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UPDATED: Warriors’ run comes to an end in Big West title game

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — A University of Hawai’i men’s basketball season characterized by many valiant efforts ended with one final one Saturday night, but it was not quite enough as UC Irvine held off the Rainbow Warriors, 67-58, for the Big West Conference Tournament Championship.

A spirited crowd of 5,463 — including several hundred green-clad UH fans — at the cavernous Honda Center watched Luke Nelson score a team-high 17 points as the Anteaters overcame an early 13-point deficit to eventually take a slim lead midway through the second half and then hold off the Rainbow Warriors down the stretch.

Alex Young and Will Davis II each added 10 points as UCI improved to 21-12 and earned the Big West’s automatic berth into next week’s NCAA Tournament, the school’s first-ever trip to the Big Dance.

Aaron Valdes scored 17 points and Garrett Nevels added 14 points for Hawai’i, which ends its season at 22-13 – the most wins in a season for the program since the 2001-02 team.

“First of all, my hat’s off to Irvine, they are a very good ballclub and very well-coached,” said Rainbow Warriors coach Benjy Taylor. “We were eight-to-10 minutes from finishing it, but we will get better and we will come back.”

If Taylor and the 10 expected returnees (from those who suited up) do come back, it almost certainly will need to be next season. Taylor said he was told “back in November” that UH would not participate in so-called “pay-for-play” postseason tournaments such as the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). And the Rainbow Warriors’ 22-13 record and corresponding low Ratings Percentage Index position (153) is not good enough to warrant NCAA at-large or National Invitational Tournament consideration.

“Right or wrong, we (UH) made a decision that we’re not gonna do it,” Taylor said of participating in the CIT.

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So it was “win or pau season” for the No. 5-seed Rainbow Warriors against the No. 3 seed Anteaters, and Hawai’i’s opportunity was there for the taking throughout most of the game.

But after trailing from the outset, including a 13-point deficit early in the first half, UC Irvine eventually tied it at 35-35 on Davis’ hook shot with 15:11 remaining in the game and the Anteaters then took their first lead at 41-39 on a hook shot by 7-foot-2 reserve center Ioannis Dimakopoulos nine minutes into the second half.

Isaac Fleming capped a 5-0 run for UH with a layup to help the Rainbow Warriors take the lead back at 45-43 with 8:26 left, but UCI regained it at 48-47 when Young banked in a runner from the right side with 6:21 remaining. The Anteaters later stretched the lead to 59-52 after Nelson’s deep 3-pointer with 1:22 remaining, although Hawai’i was able to close it to 61-58 after Roderick Bobbitt’s three-point play with 45.9 seconds left.

But Nelson and Aaron Wright made a combined six of eight free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

“I think before we got to the last 10 minutes, when we started the second half, we only shot 32 percent but we had really good looks,” Taylor said. “We kept fighting and kept digging, (but) we didn’t get stops that we needed to and they made a majority of their free throws down the stretch. And we only shot nine free throws — when you only shoot nine free throws, you need to make a lot of field goals, and we didn’t do that.”

As it did the previous two days, Hawai’i started fast out of the gates, taking a 14-4 lead in the first five minutes after Nevels’ 3-pointer from the left wing and later extending it to 20-7 on Isaac Fleming’s 3-pointer from the right wing with 12:42 remaining in the half.

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Fleming got another 3-pointer to drop four minutes later to put the Rainbow Warriors up, 27-15, but Dimakopoulos answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to start the Anteaters on a 14-4 run capped by Young’s 3-pointer from the left wing that closed it to 31-29 with 1:03 before halftime. Valdes responded with a short jumper 30 seconds later to give UH a 33-29 lead at the break.

Valdes had 14 points at halftime on 6 of 7 shooting — including both 3-point attempts — to go along with five rebounds. The Rainbow Warriors made 6 of 13 shots (46.2 percent) from beyond the arc in the first half and out-rebounded the taller Anteaters, 20-18.

“They got off to a great start,” UC Irvine coach Russell Turner said. “Our zone has been pretty good at preventing 3s, and that hasn’t been Hawai’i’s strength. I was confident that if we raised our defensive level a little bit, we could make them miss the same shots they had made.”

UCI, meanwhile, shot only 38.7 percent (12 of 31) in the first half but improved to 52.2 percent (12 of 23) in the second, meaning less opportunity for the Rainbow Warriors to grab defensive rebounds and get out on the break.

And once they got into a halfcourt set, UH struggled to get effective penetration and convert close-range shots against the presence of 7-foot-6 center Mamadou Ndiaye — the tallest player in NCAA Division I.

“In the first half, I felt like they got off to such a hot start, (but) I was just telling our team that we’ve just to keep playing our defense, they can’t keep up that pace the whole time,” Davis said. “When the second half started, we just wanted to keep the momentum going and not let them get off to such a hot start.”

Said Taylor: “It was a grind of a game, we didn’t make enough plays to win it. We’ve been making plays all year on both ends of the floor, (but) we came up a little short tonight. It is a game of runs, and they made their run at the right time.”

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The Rainbow Warriors’ season run — an inspiring 22-victory journey that ended in the program’s first conference title game appearance since 2002 — is now over, but the memories created and respect earned will not soon be forgotten.

“I give Benjy credit for what they’ve done this year,” Turner said. “They’re disruptive, they’re very difficult to play. He’s done an outstanding job building that tea, and they’re young. It isn’t easy to take care of the ball against Hawai’i. We focused on the right things and we made enough offensive plays in the second half to pull ahead.”

Said Nevels: “Of course I wanted to win the championship and go to the (NCAA) Tournament, but at the same time, we had a 22-win season. No one expected us to be here, but we stuck together as a team and made it this far. We had a great season.”

Bobbitt and Valdes were named to the All-Tournament Team. UCI’s Davis was selected as the MVP of the tournament.

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

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31 Comments

  1. I think Benjy and staff, and returnees, plus 4 good JC recruits, will be awesome next year.. they can win the regular season BWC .. and go for the BWC tournament title for NCAA’s, going to be very experienced team, with addition of two bigs.. that play defense, can score, run , rebound, dunk, quick, and play benjy ball.. plus two JC outstanding scorer shooters.. Just will add more pieces to a Great MBB program with , and if , Benjy is hired as new Head coach.

    Majority of all posts, even nationally say, Benjy Taylor deserves the job.. if national , pundits, and coaching fraternity, ESPN, CBS, and sports media types around USA say Benjy should be coach, with young team coming back..Then Benjy Taylor is the next head coach.. I believe he will.. common sense, and what he and team accomplished,.. incredible job !!
    🙂
    UH MBB team, Garrett, Quincy, Jawato, Janks, Stef, NWC, Brocke, Zach, Mike, Dyrbe, Aaron, Rod, Isaac, Niko.. great season.. best wishes Garrett, and wait.. who knows if NIT or CIT.. if not. well have great pro career and come back to Hawaii as a coach too!!

  2. Any chance for N.I.T. ??

  3. RPI is too low. Next year we should schedule higher RPI teams and we could then qualify if we finish high enough.

  4. First of all, I think The BENJY and the BOWZ, (someone needs to put that to music), deserve a huge Mahalo for the way they represented the 808 this year…a season that we will not soon forget.

    We will lose one valiant senior leader in Garrett Nevels and wish him the very best. The returning Bowz all have a lot to work on over the off season. With the knowledge that Irvine, who loses only one starter in Will Davis ll, will also have the advantage of having a full season of recruiting, unlike our Bowz! No doubt we will meet again next year to replay this game.

    As for the people in Bachman Hall, one can hear a huge sigh of relief to know that the SUCCESS of these BOWZ will not be in the daily news now reminding the UH ADMIN of their ineptitude. Who do you think you are kidding waiting to get a new AD to make the decision about a new coach? The new AD isn’t going to have the final say anyway!!

    Mahalo nui loa Dayton, Valerie and the supporters of this site for giving us all a reason to get up in the morning and professionalism that I don’t see from local media nor from any of our opponents.

    GO BOWZ

  5. The team did everything they were supposed to do. They had the fire in their eyes and the hunger in their belly. Aaron had his sweet touch, Nevels was “soaring,” Bobbitt made the 100 steal milestone. The team was ready to go and all the boxes were checked to make it happen.

    Because of this, there is no regrets. There is no, if so and so was healthy, oh if we practiced more on those free throws, or that defense. The team was there to play and they played with full hearts. It hurts because they wanted it so bad. They are supposed to feel that hurt because then they know, they left it all on the court. The final run did not go in our favor, but what a ride it has been.

    In the midst of not knowing the future, all we can do is be in the present and be proud of the past. The coaches, staff and mostly the team stayed together. This season will be talked about forever and you guys made that happen. You made history. You showed everyone want brotherhood and loyalty looks like. You are our champs, you are our heros and the 808 loves and admires all of you.

    Thank you for the incredible journey. Thanks also to your families for supporting your decision to stay with us. Fly home safe. Love to you all.

  6. The presence of Mamadou in the paint really altered our style of play and was difficult to overcome. It almost seems “unfair” to have someone that tall playing against you and to think he is only a sophomore. The Bows put up a valiant effort but it would have required extraordinary three point shooting to win.

    Thanks to the coaching staff and the team, especially senior G Nevels, for a terrific season; one that surpassed my expectations at the beginning of the year, especially with the NCAA investigation hanging over their heads. The UH administration needs to do the right thing and give Benjy a multi year contract – he earned it and deserves it !

  7. Dave Reardon excellent reasoning , He has become a major fan, and gives credit to Benjy Taylor too, why not? If boosters willing to put up the money? CIT or CBI participation, any post season play for this young team, the experience would be good. For UH to secure a home game or two, UH even brand new fans, of MBB and Benjy ball would go to SSC game to Aloha them one more time..I bet they would..
    It is Not The Coach or The Athletes.. whomever making decisions at Admin/AD dept..saying they cannot afford $35,000.00 pay in fee for CBI or CIT.. If boosters or other donor could make it happen.. WHY I ask as long time, although disabled and cannot go to SSC, I would love to.. My heart is there every game home and away…Why Not Reward, so One more Home game at SSC, This edition 2014-15, The Team That Never said Die, The Coach who worked a miracle, brought together a Team this past October, that could have gone home.. and There would have been No Season, with UH having to pay back cancelled games..etc. That being the worst case scenario.

    No, for current AD , to say NO.. he reserving judgement on CBI or CIT participation.. if boosters or donor, willing to pay that 35K, fee, and 5000 tickets or more can be sold.. within few days.. and for This Team, I believe, the Tickets sold.. people online, or at the Hawaii Athletic outlet stores or SSC office would buy tickets, and several thousand fans.. would ALOHA this team so much.

    Even last year.. at 20 wins.. curious that UH did not , sponsor CIT/ CBI participation though they were worthy.. This Year’s Team EVEN more so.. that part, is the sadder story of the ending of season..If from December.. it was NIT or NCAA or Nothing.. That is a HUGE AMOUNT OF PRESSURE on interim coach and Team.. they almost went to the Dance..

    I agree with boosters and donor, willing to upfront fee for CBI or CIT and with Dave Reardon.. Team is exciting.. they play with heart.. tremendous fight and will..very young team WHY NOT?

    Same thing with Hiring.. go through the protocol.. posting.. short list.. however Top of List.. Benjy Taylor.. He has guided team to BWC tournament championship game, won last 3 out of 4 games against BWC foes, Fullerton. and LBSU and Davis. top seed, to get to Irvine game.. And hire Benjy , so he and Senque can Recruit.. those JC bigs. and JC shooters.. Lot of exposure on ESPN and Fox Sports West Networks..that type of ball, They would want to play.. UH needs a Big and A shooter deluxe to complete the picture, for that 27 game winning team next season and BWC regular season championship team..

    Why Not.. Ben Jay? If ones willing to foot the payin fee.. and people.. like that final about 6000 for whiteout senior nite, on a Wednesday work nite, came to that game, Why Not? It would make you look good as outgoing AD and make thousands of fans happy, chance to Aloha the Team one more time
    Hana Hou!

    Go Bows. !! And Team and Benjy, the best season, hopefully not over.. eagle, remember we had this discussion last year.. priorities.. wbb over mbb.. This MBB team deserves it.. at least few more games, if people willing to buy tickets, and donors willing to pay entrance fee.. WHY NOT?

  8. awesome job coach benjy great season I agree with others just a player or two away. Benjyball has grown on me #wedemboyz

  9. Garrett said nobody expected them to be there and 22 wins for a great season. The only one i can remember was RunBows, who said in early November that they can win 22 or so games in the reg. season; he wasn’t too far off.

    Benjy is good at analyzing the games and has amazing recall of the plays and flow of the game, etc. Valdes says he’s excited for the future and the players are close as did Garrett say so too. The pictureoin today’s newspaper sports front page of Janks hugging Aaron says a lot.

  10. Anyone know who the next AD will be ? Can he make the right decisions for this basketball team and the other sports, including football ?

  11. If you wanted to know who else was on the all tournament teams:

    Big West All-Tournament Team

    Alan Williams, UC Santa Barbara
    Corey Hawkins, UC Davis
    Aaron Valdes, Hawai’i
    Roderick Bobbitt, Hawai’i
    Luke Nelson, UC Irvine
    Will Davis II, UC Irvine (MVP)

    http://www.bigwest.org

    Big West Conference All-Tournament Team (Women)

    Chante Miles, Cal State Fullerton
    Alyson Doherty, UC Davis
    Destiny King, Hawai’i
    Shawna-Lei Kuehu, Hawai’i
    Janae Sharpe, CSUN
    Ashlee Guay, CSUN – MVP

  12. Bad time to go cold in the second half and stress added to more bad passing and turnover. Team played hard, but the size inside caused us problems when shots didn’t go down from the outside and we tried to go inside and we were stopped down low. We needed have Jankovic to have a big game but it wasn’t to be. I thought Valdes and Nevels played great.

    We need to settle on the full time coach pronto because of recruiting. Taylor is the logical pick. There is no such thing as a permanent coach here. A permanent coach is someone like Coach K, Boeheim, Izzo, or even Gonzaga’s Mark Few. Hawaii is a stepping stone job. You either get fired if you lose or leave for another job if you do very well.

    It was a very good season which could have been great if we made the dance. Maybe next year. We have 4 scholarships open, but I hope the NCAA will not strip off some scholies. Bobbitt has everything in perspective, what happens, happens

    Finally, thank you Gib Arnold for bringing in all the players that you recruited. Man, it’s just too bad that Isaac Fotu couldn’t play this season. If he did, we’d be dancing now.

  13. The Lack of support for Benjy and The Bows.. thru adversity.. and how They Brought a entire state, of new and older UH MBB fans together.. AD Ben Jay, thanks but no thanks.. even with ones willing to donate for CBI or CIT participation..Makes No sense… does the past 3 years with Ben Jay make any sense? Nope, just Nonsense and a big mess.

    If they will hurry up, so late already…and hire new AD.. Who has local ties.. and listens to, the 5-6000 rabid fans of Benjy Ball and the Bows. and more that view online media, or cable..Everyone I talk to, even some that don’t even follow UH athletics… they say MBB , and that guy Benjy, he doing great job.. hey..they winning yeah? I go yes , they winning.. makes the admin and outgoing AD look good, however, that Admin, the lack of support or, even.. this takes the cake.. they could have..when Benjy hit that 18 win mark.. did away with the national search for HC, and just negotiated with Benjy’s agent, and worked out a 2 year deal, guaranteed.. so he could lock in those possible, I am just guessing JC big and JC shooter. waiting in the wins.. sure.. he can still recruit out till August, however the sooner the better.. that Rebounder. talked about would be great.

    UH.. admin, from top to the bottom.. upper to lower.. same old same.. Now..Football spring ball, ? man.. with whomever put together that Murderous schedule.. you get the picture.. probably if Norm, and I like his assistants, he as a local boy, and his hard working team, bang out 6 wins, they finish at 6-7, would Power that be say, that is improvement.. and let Norm finish out his 5th year.. I bet they would.. However. Benjy, and MBB.. NCAA/ NIT or nothing.. in other words they don’t have money for pay to play, all that money going for legal settlements..?

    I give up. too old for this..
    however Not Too Old to support Benjy and the Bows for coach..Rod B. said it well, he supports..Benjy for coach, did good job, however He not the one making decisions..
    AD with local ties, or will listen to fans response.. and it is majority,.. that appreciate what Benjy Taylor and Bows have done.

    Yes, islandman, you have good memory, better than me.. I think I said.. UH with their schedule..could possibly go 22-10 before BWC tournament.. I did not realize the fallout, and later the injuries and illness, and just all that UH MBB and coach/ players had to endure.

    For myself fellow fans, for what it is worth.. in near 50 years of being fan of UH MBB and UH athletics, and alumnus, This Year’s 2014-15, MBB team.. what they have done, with Benjy Taylor at the helm. will be pointed to, as What Can Be done, when right person guiding a program, get everybody on board..coddle, encourage, let them play, work out things.. not perfect.. move on.. and team just won.. If NOT for those injuries.. UH would definitely have won 13-14 games in BWC season play.. and if just hit those open shots in first 6 minutes of second half.. well .. who knows..
    We MBB faithful FANS.. to ME and thousands.. a special season.

    Aloha to Ben Jay.. I don’t know who next AD is going to be, he should have been hired in January, and locked in Benjy before the BWC tournament as HC.. for recruiting purposes and for benefit of program moving forward.. if AD goes outside.. I don’t understand….

    Rainbow Warriors.. All 14 of you guys and Coaching staff. Awesome job..
    Dayton, Valerie Schmidt, Schmidt Ohana, Ameriprise, Pacific Risk Solutions.. Thankyou for support and best Warrior Men Basketball forum and coverage on the planet.

    Hope, we hear soon who new AD, so he can hire Benjy Taylor soon before, maybe they go to a summer Basketball tour..? we shall see..

    Aloha fans..it has been a great year. BEST I have seen , riding out storm through adversity !!
    🙂
    RunBows signing off.. until.. new AD and Benjy is hired !!

  14. Hey to the 14 young men in MBB program make sure, absolutely sure, no matter what you decide after this spring.. Do well , super well this Spring UH Manoa school session.. maintain that high GPA, .. 2.7 not bad. maybe a little better.. Keep the APR strong..

    School very important, for the families helping preferred athletes, thank you so much, and hope your sons appreciate it, which they do.. for the scholarship athletes.. very expensive paid education.. Brandon Jawato and Garrett Nevels.. Great job on time to grad this May !

    Next up? Aaron Valdes, Mike Thomas.. great work, keeping academics going.and UH tutors, and professors.. and UH MBB staff, make sure team is on top of it academically.. if not. their is big dropoff.. would be sad..
    however.. great young men.. even current AD, said you all and the Wahine, of all sports, represent 808 very well.

  15. Of Course Rod Bobbitt and Quincy Smith will be Seniors !! Next season, so 2 very important Cali , basketball and student athletes.. you two, just pedal to the metal.. incredible.. your effort even made Janks and Stef move faster, and dive for loose balls too !!
    Just Love the Whole Team.. that is Better than King of the Beach. Remember. we were all saying , or at least some that know.. if UH had 12 Brandon Spearmans.. Warrrior, Tip of the Spear, all out effort, every minute in game, and cheering on team from sidelines ?
    Well This year.. the 12 active guys when healthy, and in ball games. did actually that 12 Warriors.. bought into Benjy Ball and almost made the Big Dance.. If upper and AD/Athletics and Football in good stead.. or politics swing in favor of MBB program, doing well past two years.. Bows would still be playing, CBI or CIT.. UCSB think they are in CBI or CIT..

  16. Source SA online poll March 14 2015: Should Benjy Taylor be made permanent(not interim)Head coach for Men’s Basketball?

    results-
    A. Yes (87%, 1,354 Votes)
    B. No (13%, 196 Votes)
    Total Votes: 1,550

  17. I thought you were signing off? Then 3 more posts. As u say , sheesh, bug already.

  18. See u next year but with different name. Will wait on your crystal ball predictions.

  19. I am sure Jeff P, Jackson W and Captain Bley’s fingers are sore from voting 196 times!

  20. ASSIGNMENT:

    Always for Your Team
    And a little for Yourself
    Maybe for Your Heritage
    Tha Guys Who Gave You Your First D-1 Assistant Coaching Job
    AND Your First D-1 HEAD COACH Job…

    RICK PITINO and The Lousville Cardinal
    Next Up, Can Avenge UCI’s Anteaters’ Bushwack of Hawai’i ast Night
    Inthe Opening Round of the NCAA Tourney

    It IS Said, The NCAA Committee has a Sense of Humor
    OR History
    OR ‘Human Interest’
    Wonder IF The Lousville — Big West Matchup Originally had Hawai’i In Mind?

  21. Me thinks it would be much better for UH and the Big West to have Irvine win as many as possible as it means more mullah for us all.

  22. Backbeat….right…
    like UH and Boise BCS bowl game appearances

    That was noticeable
    veteran irvine team..uh mbb defend well..
    just execution and making shots in half court
    that comes with experience
    interesting in prep ..high school and transfers
    as a whole..most of uh mbb team were not go to guys on offense…
    balance…with good attack, disciplined attack to middle gaps of zone and elbow
    shots are there..true uh mbb when tied or chasing when zoned slowed them down
    sped up and they turning over teams
    they score
    no one thought they would be few minutes from dance so huge credit to benjy and the bows
    Over summer work on getting better attacking zones and half court sets on offense and defense
    they will be better
    hey..no too many of 351 ncaa div 1 mbb teams in nation have 22 wins.
    good season

    Benjy has excellent resume and support of majority of fans..
    depends on new AD…I hope one that knows what benjy and bows accomplished this year

    Theus?
    I don’t know…benjy..we know…give him 3 years…program in good shape
    more fanbase
    admin should appreciate what benjy accomplished!!
    🙂

  23. It’s too bad that this team can’t play in post season tournament. They truly earned it. Wonder why no major sponsor has not stepped forward to offer paying for CIT invitation. Or do you need to get something in return like advertising? I think that a major sponsor stepping up now to pay the tab would show the true aloha spirit. What’s more there could be a donation site for the public to help with the costs. Hope someone does something to show appreciation for this team.

  24. I still remember rick pitino all of 23 or 24 years of age was freshman U. Mass. Team featuring junior Julius Erving..
    rick being interviewed on hoop radio show , was it larry jones show?oldtimers? Saying even though young ..as interim for last few games of 1975-76 season he could be head coach..he was not considered
    now he is 62? So long ago, he did alright

    Eagle…Backbeat
    newscnews iinterview with benjy..sad…team started off with distraction
    local media, negative talk show negative spin..yet benjy and team garnered national respect
    shame he has to apply
    however he will
    he says he will be okay on way or another
    he just cares about returning team he loves

    That is high character
    pono..real kamaaina
    benjy should have agent ready to present excellent resume
    plus espn, fox sports, cbs sports media shoutout
    plus coaching buddies recommendation
    and uh mbb alumni support

    Benjy and uh mbb team
    you guys warriors ..mean so much to young and old
    and ones well and infirmed..

    Mahalo Benjy Taylor and the Rainbow Warriors
    uhadmin power that be..listen..even Dave R,.. says benjy did good job!!
    BM too..
    leahys support too!!

  25. servante. Sad…it appears to be agenda…without a doubt..very sure tax break..and just public notice for corporation.
    35,000.00 fee for CIT , drop in the bucket for some businesses. .donation
    would really show how hawaii feels about team

    Heck even TV special interviews of team and hilites how special team
    recognition at ssc MVB Team for mbb team

    If uhadmin power that be..honors that “for the betterment of student athletes ”
    Negotiate contract with benjy Now
    posting national search..another slap in face to mbb program

    Football?
    I don’t get it..the support..well hope chow goes to a bowl..he got huge support for 3 years losing record
    auwe!!

  26. Just thinking out loud..and posts…local and nationally
    what better fit for mbb head coach than Benjy Taylor
    another BWC coach..would be crazy

    Would be good if Benjy in place as head coach and this summer play tour in europe or new zealand/australia sponsored by donors..reward for awesome season
    or..in next two weeks an exhibition game against international team
    Brazilian national team?
    New Zealand national team..or their 21 and under teams
    like how shoji has exhibition matches in spring
    that would honor coach and team

    What Benjy has going for him…resume..the 13 returnees including preferred
    and bwc championship run

    ESPN, FOX SPORTS, CBS SPORTS media pundits/announcers support on national network cable tv..online support

    local op ed writer and beat writer good commendation
    and probably THE KEY..team support..if team’s families echo support for Benjy as permanent coach ..that is huge
    maybe another letter from AV’s wonderful mom?
    If major sponsors, politicians , students, man and woman on the street shout Benjy, Benjy, Benjy…!!
    Positive pressure…for success of team and staff
    would not be surprised if sooner than later Benjy can be permanent uh mbb head coach
    I am pulling for you papa bear benjy!!

    Uhadmin get it done..something right for first time in years!!

  27. Not to rush to judgement I would ask some important questions for the long term success of the basketball team and the future when considering Taylor as the full-time basketball head coach at UH. There is no question that he and his staff did a very fine job this year in spite of all the turmoil, changes in coach(es), turnover in personnel (Fotu and Reyes) and the cloud of the NCAA investigation. Going forward we must inquire the following.

    1) Who is Taylor and his staff are recruiting and targeting now. Who are the prospects? You can’t say in public, but the selection committee or AD can surely ask in private.
    2) Who has Taylor recruited for Hawaii so far? I understand he recruited Fleming, I could be wrong. Akana recruited Fotu, Arnold recruited all the others, including Valdes, Bobbitt, Webster-Chan, Jankovic, Nevels, Standhardinger, Javonovic, Thomas, etc. etc etc.
    3) What was Taylor’s record as a Head Coach at other places and who did he recruit as those places?
    4) What was the team’s graduation rate when Taylor was the Head Coach at other places.
    5) What is Taylor’s philosophy on offense and defense. I see a team right now with lots of intensity, quickness, but they tend to commit a lot of fouls and I don’t see the them running a lot of set plays. They seem to go helter skelter and they have periods of minutes that they can’t score. They make some bad decisions at critical times and they could have won at least 5 or 6 games if they played smarter. When it comes down to it, it’s the coach’s responsibility.

    I believe the administration/chancellor is wise to look for the best long term Head Coach for the University and interested coaches to apply, including Coach Taylor. There are a lot of good coaches out there believe me. If somebody has a pipeline to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, or the JCs, or California or whatever else, and is a good talent evaluator that’s a big plus. Hawaii is an attractive job.
    There should be no shortage of good coaches applying. May be best man get the job.

  28. Derek,
    In this what have you done for me lately world of coaching…I would also understand this. Right now we have a group of young ball players with talent that took 5 years in the making. Their first year and it was anything but easy, they won more games than any UH team I can remember.

    By bringing in a new coach, who’s to say how many of these kids will go and who will stay. We have a 5 year building block of not just JUCO’s but of frosh and sophomore elites. All they need is to get another year or two of playing together and they will be even more special than this year. I would hate to see what happened to the UH football team after playing in the Sugar Bowl and losing all that momentum we had with recruits due to UH ADMIN. Furthermore, if it is not Benjy, these kids “might” get a pass to have to sit out if they transfer.

    Another thing to consider is that the average Coach that gets his team into the NCAA Tournament makes over $1.4M per year. Our UH ADMIN is trying to buy someone for under $200K!!! In my world, you get what your pay for.

    Now Que has already recruited players that have gone onto play in the NBA. The only reason no one is on the radar right now is that Benjy does not have a 3+ year contract in place. How would you like to recruit a 3* player and when mom and dad ask, “Well how long is your contract Coach?”

    Just by getting a new coach who is willing to start from scratch, does not give you any guarantees on whether or not this program will thrive. We have a sure thing right now for the next two years…why chance it? If Benjy blows it, then we go hunting.

    I am watching the Coaching Landscape right now and the turnaround time for replacement is weeks not months…athletic departments on the mainland know the value of RECRUITING!

    As for the T’s, I feel that was Gib’s fault by example. Benjy finally curbed that problem over the end of the season and I doubt it will be a problem anymore…our kids have matured. This year’s bench received ZERO T’s.

    As for grades, we will find out soon enough. As for the number of recruits we have available at this time it is 5…which means even if they take one or two away from us, can you imagine what three good recruits to add to this base would do?

    I am totally behind BENJY and the BOWZ.

  29. BACKBEAT….you not alone…those old and new uh mbb fanbase say same..can see success..enjoy program..2 guys that left..wanted to…kids have matured…true…any coach given reins just short while before season starts..does masterful job keeping 14 young guys from leaving program..and reaches bwc championship game , 22 wins most since 2002, fans love style and effort..team receives ovation win or lose for giving all

    Under Benjy’s watch..admin/power that be do not know what they are doing by delaying putting permanent head coach in place…senque and benjy , to their credit , keep in touch with potential recruits,
    did mention, shooter and rebounding big awhile back…you are right..even bring in new coach..scramble and gamble recruiting like nash and gib had to do late hires..

    For continuity…that is why admin /power that be/AD like stan sheriff..even donovan with athletic collegiate background , especially knowing hawaii situation in mid pacific..you are not going to get many top 30 athletes however still many good ones..

    Basically uhadmin..why spoil a good thing..and possibly great team 2..3 years down road?

    Hire Benjy akamai…no calapari, coach K, Larry Brown, john wooden, rick pitino would come here..
    Benjy been here 5 years , he knoeknows hawaii..he is kamaaina

    Benjy for head coach!!
    Makes good sense, common sense..best use of uhadmin dollar sense
    season ticket holders, student fans, boosters, support benjy
    online sign benjy for permanent coach …interesting

    Would have been easy to dismiss benjy if…if…his team went 9-23 and did not make bwc championship game
    I hope UH admin does not blow it
    like , how let june go..

  30. While on the surface it seems like a no brainer to give Benjy the job there is a lot going on with the team under the surface that many people are not privy too. The weed smoking incident in the room, reports of fights between team members and players with academic problems are some of the things I am hearing from the admin. These guys played hard on the court and it was a fun product but many in the admin are not happy about how the team is being run off the court.

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