Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors open season with a victory over Montana State


The Eran Ganot era of University of Hawai’i basketball started with a win at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Warriors defeated Montana State, 87-76, on the opening night of the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic, which also served as Ganot’s opening game as head coach of the program.

Hawai’i led from start to finish, and never allowed the Bobcats to get within double-digits of the lead for most of the game.

Aaron Valdes led the Warriors with 18 points and eight rebounds. Three other Hawai’i players scored double-figure points.

Sai Tummala came off the bench to score 17, including 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. He hit his first five 3-point attempts of the game before missing one in the second half.

Stefan Jankovic had 15 points and 11 rebounds; Roderick Bobbitt had 10 points, 14 assists and five steals.

Hawai’i shot 52 percent from the field, while limiting Montana State to 44 percent.

The Warriors hit their first six shots of the game and took an early 14-6 lead. They later went on a 14-3 surge to increase the lead to 34-20, and never looked back.

A 12-0 run later in the half increased the lead to 46-24, and the Warriors eventually took a 48-27 lead at intermission.

Jankovic had 13 points and seven rebounds in the first half, and Tummala added 11 points, including 3-for-3 shooting from 3-point range.

The game was never in doubt in the second half, as the Warriors led by as many as 26 points in the second half, and the closest Montana State got was 11 with less than three minutes remaining.

The Warriors will continue play in the Rainbow Classic on Sunday, when they host Coastal Carolina at 4:30 p.m.

Nevada defeated Coastal Carolina, 73-56, in Friday’s first game of the Classic.

More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be posted later.


  1. Great to have the video. Wasn’t expecting that. Coach Ganot had a great showing.
    Go Bows !

  2. We haven’t seen that kind of 3 pt. shooting from one player, in a long time, i think ( from Sai). They play an exciting brand of ball.

  3. Jawato, 7 for 7 against Cal Fullerton, about 2 1/2 years ago at Stan Sheriff Center, that was a record.

    A win is a win, … however.. proud of guys..that turning over Montana State, hmmmm, where did that come from? last year carry over, however, coach is instilling in them, stay in front of man, don’t gamble too much, and anticipate the pass, careful with the hands.. Rod Bobbitt, still might be nation leader in steals again, fantastic, plus 14 assists, if he could average about 17 ppg, he would be an all American honorable mention, one of the best JC PG’s or any PG that I have seen In years..

    Team, on fire in first half, against pre season picked cellar team Montana State, give credit to the Bobcats.. they made a game of it in second half, when UH started to air ball free throws, and started to build brick wall. a few guys..

    Reminded me, of UH MBB teams of past 10 years.. get out to huge leads, slack some , and the underdog team, they should have beat by 35 pts, and allow the 4 bench guys to play last few minutes. they allow team to comeback from 26 point down, to about 12 points..

    Keys: Rebounding.. against similar talent, or bigger bigs who can eat up the glass, UH will have trouble.. Janks, Jovanovich and Thomas, might All foul out in games this year, leaving Sai and Valdes to play the 5 spot..

    Plus cannot, rely only on Sai to knock down three pointers. hey if he can hit 5 out of 6 three pointers every game for rest of the year.. UH could win 27 games this year.. or better.

    JMO.. however.. that DEFENSE, the intensity got UH out to great lead, then Sai just got hot..
    need at least, 2 or 3 more guys like him
    Also, the 1 in 4 out, or whatever, Johnny white said is simpler.. : Dribble Drive offense, Dribble to rim, or drive lane, go in for layup, score, or get fouled, ,.. path blocked, dish to big to finish, or out to spot up 3 point shooter..
    Will take time, however.. the ONLY thing that hurts UH? the numbers.. the bigs in early foul trouble again,.. the Free Throw shooting in last 5 minutes. and not having more than one consistent 3 point shooter, though Bobbitt, that set shot 3 is pretty good.
    JMO, and observations. it just made me chuckle, hearing the broadcast team speak of the eran ganot era, and even eran , speaking about team, strength and weaknesses.. eran.. it is THE SAME team basically minus NWC and Garrett Nevels.. playing turnover Defense to create offense, .. still don’t see too much of that 1 in 4 out offense, it sure looks like that push, push and run, of you know who’ offense? yep, you got it.. Red Rocha !

    good start, UH and Isaac Fleming, stay the course bro, have great season.now guys go get Coastal Carolina and Nevada. who will have better rebounders and athletes I think?

    Go Bows.. and congrats to Coach and staff.. go recruit some bigs and MORE SHOOTERS..

  4. One more thing, Montana State great effort, congrats bobcats..could have been closer, however you all played against a very good defensive team.
    however..that is the way to play UH.. stop them from going to rim, Zone them whole game, however. when one guy got hot, Sai.. you all had to stay with him.. get a hand in his face or leave him with no room to raise arms to launch, then Sai, had to pass the ball.. good shooting , and form by Sai, too bad one year deal. seriously, I hope for Sai, Quincy and Bobbitt.. they All make the NCAA dance this March.
    Go Bows.. I love that you guys, still steal the ball and go, plus Janks, Thomas and AV , throw down that ball big fellas ! dunk doctors. !
    Look forward to Coastal Carolina vs UH and UH vs Nevada.. hope more competitive.. games.


  5. This is the kind of performance I was expecting vs chaminade. Nice win today
    Tummala caught fire and gets my player of the game award

  6. Did that guy ever find his tooth ?
    I hope someone sends him a pineapple or something !

  7. I don’t get Janks? He was open all night to take the three’s but elected to drive and either turn the ball over or take a bad shot?! Isn’t the offense setup for the open three’s? He’s probably our best outside shooter!

  8. agree second half was not as good as first structure, extra passes and shooting all fell away a bit need to use bench more sai was great but when he started to dry up could have tried some other guards – there are 10 of them

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