Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Two home games remaining for Warriors

The University of Hawai’i basketball team doesn’t have much time to make up ground. Three games, to be exact.

It starts with a home game against Long Beach State on Thursday at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Warriors are 18-11 overall and tied for sixth place in the Big West Conference at 6-7. The 49ers are 13-15 overall and tied for third at 7-5, including a 65-50 win over Hawai’i on January 31 at Long Beach, Calif.

“We know we can play with any team in this conference,” sophomore forward Stefan Jankovic said. “We’ve proved that. We just gotta make sure we do that for 40 minutes, and not 22 or 10 … it’s going to be important that we have the home court, so hopefully we have the energy there for the full game.”


The previous game at Long Beach was an example of a frustrating finish for the Warriors. Hawai’i raced to a 12-0 lead in that game, then got out-scored 39-23 in the second half.

“We had a bad second half against them,” head coach Benjy Taylor said. “We gotta watch that and we gotta grow from that.”

The Warriors need a win, not just to avenge the loss at Long Beach, but to have any chance at climbing into the top four of the standings before the regular season ends. The Warriors can finish anywhere from the No. 3 to the No. 7 seed for the Big West Conference Tournament … not that they are counting.

“We try not to talk about that,” Taylor said. “That’s something for everybody else to talk about. We’re just trying to play good basketball going down the stretch. We’re not talking about who we’re going to play first round in Anaheim, trying to catch this team or that team. We have enough to worry about with Long Beach coming in here without worrying about something else two weeks from now.”

Another immediate worry is the health of several key players. The Warriors are coming off a 74-67 loss at first-place UC Davis. Hawai’i played without three key players in that game – Aaron Valdes (sick), Mike Thomas (ankle) and Isaac Fleming (ankle).

Valdes is expected to play; Thomas is hopeful to play; Fleming remains questionable.

“It’ll help us defensively, and being able to catch our breath on offense and everything, it’ll help us,” Taylor said of the added depth.

— — — — — — —

Thursday’s game is “Harry Potter Night” and fans are encouraged to dress like characters from the Harry Potter movies. The first 500 UH students through the turnstiles will receive “Hogwarts School neck ties.”


Director of Basketball Operations Jamie Smith – the mastermind behind the theme nights – also wants to remind fans that the home finale on March 4 is a “White-Out” and all fans are encouraged to wear white shirts.

White rally towels will also be passed out to the student section for that game.

The March 4 game is also “Senior Night” and the team’s lone senior – Garrett Nevels – will be honored after the game.

Thursday’s Game Information
Hawai’i (18-11, 6-7 Big West) vs. Long Beach State (13-15, 7-5 Big West)
When: Thursday, Feb. 26, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (Honolulu, O’ahu)
Tickets: Lower level – $26 all seats; 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: www.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 HawaiiAthlectics.com


  1. Go Bows… Warrior Time.. Hey you all can do it.. just keep winning.. and UH Admin, all we are saying, is give Benjy a chance..

    Bows !!
    Man what a season, from Gib firing, to injuries, defections, disputes, emotions, technicals, road woes to awesome 12-4 start, now UH MBB can go 6-0 to end the BWC tournament, wow, look out NCAA tournament.

    Benjy and the Bows, Awesome job, thousands are very proud of you the MBB program, Laura and the WBB program, is where they are expected to be. UH MBB just to have 18 wins with potential for 20 plus and NCAA invite, despite the Noise, the distractions and the naysayers…Benjy and the bows.,,.. just do well and shut the negative nancies up !

  2. Hope Aaron is at or better than 80, 90%, Team-Flu-Be-Gone (Potter-ish Incantation)
    Mike Thomas and Isaac Fleming: Need Progressive Strength,
    ‘Very Little Time’ for Setbacks without losing Post-Season Capabilities…
    Rod, Q, Niko…Get TO The Rim, FINISH / Make those shots. passes
    Janks, Negus, AV, Jovanovic, Dyrbe: Opportunity for SUPER Sophs Finish

    while apparent (and good) “We Can Play Tough” with Any BWC Team,
    we are also still vulnerable to Our Own Frailties…

    Agree with Janks — 40-Minutes of Good-to-Great UHMBB IS Tough To Beat…
    We’ve demonstrated that 37-35-33 Can ALL Be Overcome by Upper Half Teams…

    Play 50 / Even 55… Maybe we’ll already be declared Winners at 40
    (For Some, Play 50 might Require Stretching Out Four Fouls so Refs CAN’T Take YOU out of the Game)
    ? Break the Speed Limit @ 65 ?
    ‘Bows… Consider for This Young Team…
    Borrowing from ‘The Greatest Generation” and 442 (Most-Decorated Team in History, Largely Led by Hawai’i)
    It’s “GO FOR BROKE” Time…Leave It ALL On the Court

    Go ‘Bows!
    Play SIX…WIN
    Play 50 and Finish Strong

  3. Top prankster on the team is Valdes, along with Jawato as rated by Enos, noted in today’s news article. But Valdes gets serious when it’s time to buckle down, is a hard worker and gives it his all, per Dyrbe.

  4. Jamie Smith is back at it! I hope and pray and he can help get the students to come out and rock the last two games. Those who have been there know what a difference he makes and how much louder it is when the UH student section is packed.

  5. Full strength or not, UH needs to defend their house this week…no excuses! Need wins for both nights, regardless of the end of season impact (which, at this point it doesn’t look to have any). I have no doubt that at full health, we’re at least the second best team in the conference. The end of season run starts now, need to win out the last 3 games then ride that streak straight into the conference tournament.

    Nevels, you’ve been one of my favorites since day one and I hope you can make the best of these last few games you got coming up. It was great to see you go off the other night and really give the team a chance right until the end. Keep that fire going, be the “Trevor Ruffin” reincarnate, the senior leader that carries its team right into the big dance. The women’s team will most likely be dancing so wouldn’t it be something if the men’s did as well? Let’s GO BOWS!

  6. Having Aaron back at pretty much 100%.. helps a lot.. he bring that energy, stay out of foul trouble, just go to the boards, get steals, rebound, and putbacks, transition and a couple of three balls, will help a lot.

    That offensive punch,.. looks like Fleming and Thomas, hoping will be near 100% BWC tourney time.

    Will see, Thomas, could play tomorrow against LBSU, however if he has to sit out.. the 9 available guys INCLUDING Dyrbe and Niko will go all out..and I am sure, even if 4800 in the house, will make HUGE NOISE to cheer on guys.. Have to just attack, and score..
    Basically UH for whole game shoots 46% or better, and defends well,.. execution..
    They win ball games.. Have to shoot well.. and close out games.. they can do it..

    Neat to have full strength 11 guys, experienced and ready
    Benjy is right, Bobbitt is ailing, and getting worn down, need Niko to spell him give him rest too, for that BWC tournament.
    I like UH’s chances, going to be tough.. however.. WHO, or What NCAA DI team, that has 18 wins in the Nation had to endure what UH MBB team has gone through? I cannot thing of One..UH has a good 5 or 6 game run, on through hopefully a Post Season Tourney,.. has to be one of the Mid Major , High Mid Major teams of the Year !!

    Go Bows.. Getting excited.. Go Beach the Beach !!

  7. Tough deal. If UH had a stacked deck, meaning their full complement of players, you wonder how things would have been. 1) Isaac Fotu – if he was playing from the start the team would have a terrific record, certainly no more than 5 losses to this point. 2) Sammis Reyes – if he had stayed and not been injured he would have helped the depth coming off the bench for needed physicality, rebounding, and garbage points.
    3) losing Valdes, Thomas, and Fleming, and even Nevels, hurt a lot. Probably cost 2 or 3 games due to those missing in action.

    Now, going into the final 3 games of the season, we have to look towards the conference tournament. The objective is to have everybody on roster be able to play as best they can to try to win the tournament and get to the big dance. That is the OBJECT, PERIOD!!! To make it to the dance, you won’t care what the record was in the regular season. I wouldn’t. With that in mind, Taylor would be smart to hold out Fleming until the Big West tournament. Valdes should be able to go tomorrow, but I would hold out Thomas if he could and have him ready for maybe the last regular season game, depending how the conference standing are. You hope nobody else gets hurt, and you also hope that the team’s shooting will improve as well.

    Because of the coaches in limbo you don’t hear anything about recruiting and any prospects. That doesn’t bode well for the future as we are also looking at some serious sanctions when it’s all said and done. If Taylor doesn’t take care of his personal business (any taxes issues and child support, etc.) I wouldn’t bring him back at all. There are a lot of good coaches out there willing for a chance to make their mark. It also depends on who the AD is too.

    All in all, this team has overachieved in my mind and it’s a credit to the coaches and players. Good luck to them the rest of the season and I pray we can make it to the Big Dance. That would be something!!!!

  8. MAYBE…. We Should GET and POST Chancellor Bley-Vroman’s e-mail and/or Snail-Mail Address and APPEAL to Him DIRECTLY — It Would Seem The Greatest Near-Year (or Several!) IMPACT Could Come from HIS Ability to ACT Soonest –e.g., Before April 16th –Instead of “After-MAY” … which Essentially Becomes MAY-DAY Because Of The TALENT WE WILL LOSE (Instead of Sign) — We May have Already Lost One V.Good 6-11 Prospective Recruit….. Each KEY Player — Consistent with Derek’s Comments — could be Another LOSS or Three — FIVE Points– maybe the Difference between “Having The NEXT Fotu” OR NOT — IS a BIG Swing…


    Campaign With Bley-Vroman?

    DAYTON? Any One?


  9. NCAA tournament would be nice… good goal..

    Benjy Taylor, and the Team, really credit to Ben Jay for making him Acting HC.. This team as you said , has Done Fantastic.

    I won’t even go there, a HC’s personal life and obligations.. too personal..

    Would not want to start from scratch.. Benjy and team make it to the Dance, NCAA’s, , and he IS NOT HIRED as permanent multi year , properly written contracted HC.. would be insane..

    Well Derek, par for the course, UH Admin. and business in Hawaii..

    Just love the team.. Man, many athletes, and the coaching staff would have tanked, given up the season.. This group, Benjy, Senque, Brad, Brandon, and MBB team.. Fantastic, job.. one of THE BEST. I have ever seen. despite all of the junk thrown upon them and injuries, ailments and attacks..

    Go Bows!!
    Just win for yourselves, and Your Families.. And thankyou to Dayton, Valerie Schmidt, Ameriprise, Pacific Risk Solutions and Schmidt Ohana for supporting WI and MBB program.. Awesome.

    During summer, we hope Benjy Taylor. and victorious, even if they don’t make it to NCAA’s , they win 20 games or so.. The are Champions already.
    I ain’t demanding anything more.. They have suffered enough.
    True Warriors.. Benjy and team, have MY ULTIMATE RESPECT !!
    Finish Strong !!

  10. Eagle:

    Post signs at Stan Sheriff Center.. Chancellor, Pres.. Power that Be, please sign New HC soon.. otherwise, this recruiting season and potentially next is pau, gone..

    And , why not have the MBB team’s best interests at Heart? Hire a coach that knows them, and took care of them through Adversity.. ? And they still have winning season..

    Eagle, Fans some 5000 strong, could email sure, however, get out the SIGNS at Stan Sheriff Center, or the catcalls, Chancellor, get moving on hiring New HC , or permanent, one, otherwise, those maybe 2 bigs, and a couple of JC shooters, are gone.. However,.. believe April through mid May the spring signing official.. they can always sign late gets, through till start of Aug fall session as Scholarship Agreement Athletes..

    Go Bows.. And Chancellor, and POWER THAT BE.. get shaking.. if UH MBB, can run the table, will make UH admin look really foolish, and INSANE, if they did not hire or make Benjy HC permanent..

    Go Bows !!

  11. Man, did I beat islandman?
    Brian M’s post, Larry Little just passed away at age 75.. very sad, .. Coach Wallace, stroke recovering battle, and now Larry’s passing.
    Larry Little, hired as new coach when UH was in the midst of 2 year NCAA probation, he the former Centenary coach whom recruited Robert Parish, 7’0″ All American and all NBA pro center.

    Larry very nice guy, same like Riley very easy to talk to.

    Sad. feel for the families..

  12. Yes, Larry’s 1980-81 team held the previous steal record of 293, until this year, or for 34 years. RIP.

  13. eagle…

    insert chancellor’s last name then add:


    used to email to coaches, or media persons.. sometimes reply sometimes not. however, 500 emails or so, in the positive, to get moving on HC hire…would show clout..

  14. On the first picture at the below webpage, it shows Larry and his asst. coaches including a very young Riley Wallace in the back and their colorful shirts. Other asst. coaches shown are Howard Wallace and Bob Nash, i think.


    I read that some Florida St. players laughed at the aloha print uniforms of the Fabulous Five players.

  15. correction, not H. Wallace, but someone else …

  16. i.e., vroman@hawaii.edu…? [NOT b.vroman@…?]

    Will See IF Bounces…

    HE “Ought” to HEAR from ALL Of Us….

    I WILL Make a Point of (Politely Interrupting and) Talking to Him IF / When See Him @ UHMVB OR UHWBB Games

    The VIP Seats are Two Rows In Front of US …

    ————— LL——–

    RE: Larrty Little:

    I’m SURE Dayton & Co. Will have a Suitable Memorium….

    LL Always The Southern Gentleman:
    Willing to Take On Our Program At Its Lowest Point…
    Suffered The Recovery;
    Returned The Program to D-1 Respectability and Competitiveness
    Out-Performed His Immediate Successor Coach

    Among His Most Valuable Contributions
    HIRING A Young Fire-Brand Assistant Named Riley Wallace
    Then Allowing Him to Fill In — A La’ Benjy? — and Show Some of His Stuff…

    Mahalo, Coach!

  17. JMO: At this “time” some decision should be made on the future of the MBB, especially when recruiting is right around the corner. If silence and no action is the decision. Hold that person responsible by removing him/her from the position if things err as a result. Can’t capture time once it has passed, however, can hold people accountable for their decisions or for sitting on their hands. You would hope for a proactive approach and building a successful program especially with money problems and helping the program to be self-sustaining, + more, to support non-income sports. What bothers me, is, why does the U of H legalese require so much time to respond to the NCAA allegations? Or, are they waiting to see HOW Gib’s legal counsul going to rebut the allegations, or are the two legal teams working together to mount a defensible position? Interesting situation and what’s really important is the future of the program, getting a quality coach and recruits…the clock is running, time is running out, where’s the sense of urgency????

  18. Academics first vision of University of Hawaii at Manoa?

    tako…if legal..and not wonder blunder or poorly written counsel are working to save post season play as settlment with ncaa, upon learning of possible sanctions…alabama legal..worth weight in gold..key to recruiting too.
    Larry Little had recruits and transfers first year of ncaa probation…
    Gavin Smith 6’6″ 30 foot bomber, John Moore 6’5″ 215 forward like Arian Dantley , Mark Aquire type , Gary Gray 5’11” ball handling wizard, tough guy Packy Ryan 6’3″ 210 SG…George Ritter 6’10” 225 center, king of Ritter’s Sitter’s fan club,.that group fun to watch only win I think 7 games
    however they had fun…
    in 2 year’s Larry recruited JC all america guard Tom Louden 6’1″ 190, Eric “slim” Bowman 6’8″ 190, Robert Smith 6’5″ 195 SF, Lilttle Joe Frazier 5’8″ 155 guard who could dunk, he got upgrade in talent
    Sad…he tried so hard to get franchise player Alabama HS phenom 6’9 1/2″ 225 Bobby Lee Hurt..so close..he signed elsewhere..would have been huge impact player in years for mbb..

    Thanks to 1.2 million dollar anonymous donor to UH Athletics
    Mahalo madam!!

  19. Yes…BM…MT ready to go for LBSU game…Fleming still healing
    yes agree…uh mbb wants to win..however make sure injured guys don’t re injure

    LBSU..half time …presentation by nice woman who donated about 800 thousand to UH Athletics in 2011..
    what a nice person
    AD current should have approached several multi millionares and billionaires who live in hawaii..also make good friends with legislature for subsidies

    UH slow as molasses…urgency..tako you are right
    Nash and Gib crippled recruiting first year ..so late contracted in

    Think people with doctorates would know better
    notice new contracts for uh coaches key grades, graduation

    Vision, balance with athletics
    however man tako. Would be sweet if mbb got ncaa bid and able to sign 2 jc bigs and 2 jc shooters!!
    Hey fans countdown …less than 24 hours till manoa magic and hopeully historic for interim uh mbb
    coach’s 19th win !!
    Go Bows!!

  20. Tears time…man puts life into perspective. ..Benjy, Janks and NWC visited young 14 year old at hospital with brain tumor
    touched NWC so much, Benjy and Janks..
    real credit to UH MBB for presenting young man with basketball and seeing him smile
    mom happy to see son though suffering smile

    Dedicate season to young great fan of UH MBB..

    Best wishes and support to young man and his family..

    Shows great compassion by Coach and Janks and NWC..

  21. Per khon tv sports report..above..
    very moving..

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