Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

First week of practices completed


The first week of official practices is in the books for the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

“It went pretty well,” said Sheriff Drammeh, a true freshman guard from Sweden. “I’m not used to practicing three hours a day, but it went well.”

With an emphasis on discipline and attention to detail, first-year head coach Eran Ganot has the team on a plan of progression leading up to the exhibition opener on November 5. The first week was about the basics – and getting it done right.

“It’s a lot more high intensity, so we’re getting after it a lot more now,” junior forward Mike Thomas said. “We’re able to incorporate defense and offense, and get balls out there and everything, so it’s going well.”

Players are required to sprint on and off the court between drills, and mental mistakes often lead to full-court sprints for the team.

“Physically, I think yeah,” is what Thomas said when asked if the practices are grueling. “But at this time of the year, it doesn’t really matter. It’s all about getting better and getting ready for the season. I rather win games than take it easy.”

Thomas said he would give the team a B as a grade for the first week of practices.

“Mentally, we have to get a little tougher, start making shots and stuff like that,” he said. “But we’re getting better. I see it so much now. We’re getting better and better and better. It’s paying off. We’re playing hard. Our effort’s an A, but we just have to get there.”

(Photo courtesy www.hawaiiathletics.com)


  1. They dont sound very confident

  2. I think of it in terms of the coach has a goal of greatness, contending nationally not just in our own conference. They know that they have a ways to go and need to put in the effort to get there. They have nearly the same squad that took second in the Big West Tournament. Nothing is guaranteed they know it is up to them if they want to succeed.

  3. It’s obvious Sheriff needs coaching in public speaking. He sounds like he’s unsure he even
    wants to play basketball..

  4. You mean to sound Politically correct? hahahaha he’s a newcomer

  5. It should be of no surprised that a newcomer would sound “hesitant” or unsure of himself. He was a star in Sweden and is now surrounded by players better than him. This is where coaches need to be psychologist and get the kid to believe in himself and continue to work. Not all kids grow up it tough neighborhoods and experienced life altering moments.

    Confidence is a major part of a young man’s path to growth.

  6. You’re right, kahuna. Besides, Sheriff is a true freshman and English, I believe, is his second language. He’ll be fine.

    I like Thomas’ comment about how the offense involves a lot of ball movement in which the ball won’t be stuck in just one player’s hands. In the past, the half-court offense seemed stagnant because of poor ball movement. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding .. we’ll see how the players adjust to the new scheme.

  7. Honest assessment by Jr Forward Mike Thomas. The buy-in by players is the first step. Thomas indicates an affirmation with the “word “effort”– the A grade, that the buy-in is taking place and players need more time to execute its blue print. That’s the B grade. Ok, that’s a great beginning. A positive attitude. Go Bows!

  8. Well said Kahuna Coaches do need to build confidence as well as ability. Freshman away from home and country will be very tough Both players sounded down

  9. I think the guys are probably getting used to the tempo and speed of practices. For the true freshman is must be a real awakening from what they are used to. Looking forward to continued progress and the opening of the season.

  10. You know All this side show, OR front page news? the Gib settlement and the upcoming Hearings. shame that is DOES affect the athletes.. Poor guys, especially the returnees. .. it never ends.. OR REALLY should end soon hopefully.. They cannot just concentrate on BB, or speak minds freely, what went down.. since they are gagged..

    It shows..
    The dynamite, 11 that returned.. and the new guys. give them credit for STILL working hard.
    Not their, or their families fault.. it goes to the Top.. UH..admin..

    Guys, just concentrate on school first. be good guys. and LAST.. just try best win BB games !

  11. Its been a minute since I was last here nice to read they got two new recruits and an assistant.
    Sheriff I know just a freshmen but you can’t be timid and shy. Attack your fears whatever it is that you fear attack it. You can’t be great if you out there scared because your going to be hesitant and you ain’t gonna get it done. Can’t be scared

    Mike Thomas time is now get it done lets go!!

  12. The players couldn’t care less about the negotiations. Ridiculous.

    Sheriff sounds a little overwhelmed but that is natural. Just about every freshman feels that way after their first week of college practice but some are able to BS some bravado. And give the guy a break. He’s in a different world than he was a couple of months ago and English is his THIRD language. He interviewed better than most people I see on the news and their first language is English.

  13. One thing this team does not have is someone like Garrett Nevels. He has the leadership quality and is open to helping the younger players.

    I’m not sure who is that person this year. Bobbitt would be the logical choice cause he is the PG but he does not say a lot and at times can lose his cool. Fleming is still young himself and not ready to be a leader. I would like Sai to take a leadership role but he is too new to this team and I don’t know who will listen to him.

    Drammeh could be help very much by having a best friend on the team and someone to help him through the tough times. Maybe this is where Ganot need to put on his thinking cap and maybe match up a younger player with a older player and have them bond that way. Not necessarily be a best friend but a mentor to a student type relationship. In the past, we have had a bunch of foreigners on our team but they were on the mature side(Savo, Puida, Bernaika, Shimonovich, etc..) who were all mentally strong enough to battle thru tough times.

    We have a lot of young guys on our team and maybe the mental toughness is not there yet.

  14. Yep, the guys definitely look a little down. Would have like to see Fleming interviewed. If he’s down too then you can pretty much assume everyone is feeling pretty bad.

    I guess Ganot just wants to iron out all the players’ flaws. He’s really not leaving any room for failure. Sounds like a very tough coach.

    Sheriff, stick with it bro. Hard work pays off.

  15. Hey you are all reading too much into this Public speaking is tough Also these Freshman are young Sherrif is 19 and Jakob is 18 I think (very young) It is not bad being a bit unsure and humble Better than thinking you are better than you are. Coaches will be looking after them so they develop

  16. Sheriff, what the? He DOES NOT SPEAK WITH A SWEDISH ACCENT.. he must have moved from Canada? USA? maybe his dad and mom were in military.??
    Listen real carefully.. does not sound Swedish at all.. and his first name is not Sheriff like State Sheriff , or Sheriff of Dodge City.. it is Sheh-reef..
    He speaks English very well..
    he should be okay.. just that Ganot is working guys very hard…make sure.. Ganot.. It is very, very similar to what Benjy had to do one year ago, before season started..when Gib fired without cause.. Benjy had to Keep guys focused and stay together.. Now Eran. has to do same thing…He NOTICES.. the trend , the attitudes.. that is what I was afraid of. Benjy allued to, that attitude last year.. some guys, go off on their own, not united.. Ganot has a huge challenge..
    hope team stays together.. with hearings. and settlement for Gib.. and whatever other possible litigation.. Tough time for MBB athletes.
    Wish you guys the best.. Do well in School ! guys, don’t drop out !

  17. Per SA today, Gib may admit there were violations, but they were NOT willful. As to the recruiting of a another big man or two, the last paragraph below may be affecting that.

    One of the self-imposed penalties was a prohibition “of coaches conducting on-campus evaluations of players for the first five official visits of 2015-16.”

    ” Meanwhile, the uncertainty over what, if any, additional penalties might be imposed on UH by the NCAA has hung over recruiting, where it has been used against the Rainbow Warriors by other schools, UH officials have said.”

  18. Hmm. What? ” …where it has been used against the Rainbow Warriors by other schools, …”. What does that mean? Sorry.
    I’m not sure what that means. The only thing I am sure about is that Sherriff DOES have a swedish accent.
    Go Bows !

  19. islandman: One thing you are keeping a USA continent, North American, South, Australia, New Zealand, interested athletes and families. well informed, with accurate links.. Hey, Mahalo bruddah?
    lot of work.. you must be retired too? that is a lot of online, and up to date, real time effort !

    Yes.. that hampering of recruiting. remember April of 2014? When Gib was still HC? he was trying to recruit TWO bigs. one who was willing to sign, HIs brother all nba center/ PF. good shot blocker rebounder.. Both of them , tripped UH.. and did not sign.. ended up,.. Gib went hot and heavy after Sammis Reyes. and what do you know? of All things., NCAA granted the waiver for Sammis to get in.. just know if Gib was still coach, Sammis would have stayed.. he tweener though, like a MORE physical Sai Tummala.. wish Sammis, wherever he is the best.

    Benjy? He too, had a great Rebounder, locked up? why. He had good communication with family, and mom, the big, was a Yes sir, No sir type, great kid.. with the NCAA thing not resolved.. and Benjy not assured of being the next HC permanent, the guy signed elsewhere. as well as Benjy’s shooting guard.

    Yes. the good bigs.. will be hard to recruit because of NCAA pall hanging over UH. for maybe many years. and with COA.. who offers best deals, and facilities perks. UH probably unless find another Fotu, Standhardinger.. Vander.. will go elsewhere.. Unless. the Australia Bigs.. hey they are so heavily recruited, they have African immigrants. tall lengthy athletic bigs there.. will go to the UCLA’s, Dukes, Stanfords.. even the Fresnos and Nevadas..

    Too bad… Well Stef Jovanovich.. might BE THE LAST FOR AWHILE TRUE CENTER we will see in years.. bet Eran will try to get from Europe too.. however Stef Jovanovich.. if he a little quicker laterally, . he can be a VERY good center. just don’t get hurt Stef !!

  20. akuhead2, yeah, Swedish accent via NYC.. inner city..
    goes like this, goes like that.. speaks really fast. it went good.. sounds like Quincy, Bobbitt, Shamburger, I mean, listen carefully..
    You want some ….Swedish.. talk LIKE THE SVEEDS… everything has that nice SVEEDISH singing type of speech.. really delightful..
    She-reef.. he sound inner city, Stockholm maybe.. his English better than mine bruddah !

    Go Bows..

  21. Well he’s got something going on.
    I don’t think he lacks confidence. And he doesn’t look as skinny as he did on the videos. Practicing with our veteran quick guards will only push him to get better.
    Go Bows !

  22. akuhead2:

    was announced he is 6’3″ good height, athletic, jumps, quicks.. good with ball and decision.. just the physicality of DI ball.. real different from Sweden, even euro international Jr. team competition. and Eran is making. what ERAN IS doing…very similar to Benjy. HE IS TRYING TO LOCK TEAM IN.. because of ncaa, and settlement. and potential whatevers coming down the line.
    keep team focused on basketball.. to Eran’s credit. I bet he would play ONLY the preferred walkons. and maybe a Stef and MT if they were the ONLY ones locked in and focused on MBB. not the other things..

    As for She-Reef.. you are right, came in at about 170 pounds? 168? his biceps, look likes in past 2 months, he been hitting the weights. if he plays at around 180 of muscle. still quick.. imagine, She-Reef, Quincy, Fleming, if he stays on board.. , Bobbitt, Valdes.. just flying after that ball, and getting a lot of defelctions and steals off of playing the passing lanes. does it SOUND LIKE and LOOK LIKE that defense,.. like last year. I think so.. with more discipline.. UH could be one of Nations leaders in steals again and hope that She-Reef, gets his share.. long way from home, he, and Jakob, Jack Purchase, even Sai Tummala, though Sai very mature, he can handle

  23. Ganot said on “Call the Coach” that the guy’s name is pronounced Sherriff as in Stan Sheriff. Ganot said that he will call him by that name until told otherwise.

    It’s natural to think his name is Sheh-reef but that if the guy wants to be called Sherriff then we should call him Sherriff.

  24. Uhf1, yes, Sai a long way from home – born in Phoeniz, Arizona, although of Indian descent.

  25. I’m half Swedish, and can say that Sheriff definitely doesn’t have a Swedish accent.

    Also, he was born and raised in Sweden, but is of Gambian descent.

    Furthermore, English is the official language of Gambia, and almost every Swede speaks English. This is probably why Sheriff’s command of the English language is so strong. Lastly, I’m sure he’s exposed to American-English through his taste in music and movies. Interestingly, Sweden doesn’t dub foreign language films; instead, they’re subtitled.

    I’m sure he was pretty overwhelmed by the first week of practice, and he’s definitely going through some culture shock. I’m confident that he’ll adjust though. He’s going to love the energy at the Stan Sheriff Center.

  26. Some things never change…. GA, BT, NCAA NOA’s, EG hater! Get a life UHF1

    The hearings and other pilikia does not affect the players as you say it does. They are here to play D1 basketball while pursuing a college education and degree.

    My opinion of EG is that he is being quite cautious about coming out and being overconfident about the team. I like this in a coach. He is going to work them out being all business and let his coaching, their play on the court and in games speak for itself. He knows what he has and what he expects.The guys know it too and what they are capable of. On the other hand, we could have a very cocky coach to promote the team to sell tickets, and boost about how they will be competitive and fill the SSC yet lose games.

    All of the running and discipline has the makings of a well disciplined team and players being in good shape. A half court trapping style defense and ball movement offense will demand this.

    Get your season tickets now and support UH Basketball.

    Go Bows!

  27. I’ve always been a fan of the motto under promise and over deliver. This seems what EG is going for. Gib was the over promise and under deliver model. Except in one area where he over delivered on NCAA violations.

  28. ha ha, islandman.. yeah.. Tai born in Arizona, though roots from India, still Az, long way from home, about 3000 miles? He 5th year student grad., probably the most mature, like how Davis Rozitis was.
    sorry Daboyz, I have to recognize, great student athletes, and recent past MBB guys I liked.. they made it exciting.. whatever happens happens.

    My only concern, and I know this forum/ comment page wants us to support be positive, however islandman, does great job with okay from site, to post links to ANY info breaking or related to MBB story, including the ncaa hearings and Gib settlement… he doesn’t get taken down ..it is so informative, and helps site manager/ director, out…
    With No Question, Dayton being as close as you can be to Gib and Benjy and former and current team, and past and present staffs, Compliance , trainers, UH workers.. he knows a lot. takes a lot of effort to get out write-ups. and Dayton does good job of posting like how we do. copy and past, or with links,. then we read, make our own conclusions..
    Mahalo plenty to Dayton and islandman and thanks to Dayton for letting us express opinions on MBB which all , hear that Daboyz? All of us love MBB, some for near 55 years or more, on this site.. and Want UH MBB to go NIT or NCAA every year.. and do it the fun way, and pono way !

    Go Bows.. Benjy, did well. that would really say something if Benjy showed up as ticket holder at UH MBB games, if not, very sure, if he is still in Hawaii, he would come to watch his guys play and win games for UH. he loves MBB team and Hawaii.. that is for sure.. wish some way, he was never alleged to have done anything warranting alleged wrongdoings by ncaa, so we shall see.. if he could be some how part of UH MBB team again, even as an assistant, if current ones leave this year..

    I am just saying because, Benjy had great run, took high road, not perfect, whatever bombs came his way, with dignity, he turned the other cheek. kudos to Papa Bear Benjy Taylor.
    And good fortune to Eran Ganot.. I KNOW it is NOT going to be that easy the transition, however, maybe Papa Bear Benjy has to shout out from the crowd, keep grinding, stay together, Janks, Zero, Q, Rod., Air air, Stef.. stay together finish what you guys started , get that NCAA bid ! That my friend DaBoyz is a HIGH Character man. a guy who changed his outlook, and past in one MBB season, amazing, he should, I bet he does after finalized ncaa hearings results pau, about his 2014-15 season, entitled, I was an Acting Coach… went 22 wins, and was not hired as Permanent HC..Wow?

    either way. Gib moves on, peace and best to he and his family, I feel sorry for Brandyn and his great family.. maybe he ends up in pro ball as scout too, as well as best to Benjy and his ohana.

    Now.. the challenge.. Starting over… Eran the man in town, hope guys give him respect..he is the teacher, the friend the commander, the guidance counselor.. the father/ brother figure.. hope UH just blows up that BWC

  29. Personally I like when a guy speaks from his heart such as Sheriff did. He is just being honest about his feelings. These are the kind of guys that once they settle in they will show what they are made of. Just give Sheriff some time to get his bearings and he’s going to take off and contribute to this team in a mighty way.

  30. (6-8 forward) Dave Meyers, 62, passed away on Oct. 9. He was on the last UCLA team coached by John Wooden and they won the NCAA championship that year in 1975. One of his sisters was Basketball Hall of Fame player Anne Meyers who married Baseball Hall of Fame player Don Drysdale.

  31. Dave Meyers loved that guy, we used to Hate UCLA for all of their success, however, he of the ever hustle, and key shots.. that bank shot was money, more guys should use it. Tom Henderson could shoot it from 18 feet, money.
    Interesting he left NBA, after being offered big time money contract after few years in NBA spend more time with family and his faith, a minister , one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Real class person with great heart. One of John Wooden’s favorite players.

    Plus, islandman, you remember, either Mel Proctor, or Joe Moore? did that first year with Larry Little, when Larry had UCLA transfer the late great Gavin. shoot it from the otherside of the court, shooter..mad bomber.. first to dunk in fall of 1977 when made legal again in NCAA DI ball..
    The color analyst, I think for ONE season, was? none other than Anne Meyers.. who had a tryout with the Indiana Pacers after her All American career at UCLA WBB

  32. apologies, either Larry Little, now that forever will be class, first class HC.. good man..
    that Anne Meyers did color for local TV coverage of UH MBB.. she had played I think some women’s pro ball, after tryout with NBA Indiana pacers, then went into broadcasting. I think she was better than Artie Wilson. very professional, and Knew the game, was amazed at the high flyers and speed of MBB vs WBB..nice gal… good family

  33. Uhf1, memory of an elephant. I looked it up and Gavin Smith was on that 1974-1975 UCLA team. Then he played one more year there and was the sixth leading scorer. The 74-75 team had some familiar names such as 6-6 Marques Johnson, 7-1 Ralph Drollinger and 6-9 or 6-11 Richard Washington.

    Speaking of big men, Richard Washington was once considering to be a UH player. At Benson High School in Oregon (Portland Interscholastic League), he played with Gary Gray who later played for Hawaii.

    “There were a lot of good players in the PIL at that time, guys like Ray Leary, Charles Channel, Carl Bird, Tony Hopson, June Jones, Artie Wilson, Tim Stambaugh and Eddie Lincoln. It was a time when there was a lot of good basketball in the city.”
    “I wanted to get out of state, just for a change, to experience something new,” he says. “The other school I thought seriously about was Hawaii. I visited there as a sophomore and I loved the weather, the tropical feel of it. I ended up at UCLA because people said (the Bruins) could offer all the same things, but they also had John Wooden and the tradition . … ”


  34. UHF1 – I think you are missing the point. This is a great blog and I know Dayton and his Mom. I also know the Schmidt’s and have hung out with them up in the suite at the BWT.

    I have also been around for the Rileys, Nashs, Arnolds, and Taylors. I even started the Benji chant at the last home game in the SSC. We love our previous coaches and now we need to get behind and support this coach (EG) and players like we did the others. Move on.

    Your constant reference to them, the NCAA NOA’s, the negativity of the players, UH Admin not being pono has got to stop. I know that others would agree that your infatuation with them is going to far.

    I agree, this is a blog for everyone to bring up points and make comments about a particular story that is being written and elaborate. For the past year now, your comments are getting old. You’ll make comments in relation to a story and then some how take it back to these issues. Don’t you get tired of it? Some of your last posts start off good and then you go right back there again

    Go Bows!

  35. I always wonder what would have happened if Kareem came here and if he would’ve have started a tradition that would still be strong today? It’s amazing how one of the top recruits in many a year had Hawaii as a finalist.

  36. DaBoyz, that’s a very balanced and impartial response. Glad to see that you didn’t just come back ranting and raving like some of us do (probably the younger posters).
    Yeah, UHF1 has a very unique style of writing and sometimes seems to just want to blog/write something even if it’s repetitive just to have something posted. I also why he feels the need to say that he won’t be writing for a while then continues to post. I don’t know if he wants to be missed or just get some of the bloggers cheering then complaining when he still posts. Maybe it’s the need to be the center of attention??? LIke you said he sometimes has good info to share but just rambles on. Anyway, I better stop doing that myself, it’s contagious, lol.

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