Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors get revenge, Bobbitt gets record


The University of Hawai’i basketball team got revenge, Roderick Bobbitt got a record, and just about every player contributed in a 73-52 runaway victory over UC Riverside on Thursday night.

A crowd of 5,715 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors improve to 17-9 overall and take over sole possession of fifth place in the Big West Conference at 5-5. The victory avenged a loss at UC Riverside last month, and made the Warriors a resilient 9-0 in games following a loss this season.

“It’s been a long season,” head coach Benjy Taylor said. “We’re still enthused about playing basketball, we’re enthused about each other. Today was an emotional day for me because, man, to solidify a winning season – although we’re still hungry and we got a lot of basketball left – three months ago, this thing was bleak. It’s just a tribute to those guys in that locker room.”

The Warriors did it with a balanced offense and an active defense.

Bobbitt collected four of the team’s 10 steals, bringing his season total to 85. It broke the previous UH season record of 84 set by the legendary Tom Henderson during the 1972-73 season.

“It was a goal of mine to, first, lead the nation in steals; I didn’t really think about the school record, but it came as well and I’m just blessed,” Bobbitt said.

Taylor added: “He has a specialty, he’s a specialist. He has no problem owning up to that and I’m so happy for him.”


The Warriors forced 18 turnovers, and limited the Highlanders to 26.9 percent shooting from the field (14 of 52). It is the lowest field goal percentage by any Hawai’i opponent this season. UCR also went just 3 for 18 from 3-point range.

The Warriors shot 41.1 percent (23 for 56) from the field, but it included 9-of-20 shooting (45 percent) from 3-point range.

Freshman guard Isaac Fleming led the offense with 15 points, including 10 during the decisive first half. Sophomore forward Stefan Jankovic contributed 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. He shot 5 for 7 from the field, including 2 for 2 from 3-point range.

“It took me a little longer than I hoped for, but I feel like I’m comfortable now,” Jankovic said. “The chemistry was always there with the guys, it was just me getting my rhythm and I feel good now.”

Fleming and Jankovic both played reserve roles, leading the Warriors to a 43-15 advantage in bench points.

“I apologized to the team a little bit,” Taylor said. “I over-coached. I over-analyzed this whole situation. I’m going back to my core (starters) and everybody’s going to play. We should out-score everybody’s bench because we’ve got really good players on our bench.”

Nine different Hawai’i players got significant playing minutes, and all nine scored. Stefan Jovanovic had nine points and six rebounds; Negus Webster-Chan contributed eight points and seven rebounds; Garrett Nevels had seven points and six rebounds; Quincy Smith scored seven; Aaron Valdes had five points; Mike Thomas had four points and four rebounds.


“I feel like us being back playing in the Stan Sheriff gave us more excitement,” Bobbitt said. “Just happy to be back in Hawai’i playing.”

Bobbitt was unable practice in the days leading up to the game due to a knee injury. He still started, and took all of 10 seconds to make an immediate impact. After UCR won the opening tip, Bobbitt made a steal, then lobbed a pass to Valdes for an alley-oop dunk.

The Highlanders managed to take an early 8-4 lead, but it was all Warriors after that. A stunning 21-0 run by the Warriors turned a 10-6 deficit into a 27-10 lead with 8:16 remaining in the first half. Fleming scored nine during the surge, but was also assessed a technical foul for his antics following a 3-point shot.

“They gotta use their charm for something else other than picking up ladies at the Ala Moana mall,” Taylor said of his team’s penchant or picking up technical fouls. “That’s going well for them. But it ain’t going well for them on the floor. A smile and a thank you and an I’m sorry will go a long way. I keep telling them that. I should be the one getting technicals and I’m not.”

Hawai’i took a 42-28 lead at halftime, and stayed comfortably ahead the entire second half. UCR never got closer than 12, and the final margin of 21 is Hawai’i’s largest over a Big West opponent this season.

Jaylen Bland led UCR with 13 points. He entered the game as the Big West leader in 3-pointers, but went just 1 for 6 from beyond the arc. Taylor Johns added 10 points and six rebounds. Steven Thornton, who burned the Warriors for 22 points in last month’s meeting, finished with nine points on 2-of-9 shooting.

The Warriors will play another Big West home game on Saturday, when they host Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. The Titans are in last place in the conference at 1-8, following a 75-69 loss at first-place UC Davis on Thursday.

An alumni game (alumni vs. alumni) will also be held on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at the Sheriff Center.


(Game photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)


Thursday’s Big West Results
UC Davis 75, Cal State Fullerton 69
Cal Poly 70, CSUN 63
UC Santa Barbara 70, Long Beach State 55
Hawai’i 73, UC Riverside 52

Saturday’s Big West Games
UC Irvine at UC Riverside
Long Beach State at Cal Poly
UC Santa Barbara at CSUN
Cal State Fullerton at Hawai’i


  1. Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  2. The more I see of this team, the more I appreciate the job of Coach Benjy.

    To be able to play Defense with the heart and soul that these kids have, well it takes a certain amount of swagger. As a coach, if you put your foot down too hard, you will loose that swagger. But to keep this group of egos under control, especially as deep as they go, takes a magician. Nice job Coach…great Defense BOWZ. Pay attention Governor Ige.

    Last night was a case of having a referee crew that came in looking for fouls and T’s. I rarely see a ref who actually goes after a player and “Baits” him for a T at this level, as was the case with Bobbitt. Still that is no excuse…no excuse. Maybe Ted Valentine comes to mind. But the way they went after the Ticky Tack fouls early means they came in looking to control the game. You don’t want to see that crew in Anaheim.

    BTW…great way to start the game with a steal and an alley oop! You know we only have two teams ahead of us nationally in Steals…keep it up.

    GO BOWZ…let’s see how we match up against Fullerton.

  3. Great win for the Warriors, and a TEAM win at that. Those are the best kind, if you ask me. Everyone contributed and made a positive impact. Hopefully last night was just a preview of things to come. I don’t see any reason why UH can’t go 5 – 1 or even 6 – 0 in the remaining regular season games.

    -Two are against conference bottom feeder CS-Fullerton. I do expect them to compete but as long as Bobbit & Valdes stay healthy, we should win both.

    -Two are home games against LBSU and UCSB; we started off 12 – 0 against LBSU on the road but let the game run away…and of course, there’s the UCSB game which we led by double digits most of the game and should have (won) tied it in the end. Both payback games, the boys will be motivated!

    -One home game at UC Irvine – they beat us in our house AGAIN but last year the same thing happened and we returned the favor. History tends to repeat itself. Also important to note that they shot 67% (10 for 15) from the 3 in that win, which I DON’T see happening again.

    -One game at UC Davis – in our last matchup we exposed Corey Hawkins, so if we can shut him down again and not get a double technical near the end of the game, I’d say this one is very winnable. The Aggies are currently riding a 5 win streak, quite impressive since Hawkins has actually been out on injury. Not sure on his return but I strongly feel like UC Davis loses on the road at LBSU prior to coming home and having to face us. They will be reeling and intimidated. We will be rolling and motivated. It’s going to be a good one.

    For now though, the boys just need to focus on taking care of themselves and handling CS Fullerton on Saturday. Should be a fun one, let’s GO BOWS!!

  4. That was an awesome team performance from beginning to end. No running out of gas at home!

    Big shout out to Bobbitt for breaking the record for steals of the man who I say is the best UH basketball player of all times, Mr. Tom Henderson. That is something to be proud about because those of us who remember know how good Tom was.

    It was good to see Janks back in form. Just like a lot of us said before, this team needs him at his best because he might be the best weapon on the team for inside and outside. Need to get Aaron back in form now and this team will make its stretch run!

  5. BACKBEAT, I totally agree with your assessment of the ref’s. I thought they were pretty ridiculous with the calls, and Bobbitt did NOT deserve that technical. From what I could see in the replay, all he was saying was “That was all ball”. Either way, it seemed like this ref crew was on a power-trip and a half. Reminds me of overzealous flashlight police. They were way so focused on trolling the team and calling ticky tack fouls that they missed real calls, like when that ref said it went off of NWC’s knee out of bounds. The replay revealed that it wasn’t even close. If not for the horrid officiating, UH wins this one by 30+.

  6. Reardon said on Bobby’s show something like that Isaac is the most talented freshman at UH for a long time, since maybe Andre Morgan ?

    Although Fleming was called for the tech foul, Dave said there was another time when someone’s arm hit Isaac’s head hard and another time when a foul wasn’t called on the other team. There was the time when he was fouled hard going up for the layup. Mike Thomas was the peacemaker and wrapped his arms around him when it looked like Isaac might do something .

    Benjy said that Bobbitt could have been ejected with the way he handed the ball to the official in the one case where he drew a technical.
    Portnoy says UH doesn’t want to cut any sports. Did you see Ige and Lassner sitting together watching the bows last night ? Does Ige get a free tickets or not ?
    Anyway, he says that UH has autonomy and must determine how they want to spend the money the legislature gives to them, in today’s newspaper article by Ferd. So no special line item for UH sports. How would you allocate the money
    that UH is given when there are pressing needs from all UH areas.

    A caller to Artie’s show said this team is the next version of the UH Fabulous Five.

  7. As Backbeat said you gotta have a little swagger in your game. The T comes out every now and then with emotional players. Not easy for them to contain their tongues. But no worries. I think everyone remembers John McEnroe and his temper. But what a competitor.

    Isaac Fleming is becoming the Manu Ginobili for this team with very similar talents. Fierce competitor with guts and able to close out games. As they say when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

    Roderick Bobbitt is a pro thief. If this program continues to have success he’ll start to attract NBA scouts. There’s always a place there for highly skilled specialists. Check the attitude though. And one more year to raise the ppg average to double digit. Just follow Anthony Carter’s route to the NBA and you’ll get there too.

    Hope this team remembers this game, put it in a bottle, and open it with each game. Here’s win streak number one and counting.

  8. Benjy’s team ensured a winning season with 17 wins, he mentioned.

    Roderick got his UH record of 85 steals in 26 games, with at least seven more games to play. Henderson played only 26 total games in 1972-73 , 84 steals.

  9. If you watched the Wahine basketball game at Riverside yesterday on the streaming, you may have wondered who was that enthusiastic group behind the wahine bench in the bleachers ? It was a real wild group standing and cheering all the good things the Wahine were doing.

    Apparently, it was the UH Men’s volleyball team, per S. Tsai.

  10. Yes… BWC officials, ready to T up UH, primarily, if not mistaken only Bobbitt , might have been Valdes and Fleming…Coach and staff have to work with guys.. Crews are looking for anything, to T up UH guys that do ANYTHING..they consider inappropriate..Have to reel in.. Benjy has to tell the guys, just play on, walk away, don’t say or look like making demonstrative actions..
    Let The Coach get the T’s, I think only Once this season did Benjy get technical? Or maybe not even One..
    Otherwise, just instill that discipline.. that is how, in Half court O and D execution.. when they slow down from 100 mph to 55 mph… they will win close games and close, out, that is how they can Win That BWC tournament..

    Agree though.. staff and Benjy, great testament to team AND their Ohana support of their sons.. This team, definite can finish north of 20 win season, Get hot for 3 in a row.. Anaheim where Dreams come True.. can go to NCAA’s

    So Important… break the habit of win one, lose one.. have to start against Fullerton, get 2 game win streak, then 3, then 4, then sweep next , the last, home stand.. UH they stay healthy.. they can do damage.
    Great crowd that core 5000 or so, Wish that 7000+ can be in stands for Fullerton game

    Great Job Benjy, work with Fleming and Bobbitt, and Valdes, just Turn Away, and don’t say anything or make motion or faces.Let yourself ask refs about calls.

    Go Bows.. And great season.. There is A GREAT Love Affair with this team

    17, 18, 19, 20, 21..? wins and counting? NCAA tournament.. ? why not..

  11. Benjy and The Bows…. YOU ALL STILL HUNGRY? Time to Grind… go get it !!
    set the table, and banquet as the Bows..
    Effort, never saw, from beginning of season till now.. Total 100% effort, no matter whom playing.. always all out effort to win..Defense , that type, speed up, and pressure, the guys in tremendous shape.

    Janks, what a skillset.. Benjy… I thought so, mentioned on this Forum… Go back to that Pitt lineup, starters. Rod, Garrett, Aaron, NWC and MT.. with Janks, Jovanovich, Fleming and Smith coming off the bench.. Even now, Niko getting a few minutes, And Dyrbe, his time will come to, if front line guards, foul out, and Niko and Dyrbe have to close out games.. Niko and Dyrbe.. BE READY Bruddahs.. Bruh..

    Go Bows..

  12. islandman:

    Think about Phil Lott , out of Connecticut.. Huge freshman get for Riley Wallace late eighties, to early nineties.. He and Ray Reed ran together , another Dynamic Duo, as Juniors.. I think they called, or his team called him :”Action”….like Fleming, brought a lot of energy.. He was pretty highly recruited by east coast schools. too, had some great games. 4 or 5 year student,..and doing well on east coast post UH career.

    And what about, before, Phil… there was Chris Gaines.. the late Chris Gaines, a leftie, Mr Basketball for Iowa.. a recruit of Frank Arnold, one of the better, and another southpaw..to play for UH..went through rough time with less talent first few years.. Then when Riley took over.. by senior year.. his team, with Houston, Smalls, Beabrun, Bowe, McQuire, etc.. won 24 or 25 games and won 2 games in NIT at Blaisdell I think in 1990..

    And of course, how could we forget ….Reggie Carter the late Reggie Carter, HS All American guard out of NYC.. a really good one, who played for the NY Knicks drafted out of St John’s after transferring from UH..

    Of course, Andre Morgan, non qualifier out of HS.. sat out his freshman year, then qualified, and played for Little one year, then for Frank Arnold? one year? Then transferred to , or tried to, Chaminade or HPU? Poor guy, just a lot of things.. don’t know where or how his career turned out..
    Riley was not coach, though part of recruitment for Andre.. a running mate with Zeke Isaiah Thomas, Mark Aquire, and Magic Johnson, during the summer…. He was that good.. great ball handler, deep range shooter, before the 3point shot, and could dunk .. great vertical..

    He could have , if done right at UH, been an NBA draftee.. kind of sad ..

    Reggie Carter, Andre Morgan and Chris Gaines, Phil Lott, 4 really good guards who played at UH.. think Gaines and Carter were starters of course.as freshmen… Andre, I think first year came off the bench..

  13. Or Reggie Carter out of Long Island New York..? I forget..
    Yes, UH had recruited some good freshmen guards

    Reggie Carter 6’3″
    Andre Morgan 6’3 1’2″ combo
    Chris Gaines 6’3″ SG
    Phil Lott 6’4″ SG/wing

  14. Rod special.. to concentrate on defense, in today’s world of NCAA athletes, very special athlete..

  15. Sneak Peak at some former Bowz.

    BO BARNES – Arizona St. (12-11): 20 min/g, no starts, 41% 3pt, 88% FT, 7.2 ppg. He made the winning three pointer to upset #4 Arizona and was high scorer.

    KEITH SHAMBURGER – Mizzou (7-17): 35 min/g, 39% FG, 34% 3pt, 89% FT, 8.5 ppg, 3.7 apg, 2.1 tog.

    MICHAEL HARPER – Simon Fraser (10-12): 21 min/g, 44% FG, 30% 3pt, 73% FT, 8.3 ppg.

    CALEB DRESSLER – Central Washington (13-6): 8 games/8 starts, 50% FG, 4 rg, 6 ppg.

    MANROOP CLAIR – Seattle U. – (11-12): 12 games, 11 mpg, 28% FG, 29% 3pt, 73% FT, 4ppg.

    GO BOWZ…Fullerton is on an upswing and trying to fight their way into the BWC Tourney.

  16. As much as I believe that the Coach Taylor and his staff should be commended for their developing and bringing the team to their present position, I find it troubling that there has been exhibited over the course of the season an inability by the coaches to control on court behavior that is potentially detrimental to the team’s overall success. The continuing run of technical fouls, the inability of Fleming and others to curb immature behavior without appropriate sanctions will ultimately not serve the team well as they move toward the season ending conference tournament. There is no doubt that the refereeing officials in the conference by this stage of the season have pegged the team as a whole as one in need of constant monitoring during play and will be more inclined to hand out technical fouls (and possibly other personal fouls) for behavior that might otherwise be overlooked.

    What is most troubling from my perspective is that Coach Taylor has indicated in recent interviews that this proclivity for antagonizing referees and causing referees to hand out technical fouls is improving and that his individual players who seem to repeatedly engage in this behavior are getting better in avoiding the negative consequences of their acts. Frankly, this is not really happening and even more concerning is what I see as a failure on the part of the head coach to curb such behavior. Last night, Isaac Fleming vowed to the fans during a post game interview that he will not get another technical foul for the rest of the season to add to the 6 or 7 that he has already accumulated. Notwithstanding his freshman status, there is no excuse for his continuing to taunt and “talk smack” to the opposing coach and players after he or another teammate has just completed a good play and helped to shift the momentum in Hawaii’s favor. We will soon see if his “talk is cheap”.

    Such behavior is obviously counterproductive to the welfare of “the team” even though it may feed an individual player’s ego or need for self expression. Seems to me the team’s welfare should always come first and the head coach should be the first person to see to it that all individuals on the team understand that that is what should be first and foremost. If a player sees that there are no consequences for continuing to engage in conduct detrimental to the good of the team, then we can all expect that it will continue as it has to the present. I would hate to see lack of discipline cost the team dearly in a closely contested game during the conference tournament.

  17. One way….put him…way down rotation….after dyrbe….fleming until last nite was really controlling actions
    does’t get profane, or trying to fight…just likes to talk ..happy to be back at ssc..
    he was on oc sports post interview AND radio post game..subject..tone down ..stop picking up techs
    he got clobbered one foul..refs called common

    however…he is a 20 year old prep school freshman
    military prep school grad

    Team meeting with team captains Quincy and Garrett who are ver mature
    reel in freshman..
    love emotion and love for hawaii fans…really skilled

    Remember in Florida? Benjy benched him last 2 games ? Of that tournament..
    challenge for coach..something he will address
    he doing really well in an almost no win situation beginning of year

    Fleming..just stop trash and looks..rod , valdes too…whole team refs remember
    lot of guys don’t say anything

    Would not be surprised to see niko playing more
    need all 11 guys on board in anaheim
    We shall see..love team
    hope they beat fullerton
    start long winning streak!!

  18. Benjy is straight forward, he says he has to win now, not in the future. All you fans going to jump on him, if he doesn’t . But then like you say, it might cost a game later from one of those technicals.

  19. Fine line…
    that is where team captains can talk to him
    I think most if not all of techs were for trash taking
    benjy mentioned on artie’s show might have to have him put moufhpiece in

    If he goes against. .. not team guy..benjy will bench him

    Just have to stop trash, taunt..not for many games…he was doing well

    On another note …glad that Nevels, Bobbitt, Valdes, NWC and Thomas back to starting with 4 or 5 guys bring energy off the bench

    I still think benjy doing very good job
    in the moment win
    really he and team know they have following by winning this year with ncaa’s as goal
    can see…like all or nnothing .,,he and team against the world

    Realistically if uh mbb wins 22-23 games and makes it to bwc tourney championship or even semis
    pretty good audition resume
    cannot be on coach and team too much..they have made thousands of fans

    Come bwc tourney time anaheim..team should be all on board
    very sure

  20. I thought I posted a comment here. It said awaiting moderation.

  21. Thanks Backbeat. I just watched a clip of Bo hitting that 3 against Arizona. Can’t believe how much older he looks. Great to hear he’s doing well.

  22. servante. ..Dayton not doing that…systematic…have had several comments awaiting moderatio…never saw again

    What you can do…it worked for me..break up your comment into shorter writeup
    system let’s it go through
    sometimes auto check for spam..?

    Try…do a shorter version..or reworked shorter version of comment..should go through!!
    Always enjoy your posts ..

  23. I have been reading a lot of posts lately regarding the team’s attitude and also what the local newspaper (if we actually want to call it sports reporting) as well as the color man on UH basketball broadcasts (who never played a minute of college basketball) has to say about this team. Although I am not trying to say this team is on the same level (at least not yet), I would say that the defensive schemes this team runs as well as the overall quickness it exhibits, I would have to compare this year’s team to the University of Arkansas. For those of you “old timers” you would remember “40 minutes of hell” back in the 1980’s. I decided to do some research and noted that those teams had similar defensive stats in regards to turnovers and steals. I would note that the guards during that time did not reach R. Bobbit’s yearly steals number this year. Where I am getting at is that those Razorback teams had a crazy number of fouls called in each of those years. Back in the day Ref’s were not “T” happy (players also did not play with the swagger that is played with now, thanks to ESPN). My point is that to play at such a high aggressive level, it is understandable that fouls will be called and some T’s will be called as well. I admit that sometimes cooler heads need to prevail, but this is not 1980 or even 1990, it is a different game now and some of us need to realize that to play aggressive basketball, you got to have some swagger. When I played high school and college ball, I had some really good coaches and they used to call it “cocky confidence” sometimes that cocky confidence spills over. We have a team laden with Freshmen and Sophomores, how can one expect the team to act like Seniors??? Give them time to grow and support this team!!! They have exceeded all expectations in my book and they have my total support. I put my money where my mouth is and I attend all home games, have attended a road game this year and will be in Anaheim for the Big West Tournament. I challenge other posters to do the same.. Go Bows!!

  24. Manoa Baller : good comments.

    What Benjy, and dealing with the stuff went down in October.. to have 14 guys buy in, AND they winning ball games.. Fantastic…At the end of season, UH at 20 plus wins, some wins in BWC tournament, or even going ncaa’s.. that is INCREDIBLE.. what Benjy Frenzy, and I do remember his Chicago St team athletes playing against UH several years ago, up and down, team smallish athletes from Chicago area, they one year, one of nation’s leaders in scoring AND led nation in total steals.. so he is doing what he does..

    Going back to Bobbitt, Nevels, Valdes, NWC and Thomas starting 5 , with Smith, Fleming, Janks and Jovanovich , Niko, Dyrbe off the bench.. I really believe this team has a Shot at winning in Anaheim.. Benjy is right, it IS ABOUT LIVING IN THE MOMENT.. what with , whatever goes down in near future, or into next season.

    Manoa Baller, that 5000 core fans, and I hope another 3000 on Sat nite, make up about 8000 plus, will be there to see UH MBB get their 18th win of the season.. All media, type, the good ones, and even the casual fan, LOVE THIS team, and recognize Benjy doing great job, ESPN, Andy Katz, shout out, ESPN games, always appreciate 40 minutes of all out attack..

    Yes, freshman, and you are right, this morning Artie show , Benjy alluded to that, different times and culture for nowadays young athletes.. However, he does mention, they have love for one another, good kids, young men, .. I think they will be fine

    Hey Manoa Baller.. back in Oct when Gib was fired and Fotu left, I did not even Know IF UH MBB would even field a team.. and look at Where They Are Now.. just shy of 20 wins for season
    AWESOME..job…and go out and cheer, from my home I will, sad… however.. cannot be in person, homebound.. however, I cheer at radio or TV screen or online feed..

    Go Rainbow Warriors.. and No complaints about How Benjy has become a second Father to these young guys, Incredible, job..I ain’t NO BENJY hater.. LOVE WHAT HE HAS DONE.. Fought through the storm, and brought UH a lot of excitement to its athletics..

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