Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Valdes looks to continue growth at Hawai’i

Aaron Valdes wants to continue growing next season, and he’s not just talking about his hair.

Valdes led the University of Hawai’i basketball team in scoring and rebounding as a sophomore last season, and he is committed to returning for his junior season under new head coach Eran Ganot.


“I’ll be back next year, I’m excited to play,” he said. “I want to put on some size and work on my ball-handling, just get better.”

The off-season work has already started, as Valdes and the other Warriors have been participating in individual workouts. “It’s good, he’s got us in the gym, working,” Valdes said. “He got us on a program already, we’ve got a schedule, so it’s good.”

Prior to enrolling at UH in 2012, Valdes was also recruited by Saint Mary’s, so he was already familiar with Ganot, who was then an assistant coach for the Gaels.

“I think it was another coach who was recruiting me there at Saint Mary’s,” Valdes said. “I knew who (Ganot) was though, at the time, so I knew who he was coming here.”

After receiving limited playing time as a redshirt freshman in 2013-14, Valdes broke through last season, averaging team-highs of 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

“It was a good year,” he said. “I had a couple of times where I kind of fell off with injuries or I just wasn’t playing good. I think going into next year I just have to be consistent the whole year and not take time off out of games; stay healthy.”

Valdes said he would like to spend more time in the weight room this off-season to add some strength and weight to his 6-foot-5 frame. The other thing he appears to be working on is his hair, which is looking significantly longer these days.

“I’m not going to cut it for a while – try to get it bigger than my freshman year,” he said.


  1. I normally don’t like to intervene in this “comments” section, and you will all continue to be welcomed to share your views and opinions. All I have asked from the beginning is that people be respectful, the language be kept “clean” and no personal attacks. Those rules remain in place.

    In the past few days, some lines have been crossed and some “comments” went out of control. With that said, I would like to ask people who post here to stick to one screen name, or change it only when necessary. If you want to create multiple screen names to instigate arguments or give false appearances, please find another site to do so.

    In particular, let’s please end the “conversation” between WeLoveBenjy and Welovebenji.

    We do have the ability to identify IP addresses and “ban” people, but quite frankly, it is a hassle to do so, and we would prefer not to.

    Healthy debate and differences in opinions can be a good thing, especially when done in a civil manner. “Trolling” or baiting other posters through name-calling and accusation is not a good thing, at least not on this site.

    Thank you for understanding and continuing to visit WarriorInsider.com.

  2. Thanks, Dayton. It had to be said. The “conversations” were getting boorish and tedious. Sad thing is, I’m guessing those responsible are not at all like some of their posts. The posturing just got out of hand.

    Let’s move on, and always remember to respect Dayton, the Schmidt ohana, this site and one another.

    Good news about Valdes; jury’s out about the longer ‘do.

  3. Our family name. WE stick with it.
    Apoligize to Dayton and warriroinsider, and forum. Dayton, there still is a lot of hurt because Benjy was not hired and he was led to believe he had a shot. He figured it out quickly, yet like a true man that he is, though not perfect, he had the MBB team rocking and rolling. He brought UH MBB to the forefront. And whether fans did not like Gib and his staff, or like Eran and his new direction, Benjy Taylor should be recognized, and he will. Still think the Awards show will be great. They should put a lot of lei on him, and give him a plague koa for special service, and his name forever linked to resurgence of Rainbow Basketball.

    Others, just very junvenile would take our monikers, and mock us, or play games, and I know you do not put limits on words blog amounts whether UHF or eagle, everyone has that right to express opinion. That Juvenile faction , they will stop, just shows what type of character and mentality they have. Our family, actually 3 post, moniker names, all same page, and same backing of the Bows, will go through what we started Uhfanzonly1, assigned by WordPress. Benji, which is the name of a dog in a Movie, that is low class and belittles Benjy Taylor. Very non professional and not adult to attack that way.

    We, Pops and two sons, enjoy your forum, we will respect if, We do LOVE BENJY for his sacrifice through the storm and non support of UH.. he is a REAL MAN.. and will forever be YOUR and our friend..Now we support Eran, going to be really tough, he is behind in recruiting, assembling a good staff, wish he would retain some of current assistants at least one or two for continuity.. As Eagle, told me from the Beginning Dayton, this site so unique, YOU ARE THE BEAT writer and video IT guy real time for MBB , always will, Question Mr Morinaga, Will Eran allow you access to interview him real time, where like Gib we can ask questions, what does he think of team, the O and D philosophies, prospects for bigs or shooters?
    That would draw us even closer to Eran, their is a fanbase out there for past 5 years, the only MBB staff and team /recruits they knew? Gib , Akana, Benjy, Fish, McMillian, Rupp, Loyd, Autry,Smith, Carey…. it is a big change.. glad to see UH still allows you to video. .. and NO we did not start and will not engage childish, behavior, attacks and counterattacks on this forum.. that is not HIIGH CHARACTER, like Benjy and Eran, we will take the HIGH road, good morale character.. I want Gib his family, Brandyn and his Ohana, Fotu , Reyes and all to be happy too, Gib brought in some excellent talent for Eran, made his first year a little easier, just have to get them better , bigger, stronger and smarter, they can win the BWC !

    Sorry Dayton, you know, myself, Eagle, n2joy, clyde, al, Derek, were about the first few ones about 5 years ago to post, some topics, only 2 comments, now without the carnage, silly and juvenile, it will hit about 52 comments.. Aloha to the forum, and peace, I feel for the families, of team they are going through a lot, they want our support, and for us to back up their sons.. from team UHF.. We Backing the Bows. !!
    And no, believe it or not, THIS IS THE ORIGINAL UHF, runbows is older son.. disabled..

  4. And to Aaron Valdes, MamaV and TribeVx4, get that boy bigger, stronger and better, a real baller, Aaron can be POY in BWC.. he has so much athletic potential, .. Aaron, the NBA is a real goal, as a 6’5″ or 6’6″ 215 shooting guard who has great vert, rebounds very well, can defend and shoot.. work on the handles, emotions and decision making, you can be an 18 ppg , 7 rb, 3 assists, 1.5 blocked shots, 2 steals, .515 from FG, and .400 from 3 line and 85 percent from FT line, with 1 or less TO’s per game.. Aaron just grind, work with coach Ganot and grind to get to that Elite level.

    Eran, has some really great returnees, just needs to get a shooter and a Big !!

  5. Now…. finally I think Forum will be cool again, the G rated one, for Fans, Families, Friends and potential recruits, 8 years old to 98 years old can enjoy the clean comments.

    Mahalo Dayton !!


  6. and runbow buried the name WeLoveBenjy , Benjy Taylor,HE KNOWS… we love him very much for the work he did at great cost and constant criticism.., he might peak here, that thousands of fans cried when he was not made NEW permanent HC, I used to work there at Athletics, for those depts.. sad commentary. too much political things, and it is making Athletics go down, down, down.. hopefully, UH athletics DI will still be here in 5 years.. I hope so.. so FB, MBB, WVB, MVB etc can have one last chance at Magic !!

  7. lol. You Crack Me Up!

  8. Thank you Dayton. Now forum can return to positive info. No more dominance from multiple names with same message. Welovebenji my oldest daughter… disabled

  9. Mahalo, Dayton & Staff, Schmidt ‘Ohana, Players friends and family and Contributors
    who continue to Consistently Support, The Players, Program And This Site…

    Banquet should help Level the Waters
    HC Eran, who’s experienced many sides of transitions over the years
    Doin’ a nice job of helping the players — Job One — Maintain Focus, Grow and Transition

    Peace, One ‘Ohana,
    Success throughout the Program

    Long View…
    There ARE Good People In The Program
    Successful Despite…
    There Will Be Many More Successes, Wins, Happiness, Even Joy
    Terms Some May Have Not Yet Earned Or Experienced

    Go ‘Bows!


  10. LOL. Yup there he goes again Dayton. After all you just stated UHfansonly aka eagle aka benjy aka whatever else doesn’t get it. This site should be just revised to reporting news and video clips. If people want to blog endlessly they can go to Warrior Spirts Network and face the fire if you wanna be a troll.

  11. I think Geremey Robinson was saying he would have Aaron and Rod Bobbitt on his summer league team. That would be great. Hope they can workout . Really get down the fundamentals, and have access to strength conditioning , weight control addition. The UH teams have guys that are athletic yet can still fill out without losing quickness. Huge upside to team.

  12. Right. Have to work on shooting and finishing under contact. That comes with confidence , focus and strength, the really elite or all conference type have that, and don’t let non calls affect Aaron or team too much. They will have to adjust, maybe Eran will have them stay a little more at home on defense, yet still have traps and pressure ready, then drop back into man or Zone.. a really good solid zone.. would make UH one of the better teams Defensively in the league.

  13. Adam could be named new assistant coach, not Adam Caporn, but Adam Jacobsen from Pacific. He’s been there for 13 years from 1999. In between two stints, he was a high school coach, 2001-03. At one time he held the big west career 3 pt. shots made record as a player at Pacific.

    Pacific was successful when they were in the Big West under Bob Thomason, but changed leagues to the WCC in 2013 and not doing too good in two years, so far. He was Assoc. HC the last two years under Ron Verlin; recruiting coordinator and coordinator of the offense, also working with the guards.

  14. Oh boy Deja vu all over again. Here we got with 50 straight posts about the same thing.

  15. Does this mean AV will not graduate in December, transfer to UCLA on water polo scholarship, and then walk on to UCLA bob team? Thought I read that from one of the best posters with the inside scoop.

  16. Brian M states that Ganot has a “full complement of scholarships to assign.” Meaning scholarships are for one year ? I notice that some schools give out multi-year ones .

  17. This is quite a commitment for Jacobsen, who already was the No. 2 man at his alma mater, coaching in a conference rated higher than the BW, and has a family with three kids. There must be something about Hawaii, or Ganot, that is attractive enough to Jacobsen to allow him to make what is essentially a lateral move. Some good credentials in that he was UOP’s recruiting and “offensive” coordinator. Welcome aboard, coach.

  18. Nice addition for Ganot who many said would not be able to attract anyone. If he can help improve 3 pt pct that would be huge. As old coach used to say, he could “teach you to shoot”. All about repetition. Harder to teach the other required skills. Looks like things are moving along.

  19. Cost of living is higher than around Stockton, CA , especially for housing.

  20. Cant ignore that UOP was last place in WCC and on the decline since the old coach Bob Thomasen retired so maybe this guy is jumping before too late. I hope he is better than advertised because UOP is not really what you call a power house.

    Plus this might not even be true. A lot of people said the Australian guy was hired by Ganot and even said so in the paper. As the comment on BM story said very poorly ambiguous writing going on.

    I will put my trust in Eran and see who he hires. Did any of the assistants under Benjy apply?

  21. Buss laugh I really enjoy the comments. To each his own I guess. braddah man not going change so just gotta accept it.

  22. Mahalo Dayton and staff for everything you do. I remember when I first found this site, I was so impressed that I discontinued my star-advertiser subscription. I started off w/the name “Isaac” but once the UH players started having the same name as me (Fotu, Fleming) I felt the need to distinguish my name a bit, as to not confuse the other forum posters. This has been my favorite fan site since and I enjoy the regularly published articles. Very entertaining and informative, as well as easy on the wallet 🙂

    As far as AV goes, based on my observations of him, the only thing he needs to work on is going stronger to the gym and not playing for the whistle. That should be the furthest thing from his mind when he’s going up for 2. Concentrate on the shot and overcoming what’s in front of you. If the whistle blows, it blows; if not, move on and play on. So bulking up is definitely a step in the right direction! I honestly believe his talent/skills is there and will continue to improve and am excited to see what he’ll bring to the table next year.

  23. IsaacM, servante, clyde and a few others are the ones thats always bringing us back to the main subject of UH basketball! Maybe they should be the moderators like how other sites got. Or maybe not because I got banned long time ago from one of those sites and refuse to post there anymore. LOL.

    I apologize for ranting about UH administration decisions but can not help it sometimes and just got let it out! I also want to second the mahalos for this great site!

  24. ChuckCheese..

    actually from day one, Dayton never put restriction on going off topic, or even amount of posts,…

    a few, you know the ones, want their way and started childish battles, Great site. ONE way secured paid site would have more control, However, Dayton’s site honorzble system. Expects civil behavior. Now it will be. ..respect everyone, however you want to address how administration impacts all sports

    programs including MBB..I don’t think Dayton has a problem with that… eagle, chuck, backbeat love your take on UH ..a lot of fans don’t know behind scenes happenings. Could be spelling end of D1 athletics if UH doessnot get out of red!

    Hope so..
    go bows!!

  25. Sticking to the subject for the much deserved Valdes. I agree that he needs to get stronger and play through the whistle. He’s a good kid from a supportive family. I have to add that if he got his handles down there is no one that can stop his jumper in the lane off the dribble. I think last season was a sampling of what he can do if he worked on those parts of his game in the summer. One of the few players in the BWC that can play both ends of the court and be a difference maker.

    Off subject a bit. Good luck Coach BT and staff. You guys will be missed. It’s a shame that none of the assistant coaches could be retained.

  26. Baller4Life… agreed , that staff, this past year did awesome job as well, wish that ONE guy was retained, who knows, maybe Jamie Smith?

  27. Looking at the positive– the team is settling down with their new coach and looking ahead with a healthy team attitude. Also, our team remains intact. That is a blessing given all the turmoil over the last year. What is remaining is coach Ganot’s recruits that will hopefully augment his team. We need another banger near the hoop and a couple of shooters on the perimeter that can penetrate or shoot the 3’s.
    Getting back on a productive training schedule was key. We are back to a business mode. It’s all good.

  28. Ganot’s best recruiting job so far was in retaining all those eligible to return (at least it appears everyone will return), and starting to build coach-player trust/chemistry while instituting off-season workouts. Between all that and trying to fill a staff, I wonder how much time was left for Ganot to devote to recruiting.

    I also wonder how much of a factor the as-yet-to-be-determined NCAA sanctions (if any) still weigh heavily in the recruiting battles. I’m sure competing schools are still using that to gain an advantage over UH. It could be another month or more before the NCAA makes its final ruling as I believe UH has yet to respond to the initial letter of findings. The school has another week to respond and Bley-Vroman said a week ago that it’s a “complicated” matter and there’s a likelihood the school will take it right down to the deadline before filing a response.

    Everyone’s expressed their opinion as to what this team needs in terms of incoming talent, but it won’t be easy to fill those needs because of the change in coaching staff and the pending NCAA ruling. It’s no wonder there’s little “buzz” about prospective recruits. Just gotta be patient.

  29. clyde you are right, in fact since Gib;s departure, and the allegations were rumored about, for sure back in October we though UH could either get slap on the wrist or really get his hard. By UH removing 2 coaches, and 2 key players leaving team, maybe saved heavier sanctions, we never know. If UH has to take so long to respond, you wonder, just my guess, IF AD or hire ups are involved too, if coaches staff and athletes and AD’s are their underlings, would not the Admin be complicit too? Seems like the seventies all over again.. we have to wait. Looks like Post season self imposed bans off the table which is good, however the limit on available scholarships, OR if ncaa does place UH on a 2 year post season ban, you are right, other schools will just bang away at that, look come to our school, we are not on probation, closer to your home, we have better facilities, just as much TV exposure, and you and your family does not have to guess what will be sanctions imposed if any by ncaa. Clyde, I would NOT WANT TO BE guys or their families, I would be really sick to miy stomache, better, If last December, UH knew and responded by January, and NCAA respond by now April.. then Pau.. UH moves, on, just play for wins.. and RBC, DHC championships would be fun.. the waiting game,.. terrible..

  30. Just an opinion from a person who generally lurks rather than posts on this site. I check this site daily and I’ll post occasionally…I like what Dayton has done, but the constant postings from a certain individual/individuals surely “takes away” from what could be a GREAT site. Too bad, as player’s families and possible recruits visit the site and they walk-away shaking their heads after reading some of the postings.

    Dayton: You have to maintain the integrity of this site…If it means removing or banning a few posters, then sobeit…There is journalistic integrity involved here and you’re a good journalist.

  31. Bowwar, completely agree!
    comments should be disabled completely or this one person should be banned, sorry but what he does is trolling/spamming.
    I don’t care if he is mostly positive or a big fan.His rambling makes no sense and should not be tolerated.

  32. At the end Valdes said he’s taking summer classes because he might want to graduate next year. Sounds like he wants to play his last year of eligibility elsewhere. Would be a loss for UH but best of luck to him! Oh, maybe he’ll stay around another year and get a Master’s degree! That’d be awesome.

    Valdes really does need to work on his consistency. He had very high highs and incredibly low lows.

    It’s so hard to balance school and sports, especially at D1 level. Got a lot of respect for the players. But really, aim higher for higher than a 2.5 GPA!

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