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An announcement from Stefan Jankovic

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Without giving away too much from the video announcement above, the players on the University of Hawai’i basketball team are going through some trying times right now.

A new head coach – Eran Ganot – was selected last week, ahead of the previous coach – Benjy Taylor, who led the team to a 22-13 record during the 2014-15 season.

In effect, the players who are eligible to return must decide if they, indeed, want to return to the program next season. As one person close to the program noted: “This is their third coach in the last seven months. It’s hard to build trust and belief in the system that way.”

Ganot, though, is doing his best to keep the team intact. He met with the players twice last week, and said he will try to make it as smooth a transition as possible.

“Really cool guy – easy to talk to,” forward Stefan Jankovic said of his first impression of Ganot.

52 Comments

  1. Good response from Janks. This man has a great philosophy.

  2. It’s easy with all the turmoil, anger and hurt surrounding the coaching change to forget what’s most important — the student-athletes. Thanks for reminding everyone, Stefan, and thanks for staying committed to Hawaii … the school and the state because those are everlasting entities, unlike a coaching staff.

    And props for the comic relief in the lead-in to your interview. Funny stuff.

  3. Good to hear positive news from one of the key returning players. He seems to have gotten comfortable in Hawaii. I would have thought he might be thinking of leaving after completing his season but after a while I thought he might stay. Need to hear from Fleming but I guess he’ll go home and have a discussion before deciding what he wants to do. I hope the other guys start giving us their thoughts as to what they plan to do.

  4. Great attitude from Janks and will be one of the best players in the league next year.
    I hope the rest of the team sticks together they really have a shot at going dancing if they do.

  5. Great attitude ,well done:)

  6. What a relief, can’t imagine losing Janks next season. That was such a mature response, it takes a great player to look past everything and be positive. I mean 3 coaches in 7 months makes it extremely difficult for the guys to keep focused and to trust… He believes in the program we have in Hawai’i and he is by far the best player on the team. He could have gone pro in a heartbeat, but chose to stay. Lead and the rest will follow. You are a true example of a rainbow warrior! Thanks Janks! Cheers!

  7. Janks!

    Great to Hear Your Positive Viewpoint,
    And Your Plans…

    I see you as not only a key player,
    But a Key Team Leader

    And You’re Already Displaying it…

    Help the Team Adapt, Adjust
    And Keep Improving

    Help the Coaches Recruit
    More Help… A Power-Body
    so you can use your Full Range

    A Lights Out Three-Shooter
    To Open Up the Key
    So We Can Enjoy Your Drive-Slams!

    I Am Looking Forward
    To the Bulked Up, Quicker, Stronger
    Janks, Lighting Up The BWC,
    Pre- AND POST-Season!

    Keep On, Janks!
    GO ‘BOWS!

  8. a committed player like Janks is exactly what we need at UH. He has a great attitude, thanks for the update!

  9. Janks! You are truly an inspiration, we are lucky to have you and it’s great that you feel lucky to be here as well.
    Keep up the good work, we are all behind you.
    Eagle you are 100% correct, Janks is a Key Team Leader!

  10. Well said janks!! He has gone thru so much change in the past months but is still committed to Hawaii! Love his desire to get bigger, stronger, and craft his game. He is embracing change and making the best of it. Hope he can inspire and keep the returning players to stay. Also maybe help recruit players. He wouldn’t want to come to Hawaii and get a education and ball out in paradise. I feel if everyone returns we got a good chance to be a very special team! Mahalo janks and go bows!!!

  11. Mahalo Janks for your hard work and dedication to the bows, always the first one at practice and the last one to leave. This player sets the standard for dedication and perseverance. Ganot is going to love coaching him. He has a lot to bring to the table, especially from playing at Mizzou. I believe that Ganot and Janks are going to get along and together they will develop and drive this team to victory, NCAA tournament 2016 is a GO.

  12. I really like the starting five of bobbitt,valdez,janks, jovan and hopefully fleming!
    Coach Eran needs to talk to Austin Pope,get him to reconsider playing with his friend valdez!If nwc a comes back thats a bonus also!

  13. Everything can go wrong; Everything can be rectified (i.e. from worsening to progression).
    The courage to accept changes as the necessary action toward the right direction (AD Matlin is doing his best for the good) –
    Coach Ganot is here to help and work hard TOGETHER with everyone to get the job done!
    Let’s be all-in for a bright future.

  14. I knew he couldn’t stay away from this board! lol

  15. I’m glad that Janks took the time to fully evaluate the full situation and make an informed decision. Ganot is a very personable guy which is obvious from all of the endorsements that he’s gotten from former players and coaches. Janks will definitely be a leader on the team next year and should be one of the go to guys. Just has to continue to work hard in the off season and gain some strength.

  16. So happy he chose to stay with us instead of going pro this year. He is an amazing player and will be benefit so much from having him

  17. Janks is THE MAN

  18. Wonderful to come on the site and read positive response from team members. No more beating a dead horse. Excited about team, coach, and next season. Go Bows! Absolutely renewing season tickets again.

  19. Woohoo! This is great news from a great player. We have all seen his potential and know that he can be a very special player for the next two years.

    Like he says continue to work on his body and get stronger and he will be one of the greats to wear a UH uniform. I hope and pray he gets his buddy NWC to do the same and they can be the next Canada connection to take us to the NCAAs just like Carl English and Phil Martin. Thanks Janks!

  20. Man feel bad for Coach Benjy but this team has such a strong mentality to just focus on themselves and everything else will take care of itself. It’s understandable if players leave due to coaching change but hopefully the boys give Coach Ganot a chance and just work hard and ball out. They may not be able to control what happens with the Coaches but they can control what happens with themselves and the team. Just work harder than the next guy and push each other to be better than what you already are. Janks has the potential to be one of the best big men in the conference if he continues to work on his game and confidence. With the incoming dude Pope staying committed, and a few other recruits, the team can only get better. We have a strong nucleus of players if they all stay and just put in work. Like Janks, just clear the negativity, recharge and refocus… grind mode for the next season…

  21. Forget Pope. Not a good fit

  22. I predict Jankovic can be Big West 1st team this coming season. Why? Well, #1 Alan Williams and Will Davis are gone. They were 2 of the front line 1st teamers this past season. #2, Jankovic has shown he can be an inside/outside player so he’s versatile. #3, with added strength he’ll be tougher to stop in the block. #4 he needs to stay out of foul trouble, if he gets the minutes, he will score consistently. He’s capable to scoring 15-17 points per game if he gets around 30 minutes a game and get 7-8 rebounds per game. That right there, is Big West numbers. Taylor Johns from Riverside was All Big West and I think Jankovic can be better than him if Stefan works on his game.

    Here’s my take, assuming the players are coming back:
    PG Bobbitt
    SG Webster-Chan
    SF Valdes
    PF Thomas
    PF Jankovic

    6th man – Fleming
    7th man – Smith
    8th man – Jovanovic
    9th man – Filipovich

    Fleming can play the 1, the 2, and also maybe the 3 (he’s such a versatile player and so valuable)
    Smith is a 1, and defend a 1 and 2. He too gives a lot of quickness.
    Jovanovic can replace both Thomas or Jankovic.
    Filipovich won’t get too much minutes, but can fill in for Smith and Bobbitt.

    Needs: #1 We need another 3 pt. threat to replace Nevels.
    #2 We need another big body down low to get rebounds and defense primarily. Offense is a bonus. Someone in the 6-8 to 6-10 range.
    #3 If we get a third scholarship player, I would look for versatility, someone who could play a 2 and/or 3. 6-3 – 6-7 type.

    Pupule, I agree, Pope is not a good fit. He doesn’t shoot very well. If anything, he’s like the #3 need if Ganot is desparate.

  23. Pope is a good player. But it appears that he has a history of changing his mind on schools for one reason or another.

  24. Derek I like ur assessment. Can UH get a bruiser ?

  25. Bigdaddy 94, big men are hard to find. Every DI program wants one. Gotta get lucky. Even a guy like 6-7 can do, as long as they have a knack of getting rebounds and get some garbage points. It’s very rare, but Charles Barkley was 6’4″, but he could get the rebounds because he was a quick jumber and knew how he could position himself well. So, it’s talent too. If it was me, I would go for a high energy, high character type guy. As long as it’s not an attitude say like a Joston Thomas.

    I read that Michigan State got a top recruit, an McDonalds HS all american who is only 6’8″, but is 275 lbs.
    I think his name is Swaringan or something like that. Anyway, that’s a big body, and a big butt to move the pile out. If he’s ferocious, mean, and nasty look out! If he’s soft, then it’s another story.

    Hope Coach Ganot can get lucky! And I hope he has some good contacts.

  26. Derek I like your starting 5 except that I would put Flemings in the top 5 and take Thomas out. If Jank can bulk up we can go with a 4 guard offense similar to VCU. Actually VCU played with a 6’7 center but Mo Alie Cox is a beast.

  27. Hey, Yanko: Appreciate your positivity toward continuity and advancement for contributions in the next season successes of the team. If others follow your leadership plus some promising recruits’ LOI then, we can be ultimately optimistic –

    With your natural talents, continuous progressive attitude, leadership quality, am visualizing you a co-captain material!

    If you utilize a long upcoming Summer vacation –

    ~1. Stay in Paradise.
    ~2. Going for some Summer School credits.
    ~3. Join a Hawaii College Basketball Summer League 2015 team.

    Huge benefits for yourself upside-wise athletically, physically as well as personally!

    Please be warned that there could be more roughness than DI BB (don’t get hurt)!

    Your next season in Hawaii accomplishments could be unbelievable!

  28. Pono, good thoughts. I like Fleming coming in off the bench to give us instant offense. Thomas is not an instant scorer. Fleming give us a boost. If you start Fleming, I would then put Webster-Chan as the 6th man because he can shoot. But, my thinking is that Webster-Chan is our 3 point shooter who would in essence replace Garrett Nevels. No matter. Ganot will figure it out.

    The big key is if Fleming leaves, then there’s a big need to fill his spot. He gives us quickness, on ball defense, steals, penetration, playmaking, and 3 point threat. He can do so many things. With maturity, better shot selection, and better decision making, he could be real special. After Bobbitt and Smith leaves after next year, Fleming could be our point guard for the next 2 years. That’s a very big IF.

  29. Derek I agree with your 5, considering Fleming not returning. If Fleming returns then Thomas out Fleming in. On the other hand, Janks is far more capable of getting 15-17 points per game. I say he could comfortably be at 25-28 per game. That is with the continuous hard work and effort that he puts in the game. He said himself that he is working on getting stronger, bigger, more athletic, faster. Great player, our golden token next year to NCAA. Thanks Janks! Glad you chose to stay

  30. Hey, Isaac, Mike, Yovan:

    You all are talented, athletically… as well, somehow, somewhat found under-achieved but popular to fans from last season. I personally felt your upsides are much much better than that!

    Can you follow coach Ganot’s instructions and Yanko’s good example…?

    We enjoyed your plays and hungry for more for next season!

    Get us a fantastic one that we all will treasured?

  31. Looks like Flemings is also coming back after meeting with coach Ganot. Those are his two biggest recruits. They were the two guys who could have transferred with years remaining to play. Especially Isaac since he still has a RS year. Man we are going to be scary next year with this team coming back.

  32. If we get an athletic slashing wing, a spot up outside shooter and big who can rebound and defend we could be the second coming of LMU with Bo and Hank. Just running and gunning with a high paced pressure D. How nuts would that be to regularly see scores in the 100s.

  33. Terrific interview, terrific responses from Stefan. I’m proud to support this team and looking forward to next season.

  34. Mahalo, Isaac:

    In 2014 Summer League games, your outstanding drive-in plays as well as precise passes/assists as PG drew the most ooooh’s and ahhhhh’s from the local fans, therefore you are their FAV!

    In last Warriors’ season, as a #1 backup PG did the best as expected of a genuine 3-star Freshman, your zig&zag finesse’s like nobody before. really admired you skill!

    They said: “A good player became a better player in the off-season”! Have you ever wonder why?

    Selfishly, I like to see you playing in the Summer League –

    Otherwise, earned some good credits in Summer School in Paradise…
    Three years from now, you can be preparing to pickup your first sheepskin with BIGDADDY and with your Player-of-year award from BWC to enter the 2018 NBA draft (expecting highly)!

    Understand that coach Ganot knows how!

  35. Pono, I’d like us to be like a Xavier, a Dayton, or a West Virginia myself. Lots of steals, 3s, a lot of passing and cutting. Share the basketball.

    Love my Spurs and Warriors.

  36. great interview janks! you are a true warrior, mahalo

  37. n2o4joy,

    that’s a new name for yer! lol, guess RunBows went with Benjy

  38. They are doing off-season work outs now, per Brian M tweet and blog. If you click on the “here” in his blog, two pics come out. Is that josh elms ?

  39. who is Josh Elms?

  40. Sorry Josh, your a Rainbow Warrior BaseBall alumni now. Am really sorry not knowing as I kinda lost interest in UH’s baseball team from the waning years of Les Murakami till today. I just don’t have that feeling for them nowadys

  41. It’s so great that Fleming is staying. He said we’re going to the dance next year. With Ganot leading us I believe it.

  42. Let me name some:

    Randy Oyama
    Derek Tatsuno
    Gerald Ako
    Kenny Harrison
    Todd Takayoshi
    Billy Blanchete
    etc.

  43. Pocho, perhaps you know Josh Elms more for his better half — Kelly Majam..

  44. it will be super big if ganot get’s everyone back…he can easily win 20 and i would expect with his first year letting the players play their style while throwing in stuff here and there…year 2 he takes over with his style

  45. Clyde,
    yes, after searching the net that’s what I found. Great to see both of them still active and giving back

  46. it will be super big if ganot get’s everyone back…he can easily win 20 and i would expect with his first year letting the players play their style while throwing in stuff here and there…year 2 he takes over with his style….as of right now he needs to get his staff together and get recruiting

  47. it will be super big if ganot get’s everyone back…he can easily win 20 and i would expect with his first year letting the players play their style while throwing in stuff here and there…year 2 he takes over with his style….as of right now he needs to get his staff together and get recruiting

  48. Janks is the man! Now we just need everyone – players and fans – to step up. UH really does have the potential to be a powerhouse.

    Really like that Matlin and Ganot have close ties to Hawaii.

    Shoutout to Beeman for committing to UH too. She realizes UH and Hawaii are special.

  49. Janks’ girlfriend very recently moved to Hawaii and I think she really likes it here. I remember Benjy saying during a radio interview that she’s a good girlfriend and a great influence on Janks.

    Go Bows!

  50. Derek interesting thought for a starting 5 but there is 1 problem in that Webster-Chan has not shown his prowess in defending guards. I would put Bobbit, Fleming, and Smith in the top 3 guards. Unless Smith shows some improvement in his shooting over the offseason Issac and his tough defense will probably get the nod for the starting 2 guard with Smith the backup for either Bobbit or Isaac.
    I could see a the last three spots being used in a mix depending n the other team being played. Jankovic or Jovonavic will be starting big, where there are opportunities for them to be on the court at the same time as seen this past year.
    The 3 and 4 spots can be filled by the 2 bigs being used at the same time in some occasions but will mostly be used by a mix of Valdez, Webster-Chan, Thomas. There are also times where we may run 3 guards.
    We do not know who may be coming in because they may be in line to get some major laying time as well.
    This team has some really great players, Bobbit and Smith are going to be Seinors so the should try to get there replacements ready to roll not for this coming year but the year after

  51. Unless someone else arrives with impressive credentials, NWC will start at the 3. Stat wise he is the most consistent shooter and see him improving on his numbers. We need shooters like we need coffee in the morning. Plus he does a little of everything such as defending, rebounding, passing, is not foul prone, cool under pressure, and plays within himself. Flemming is the heir apparent to Garret Nevels 2 spot. He could really spread the floor if he improves on his shooting. He’s got all-world ball handling skills and quickness and is solid on defense. You’re right Derek, he could be more effective coming off the bench but don’t think he’d volunteer for that position. Then you’ve got to find a spot for Valdes which is likely to be 4 followed by Jankovic at the 5 (Jank’s knows it that’s why he’s bulking up). Bobbitt is Mr. point. And don’t forget the bench. Smith, Thomas, and Jovanovic will play extended minutes. They are proven and tested players and will be a big key to the success of next year’s team. Lose one player and it will show like one red pimple. Hoping they all come back and stick together just like they did this year. Next year is break out year for this team. They will perfect their trapping defense and better shooting. Top 25. No joke.

  52. Thanks Janks for staying home here in Hawaii
    We love you man!!!!!!
    Stoked!!!!!
    Go Warriors!!!!!!!!

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