Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Highlights from Call the Coach


A few excerpts from University of Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot at the ESPN1420 “Call the Coach” show …

On playing Texas Tech:

“(They’re) really underrated. They return a good core and Tubby Smith is one of the best (in the nation). They easily could be 4-0, with two wins over BCS programs and I think Utah was ranked when they played them. … (We’re) looking forward to the challenge. … it’s a good opportunity for us.”

On fast starts and building early leads:

“We’ve started off games very well so we’ve controlled (it) early in all four games. … Now, can we do that on the road?”

On Jankovic establishing inside presence:

“When he’s at the 5, he’s really a hybrid-5. Normally, when he’s with Jovanovic, he’s a 4, and when he’s with Mike, he’s more of a 5.”

Ganot credited Jankovic for hitting two early 3’s against Nicholls, but added “We really created separation because he was a force inside.”

Ganot said Jankovic is averaging “one rebound every three minutes, which is really good. It’s something we want him to embrace … Rebounding is a key part of where we want to be.”

On Thomas in the post:

“He’s good there. He’s got good footwork, he’s got good hands. He can score on the block, and set ball screens on the (pick and) roll.”

On his concern about team’s free-throw shooting:

“The (struggles at) free-throw shooting isn’t a one-game deal … it’s a recurrent theme. … Free throw shooting is important with the way the game is now officiated. …. To get to be where we want to get, we need to shoot better at the free-throw line … especially late (in games). It’s paramount (to our success.)”

On Bobbitt adapting to the rules changes:

“He’s had a heightened awareness since we brought officials in (to work our practices) …. To his credit, he’s found a way to stay in the game (without fouling). Give him credit for adjusting, especially when the rules changes are so significant.”

On when the opposition drives into the lane (as the Nevada guards did):

Ganot said they need to “find a balance” on when to “put heat on the ball” and have your initial (defensive) rotations ready. … the breakdowns happen when you allow middle penetrations.”

On why players’ names are not on the jersey:

“It was something we were comfortable with … the name on the front, Hawai’i, is what’s important to us and the guys were all in. At the end of the day, Hawai’i is what’s important.”


On the kinds of defenses the team plays:

“We’ve mixed it up (halfcourt man and zone, full court pressure) and we’re going to continue to play to these guys’ strength. …. (It will depend on the situation and opponent)… but we’re playing to our strengths, which is obviously getting after the ball. … You want to mix it up, not let them (opposition) know whether you’re in a man or zone.”

On 3-point shooting:

He was pleased to see Valdes hit a few against Nicholls, and, of course, Jankovic. “We’re at 34 percent (3-point shooting) now. If you stay at 34, 35, 36 range, you’ve got a good chance.”

He said they’ve talked about 3-point shooting “from Day 1. We lost our two best shooters from a team that shot 32 percent.” He said repetition helps, but equally important is shot selection. “The least amount of bad shots taken was in that last game” and that’s why they shot a high percentage.”

On traveling this week:

“First thing that’s really important is that we’re having a good Thanksgiving meal as a team. It’s a great opportunity for us to get together.”

“We have a layover. We have to make sure our bodies are right, and we’re fresh (for the game).”

On Bryce Canda:

He said he couldn’t really talk about whether Canda’s in their future, and chose to point out they already signed a couple of guards and “We’re looking forward to adding to that class … We’re now targeting a couple big guys to establish our inside presence.”

On leadership:

“Your best leadership comes from your players on the floor, especially the seniors and the guards.” He pointed out that Bobbitt has 31 assists to 7 turnovers, and praised him as a point guard. “It’s the most important position in the game … you have a lot on your plate.”

On recruiting areas:

“A lot of it is our (coaches’) ties and also what works best for Hawai’i.”

Recruiting areas will continue to be California (because of coaches’ contacts) and Australia and New Zealand. Also Europe (Montgomery’s area) and Canada.


On recruiting Australia:

“We have great relationships there … (although they’ve been told) to be careful with Saint Mary’s (as if not to upset his old coach Randy Bennett). … (but) he can’t have all of them. We have the geographical proximity, but we don’t have to always live off Australia.”

On who will replace Bobbitt and what is the process of developing point guards:

“We have one coming in in Matt Owies.” He cited Owies’ playing experience with the national programs and noted that in Australia “they finish school in January so have seven months before (they report) … they come in pretty mature.”

“We’d like to always have three point guards in our program, and sometimes we’ll play all three at the same time.” He added, “Rod and Q have combined for 37 assists and 9 turnovers, and that’s phenomenal.”

On what the frontline will look like once Thomas, etc. graduate:

“Jack Purchase is 6-8 and he’s getting stronger. He can stretch the floor (like Tummala) … so he’ll help fill that void.”

“We’ve always valued physical play…. Rebounding is key and even though you play a 4-out, 1-in, you need to have that (physical inside defensive presence).”

On letting large leads slip away:

“We’ve allowed teams to creep back in when we’ve played tentative … when we’ve been free-flowing, and the system allows you to do that, (we’ve been better).”

On available scholarships situation:

“We lost one (scholarship) because of the school (self-imposed) ban, but we’re looking forward to weathering that. So we have 11, but we’ll have 12 next year. We’re operating with what it is … By the way, I’m very pleased with how UH has handled the (NCAA) investigation, but I’m looking forward to day when we’re on a level playing field … and that’s gonna happen.”

On providing meals for the players:

“The people of Hawai’i have been very generous with their support. One of the things we want to do as a staff is to give our players more resources … in college athletics there’s always the ‘haves and the have-nots,’ and we want to make sure we’re not one of the ‘have-nots.’ … Food is not a luxury, it’s a necessity, and we want to make sure our players are taken care of.”


  1. Eran said Niko is on scholarship. The four walkons are Brocke, Zach, Dyrbe and Jakob. They will take 12 players on the road trip.

  2. I like how Coach Ganot responds to questions. He tells it straight. His words are fan-friendly. Even toned and easy to understand. Of course, coaching the team to executive is something else, but I believe his instructive manner to his team is equally as definitive.

  3. Don’t know if a freshman can step in and take Bobbitt’s place. Not that it can’t be done but I think Isaac would be a candidate for point next year. Unless we find another Bobbitt from JUCO.

  4. This is the season to count our blessings –

    * The dynamic, progressive, diligent Warrior TEAM,
    * Valerie Schmidt/ Ameriprise. Pacific Risk Solutions,
    * Dayton Morinaga/ Warrior Insider, Associates,
    * The insightful, supportive visionaries,
    * Our own health, strength, wealth, family, friends.

    Happy Thanksgiving to EVERYONE!

  5. Nice recap. I will agree that Texas Tech looking a little underrated right now. They scored couple of good wins and will be tough at home. I think Coach said both teams have one week to get ready for this game but Texas Tech at home and UH traveling to Texas.

  6. Gotta making it simple. The 3 keys to stay in the game and winning on the road.

    1. Take care of the ball.
    2. Shoot a good percentage.
    3. Defending the 3.

    You don’t want clutter in the brain.

  7. Aaron, Janks, Sai, even Bobbitt, have really good form on their 3 point shots..Quincy, odd looking form, however, he hit 35 percent. a couple a game, along with Flemming.. ON the road..UH has chance against most any team.
    My concern? The bigs vs bigs of better opponents…Tech has some big , big guys…
    I do appreciate the SPACING.. something that was not evident for past couple of years.. although. even if UH had , and they did last year at times and year before , I remember that 4 out 1 big in..however. team was not great at knocking down shots.. especially the PG..so key.. now the guys in system,. love that spacing.. and taking , not wild 3 point jacks.. good 3 point shots..

    Derek you are correct.. take care of ball, shooting.. plus DEFENSE and Rebounding..UH has to play better than the first 4 games.. should be good game, I think on Fox Sports west..
    Go Bows !

  8. Lubbock, Tx at about 3256 ft elevation, but not supposed to affect performance much at that level.

  9. Try shooting FT’s underhanded like Rich Barry.

  10. s/b Rick Barry .

  11. Finally big guys to be recruited….im wondering if he’s looking more for jovanovic’s or jankovic’s?…and bigs 6’7-6’9 or 6’8 and above

  12. any rim protectors too, would help..only way to move on through NCAA tournament.. at least someone, or team effort , guard the paint.

    I think and Eran knows. all NCAA DI coaches know. this new rules , Free throw shooting more important than FG and 3 ball shooting.. critical.. otherwise, Hack a UH guy.. ploy, UH could do the same to other teams with suspect FT shooting. .. notice? makes games longer.. I believe finishing about 10 t o 15 minutes or more.. longer in real time. NCAA wanted to speed up time game would finish real time. with NEW rules.. and so many fouls called. game is longer.. HAVE TO shoot well, excellent on road at home, that is HUGE disappointment so far. UH poor FT shooting at SSC.. hope they clean up.. BWC play time.

  13. Mamadou shooting FT’s not too bad at 54.2 %; Mike Best 91.7 %; Luke Nelson 100 %; Alex Young 44.4 %. Irvine as a team 69.5 %.

    Texas Tech shooting FT’s at 68.6 % as a team (Most are good FT shooters so far except 6-8 F Zach Smith at 45.5 % & Odiase). UH shooting at 59.6 %.

    Texas Tech shooting 3’s at 26.4 %; overall FG Pct at 44.9 %; UH at 34.4 % and overall 50.2 %.

  14. I hope the team has an awesome trip and a great Thanksgiving! A win to end the trip would be icing on the cake.

    Anyone know the latest on ‘Prestige Worldwide’ and the other production team? Would be cool to have some clips of the guys while they’re on the road.

  15. could this be That Special group of athletes.. just bond together, band of brothers.. that might get to 30 win season? I think they stay healthy in body, mind, and with the fans… support.. they just might do it.. pretty historic. I think Riley Savo led team, went 27 wins and NCAA tournament..this group of young men.. I think they really can do it. . be the BWC tournament champs, plus the trophy for BWC regular season champs. and NCAA bound? yes.. win several games in NCAA March Madness make it to elite eight.. why not as Janks says so matter of factly.. the chemistry is good.. good O scheme put in by coach and staff. and most importantly they have bought into just executing and winning. HOWEVER.. guys. it begins NOW.. hit high percentage of Free Throws.. everything else you are doing. have to hit the freebies… difference from winning big,. or just average
    Go Bows!

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