Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

‘New’ off-season work is underway

With a new head coach in place and all of the eligible returning players in attendance, the University of Hawai’i basketball team started its off-season workouts this week.

“It’s good to get back together as a team, get ready for next year,” said Quincy Smith, who was a junior captain last season. “We had a good year this year, but we want to have an even better year next year, so we’re ready to get to work.”


New head coach Eran Ganot is supervising the workouts, for now. He will depart Honolulu for recruiting purposes later in the month.

“It’s a relief to have a head coach right now so we can get to work ASAP,” Smith said. “A lot of other teams, they’re doing weights and open gyms and individual workouts already, so we didn’t want to be behind.”

Ganot was announced as the coach last week, and immediately met with each player on the team. A few days later, weightlifting sessions started, followed by individual workouts.

“It’s been really good, actually,” said Niko Filipovich, who will return as a sophomore next season. “Coach Ganot’s got us working real hard … we’re just trying to play catch-up right now, but he has us working hard, which is the main focus.”

The announcement of Ganot as the new head coach ended weeks of speculation, as previous acting head coach Benjy Taylor was told to apply for the open position of head coach at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season.

“To be honest, it’s really tough,” Filipovich said. “Having that uncertainty for all that time, I think a lot of the players were going through the same stuff. We’re just glad it’s over. It’s unfortunate that Coach Benjy had to leave, but I’m really happy that we have an experienced coach in Coach Ganot.”

Some players, like junior-to-be Stefan Jovanovic, were not exactly sweating out the process.

“The last couple of weeks, I did not really stress too much about it,” he said. “To be honest, I was at the beach most of the time … but I’m happy to know that we finally have a head coach and we know who’s the coach and we have a (training) program that we’re going to follow and we can workout.”


  1. Strength Thru UNITY
    Keep Together
    Keep the Chemistry

    Last Year’s DIS-Advantage
    ONLY ONE Player with Significant D-1 Experience

    BECAUSE You Stuck Together
    IS A Strength for Next Season
    EIGHT Players with Significant PT
    4.5 to 14 Points Per Game
    16.5 (!) to 33 Minutes Per Game

    MIX IN Five to Ten More Available Fouls
    One to Three Made Threes
    One to Three Fewer BAD Shots OR ‘Turnovers’
    From As Low As Good Role Players
    To As High As ‘An IMPACT Player’
    (i think as Ganot was ‘Hinting’ on Hoop Stalk)
    GOOD Guys who won’t Mess Up Team Chemistry
    [PTG: That He Was ‘Low-Balling’
    Promising Low-to-Deliver HIGH…]

    AND What MIGHT We Have?
    A Team to “Chase Championships”?
    MAYBE A Team To Deliver Some
    MAYBE A Team That CAN & Sometimes DOES
    WIN THREE, Instead of Two Out of Three…
    [Note: Most Weeks in NCAA Tourney,
    “Just” Need to Win Two…]
    BETTER for FIVE or TEN Minutes More…
    Win Most Going Away?
    Instead of Faltering or Falling Behind?
    Maybe Even Getting Stronger As The Match Wears On
    Better On The Second Night than the First
    [IF You Don’t Know What That Looks Like
    Go Watch National #1 Men’s Volleyball]
    SOME Think/Believe Discipline & Coaching Can/Will
    Close THAT Gap…

    GO ‘BOWS!

  2. We only lost two players. Jawato and Nevels.
    And next year, it appears we will only have two seniors again.
    Quincy Smith and Roderick Bobbitt.
    More maturity this year. Can’t go wrong as far as the players go.
    Let’s try to stay healthy this year.

  3. Is it NCAA legal for a coach to supervise workouts during the off-season. I have no idea and don’t want to start off the wrong foot.

    Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  4. Looks like out of the 8 hrs. per week of off season workouts, 2 hrs. allowed for the coach to provide skill instruction (No more than four student-athletes may be involved in skill instruction at all sites combined at any one time) .

  5. Since his offense involves the European style, ball screens,3 pt shooting , Ganot said he wants to work with the players to improve their 3 pt shooting.

  6. Just for fun picking the “Tri-captains “ of the 2015-16 season, since we hoping-along o.k. –
    ~A. Rod for maturity and skills.
    ~B. Janko for stepping, self-discipline, possible break-out year.
    ~C. Vald/#0 for impacking players, BBIQ.

    Team cohesion, improved coaching regarding game situation/reaction & individual player help.

    High-goal of “Big-dance” will be achievable (could not happen at a better time!)?

  7. Stef for president of Hawaii, Niko for mayor and Janks for governor.

  8. My expectations on next year’s team:
    -25+ wins
    -12+ wins pre-conference play
    -9+ wins in conference play
    -Make Big West tournament championship game
    -Post season berth to NCAA/NIT

    Looking at the big picture, these are all realistic expectations. Coach Ganot has “been there, done that” to all of the above, so why not?? The team has the talent, so with the right coaching, sky’s the limit

  9. I’d like to hear from Roderick, Aaron, Negus, and Mike too.

  10. Also, I’d vote for Rod and Q to be co-captains. They’re both PG’s, seniors, and can make plays to get the team going.

  11. Nice video, Dayton. Awesome to hear from Niko, Q, and Stef. Of the players who returned from the 2013-2014 season, I thought Stef was the most improved.

    Big thanks to all the guys who are really committed to Hawaii!

  12. I think the only guy who is still on the fence is NWC.

  13. All are participating in off season workouts, per warrior insider.

  14. NWC should be fine. He’s the team’s most consistent three-point shooter and Ganot wants to increase the emphasis on that aspect of the game, so he’ll have an opportunity to play a feature role.

  15. We wish Benjy all good things in his future.

    We can only get behind and support Coach Ganot just as the players have. Speaking of such, his style and respect for the players to meet with each of them individually and solidify the team is honorable. His off season workouts is an indication of his seriousness about winning.

    We wish that he would speak more about his recruiting prospects but his fundamentalism is keeping him from doing so. Bringing any prospective recruits in for a visit to ensure that UH, the coaches, and players are a good fit for the recruit. And visa versa. I like this attitude.

    One more solid big (able to play the 4 or 5) will strongly benefit the team.

    Jone-zing for some MBB basketball right now.

    For all of those new friends that were made at this past year’s Big West Tournament, hope to see you in November when the season starts and then back in Anaheim March 2016.

    Go Warriors!

  16. Re: Eagle post on prior day, hoping for top 15 type players. Don’t know how accurate ,but verbal commits has Thomas at 3 stars, Janks, Negus, Isaac at 2.7, the rest at 2 .

    All the listed incoming St Mary’s freshman are listed at 2 stars. Last year, they had one 2.7, one 3 and two at 2.

  17. I Would Think we “Should” See Some Official Visits Within The Next Week or Two…

    AND That Coach Eran would NOT Steal Any Away from St. Mary’s
    SO that would Thin Out His Options…

    ARE Senque et.al still On Payroll?
    Thru June 30 or so?

    Then Should Meet with and Lock Up
    The Ones Already On the Board
    Even IF Benjy was Primary Recruiter
    He Can’t Offer Those Prospects
    Another Option Unless he’s close to Securing His Next Position…

    And WHO ARE Gonna Be Eran’s Assistants?
    Returning Players have their Game Plans Moving….

    TIME To Build The Future …

  18. Islandman…

    The Top 15 / Top 50 Type Recruits WERE More A Reference to Kentucky, Lousville and Pitino…
    THAT We Don’t Have ANY One-and-Done Types
    So I DON’T “Expect” to (Most Times, Besides ‘Unconscious A+ Game Nights’)
    Knock Off Top 5 Programs
    Even when we knocked off Top Five (at the time) Kansas, they were Down one or two Key Players…

    Janks and Negus were Reportedly Top 50 /Top 100 HS Recruits…

    And Rod, Q were Top 50 / 100 JUCO

    The Other Three-Stars: Fleming and Thomas
    have been pretty solid
    with Expected Step-Ups to All-Game Players

    Aaron Valde’s was a Total Evaluation ‘STEAL’

    Agree St. Mary’s Appears to be “Developing Their Own”
    Starting at about Two-Stars…
    Ganot has good “coaching / development” Rep…

  19. Recruiting calendar says April 13-16 is a Dead period. April 17-22, Recruiting period.
    April 23 to July 5, mostly a “Quiet” period.

    July 6 to 31, mostly a Dead period, with about 12 Evaluation period days within.

  20. Eagle

    Valdes could definitely be called a steal. He is literally developing before our eyes. Matter of fact same as how Hakeem Olajuwon developed. They did not seriously take up the game of basketball after they ditched other sports and concentrating on one thing. Valdes ditching water polo and Olajuwon ditching soccer. And Valdes, like Olajuwon, came from mid-majors—Hawaii and Houston respectively. Will be interesting to see what Aaron will develop into next season. We got the makings of our own Phi Slamma Jamma.

  21. So funny, Negus was in Canada the Final 4 weekend and some started to wonder if he bailed. Now, he’s back in school and doing some off-season things with the bb team and some saying he’s holding out.

    Come On Now! lol

  22. Mike Thomas could be the most improved player this coming season.
    Close call with perennial MIP AV, and possible improvement in our two big men Steph and Janks with the new coach and system.

  23. IMO, MT was the most improved last year too! It was like night and day from his Freshman year. If he’s improved that much more coming back this season he’d be MJ!

  24. Thomas and both Stefans need to work on their footwork and positioning to stay out of foul trouble. Too many times, I see 3 fouls in one half in only a couple of minutes. There are good fouls and there are stupid, unnecessary fouls. Good coaching will alleviate the problems, I hope. It is amazing when I hear Wisconsin only commits 3 fouls in one half or 5 fouls the entire game. Obviously, there’s a reason how they play defense.

  25. Thank you to all the players that are coming back
    And good luck for the 2015-2016 season
    Go Warriors!!!!!!!!!

  26. Pocho just b/c he’s back working out doesn’t mean he’ll be here next year. I hope he stays but I’m hearing grades are iffy and he isn’t 100% sold yet. From his perspective why not continue to work out while he figures things out. He’ll play ball somewhere next year so he needs to keep grinding regardless of where that destination may be.

  27. Adam Caporn, may be named an assistant to Ganot, per wsn forum. He used to be at St Mary’s and is a basketball coach at the Australian Institute of Sport.

  28. Glad to see Janks is loving life in Hawai’i.

  29. If NWC plays somewhere else next year it won’t be D1. Gotta sit another year if transfers to another D1 school. Or could opt for some type of pro league somewhere in the world. If he wants to play bb for a living then might as well go for it and see what happens. College not for everyone but hopefully he hangs in there and gets that degree. Always nice to have that to fall back on when you can no longer play. Either way, good luck to him in making an informed decision.

  30. Did somebody just compared AV to Hakeem Olajuwon? 😂😂😂😂

  31. I don’t know what Negus was to referring to in his twitter, but it reads like he’s just concentration on himself and not the distractions of the coaching change or even not about the NCAA sanctions, etc.

    I read it like he’s working his game, he only worries about himself. And yes it would be a good move for him looking for another school as he already used up his rs year. Of course a lesser Div. school may be alright but… .

    Some are talking about his grades, makes me wonder if there’s a squealer in UH’s system of things, lol. or maybe Negus mentioned it to someone outside of UH, idk

  32. I meant to say “not” a good move for him looking for another … .

    sorry bout that

  33. Every Student knows:

    Academic failure => Not_Worthy_Casualty; Bad grade earns no_diploma.

    We need good players in the Summer League, starts around June 22 for the 39th year!

  34. Looking for some Australians to be playing for UH. We had Fotu from New Zealand and Harper from Australia.

  35. I still think that there is still lots of potential in Australia. For the number of prospects that they have vs the number of Div 1 teams that recruit there, there are still good prospects to be had.

  36. UH is the go too college for the top australian softball players, no reason it can’t be the same for the top basketball players.
    Who in their right mind would prefer Moraga, Ca or boise, over Honolulu?

  37. Look and you will find good players all over the place. There are some good players in N.Z,, Taiwan, China, Japan, besides in Australia especially more guards. You can find some good ones in Alaska too. Canada has a lot, Puerto Rico, European countires, Africa. Well known prospects will be goggled up by the big programs, so have to get under the radar guys or late bloomers, looking for future potential. Sometimes, you get lucky. David Robinson went to Navy as a 6’5″ or 6’6″ player as a freshman and spurted to be a 7 footer in one season. The rest is history. Hope Coach Ganot is a very lucky person!!!!!
    Or his Assistants!

  38. I “GUESS” Coach Ganot CAN Consider HIMSELF The “Program Continuity” —

    Esp. NOW That he’s Apparently Got The Players saying “All Will Return”

    (Whether Negus Does Or Not…)
    I’m O.K. IF Negus is NOT 100% Convinced —
    Just Coming Back — Going to Double-Summer Sessions IF he Messed Up A Class or Two –
    “Hearing” and maybe NOT Trusting, that Ganot is a Guard-Oriented, Three-Oriented Coach
    Could Easily “Sound” Like Smoke or ‘Too Good to be True’
    BUT The FACTS — Two Guard “Conference-Players-of-the-Year” and First-Teamers, Objectively Backs that Up…
    IF STAFF Can get Another 6-7/6-8-Plus-Type (esp., a Physical Player, Aussie?) Negus should be Freed Up to Roam and Shoot in a Pick/Screen Int’l System — Playing to HIS Strengths (Shooting) …
    Get School Under Control — Ganot CAN Help —
    and The Rest Sounds like A Winner
    for a guy who Really wants to be an NBA Shooting Guard…
    (Needs to Get Stronger…)

    i’m guessing HE Still Likes Hawai’i…[After Toronto & Missourri?]
    HE’s Been Recruiting His Friends (Janks…)
    And CAN Still Go to The Dance for Two Years…
    …Versus HIS Original Talk…
    Less Than D-1 Doesn’t Walk the Talk

  39. UH lost out on that BIG Lineman some years back. Was his 1st name Jesse or something?

  40. Williams. He went to Alabama, did pretty good, drafted by the Seahawks, got hurt, came back, was cut.
    Don’t know where he is right now. He’s definitely not an Isaac Sopoanga.

  41. Cmon Ganot find that diamond similar to Andrew Bogut

  42. when foreign players wanna come to america and play D1 ball they don’t think of hawaii at all…they probably don’t even know if hawaii has a team

  43. The late coaching change has really cost us in the recruiting arena. It’s a good thing we have a strong nucleus of returning players. But I think in the coming months as Ganot gets his coaching staff in order we should see some interest from late signers or players that fell out from some schools. Hope we can attract a quality big, but the best available we need to go after and then structure the team around the group we have. The new assistants might bring along some players like how Vander Joaquim arrived through one of the new assistants with Gib Arnold.

  44. Foreign Basketball Players often don’t know USA Basketball much more than WE would know Aussie BB…
    Maybe you, friends or family have been to Australia & New Zealand,
    and you can name a few cities…

    They probably know Televised NBA, FIBA World-Championship/Olympic and a few Big-Name Televised Teams — BUT then would need to be Good Enough to make Louisville or Kentucky or Duke…WHO LIKES to Travel 3,000 to 5,000 MORE miles, 4 to 12 hours More Air/Travel time for Self, Friends and Family, Three to SIX Less Hours Time Difference when you Phone Home….These Are Realities At Least a couple times a year that ‘can’ be Edge Factors to help the recruiting ‘Discussion’ to choose between Moraga OR points further East…and Hawai’i

    MORE Significant Could be the Eco-Culture, Climate, Warm Water, and More/Most Beautiful young ladies…
    [Q: How Come Michelle Looks So Much BETTER than Most/ALL the other Koreans on Tour?]

    i Did NOT Like getting Out-Recruited for Former-UH Players’ Sons [Webster and Pineau…]
    WEBSTER Highlighted The Difference when he was down here: ‘Hawai’i Has a “Good Vibe” :
    IT IS World-Class and Part of Why Billionaires Buy Here…

    AFTER Capom arrives [Big Welcome! and Mahalo In Advance Adam for ALL the Future PROS!]
    we’ll know A Lot More about the Level of Play for Wollongong (Hawks) and Perth (Wildcats)
    and Basketball Australia National Centre of (Basketball) Excellence in Canberra…

    One Additional ‘Advantage’ is The Lack of a Signing ‘Hype’ Schedule: Think NBA / NFL Draft or The NLOI Signing Party a few days ago…They weren’t ‘Pressured’ to (Already) Choose and Sign with a school…They can simply sign a scholarship agreement up to First Week of Classes So Recruiting Season Down Under and ATW Around the World extends into August, even Mid-Term January [Easier to transition ONTO a Team Playing Aussie-Euro-Style Ball?] — Just Get the Paperwork Past Admissions and The NCAA Clearinghouse…[OH! Good(?) to have a Good Rep with Those guys?]

    Welcome Adam!
    GO ‘BOWS!

  45. The BiG piece is missing to put this team into the running for the BW. If you think UH was short handed it’s gonna be the same coming this next season.

    No recruits, lose Nevels to graduation

  46. I Fully Expect Ganot & Company to Bring In 2-3 Players Minimum —
    D-1 IS a Long Season… Half, even More players WILL Have at least Minor Injuries…
    I Would Hate to Start a Long Season with Less Than 10 – 12 Available Players
    You Need 10 Healthy just to Practice (unless Caporn’s in shape, etc.)

    Ganot Seems to Play his cards pretty close to the Vest (Promise Low, Deliver High)
    BUT i took it as a Hint that he has players ‘available’
    Ganot’s answer w.r.t. recruiting:

    “If a Coach doesn’t have 1-15 already laid out,
    he’s already in trouble…”

    IF Ganot & Co. Deliver Less Than TWO Recruits
    I Would Question MATLIN’S Sanity And Intelligence;
    To Burn One of Two “Money Years” with the Sophs
    on this Team returning would Rank as Incompetence in my book…
    And ‘i hope’ it (smartly) includes a Legit Big and a point-shooter (two if short in one area)

  47. Coach cannot comment on possible recruits too. Just gotta wait and see. If could land his Staff, they may have players wanting to follow them to Hawaii. I know that line, you want players that wants to play for a certain school but in this instance I’d want players wanting to play for the coach and are willing to make that change of school to follow that coach.

  48. Would you think we’d have some fans not wanting a player following his coach to Hawaii if hired? lol

  49. THAT IS Funny …and Sad…

    Integrity Counts More when You Are The Beneficiary…*

    With Ganot we’re Not Supposed to Find Out…
    BUT IF Handled Well by the Player,
    I’m sure the Losing Coach would rather his friend/associate benefit
    (than any opposition) and think ‘better for the student-athlete’ as well…

    The Program, Place, Staff only make one-year commitments
    as the Previous ‘Permanent’ HC demonstrated…
    (PAC-12 changing to four-year — What Are The Issues? WHY NEED a Rule?)

    WHY Would most even Research to get enough info to enroll and travel If Not ‘following’ the Coach’s Lead?
    They Say it’s all about Relationships…
    (And talk about Program when Transfer talks begin…)

    * so i find it humourous and dis-ingenuous when Non-Qualifiers like Lassner-Vroman want to Throw The Book at Others…
    i’m Not Aware of Such Issues with Matlin-Ganot,
    Swimmin’ With Sharks…

  50. Runbows aka. Eagle still alive yikes here we go with the longggg blogging.

  51. Personally I’d rather have a coach keep silent until he signs a player. Makes no sense to build everybody up on a recruit and then it doesn’t fall through. But the bottom line is you gotta be successful in the recruiting field. You could be the greatest tactician but a poor recruiter spells death. If you look at the great ones—Calipari, Kryzewski, Pitino—they are both great tacticians and recruiters. I would say Ganot has a good handle as a tactician. It remains to be seen if he is a great recruiter. Time will tell. Getting an assistant from Australia helps in recruiting from down under. Good move on coach.

  52. Coach has no choice to keep silent on a potential recruit, lol. Unless of course he no kea

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