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Australian point guard Owies commits to Hawai’i for 2016

The Australian pipeline to the University of Hawai’i basketball program is flowing just fine.

Matthew Owies, who is rated as the top point guard in Australia for the high school class of 2016, said he is committed to playing for the Warriors next year. He is currently a senior at St. Kevin’s College (which is actually a high school) in Melbourne, Australia. He will be a freshman at UH during the 2016-17 season.

Owies made an official visit to Hawai’i just last week, and was ready to commit shortly after returning to Melbourne. He is expected to sign a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period in November.

Matt-Owies

“The first thing was the culture that Coach (Eran) Ganot and Coach (Adam) Jacobsen, and Coach (Chris) Acker and the others there are trying to build,” Owies said. “It’s a culture of hard work and family and winning. I want to be a part of that. Also the facilities – the Stan Sheriff Center is amazing. I would love to play in there when it’s pumping. And then all the people there in Hawai’i are really nice and friendly and made me feel welcome. Those were the three things that made it feel like the perfect fit for me.”

Owies, who is 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, will bring with him an impressive resume. He is ranked No. 16 among all high school seniors in Australia by ausahoops.com. Here is the website’s description of Owies:

Owies is one of the best point guards in the Class of 2016. He’s a bulldog, making up for his lack of height with his strength and relentless hustle. He’s a pass-first point guard, using his speed and quickness to get into the lane and dish to open teammates. He’s shown to be a very capable leader, communicating extremely well on both ends of the floor. Will be a very reliable floor general in college.

He has also played on the highest levels of club basketball in Australia, and is a member of Australia’s junior national team. In 2014, he was a starter on Australia’s under-17 team that placed second overall (losing to the USA in the championship game) at the FIBA U17 World Championship.

Earlier this year, he led his Victoria team to the U20 Australia National Championship. He averaged 7.6 points, 3.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game in the tournament.

His club coach, Nick Abdicevic, said Owies compares favorably to one of Australia’s current NBA players.

“It’s very difficult to compare him to someone like Matthew Dellavedova, but if there is a junior kid who you can say played like Dellavedova as a junior, it’s this kid,” Abdicevic said. “They both work very hard and play with that same aggressive style.”

Abdicevic added that Owies should be ready to compete immediately on the NCAA Division I level.

“His body is physically ready for college,” Abdicevic said. “And he’s also played on a high international level and on a high level here in Australia. He’s young but he’s already got a lot of experience at such a young age.”

Owies added: “I’m hoping to make an immediate impact. I pride myself on my smarts and quickness and toughness. I’ll do what ever it takes to win, and I’ve already played against some of the best players in the world for my age, so I feel like I’m ready for anything.”

Owies said he was also being recruited by Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, Arkansas-Little Rock and Washington State.

Owies said he will be graduating from St. Kevin’s in six weeks, and then will spend several months training with his club team in Australia in preparation for his stint at Hawai’i.

“We’re entering our summer over here in Australia, so I’ll be done with school soon,” he said. “And then I can spend more time getting myself ready for Hawai’i.”

Owies is the third Australian player to join the Warriors since Ganot became the head coach this year. Sophomore Jack Purchase and freshman Jakob Cornelissen are on this year’s roster.

“I’ve known those boys since I was 11 or 12 because we all played for the same club (Melbourne Tigers),” Owies said. “It made it feel like home and it certainly helped to have them there.”

Abdicevic, the Tigers’ coach, said: “With three players, I think you can say there’s a connection already. I hope it’s a long relationship because there are a lot of good young players here.”

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Here are a few videos featuring Owies:

23 Comments

  1. Seems like a nice pick up. Doesn’t have elite size or athleticism but it looks like he has a high basketball IQ.

  2. Looks like a good pick up Stats for this year hav him at 23 games 1.8 ass pg, 3pt 30%, FT 65% and FG 35% Matt and Jakob look like they have played together for a long time Web has under 12 Victorian Grandfinal summary for 2008 – scored half team points (7 each LOL) and top rebounders. Also played Australian Championships together in 2014 and both seemed to be key players http://pickandroll.com.au/2014-u18-australian-junior-championships-tournament-recap/
    Lets hope Jakob settles in this year and stays around He and Matt might make a good combo

  3. If his coach is right and he can be like the next Dellavedova this is a huge get! He does look a little small but can see his strength and toughness in the videos.

  4. Tyrone Bogues was 5’3″, so height is overrated. If he can play, he can play. He’s a good player to me and will grow and develop. What he has over other high school players is that he has had a lot of international experience against good competition.

  5. Don’t know about the Dellavedova comparison, but Owies is about the same size and build of another recent UH point guard with a high basketball IQ … Miah Ostrowski.

  6. I think Dellaedova would average more assist as he really works hard to free up someone for something With the coaches and new players looks like we have a lot of bball IQ this season

  7. 5′ 3″ Muggsy was athletic, very quick and could dunk, 44 inch vertical.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOGj8qM6hQ0

  8. this pickup doesn’t make any sense

  9. ^^^ This comment above doesn’t make any sense.

  10. His clips are mostly offensive highlights and 3-4 steals in the passing lanes. I wonder how his one-on-one d is against opposing ball handlers coming up the court?

    UH’s team defense is what starts it all as it is now. Bobbitt will surely be missed after this coming season is done. Man, that broken jaw my slow down Bobbitt’s workout prior to pre-season just like last year and his broken arm/Shoulder that made his miss workouts and probably affected his shooting game. idk

  11. I hope Rod is trying to teach some of his teammates his secrets on what he does on defense.

  12. Bobbitt’s d is the difference between a losing or winning season. Flemming is pretty good on d too but Bobbits’ the Man.

  13. Sorry guys, Im not getting good vibes from Ganot’s recruiting. Purchase wont be available until next season, still dont know if he is real.. Ganot is relying on returnees and Aussie pipeline. What is wrong with USA players?This is all on our UH administration inc the new UHAD who ditched BT.

  14. Only time will tell how Ganot’s recruits pan out or for that matter how his teams pan out. It is what it is, support UHbb

  15. I’m in total agreement with Pocho. Well said. Go Bows!!!

  16. These foreign country players have the chance of getting to play for their national teams , where they can get extra coaching and extra game experience. Hawaii is a lot closer to Australia than the continental USA. One of the only times we have an actual geographic advantage

  17. Kimo Browner, yea let’s ignore a major basketball pipeline like Australia so that we can compete against every major school in the nation for their US scraps. We will see if Ganot’s recruits pan out or not, but the Australia connection is a great one to have. Let’s stay positive and support our team!

  18. It was just a couple of days ago that the story was up about the last UH team to go to the NCAA Dance. Those guys talked about the players from around the world coming together on the island and making it work.

    I got no problem with trying to use that plan again of international players … as long as it works and gets us to the Dance again!

  19. You have to recruit to where your connections are. I’m not sure where Ganot’s are and where is his area of strength in the US but if he can kids with comparable talent to what he would get in the US, then I’m all for it.

    I think Ganot is originally from the east coast but spent the last few years on the west.(St Mary) so he does not many ties to area like LA or San Diego or other area where there are big time talent like Chicago. Maybe Acker can help since he is an LA guy but we going have to wait a few years for this group of players to graduate.

    If I was to guess, I would think he would build his team like how Riley did and how Randy Bennett is doing at St. Mary….mix in foreign kids with kids that fit his style of play. Not sure he wants those free lancing/one on one type. He is going to have to put up with some of those kids now and hope they can buy into his system.

  20. Actually, if you believe social media and other reports, UH made an offer to Long Beach Poly PG Drew Buggs, who supposedly tripped to UH the same time as Owies. Not sure if it was one of those situations where first guy to commit gets the scholarship, but it’s good to know the staff’s recruiting reach does extend to Southern California.

    I would guess Ganot’s Australian contact is Adam Caporn, a former St. Mary’s player/assistant now working in Australia who had been rumored to be in consideration for a position on Ganot’s staff earlier this year.

    As for those who question Owies’ ability, I don’t think UH is in a position where it can turn down the top-rated PG in Australia. Welcome aboard, Matt.

  21. Nice highlight reel. Reminds me of Fleming and Bobbitt.

  22. Good recruit in Owies? Not so sure about that….. Still waiting for a couple of Big Men.

    What about Drew Buggs? Heard he made a recruiting trip to the HI. 6′ 2″ 175 out of Long Beach. 3 star recruit. Also being recruited by Dartmouth and Cal State Bakersfield.

    What’s up with this Uhfanzonly1 guy?

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