Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Championship day

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Following a similar routine to what worked the day before, the University of Hawai’i basketball team took some time to cheer on the UH women’s team in the Big West Conference Tournament at the Honda Center.

The UH Rainbow Wahine team was playing CSUN for the women’s championship in the afternoon; the men are scheduled to face UC Irvine for the men’s championship at 5:30 p.m. (Hawai’i time). It will be televised live on ESPN2.

“We’re just here to support them,” head coach Benjy Taylor said. “We got a lot of Hawai’i fans here. We’re loud, we’re boisterous. We gotta get this W today.”

The Warriors are the No. 5 seed for the eight-team tournament, and have emerged as the surprise team in the final. Hawai’i is 22-12 overall – the most wins for the program since the 2001-02 season.

UH defeats UC Davis

“Why not us?” sophomore wing Aaron Valdes said after the Warriors’ stunning victory over top seed UC Davis on Friday. “I feel like this could be our year and we’re ready for it.”

UC Irvine is 20-12 and the No. 3 seed. The Anteaters already beat the Warriors twice this season.

“We are excited to play Hawai’i,” UCI head coach Russell Turner said. “I thought one of our best games of the year was on the road against them. We are going to have to a good job at taking care of the ball.”

Of note, the Anteaters welcomed back 7-foot-6 center Mamadou Ndiye to the lineup late in the season. He did not play in either game against the Warriors earlier this season due to a foot injury. Ndiaye had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, five rebounds and four blocked shots in UCI’s semifinal win over UC Santa Barbara.

But the Anteaters have numerous other options, led by 6-8 forward Will Davis II, who is a first-team All-Big West selection. In UCI’s two tournament victories this week, he is averaging 17.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. In the two wins against Hawai’i, he averaged 20.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.

Guards Alex Young (9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds), Luke Nelson (10.2 points, 4.1 assists) and Travis Souza (64 3-pointers, .467 percentage from 3-point range) are also key contributors to the Anteaters’ cause.

The Warriors’ balanced attack is led by Valdes with 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Others averaging double-figure points are forward Stefan Jankovic (10.8 points, 4.9 rebounds) and guard Garrett Nevels (10.7 points, 4.5 rebounds).

Junior point guard Roderick Bobbitt is contributing 9.0 points, 5.3 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Freshman Isaac Fleming is averaging 9.0 points per game, including 12.0 points and 5.0 assists per game in the two games of the Big West Tournament.

Game Information
No. 5 Hawai’i (22-12) vs. No. 3 UC Irvine (20-12)
Where: Honda Center (18,366 capacity), Anaheim, Calif.
When: Saturday, March 14, 5:30 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Television: ESPN2 (Oceanic channels 224 and 1224)
Streaming video: www.watchespn.com
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. Also available on Westwood One on Sirius Channel 93 and XM Channel 291.
Audio webcast: www.espn1420am.com
Live stats: HawaiiAthletics.com


  1. we going to the ship, we going to the ship…chammpionship game

    Papa. Bear Benjy ..you done us proud!
    You deflect to the team..their buying in and success..to me 22 wins awesome..
    first class
    you should be permanent head coach no metter what happens!!

    Go Bows!!

  2. Despite a heroic effort, the wahine lost =( anyone know if they have a shot at an at large berth? Still an awesome season for the team. Hopefully this motivates the men’s team for tonight! Let’s GO BOWS!

  3. Kepola and Sarconic, thanks for the education on “We going to the ship”.

    The Women’s CSUN coach is very good, he had that trapping defense all game long; they have those uncanny pesky guards and made ten more FT’s than the Wahine,

    The Wahine get to go to the WNIT now, or host too.

  4. IsaacM…think wbb team rpi pretty good…just that national lack of respect for bwc..
    women are in wnit probably hosting 2 home games

    Men if lose..still think lack of support by ben jay and admin
    They have money or maybe millionaire lover of uh mbb and what they accomplished will step up help uh mbb host 2 CIT or CBI home games
    odd that ben jay put in bid for mbb to host 2 NIT homes games if uh mbb comes up short in bwc championship game?
    anyways win..mbb in ncaa…lose..they ARE NOT LOSERS..
    because they Overcame so much..

    Bows..mbb.. play best bb of the year
    garrett running at mammadou with his floaters
    get mamadou and davis in foul trouble

    Should be great game

    Go Rainbow Warriors!!

  5. I’m confident we’ll win if we play like we want it more than the anteaters. Keys to the game are: play hard, be relentless, and stay hungry.

  6. TAVS:

    Why Not UH MBB team going to The Dance? They have got nothing to lose, everything to gain, and to we die hard fans.. they are winners already… Fantastic, BWC tourney run..

    Go Bows !!
    Benjy Ball , Benjy and The Bows..
    Star Advertiser/Hawaii News Now poll, hire Benjy as permanent head coach? Yes..1000 plus votes so far.
    No…about 130…
    Good support for Benjy and The Bows !!

  7. Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  8. Last evening watching UH vs. UCD I was wanting UCD to win as UCI has a lot of weapons. It was like, which poison do you want to pick to play with? hahaha. Big Al or Will Davis III and that’s not even mentioning Will’s team mate Mamadou.

    UCD Big Al played a whole lot of minutes and the team looked pretty spent at the end. Not so with UCI and their other Big’s are pretty good role players in their own right.

    UH is going to have to pester UCI’s guard play to come up with the win but IIRC UCI didn’t have much trouble with UH’s D. Pretty good passing and not much of getting rattled with the UH’s press. Gotta stop Will Davis III, he does it all for UCI

  9. pocho; stop Will Davis II first, before No. III .

  10. Yes.. it takes a Village to Raise a Child…

    It Takes The Whole MBB Team to raise the BWC tournament and ncaa invite championship banner.

    Team, nothing to lose.. will battle..guards , perimeter.. that Bobbitt, Nevels, Fleming, Smith, Valdes, NWC.. what a shutdown crew last 6 minutes, learning how to close out close games..

    If Janks, Jovanovich, Thomas, can play Really well, That balance, from perimeter to the rim, will help.. Still say,.. team, no afraid of Davis and Mammadou, just have to take it to them, or battle on boards.. block them out.. get 2 fouls on those two guys in first half, put them on the bench..helps..

    Fullerton on the road, UH got W final regular season win, stayed in Cali over a week now, so they are settled, in 400-500 or more UH fans in the house, with band, cheer squad dancers.. so maybe 600.. and some other Cali fans, cheering, will make big noise.. UH band and cheer, spirit team, dancers, best at BWC Honda Center hands down.. you can hear them.

    Benjy is right, 40 minutes of UH MBB team’s best basketball of the Year.. can get them to the Dance.

    Hey, fans.. We Gotta Appreciate what the Fantastic Fourteen have accomplished.. to even finish at 22 games, and have competed for NCAA berth and be in BWC tourney championship game..

    The Are The Story of 2014-15 UH athletics.. for sure..

    Should be fun.. team will give effort, never count them out.. Hey, like last year at Irvine, Nevels, or maybe Fleming , Bobbitt just drive to rim on the bigs.. Davis and Mammadou will get some blocked shots.. however they will pick up fouls too.. and Nevels.. with that floater, so quick release, he helped UH beat Irvine at Irvine last year.. and Have, .. Valdes, NWC, Janks, hitting a couple of threes, or better yet, that 18 foot jumpers like Jovanovich.. Mammadou and Davis, cannot get out that fast to cover..that is why.. basically the whole court.. inside out..curious.. this 3 game streak UH is on.. Benjy and staff, have really adjusted well.. cannot wait to see the game plan and half time adjustments..good basketball, March Madness.

    Hey, Fans.. Win or Lose.. Great, Great, Great season, by Papa Bear Benjy and The Bows. !!

    Hope they Keep this staff and team together for another 2 or 3 years.. will be fun watching,.,. and they know what to do, how to handle !!

  11. Pocho,

    ‘Last evening watching UH vs. UCD I was wanting UCD to win as UCI has a lot of weapons. ‘

    That’s a weird comment.

  12. It’s time to shut up and put up. Ok I’ll stop talking, I’ll just watch now. Good luck, men! Shots and Stops!!!!!

  13. Hawaii will do it .these guys
    Are hungry.the warriors will
    Be dancing.they will be going
    To march madness.i’m
    Very excited.i have been
    Waiting for this game all
    Day.everybody will
    Step it up.bobbitt will get a
    Big steal.warriors #1.nevels
    Will make a clutch shot.ncaa’s
    Here we come.

  14. Actually, IF Borrow Tonight from CSUN….OR They from US, Our Men…
    Guards Deny Ball-Flow, Handling, Passing, Driving, ANY Passes INSIDE…
    Drive and Free-Throws OR Drive And One
    Sounds Like Bobbitt, Q And Agent Zero…
    NEGUS AND AV Slammmin’ and Jammiin’ Threes…
    Janks Floating In Five and 23-Footers
    AND They Win Going Away
    Just Like Warriors Versus Davis (With ALL Respect, NOT Rozitis…)

    WNIT Three Years In A Row…?
    This WAS Na Wahine WORST-CASE Result…
    OH, That We Had Knocked Off a Couple More RANKED Pre-Season Na Wahine
    Not Yet An NCAA R-E-S-P-E-C-T TEAM…

    SO WHAT?
    That’s Do-Or-Die MARCH MADNESS
    IT Stings, It CAN Even Stink
    SO TODAY’S LESSON From Na Wahine IS
    Leave IT ALL On The Floor
    ? AM I Talkin’ ‘Bout Sitting First Row Courtside to TRIP An Incompetent Ref IF it saves Janks One Foul ?

    MORE Important …
    IN About An Hour…
    IF You Believe Small-Think Ben Jay
    (We Paralyze Our Future ‘Cos We ‘Might’ Lose Money
    NOT Signing a HCoach BEFORE Recruiting Season,
    OR NOT Adequately PROMOTING CIT Tourney?)

    The SEASON EXPLODES Into Selection Sunday
    OR Fizzles In The Fantasy of Dizzyland…

    (Oh IF WE Could Win TWICE Tonight for The Fallen Angels of Na Wahine…)
    We Could Hardly Even Believe…BUT…
    ALL That Talk ALL YEAR Long Was About Tonight…


    GO ‘BOWS
    WIN! WIN! WIN!

  15. It comes down to Fleming. If he plays well and acts mature we win. If not we lose.

  16. MID-TERM Good… 33-29

    NO ‘BOWS In FOUL Trouble
    That’s Probably OUR Advantage
    ALL Players Available

    COULD Be By More OR A Lot More…

    ‘Bows Definitely Have The Quickness Edge
    SO FAR, The Defense, too

    WIN The NEXT/LAST 20 Minutes…
    GO ‘BOWS!

    UCI Band: Half Their Songs ARE Hawai’i’s BRUNO MARS
    Their Anteater –WE Told Him “HAWAI’I 5-0” — Wears “5-0”

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