maybe Nevels, Bobbitt, Thomas & Valdés to Start Boosting their Stats/Numbers just as an off-shoot of 20-40 minute game-winning performances…

    Maybe I’m Impatient, BUT there’s ONLY 11 More Games For THIS YEAR’S TEAM to ‘Grow Up’…
    Because After That IT’S The Season of ‘One and Done’ — NO ROOM For Mediocre or Sub-Par Performances…
    THIS Gauntlet of a Road Trip IS A Big Opportunity To Make That Statement (To The BWC & Fans) that The Players Been Talking ‘Bout Since Signing/Redshirting/Showing Up…

    On the Other Hand we’ve Seen HOW SMART, HOW WELL these well-coached BWC Teams Can Perform…
    i would Like to Think This Trip is where The Cream WILL Rise – where Hawai’i’s Super-Talent is Realized In WINS,
    When Hawai’i Finally shows Up as among The Best of The Big West — PACIFIC Flag Bearer

    [Then i also Look at The ‘Early’ Recruiting Results (Thanks Backbeat) and Realize “Our Leadership” [VERY Loosely Held Terminology] has US Sliding Backwards — Standing Still, OR Losing Good Players — Metric: APR – while The Competition Continues to Step Up IS Exactly The Kind Of Short-Sightedness that ‘Axes Super-Stars’ (Who WILL Take Risks and make Some Errors) While the ‘Mediocre-Managers’ Don’t Even Know their Next Step, Plan A OR B after Knee-Jerk Over-Reacting…]

    SO FOR NOW — and maybe a Year Forseeable Future —
    MOST or All the Program Improvement Rests with The Coaches and Players On-Board, Already On-the-Court…

    AND That Battle Continues with a “Winnable” Road Kick-Off Today…

    GO ‘BOWS!
    Find the Ways to WIN…
    Get ‘Controlling Leads’ like you glimpsed @BYU
    So The Refs and Opposition Can’t Late-Steal Away Any More Victories
    Start, Continue 40+ and
    FINISH STRONG!

  4. Benji said he dealt with the ( riverside) issue when it happened,per today’s paper.
    ———————————————————————————————————-

    Get Valdes involved early to make a basket so he gets off to a good start .

  5. A Tsai blogger said Tai Wynyard from N Zealand, who reportedly was a prospect for UH awhile back, has committed to Kentucky. He’s listed as a two star, must be an old rating. He played some with Fotu on the N Zealand team ? he’s still young .

  6. Thanks for the game info Dayton. Makes it a lot easier to follow the team on the road. I think live streaming web is the future of sports viewing. Especially when you sit in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and no chance to drive to the game. Hawaii fans benefit a lot. It’s only going to get better. Good luck Hawaii bows.

  7. You know…. CSUN and LBSU.. going to be Tough, very tough to win at….those guys are athletic, will play really well at home.. in past year, when UH had Fotu and Standhardinger, Spearman and Shamburger running show, and Nevels hitting some trifectas, they still fell by one as CSUN and of course the infamous collapse in BWC tournament opening round game..

    UH , had to shoot, really close to 50%, I mean, everything, runouts, 3’s, layups, dunks, hook shots.. free throws,.. Their Defense will be there, however to counter UH pressure, like at SSC, CSUN and ALL BWC teams, know, make that good long pass to wing, or big man near the basket, and have one on one or one on none drives to the basket..

    UH has to shoot well, and not just Aaron hitting for 28 pts, has to be about 5 guys, 12-18 pts.. or else, if UH is really disciplined, and they so far are not a old school half court, run clock down, make 4 good passes before putting up good shot, and making them or getting fouled team.. That is the Scout on UH.. make them play half court D and O, and make shots.. Teams hold them below 40 per cent.. and get their bigs into foul trouble, or NOW the scout out and the refs looking for UH guys to start rolling their eyes or griping, they will get more fouls and T’d up.. It has become a simpler scout for BWC opponents.. They feel they can win at home against UH and at SSC.

    Man, oh man.. UH young…. by game 22, .. and I really hope Benjy had the guys on board.. any swag, or mouthing off… bench em.. have to have discipline, to have chance to win any one of the remaining 11 BWC regular season games.. yes,, I went back and tried to figure out what happened the last 5 BWC games and the 3 losses.. That is it, discipline and Shooting good percentages, making shots.. as well as Great HALF COURT defense, shutting down teams and closing..out.

    NWC.. still waiting, for that breakout, well if AV, MT, NWC, Janks, Nevels, Bobbitt, Fleming, Jovanovich, All shoot well and defend without getting into foul trouble.. they have the talent to beat anyone , on road or home.. Just have to shoot well, and guard well without fouling in Half Court Defensive sets..

    This 4 game road swing.. bottom line 2-2, 0-4.. not good.. very much so.. 1-3.. could happen.

    2-2, UH starts to really shoot and play half court D well.. 3-1
    Heck , Benjy and the Boyz, just want win CSUN game..
    gut wrenching.. if CSUN, and they will.. just run out to early big lead and UH has to scramble back.. better if UH keeps close, then can close out in second half for win.

    go Bows.. Warrior Time.. shoot well and defend better !!
    🙂
    JMO.. however. echoes what Benjy and staff see.. Discipline for team important, and Shooting.. well..

  8. Interesting SA article and interview statements about how, Benjy and staff Knew about incident, when on road at Riverside, and They handled it.. of course that cleaning bill went to AD, and they had to justify, without question, Benjy would tell AD Jay about it.. and inhouse matter addressed.. let Jay do the internal investigation.. Discipline would be merited and dispersed by Benjy on that road swing or even coming home.. Really Man up, than Benjy.. any stuff going against or about his team and guys.. he will take the brunt.. yet Hawaii News now and that Media contingent just waiting for any negative thing about team.. they will jump on it.. I wish Benjy and team can win 6 more games this season.. that would give Benjy and the Guys a 20 win season.. then wish Benjy the best.. either as HC here or ….

    Really takes the high road, quite honest guy, with his players, and the media..
    We know where he stands.. Now The Team has to stand up For Him and their Ohana and fans.. come on guys.. get at least 2 out of 4 road wins, or better..

    Go Bows.
    And thanks islandman.. the days of tabloid media, and op ed writing..
    Man, if UH makes it to a Post Season Tournament..worthy of a story in ESPN the Magazine.. “Perils overcome IN Paradise.. the story of Hawaii MBB 2014-15”

  9. please kids , no more stupidity, grow up ,you’re not making the program , represent the university and state in a positive light. focus your minds and do the right thing. I’m sure the coaches will now be your bed buddies in all the rooms from now on. Good luck on the trip.

  10. O.K., ‘BOWS!
    50-34!

    NOW DO BETTER IN THE SECOND HALF!
    [At ‘LEAST’ Do Better Than CSUN Black-Toppers…

  11. Great…

    Hope the Long Trend Continues,
    That UH generally plays Better on the Road as The Road Trip Continues…

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