Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Valdes wearing a new look this season

Junior guard/forward Aaron Valdes will have a new look for the University of Hawai’i basketball team in the 2015-16 season, and it’s more than just the 10 pounds of muscle he added in the off-season.

Valdes, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder last season, has changed his jersey number to 32. He wore 23 during his redshirt, freshman and sophomore seasons.


The number 32 is a tribute to Larry Arriola, a friend of the Valdes family and one of Aaron’s basketball coaches who passed away several years ago.

“He was my coach in eighth grade,” Valdes said. “He passed away; he was number 32 in high school, so ever since that happened I changed my number to 32.”

Valdes noted that 32 was taken by Brandon Spearman three years ago, so he opted for 23 as a twist on the number.

The change could also symbolize a different outlook for Valdes. “Yeah, just trying to change my ways a little,” he explained. “Be more composed out there. Not talk to the refs as much. Be a smarter player.”

Valdes was already pretty good last year, when he averaged 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He realizes, though, that there is much room for improvement, and that he is surrounded by talented teammates this season.

“Anybody could have been our leading scorer last year; I was getting good touches, good looks from Rod (Bobbitt) and Isaac (Fleming) and Q (Smith),” he said. “This year, it’s going to be everybody stepping up out there, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The Warriors have been working on new offensive and defensive schemes under first-year head coach Eran Ganot, and Valdes said he likes the progress so far.

“I think it helps me a lot because it gives me a chance to open up the floor and get guys open,” he said. “Also drive and kick. Be aggressive, draw fouls, dish out to the open shooters.”


  1. Hey Airon,

    Wonderful to hear all of the progresses we’re having.
    Hawaii is so fortunate to have such an amazing group of athletes !

    Just put in my votes for this season’s team co-captains for Rod & you:
    Your leaderships are extremely important for the successes of our TEAM.

    May your new muscles keep you healthy all the way !

  2. Chicken, rice and fish, sounds good.

  3. Let’s hope Valdes can maintain that muscle. I remember NWC gaining a lot of muscle ahead of last season, but then losing it as the season progressed. With stress from traveling, school, and all the games, players have less time to hit the weight room to keep their larger than normal builds.

    I wish Dayton asked Valdes what were his academic plans are. I understand he’s on track to graduate in May. I’m wondering if he’ll be around for the 2016-17 season.

    I hope our shooting is as improved as the staff and players are claiming they are. Good to see Smith working on his 3-point shooting in the background.

    Go Bows!

  4. If Quincy had a decent 3 he would be dangerous. He is the quickest most explosive guy on the team. An Allen Iverson minus the shooting.

  5. allen iverson?…quincy doesn’t even have handles

  6. hehehe…wait when the season starts…they goin who dat?

  7. Tavs – I am sure Valdes and Janks just want to keep their options open. The season and academics will determine what happens in 2016. For now we can just hope Ganot can win games and gain some maturity as a head coach. At the end of the day winning cures all.

  8. Great job Aaron, Airon, Air Air,..flight 32..

    going grad in May 2016 too..better yet..

    have great season.. hey 6’6″ almost and 210 solid muscle.. with your 44 inch vert? and shot.. You can have All BWC season.

    Hey, really.. I wish team, has 7000 first night of RBC to start new season.. the guys really deserve support.
    They stay healthy…and bond.. by BWC tourney time, I believe they can win it and be finally in NCAA
    dance, first time in about 15 years?
    that would be wonderful

    Go Warriors, Go Bows !

  9. after some 5 or going 6 years of MBB coverage, No Open gym, or open run, shooting, dunking, video, hilites..? DM.. I guess UH and Eran orders.. kind of neat to see how athletic Sheriff, Jakob and Sai are.. and whether at 6’9″ Jack Purchase is a good shooter.. from what we have JUST HEARD not seen, all 4 can put the ball in the hoop..
    Have to make layups, dunks, too.. mid range.. get in close to basket. kind of balanced attack..some AV high flying backdoor cut jams.. that is what made UH so exciting. Aaron, Quincy, Nevels.. flying real high..

    TAVS.. yeah, that is a concern.. however, even Janks scheduled to grad this May too.. what they decide. probably personal and family decision. know, I think Janks mentioned about finish school, and if come back.. that grad studies. same with Jawato, if he did not retire medically from basketball.. IF UH has his grad courses , he would come back for another year.. I think Jaws. J.. or B Jawato.. graduated in good stead..

    Who knows what future, holds.. I wish , had few more 6’5″ guys, to work the boards.. and get up there like Aaron,.. hey having shooters is good.. have to have guys get the rebounds too.. so important..

    Eran, wish you the best.. first year.. tough year. HOWEVER you have 11 of the toughest , been through it seen it, done that.. through adversity.. that any first year HC could have. a READY made and well tested team.. BWC tourney crown, kind of ,.. if don’t win and go to NIT or NCAA tourney would be a bummer.. for sure.

    Go Rainbow Warriors !

  10. Under Armour unis. Terrific. Are the players going to use Curry 1 or 2 for sneakers?

  11. Derek, I’m wondering if UH retail stores will sell the new UA basketball jerseys. Also interested in seeing the design.

  12. I think UH could make a killing if they had a little more marketing savvy. I’m always looking at their stuff and want to buy more things but their designs just don’t appeal to me because some shirts look like a bill board and they don’t fit too good.

  13. Servante, I agree with you regarding the marketability of some of the gear that UH tries to sell. Every so often you can find a gem. Under Armor does make some nice gear for football. On a different note, We have to take what we can get, but UA will never be Nike when it comes to basketball. Ask any basketball player. He/she may have a pair of UA, but everyone has multiple pairs of Jordans……Nike is king of the court.

  14. Servante, I think UH has been pretty successful with the sales of their UA polo shirts. The shirts and football jerseys with the throwback rainbow logo and designs sold quite well too. Perhaps a throwback basketball jersey would appeal to fans too. Would be pretty cool to see a special edition aloha print applied to the jersey, shorts, or socks. If I remember correctly, the team wore special edition aloha print socks a couple years ago during the Diamond Head Classic. I don’t know if they were well received by the players, but I remember Rozitis liking them. Maybe instead of a floral pattern, UH could consider something else – nautical, volcanic, or ancient hawaiian pattern/design.

    Manoa Baller, agree with you 100%. No matter how good UA may be in terms of quality, Nike is king. Maybe UA offered more upfront money (or whatever), but I think Nike would offer a much higher retail appeal.

  15. Hopefully Eran’s offensive system will allow Valdes to drive to the basket and create his own shot more. I think that was the only thing missing in his offensive arsenal last year. And Servante has a point about Q. That guy is damn straight athletic. With a decent shot he’d be all BWC.

  16. UH is going to take a lot of three point shots this season, per McInnis. Good for Valdes, Janks, Mike, Brocke (and Sai ?), who can shoot them pretty well. Then it opens up the court for drives by Rod, Fleming, Quincy, etc.

    How do you get players in position for offensive rebounds though ?

  17. scary though.. you can LIVE by the 3.. also DIE by the 3.. it can spread out big leads.. if team is hot.. OR.. help you catch up late in game…too..
    However, true, if ball not falling, .. who will get the O boards.. or being that perimeter focused team, with possibility to drive too.. .will guys still Rebound the ball… or is it all small ball O and D..
    Never remember a UH team being a featured 3 ball shooting team.. unless as a team 7 guys are hitting high 30 to 40 percent of 3 pointers..
    Well, Eran, must.. be.. that 4 out 1 in.. Offense.. what he sees of the guys…their best shot to score points.. kind of fun for the guys though.. either hoist.. or drive and kick out to shooter, or if lane open take to the hoop.. hmmm…. sometimes.. …we saw that too..? yes.. last season I think,..though the guys stood around outside too much..
    hope at least they have fun. and win a bunch of games

  18. You guys are overating quincy big time…yes he’s athletic but that’s it…too out of control and bad decision making…it’s more than just his horrible shooting…he can make bw defensive team though

  19. Nothing against UA, but I have bought more than 100 Nike Shoes and sandals and I also have a few low cut Converse shoes, but I have absolutely zero UA shoes and/or apprarel. All of my polo shirts are all Nike with a few Adidas.

    Sorry, but I have Nike stock so I have to support my company. Besides, they are the best shoes anyway. My first Nike shoe was a waffle trainer that I bought to use for running in trying to run the 1978 Honolulu Marathon.

    Tidbit: Michael Jordan earns over $100 million dollars annually from Nike for his Nike Jordan Brand and Nike Chairman and CEO Phil Knight said Michael Jordan is his best investment, ever!!!

  20. Lets dont forget that UA is still kind of new company, especially for basketball gear so hard to compare them to Nike right now. Nobody compares to Nike right now.

    I remember back in the day, Converse was the best shoes for basketball until Jordan came along and took Nike to the top. UA does some good stuff especially for football so I look at them as a lot of potential like Nike had back in the day. Like others said, UH in no position to pick and choose. I pretty sure Nike wants nothing to do with our football team right about now. We just take what we can get and be glad we getting some decent gear for the athletes.

  21. Men have new uniforms, any difference from last year’s ?


  22. Notre Dame signed a long term contract with UA. I believe Wisconsin signed with them too. Teams are leaving Adidas. The top college basketball team by one poll is Maryland, an original UA because their HQ is in Maryland. UA is an agressive company and they have Stephen Curry and Jordan Speith for endorsers. If you are looking long term or even short term UA is solid, but there is no guarantee, as always. I bought some for my daughter’s portfolio because GE has been stagnant.

    I’m sure the UH team will look good, feel good, and play good, and win a lot of games.

  23. Nice. Any stripes on the side for the jersey?

  24. There’s no doubt that Nike is still the king of the shoe and basketball world but Under Armour is making significant traction with the younger generation. My high school basketball and AAU team asked to switch over from Nike to UA. Jordan’s are very popular but this generation of kids is growing up with Steph Curry as their idol and he’s a UA guy. From a investment perspective if you had put your money in UA two years ago you would have banked over a 100% return. Nike is losing a lot of ground to UA because UA is much more aggressive and customer friendly with teams to gain share in the market.

  25. I don’t know about UA shoes but I like getting their clothes for Christmas. Nike are too skinny for my luau feet.

  26. well ERAN is big on remember the past, UH MBB legacy? He was here to with Riley Wallace and Bob Nash staff? What is missing from that UA theme MBB unis? I look, unless I am going color blind.. NO sight of Rainbow.. I still remember, the Fab Five the Rainbows.. Tom Henderson Teams the Rainbows.. Riley teams, with AC, Savo, English and company.. you got it. the Rainbows.. then that BJ.. compromise.. seemed okay, The Rainbow Warriors for men’s sport teams.

    Rainbow Warriors? I would think coach Ganot would want a small rainbow logo on shorts or jersey..kind of weird. all black and white and green.. although I know , I know.. the school colors are GREEN and White..
    just saying..

    Go Bows? or Go Under Armor black and white? and green?

    chant at the SSC this year.. Black… ! White !… Green !
    Black !!.. White !! Black !!! gooooooo … blank..

    just humor WI..

  27. Saw Riley Wallace last week at the California Hotel and I asked him if he was doing okay. He affirmed that he’s doing all right and still working at Boyd Gaming. He said he would like to see a couple games at the Sheriff, but didn’t say when. I know Eran would like that.

  28. Fans, time to see the team play. Green and White scrimmage on Saturday.

  29. Good to know Riley much better health..
    Good hearted man..
    Hope he comes to Hawaii At SSC home games
    He, nice guy, easy to talk to..

  30. islandman…seemed like forever for BB season to come around!all mbb fans
    Ready for hoops?
    Go Bows!!

  31. Listed as guards : Rod, Quincy, NIko, Brocke, Dyrbe,Jakob.

    Wings: Aaron, Isaac, Zach, Sheriff

    Bigs: Janks, Mike, Sai, Stefan, Jack

    So what you worrying about fans ? I see four bigs for this year.

  32. Have feeling first game against Montana st. …there will be very large crowd..
    Get ready for basketball !!

  33. Green and White game may be on Sunday, per UH athletics site. (Think i see Dayton in the video ?)


  34. We are very thin at guard in my book. Only Rod and Q can handle a heavy ball handling load. We have 5 walkons at the guard position so we have quantity but not quality. Enos, Buscher, Cornellison, Stepteau, Niko.

  35. All more remarkable Garrett Nevels contribution..even with thumb injury last year
    Nevels, Bobbitt, and Fleming heavy rotation
    Wonder if Niko, third year at UH step up?

    Just cannot have the top returning seven get hurt
    Stay healthy guys!!

  36. Who knows about walk ons and how good they will be Very quiet from coaches on all new guys so hard to know how good they are

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