Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors looking for redemption at Cal Poly

Given all that’s going on with the program back home, it’s probably a good thing that the University of Hawai’i basketball team is in San Luis Obispo, California, this week.

Away from the distractions, the Warriors will try to focus on getting back to their winning ways during a game at Cal Poly on Thursday. It is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. (Hawai’i time) at Mott Athletic Center. The game will not be televised, but a live video stream will be available at www.bigwest.tv.

Hawai’i is 15-8 overall and tied for fourth place in the Big West Conference at 3-4. The Mustangs are 10-10 and in seventh place at 3-5.

Of note, Cal Poly defeated the Warriors, 61-57 in overtime, on January 10 at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Warriors shot just 32.7 percent from the field in that game, and got out-rebounded, 46-36.


Brian Bennett, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, scored 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting, and grabbed eight rebounds for the Mustangs in that game. For the season, he averages 11.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Cal Poly’s top player is David Nwaba, a 6-foot-4 junior wing who averages 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and is also praised for his defensive play.

Reese Morgan, who hit the clinching 3-pointer in the OT win at Hawai’i, is averaging 9.9 points per game as the first guard off the bench.

Cal Poly’s true strength is teamwork and careful offense. The Mustangs rank last in the Big West in scoring offense at 61.4 points per game, but first in defense, allowing just 59.6 points per game.

Cal Poly’s most impressive statistic is turnovers, at 8.5 per game, which ranks second in the nation for fewest per game.

However, the Mustangs’ highest turnover total this season was 18 at Hawai’i. The Warriors rank third in the country with 10.4 steals per game, and they are forcing opponents into an average of 17.6 turnovers per game.

Sophomore wing Aaron Valdes scored 20 in the loss to Cal Poly, and he leads the Warriors in both scoring (14.9) and rebounding (5.6).

The biggest change in this game – other than the site – could be the addition of senior guard Garrett Nevels. He sat out the previous meeting with a hand injury. Nevels currently ranks second on the team in scoring (10.7) and rebounding (4.6).

Like the Mustangs, the Warriors rely on a balanced attack. Sophomore forward Stefan Jankovic is averaging 10.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, and is followed closely by freshman guard Isaac Fleming (9.5 points, 2.0 assists), junior point guard Roderick Bobbitt (8.7 points, 5.9 assists, 3.2 steals), sophomore forward Negus Webster-Chan (8.2 points, 4.4 rebounds) and sophomore forward Mike Thomas (8.1 points, 4.0 rebounds).

Bobbitt leads the Big West in assists, and ranks second in the nation in steals. He is now just 10 steals away from the UH single-season record.

Thursday’s Big West Games
Hawai’i at Cal Poly, 5 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
CSUN at Cal State Fullerton
UC Riverside at Long Beach State
UC Davis at UC Irvine

Saturday’s Big West Games
UC Irvine at Long Beach State
UC Riverside at Cal State Fullerton
Hawai’i at UC Santa Barbara, 5 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
UC Davis at CSUN

Game Information
Hawai’i (15-8, 3-4 Big West) at Cal Poly (10-10, 3-5 Big West)
When: Thursday, February 5, 5 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: Mott Athletic Center (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
Television: None
Streaming video: Live on 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 streaming on espn1420am.com
Live stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com

Here is a video interview with Aaron Valdes from last week’s ESPN3 broadcast:


  1. Go Bows !
    Have to shoot well… Key: UH shoots well 46% or better, stay even on the boards, keep turnovers down below 12.. they can win..
    They don’t shoot well, turnover ball 13 x or more, in crunch time. they can lose.

    Just shoot well, execute.. play like you guys did against CSUN.. controlled and together.. come out with Poly win, going to be tought. Poly well coached, and disciplined.

    Warrior Time. Fans, now the excitement begins.. BigWest TV Thurs 500pm HST.. Poly vs UH..

    Sat. UH vs UCSB on ESPNU.. 500pm HST..

    Go Bows.. go for 2 wins.. 1….a must.. finish either 3-1.. 2-2 absolutely a must.
    Just relax, no one thinking you guys could win 9 , 10 games, now you can win 19 , 20 or more.. go for it
    We backing the Bows !!
    Thanks Dayton and the Schmidt Ohana, Ameriprise, Pacific Risk Solutions for sponsoring major WI MBB coverage Mahalo Plenty

    HOOPS TIME.. Go Rainbow Warriors … silence the Noise, Just play ball.. and have fun winning !!

  2. As others have already said, our bigs need to contain Bennett and can not let him get those easy looks at the rim again. When we played them here, every time UH look like it was ready to take the momentum, Bennett was right there for a lay up or put back.

    UH also have to make shots, plain and simple. Everybody knows this is not a great shooting team, but we usually need only one or two guys to be hot and that opens everything up. I hope getting Nevels in this game will be big factor.

  3. Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  4. Dumb question from an old-timer like me is do anybody know how to record the Big West internet stream to a DVD or to a file in your computer?

  5. Big game tonight. Every game is huge when you’re in the middle of the pack with aspirations to get to the top of the pack.

  6. Chuck, I don’t know of any way to record it but I do know they keep it available to watch online for another day or two after in case you aren’t able to watch it.

    Honestly, I think the boys win by double digits tonight. They’ve been in cali for over a week now and will be looking for some pay back. Cal poly got super lucky when they beat us. i strongly feel like luck will be on our side this game.

    Let’s Go Bows!

  7. 8-0 after losses this season…hope they continue…and then start 2 gamw win streak…have to shoot well…maybe g comes up big..
    agree isaacM..sthis team…resilient..

    Go Bows !!

  8. I meant, This Win would be 8-0 after a loss this season, hope continues, and then UH gets big W at UCSB.. for a 2 game win streak, that would put them on a good path.

    Basically, as we all know.. Team , they play frenetic defense, from day one, game one, They are turning teams over almost 18x per game, a lot on steals, a little over 10 per game, however, those thurnovers, in Half Court, when the other team drops back into their Zones, UH in Half Court has to score at that 46-50% clip, and stay even, and keep Poly off the glass, box out.

    This team, exciting that Defense and Steals.. however to Win games, in Conference, and have shot at BWC tourney 3 games in a row to NCAA.. they have to Get stops in half Court D, without 3 bigs getting into foul trouble, and in Half court, be patient, and get best shots, however HAVE TO MAKE SHOTS.. 30% shooting will not get it done, 40-50% shooting from field, AND 75% or better from FT line.. UH can win 8, 9 games in BWC play regular season for sure.. Just have to.. make do.. play smart.. sure, if they Had a Big throw it to, and He scores and one, or can pass out to shooters.. however that is the past.. UH , and Benjy and staff, coaching team, practicing.. Guys know what to do..just Have To Execute, hit shots, defend the whole game, and close out games..

    Poly and UCSB.. come on guys, at least 1-1, or who knows better?
    Men’s VB team, they got a huge victory, I think MBB team knows some of those athletes.. take their lead, they were down initially 2 starters.. and were down 0-2, and came back and won in 5 sets.. Tremendous victory. NOW UH MBB turn.

    Go Bows.. We backing you guys all the way !!~

  9. WOO-HOO!
    BEAT THE NCAA Tournament Team!

    2-1 ROAD TRIP!

    OR Will it Be 3-1?

  10. Tremendous win. Thomas, Stef , others stepped up. Janks injured or just not used much ?

    40 pts ? in the paint for UH to 8 for Cal Poly.

    The streaming stops every so often, but the announcer could be heard. He was complimentary to the SSC crowd when he was there, saying they are crazy loud or something.

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