Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors rout Nicholls, 99-74


“The Force” no doubt was with the University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team Sunday evening, as the Rainbow Warriors shot the lights out and raced past Nicholls in warp speed, 99-74, in non-conference action.

A spirited “Star Wars Night” crowd of 4,388 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched Stefan Jankovic score 22 points and grab eight rebounds and Aaron Valdes add 20 points and three boards to help UH remain unbeaten at 4-0. The Colonels, from Thibodaux, La., fell to 1-2.

Stefan Jovanovic added 13 points, Roderick Bobbitt contributed 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds and Mike Thomas added 11 points and seven boards for the Rainbow Warriors, who will next travel to Lubbock, Texas, for Saturday’s first road game of the year at Texas Tech.

“We’re pleased to be in the position we’re in,” said first-year Hawai’i coach Eran Ganot. “This was a good step in the right direction, we’re getting better … but obviously there’s still a lot of things we need to work on. We need to get better quick, and keep getting better. We can enjoy these (victories), and then push ahead.”


The Rainbow Warriors jumped out to a 7-0 lead Sunday and never really looked back, quickly stretching it to 15-6, 25-12 and then 31-14 after a layup by Jankovic with 8:22 remainng in the first half. Quincy Smith’s steal and layup made it 38-16 with 5:19 left, and UH took a commanding 54-28 lead into halftime on Thomas’ 3-pointer from the left corner just 2.8 seconds before the horn.

The Rainbow Warriors shot a blistering 69.7 percent (23 of 33) from the field in the first 20 minutes, including four of eight 3-point attempts. Jankovic had 14 points and five rebounds by halftime, and Valdes tallied 11 points before the break.

“We started out fast, we were moving the ball around and Janks did a good job shooting it,” Valdes said. “And everybody did a great job getting the ball into him.”

Jankovic was 6 of 8 from the field in the first half, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. But his inside scoring, along with that of fellow bigs Thomas (4 of 8, nine points in the first half) and Jovanovic (3 for 3, seven points), was particularly noteworthy. The trio had combined for only 19 points the entire game in last Tuesday’s 76-75 win over Nevada, and was a combined 3 for 15 from the field in a victory over Coastal Carolina on Nov. 15.

“We just took good shots, we pounded the paint, made it an emphasis,” said Jankovic, who finished 9 for 11 from the field. “I got Aaron in my ear, Rod … they would encourage me to shoot the ball, and just having that confidence from the guys — I was feeling really comfortable tonight.


“Stef (Jovanovic) played good, too, he was effective. We need to establish the inside.”

Ganot agreed there was a concerted effort to feed Jankovic, Thomas and Jovanovic early and often.

“It was a point of emphasis to throw the ball in,” Ganot said. “We got separation when we established our interior attack. We need to continue to be an inside-outside team, we cannot be one-dimensional. Having confidence in those guys is a big thing, and our guards were doing a great job of throwing it in there to see what they could do.”

Defensively, Hawai’i limited Nicholls to 34.5 percent field goal shooting (10 of 29) in the first half and out-rebounded the Colonels, 18-9, on the defensive glass.

The Rainbow Warriors led by as much as 28 points midway through the second half and Nicholls could not get closer than 22 points the rest of the way.

But the crowd remained energetic throughout, thanks in large part to 700 green “light sabers” that were passed out in the student section early in the second half and used non-stop from that point on.

“I want to thank the crowd … our crowd fuels us,” Ganot said. “They’ve been a big factor in us getting off to this start.”


(Game photos courtesy Brandon Flores and Matt Osumi // www.brandonfloresphotography.com)



  1. Good idea to pound the paint, throw the ball in. All UH players played except Jakob, so he must be redshirting ? Sheriff made a nice three shot. In the video, Valdes mentions coach Jacobsen, a very good shooter in his playing days, helped Aaron on his shooting. Roderick, Isaac, Sai and Janks were perfect on their FT’s last night.

    Men’s 4-in 1-out offense worked better than the Wahine triangle offense yesterday. Wahine had 23 turnovers. Washington St. had 14 steals and Awa had 5 of those. Hristova,from Bulgaria, MVP of tournament is only a freshman. Laura must be a bit sorry she did not recruit Awa, if she did not. Wahine had some good FT shooters last night, Harris 6 for 6 and Toeaina 5 for 5.

  2. Nicholls had 12 assists and only 7 turnovers; 6 steals. UH had 26 assists,11 turnovers and 4 steals, 5 blocks.

  3. islandman: IIRC, Galdeira and Awa had verbally committed to Wazzu before Beeman came aboard. Now, Molina signed with Wazzu, and her sisters will likely follow her there. Nice pipeline for the Cougars.

  4. Small Comment(s):

    Gary Digman noted in hs Post-Game Show that, of the 11 UH Turnovers a Significant Number (Six?) occurred in Sub Time after the Ten Minute mark of second half…

    Is it 4-Out, One In ?
    (ALL Great Comments)

  5. KelleyO:

    the knock on coach before? too easy scheduling. UH is playing until DHC, and excluding Texas Tech on the road.. a DII, or DIII schedule.. ridiculous.,. and a shame..
    last year schedule was much tougher the pre BWC schedule of which team and Benjy went 12-4 , could have gone 13-3 with DHC championship.
    FT shooting the real sore spot overall for team, which will cause them to be middle of the pack ..they probably will shoot better on the road FT’s like last year, than at home at SSC..
    Enjoy watching the defense of team, except poor interior defense, and ability to match athleticism with guys that can go to rim, or get off their 3 point shots quickly and accurately.
    So team NEEDs a lot of work, probably coach. is saying same thing as coach Taylor. have to get back to gym and work on the weak areas.. Free throws.. only the guys can shoot em.
    Still backing the team.. just this weak schedule.. it is painful to watch.. the other teams. getting, routed..not fun. better if had some more competitive mid major teams. similar talent UH went up against. and close games better.
    Go Bows.. and chase that ncaa invite !

  6. KelleyO:

    carry the torch, cheer on the Bows.. and geev em !
    we support the team for sure !
    pau for now..

  7. clyde… looks like you are correct. A sour taste against UH goes back to 2009 when Awa was not selected to a 2009 Hannemann select Team Aloha coached by Takahara-Dias (Galdeira was selected). Awa and Galdeira were offered UH scholarships during their junior year in high school, but decided on WSU, their only other offer.

    (see towards the middle of the below article)

  8. Awa would not have helped against WSU. Wahine needed more size against WSU. Just look, Wahine have Bri Harris who would be equal to Awa.

    Looking at the box score, cannot believe Karaitiana played 34 minutes. I never noticed her out there; which is no surprise, seeing as she score 0 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist. Wahine looked intimidated by the physicality of WSU, Awa benefited from playing with them.

  9. eagle …Yes, 4-out 1-in; 4-in 1-out sounds kind of crowded in there. Texas Tech runs flex offense and/or 1-4 high stack offense ?

  10. Our HC recently proudly stated that “We got the best coaching staff in BWC”.

    Personally, was especially admired about coach Jacobsen’s long list of successes with BWC from day one!

    All of them are so capable and youthful; Hawaii is grateful for the their royal services.

    Jovan was 6-6 FG, 1-2 FT which could easily be 2-2 for him; One of the outstanding “BIG” progressions (credit coach Jacobsen) for the game (pls keep going).

  11. Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  12. An earlier report had said coach Acker was working with the bigs.

  13. Our bigs came up BIG!!!

  14. uhfanz: Please remember what Dayton wrote just nine days ago:

    “If you feel a constant need to compare and contrast between past and present staff and players, I will ask that you please do so on another site.”

    We’d hate to see you go because you bring passion and institutional knowledge. But, you’re pushing the envelope.

  15. How do you explain, if UH has played somewhat the weak sisters, they have cbssports RPI of 67 ? Irvine 24, Texas Tech 33. Northern Iowa 85.

    Sagarin rating: UH 140, Irvine 74, Texas Tech 96. Northern Iowa 71.
    Pomeroy has different rankings.


  16. Mahalo Clyde for the reminder to UHfanz. Agree that he is passionate about UH MBB and believes his views are in line with the majority of this forum’s readers (definitely not mine). He is correct on one point: the glaring need to improve their FT shooting. The schedule is what it is – the most important thing is that the team improves their play every game.

    Islandman: Appreciate your fact-based comments.

  17. The Wahine were way out-physicalled by WSU. Also need to find some leadership, especially when Destiny is not on the court. They’ll get better, though. Connie has improved a lot.

    As for the men, hard to evaluate based on the level of competition. One thing, I’m beginning to feel bad for Isaac about his decision to stay at UH. He made some incredible passes last night and nobody was aware enough to receive them. I believe Isaac has the skills to shine in an offense and with a coach that knows how to nurture his special talent. I’m not blaming anyone, just saying this is not a good fit it seems.

    Good luck on the road, men! Try not to hang on the rim…

  18. Despite a 4-0 start, the jury’s still out on the Warriors. I like their unselfish play, though a couple of times they made one too many passes. But when 26 of your 39 baskets come off assists, that’s a good sign.

    We won’t get a true testament of how good the team is until they play Texas Tech and Northern Iowa; I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors are slight underdogs for both games.

    As for Isaac. He’s trying to assimilate his skills into Ganot’s plan, but he doesn’t appear to be happy in doing so. That’s unfortunate because he played well last night, and had every reason to be pleased with his contributions to the win. I believe he was the first guy off the bench, and he came in early. I hope he stays the course, but … we’ll see.

  19. WSU had a very good defense,they seemed to deflect a lot of passes, similar to UH men’s team, helping to cause some Wahine to throw up bricks.

    Most of the possible assist passes Isaac made last night were good for assists. Maybe only one (or two ?) got lost in the shuffle, that i recall. He played the 4th most minutes at 22 and made a nice three from the right side and a terrific reverse layup on the baseline, left to right side of the basket, shooting with his right hand, 5:15 of the video. Plus 3 rebounds.

  20. KelleyO, I told him in the summer to transfer but it’s not my decision all I can do is give advice it’s frustrating watching knowing his skill set but what I do believe “The Cream Will Rise”

  21. I got to the arena at 6 oclock and tried to buy a ticket to the Wahine game but they said was too late even though the Wahine game was still going! We didn’t argue about it and just bought the men’s tickets. They told us we could sit anyplace for the women’s game but then had to move to the seat on our ticket for the men. We went to the bottom section and happened to be near a bunch of people with AWA shirts and they were cheering for WSU!

    Right after the game, the whole WSU team came over to that section because the Awa group had leis for all of them. That’s when I noticed that it might of been the Konawaena basketball team because I noticed the Molina sisters and the coach who is the WSU player Awa’s mom but I forget her name.

    The UH tournament people even had to call the team out of the stands to go get the championship trophy. I don’t know if Beeman and the UH girls saw this but that had to feel like salt in the wounds.

  22. WOW such great teamwork at the game last night, 26 assists! I think I read a couple posts ago that Ganot was putting Janks to play his natural PF position.

    If last night is what happens when Janks plays his comfortable position, we gotta keep him there! Jovanovic or Thomas to play centre and still putting up crazy numbers, glad Ganot switched things around. Obvious improvement! Go bows!

  23. Onward. Texas Tech has a good schedule. Beat teams like Mississippi St. and Minnesota, and High Point and 3-1 with the only loss to Utah. UH will have to play a lot better to have a chance to win. So far, our schedule is weak. On the road, where UH has a history of not playing well you can expect the percentages will drop and clang off the rims. Maybe this is a different team and a different staff, but we will have to see. The team will have to stay out of foul trouble, be fundamentally sound, take care of the ball, and make key shots. Not sure how good Tech is, but they are in a very good conference with a very good coach so I have to believe that they are pretty good, a lot better than anybody that we’ve played so far for sure. Have a good trip! All business.

  24. I believe Isaac will flourish and shine in Ganot’s offense. Give it some time….Isaac will be happy he stayed with his team. I as many others feel so fortunate that Isaac decided to stay. He can be one of Hawaii’s all time greats if he sticks to it. Go Bows!

  25. It appears that Saturday’s game at Texas Tech will be televised on Prime Ticket Network. For those with Oceanic, it should be on Channel 1228 (HD), with tipoff at 11 a.m. Hawaii time.

  26. It looks like the team is on their way to mastering the offense. Sometimes that one extra pass can lead to an easy basket. Need to keep working on the FT and finishing.

    So far this season, we have had one or two hot hands per game with some good support from the other players. Valdez, Sai, Rod, and now Janks. Q is still playing tough and will have his game. Isaac needs to just hang in there and his turn will come. Mike remains good for 10 ppg. Steph has been providing a rest for the other Bigs.

    Yes, Acker is working with the Bigs.

    No sighting of any half court pressure yet. Maybe because we didn’t have the need to? As we get to better competitive teams and deeper into the season, hopefully this should be an option and help to get more baskets off of steals. Plenty of the players on the bench at 6, 7, 8, and 9 that can provide needed rests too.

    WBB – Anyone see the Molina sisters from Konawaena? They can run, play and jump out of the gym. Hopefully, Laura has taken a look at them.

    Thanks Clyde. Was going to start looking for the game on TV. Is this a pay per view channel?

    Go Bows!

  27. It looks like the team is on their way to mastering the offense. Sometimes that one extra pass can lead to an easy basket. Need to keep working on the FT and finishing.

    So far this season, we have had one or two hot hands per game with some good support from the other players. Valdez, Sai, Rod, and now Janks. Q is still playing tough and will have his game. Isaac needs to just hang in there and his turn will come. Mike remains good for 10 ppg. Steph has been providing a rest for the other Bigs.

    Yes, Acker is working with the Bigs.

    No sighting of any half court pressure yet. Maybe because we didn’t have the need to? As we get to better competitive teams and deeper into the season, hopefully this should be an option and help to get more baskets off of steals. Plenty of the players on the bench at 6, 7, 8, and 9 that can provide needed rests too.

    WBB – Anyone see the Molina sisters from Konawaena? They can run, play and jump out of the gym. Did they sign after receiving offers from Beeman?

    Thanks Clyde. Was going to start looking for the game on TV. Is this a pay per view channel?

    Go Bows!

  28. DaBoyz808 …. Chanelle Molina signed with WSU and her sisters will likely follow her there as clyde has posted. Beeman had offered all three sisters earlier but they are in the pipeline to WSU from Konawaena. Chanelle had more than two dozen offers.


  29. Can Ganot find a free throw coach. Or have the team watch film of Curry or Nash shooting free throws. Gotta do something to get better.

  30. DaBoyz: Prime Ticket is not a pay-per-view channel, but it’s part of certain packages. I just checked my TV and I have it on 1228, but not sure what package it’s a part of. Could be Oceanic digital variety pack.

  31. The Molina sisters were part of the group congratulating the WSU team and giving them leis after the game last night. As I said earlier, this had to feel like salt in the wounds for UH.

  32. bigdaddy, I really hope and pray Isaac sticks it out and stay with the program through his senior. I can tell he is learning the system and will only get better. There was one play in the first half when Isaac had a clean look for a layup but he made a quick pass to Valdes. He is rotating with Bobbitt and Q right now and both those guys seniors. Isaac will be the man to lead for this team the next two years after!

  33. ChuckCheese is right. Isaac will eventually flourish in this offense. He is already getting good minutes and if he continues to play unselfish the wins will accumulate and his role will grow. In the long run, the individual talent he brings to the court combined with the decision making experience he gains from operating in Ganot’s international-style system has the potential to raise his pro stock considerably.

  34. I’m not worried about Isaac. I think by BWC games he’ll be starting instead of Quincy. I just think its going to take another month for him and the rest of the guys to really get the schemes.

  35. Isaac is fitting in slowly but nicely into Ganot’s style of play. As Artie Wilson mentioned during the game against Nicholls, Isaac is a key player and will most likely win us 5-6 games this season. Ganot knows he can’t keep a player like Isaac on the bench long. If any other player left the team for almost two weeks, do we think Ganot would have granted them the amount of playing time he has afforded Isaac so far? Also worth mentioning is the fact that Isaac seems happier and more confident than he did four games ago.

    Free throw shooting hasn’t been this bad in years…probably just as bad as Standhardinger’s first season as a ‘Bow. Hopefully the team can remedy that problem quickly. If Standhardinger was able to do it, I’m confident these guys can too.

  36. DHC opponent Northern Iowa ranked equivalent to 32 in AP Poll. Oklahoma No. 7.


    For Wahine, upcoming opponents, Arizona St. is ranked No. 16 ; S Carolina, No. 2; Texas A & M, No. 10 (Wahine play BYU-Provo and Texas A & M at a tournament at BYU-Hawaii).

  37. KelleyO:

    Loving it ! great comments.. WI MBB forum appreciates a season ticket holder, one that goes to SSC home games, supporter of program from very young age till now, always cheers guys on..and gals team..Real UH fan…your perspective, . better than mine.. used to be like you.. all season ticket or individual ticket holder, and attended home games back in the day in great memory Klum gym.

    UHF, family, the former coaches and players, who have left or had to leave.. say KelleyO thankyou so much for your support. I know they are reading your posted comments , and love it too !

    Passing the torch, you carry the mantle, and NO one going shut you down.. you are the real time, in person, on the road at BWC, WAC tournaments fan..!

    keep up the comments.. you been reading.. and finally you dove in. just loving it. now I can sit back.. read the comments.. and Your great observations. .. I think and HOPE UH will get every thing top to bottom, including past staff, / athletes.. everyone taken cared of in loving and Aloha way !

    You Go Girl.. keep it up.. now I can relax … and enjoy the forum.

    UHF says Mahalo to KelleyO a refreshing OTHER voice. amongst the boyz of WI MBB site !

  38. Kelley could be a male name too.

  39. Thanks for the f/u on the Molina sisters. I watched them at the State Volleyball tournament and they jumped out of the gym. Wish they were going to play here.

    Clyde – will f/u on the Prime Ticket channel. Thanks

    Team is progressing well.

    Isaac was one of 4 or 5 players who had more than 20 minutes of playing time. He will get more. Although his ppg may not show it, he has had that one extra pass that made it possible for others to score. One pass under the basket (a beautiful one) was mishandled by Sai. Just hang in there and keep playing.

    I have to agree with Kaimiloa and Tavs about Isaac.

    Go Bows!

  40. Folks – Prime Ticket is part of the standard cable is it is available in your area.

    Channel 1228 11:00am

    Go Bows!

  41. The cream puff sure tasted good, huh?

    Now comes the first on the road challenge.
    The whole Aloha State is waiting to see how good you can be!

    Do your best to make’em interesting?

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

  43. Team Players care more about Wins than minutes…

    As a Strategy, ‘starting’ Q and Finishing with ‘0’ makes sense —
    Q handles and distributes the ball well
    RE: He Was 35-1 as a Point-Team Leader
    Both play adequate ‘D’
    Isaac provides Instant ‘O’ off the bench (sim to Tummala)
    And Can Finish the Game without foul trouble
    And Way Better @ Free Throws
    This, whether it ends up 20-20, 25-25, 30-30 minutes (RE: Up To Four Guards)
    OR 35-25…..

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