Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors beat Auburn for third place in Diamond Head Classic


With a third straight impressive effort against a marquee program, Hawai’i got 30 points, four rebounds and two steals from point guard Roderick Bobbitt and 21 points and eight boards from forward Stefan Jankovic on Wednesday to rally past Auburn, 79-67, for third place in the seventh annual Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

A spirited Christmas Day crowd of 7,251 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Rainbow Warriors overcome a nine-point deficit midway through the second half and finish the game with a 10-0 run in the final 2:42 to seal the victory and improve to 9-2. The Tigers fell to 6-5.

“We played to the end, we came together and we played hard,” said Bobbitt, who was named to the All-Tournament Team. “This was a huge win against a (Southeast Conference) team. I’m proud of our guys.”

Friday’s victory follows a 68-52 win over highly regarded Northern Iowa on Tuesday and Wednesday’s 84-81 loss to No. 3-ranked Oklahoma. It is the second consecutive year that Hawai’i placed third in the Diamond Head Classic, tying the school mark for best showing in the Christmas week tournament.

“This was a heck of a win, in a heck of an event, and an unbelievable four-day stretch,” UH coach Eran Ganot said. “I’m proud of our guys … We played three games in four days and with this field, there was a lot of talent on the floor. We expected today to be a physical, hard-fought game, and it was.”


After trailing 30-29 at halftime, the Rainbow Warriors opened the second half with a 13-3 run started by Mike Thomas’ slam dunk after a baseline drive and capped by Jankovic’s layup which put Hawai’i ahead, 42-33, with 15:08 left in the game. But Auburn stormed back with its own 13-1 surge capped by Harris’ layup which put the Tigers up, 46-43, with 12:49 remaining, and the Tigers eventually stretched the lead to 60-51 after an 11-1 run capped by point guard Kareem Canty’s shot clock buzzer-beating 3-pointer with 9:29 left.

“It was a game of runs — we both had our runs,” Bobbitt said. “We just had to stop theirs.”

The Rainbow Warriors’ comeback started with a rare four-point play in which Sai Tummala was fouled while draining a 3-pointer from just past the top of the key. He converted the ensuing free throw to close the score to 60-55 with 9:13 remaining.

“That was a huge, underrated part of the game,” Ganot said. “We talked about the haymaker we took against Oklahoma (trailing 25-9 early in the first half), but we took another huge haymaker today in the second half. But (Tummala’s four-point play) set the tone for us to come back.”

Jankovic swished a 3-pointer two minutes later to cut it to 62-60, and then sank two free throws 30 seconds after that to cut it to 63-62 before UH took the lead for good at 64-63 on two free throws by Bobbitt with 6:42 remaining. Isaac Fleming scored on a layup two minutes later to cap an overall 18-3 run and make it 69-63.

Auburn closed it to 69-67 on another 3-pointer by Canty with 2:57 left, but that would be the last points of the day for the Tigers as Bobbitt closed out a 10-0 run on two free throws with 26.4 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

After the game, in the handshake line, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl stopped to personally congratulate Bobbitt and then Fleming.


“He said we played well, that we’re a good team, and he wished us luck the rest of the season,” said Bobbitt, who scored 22 of his points in the second half, including eight free throws in as many attempts. He also made 6 of 7 shots from 3-point range.

Bobbitt scored 32 in the loss to Oklahoma, and is now just the third player in UH basketball history to record back-to-back 30-point games (Gavin Smith in 1977 and Anthony Harris in 1995 are the others).

“He’s a gamer,” Ganot said. “And how is that for efficiency? He scored 30 points, but took only 13 shots.”

The Rainbow Warriors started fast, jumping out to leads of 5-0 and 16-8, but the Tigers fired back with a 10-0 run bookended by Tyler Harris’ 3-pointer and layup which gave Auburn its first lead at 18-16. Bobbitt answered with a 3-pointer and Jankovic’s driving layup put Hawai’i ahead, 21-20, with 6:48 remaining, but Bryce Brown knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite an 8-2 surge that gave the Tigers a 28-23 lead capped by Horace Spencer’s layup with 2:50 left.


The Rainbow Warriors closed it to 30-29 with 1:06 remaining when Stefan Jovanovic put back his own miss, and Fleming went to the line for two free throws just before halftime, but missed both so Auburn’s 30-29 lead stood at the break.

UH then endured the up-and-down second half, this time properly sealing the deal in crunch time.

“We’re pretty much the same core group of guys as last year,” Jankovic said, noting that the Rainbow Warriors also took third place last year by defeating Colorado after a narrow overtime loss to No. 11-ranked Wichita State. “We’re all pretty tough, and we pushed through again … There’s a lot of things going on with the NCAA (sanctions) and stuff, but we just don’t focus on those things. We just go out and play, and we come out playing strong over and over.”

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

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

CLICK HERE to view Facebook photo gallery
— — — — — — — —


Buddy Hield lived up to his billing as one of the top players in the nation by leading No. 3 Oklahoma to an 83-71 victory over Harvard in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic.

Hield, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, scored 34 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Sooners. Harvard had a 37-35 lead at halftime, but Hield scored 23 points in the second half, when the Sooners took control. He shot 11 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, and also made nine of 10 free throws.

Hield scored 86 points in three games, setting a new tournament scoring record for the Diamond Head Classic. The previous record was 79 by Washington State’s Klay Thompson in 2010.

Jordan Woodard added 28 points for Oklahoma, which is the highest-ranked team ever to appear in the Diamond Head Classic.

Zena Edosomwan led Harvard with 25 points and 16 rebounds. He established a new Diamond Head Classic tournament record by finishing with 39 rebounds in three games. The previous record for rebounds was 35 by Murphy Holloway of Mississippi in 2012.

— —- — — — — — —


Friday’s Results
Championship: Oklahoma 83, Harvard 71
Third place: Hawai’i 79, Auburn 67
Fifth place: BYU 84, Northern Iowa 76
Seventh place: Washington State 83, New Mexico 59

All-Tournament Team
Kareem Canty, Auburn
Chase Fischer, BYU
Roderick Bobbitt, Hawai’i
Zena Edosomwan, Harvard
MVP: Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

2016 Diamond Head Classic Field
Illinois State
San Diego State
San Francisco
Southern Mississippi
Stephen F. Austin


  1. good win.. now get 2 more pre BWC home games SSC.
    You know what fans. that can go.. me too old and .. well that is old news..
    go.. support the team
    at SSC. team is virtually unbeatable.. would not doubt if next 10 SSC home games, UH goes 10-0.. Real Test? BWC road games.. UH goes .500 with sweep of BWC home games.. UH will be standing at 12-4 top tier of BWC final standings.. go 6-2..on road and 8-0 at home.. can be even better, like that Savo led team that had winning road record and NEAR perfect home winning streak finished overall 27 wins.. UH can beat that record, overall wins at 28 or better.
    Really depends. if guys stay healthy and GET even better. FT’s anyone.. and Rod some rest.. Fleming running point at top.. good too…JMO.. guys focused.. and Janks , what a level headed guy.. he been saying that, No Worries for over 2 years.. just deal with it. play ball, have fun and get wins..

  2. Great Tournament BOWZ, I have heard from friends all over the country about how well they played. I am sure the BWC opponents will be fired up to beat us.

    UH ADMIN already has been given a reason to APPEAL by the lameness of the NCAA to try to hurt UH more by deliberately releasing the sanctions on the very day of this ESPN telecasted tournament. Tell me that after nearly 3 years of investigation, they completed it that very day! It shows how vindictive they are to this mid-major school in the middle of the Pacific. We can just take it or we can fight. The post season ban was already excessive. Let’s see if anyone in upper campus is really on the side of the basketball team or has it just been all talk about “for the good of the student athletes.” Or is there something else they are trying to hide by putting it to bed. I hate abuse of power, why let the NCAA off the hook on this deliberate act?

    Love the way this team plays defense and works for the high percentage shots. Got a special group here…and they now have the attention of the nation.


  3. You know Backbeat:

    UH admin. do they REALLY have for “the betterment of student athletes ” as priority one up there at UH Manoa. You have to read, or center your reading of 41 page NCAA statement of sanctions and probation on UH MBB program, problem with Compliance department and specific Compliance officer, who is now Assistant AD.. she could have mitigated and alleviated a lot of the problems.. worked together with former staff, and athletes. to avoid what happened.. and that is summary of NCAA, not counsel for UH or former coach..Really interesting, yet very sad for Ohana, the families , friends and fans of the MBB team. Will UH admin. appeal? AD and chancellor are saying NO.. maybe something more that we don’t know about.. That is why, Support the Bows NOW.. this could be the ONLY time UH MBB team can reach NIT or NCAA in several years.

    Go Bows ! Support the Warrior MBB team to reach the Dance !

  4. just wanted to say mahalo for balancing the audio. i can watch the video now without exciting others in the house. Mahalo !

  5. Sure would like to see these complete games on Youtube. If possible. Would be very cool.

  6. Akuhead2
    You can get the games through the summer league website at manoa
    They show Mostly the whole game
    Two separate video’s, the first half and second half

  7. Who will be playing next year for the team ? Just for discussion.
    Stef and Mike could redshirt, if they willling to sit out a year. Fleming could redshirt at UH, if he stays.
    Also, Sheriff, Niko and Jakob and Owies and Buggs.
    Who is left ? Not enough for a basketball team.

    Dyrbe Sr.
    Zach Soph
    Brocke Soph
    Jack Purchase Soph

    Gone- Valdes, Janks, Bobbitt,,Quincy, Sai

    Great 3rd place finish in Diamond Head Classic.!!!!!!!!
    Happy Holidays to the team and staff !!!!!!!
    Good Luck for the rest of the season !!!!!!!
    GO WARRIORS !!!!!!!!!

  9. Great accomplishment to finish 2-1 and in third at the Diamond Head Classic, particularly with the weight of the poorly timed NCAA announcement on their minds.

    Sharing this from the Twitter-verse (Rothstein is basketball analyst for CBS Sports):

    Isaac Fleming
    So what if I didn’t have a good game great team win!!!!!!!!

    The breakout star at the Diamond Head Classic? Hawaii’s Eran Ganot. First-year HC led his team to wins over both Auburn and UNI. Impressive.

  10. Tsai blog poster noted Manroop did well, put up 22 pts vs. Mississippi Valley State, next UH opponent. 58 % FG Pct, 54.5 % 3- Pt Pct. 42.5 % FG Pct for the season, 46.3 % on threes, 80 % on FT’s.
    Third leading scorer on the Seattle team as to average, 9.7 pts. 4th as to total points.

  11. The #3 team in the nation, OU was behind HARV 37-31 @01:27 remaining of the 1st period, only managed to catch-upped 4pts as 37-35 @ 1st:00:18, then nobody score as 1st:ended – made some people disappointed!

    But, once the 2nd period started, OU scored a 23pts-streak, as 58-39 @ 2nd:15:11: lead by 19, which HARV failed to overcome, lost to OU 83-71 as F.

    OU should be in the Final Four 2016 strong!

    UH Warriors made some corrections, turning into a comeback-team, finished as a 3rd-place winner, earning some respect as the 2nd best team in this tournament (wow)…

    IIIFFF TEAM (players plus coaching staff) all-in and work-hard on improvements – 2016 might
    bring the Championship Hawaii crazed for; make your own memory time!?

    Congrats to Rod for your All Tournament honor!

  12. Congrats to the Warriors on to the next game. Tuesday. Support the team.

  13. Islandman,

    what’s with your obsession with Manroop? I have nothing personal against him, but he did nothing at UH and was here like 3 years ago!

    I think Valdes and Thomas are the ones most likely leave at the end of the season. I say that because they’re on course to get their degree in May. I also doubt that any of the juniors will red shirt.

    However, if UH wins the BWC title and the BWC tournament and make a decent run in the NCAA, then I think UH have a good chance of keeping all their players.

    One of the biggest things that’ll keep players at UH next season are the home game against North Carolina, the midnight game on ESPN, and the Diamond Head Classic. Of course if Ganot is smart, he should schedule a week-long trip to the South or East Coast and play against 2-3 big name schools. If Ganot can do that, that’ll definitely keep a couple of the juniors (and Fleming) who are 50-50 on staying.

  14. Don’t know how far Oklahoma will go, but note they don’t have a dominating big man inside. The have 7 ft Manyang, but he didn’t have much in the way of stats last night in 13 minutes, 1 pt, 1 rebound and 1 block. They have 6-9 Lattin, a slim 208 lbs. who had 3 blocks, 5 pts, 6 rebounds and 1 steal. And 6-8 Spangler had 15 rebounds. Guards Hield and Cousins and 7 and 6 rebounds.

  15. Tavs … no obsession with Manroop, just showing that maybe he is a good shooter after all.
    As far as Valdes and Thomas, add Janks because he is trying to graduate this academic year too. Llook at all the planning that the coach has to do if this and that take place or doesn’t. But he’s sharp. There could be as much as 5 or more holes, at the least to fill next season.
    But as Uhf1 pointed out Connecticut was banned from post-season in 2012-13. That was due to their APR. They had only 11 listed on that roster, but had six other players (walkons ?) who played one to three games at only 1 minute per game. Then on the 2013-14 Roster that won the NCAA championship, they had 15 listed.

  16. For anybody like me who didn’t watch the game on Christmas there is a replay available on ESPN3. It skips around like going from middle of first half to middle of second half, then back to first half, so it gets kind of frustrating to figure out.

    I just finished watching the whole thing and have to say GREAT game by Bobbitt and the rest of the team! We really need Valdes to get back on touch because he should be the main scorer so Bobbitt can do other things. Good to know that the senior Bobbitt can carry this team on his shoulders but I don’t want him to do that every game in conference or he will wear down. If others like Valdes and Fleming and Q step up their scoring we will be very hard to beat!

  17. Mississippi Valley State is getting paid $80,000 to lose.


    Looking way ahead here but I think Hawaii should travel next year get some money to play at Cameron indoor and Allen field house experience those electric atmosphere it will be great for a team for the next season after that.

  18. Chuck, someone said that you can see the game replays at the Hawaii Basketball Summer Lge website:

  19. Just can’t get-over Okahoma’s 23-0 over Harvard in just 4 minutes 49 seconds-scoring capability and,
    dominating the entire 2nd period; Very impressive finishing power!

  20. The Connecticut roster that was banned from post-season in 2012-13 had no seniors, only one grad transfer. The lone junior in 2011-12,Alex Oriakhi, transferred to Missouri.

  21. Wow. Darren Da Surfer Warrior Fan. Mahalo.
    (Geez, how come i didn’t know about this. I was as frustrated as ChuckCheese with that lousy ESPN replay, thought it was espn2, but no more of that.)

    Kinda of awesome to see Connecticut came back, thanks UHF1, from their ban 2012-2013 and win it all 2013-2014. Can’t help but to think … get chance or what?

  22. Wondering why CBS Sports keeping Hawaii’s NCAA sanctions in the headlines. Strange because they hardly covered the tournament yet the sanctions they keep running every day.

  23. I’m not gonna kid myself in saying any of the juniors will stick around next season. If most of them are on course to graduate next year then good on them! I’d love to see all of them turn pro. Just saw that even Brandon Jawato plays pro ball. He’s even on the Indonesian national team. Kinda nuts. Anyway, it’s good to see that all UH players from past two years have turned pro: Jawato (Indonesia), Nevels (Spain), Rozitis (Latvia), Spearman (Germany), and Standhardinger (Germany).

  24. servante.

    It is Hawaii..we really don’t know all details behind ncaa sanction ruling and why added penalties..
    I don’t think Matlin, counsel and Admin.
    thought it would be this harsh.
    Maybe espn and cbs putting it out there to show nation what happened to UH?
    Maybe it creates support/sympathy..for UH innocent ones?
    Or what happens to Louisville, Syracuse, North Carolina..proportionate penalties..
    I don’t know

    UH and coach worked together, cooperate, stabilize, finalize. ..probably ncaa sanction never would have happened. .and UH would be on second journey to ncaa elite eight with great talent and young guys they have..
    Thought would be shared blame..
    This year ncaa, nit or bust
    We been talking about it for going on 6 years
    Tis Is the year!!
    Support the team..they will get it!
    Then families go from there

  25. bigdaddy94…

    Hope the best..
    I am anxious to see Ganot coach in BWC play..he has great core from otto, and former lead.
    Get over hump to ncaa’s..
    Go bows!

  26. TAVS …

    maybe good move on , get away after graduating to chase hoop dreams, if that is their desire, good money..
    Getting paid to play game they love
    Did you know as shooter, Jawato was good get out of cali..
    We missed him last year..now he is healthy
    B, J, jaws..get it!
    Same with this year grads, they will do well in pros!!

  27. The reason why they added the post-season ban is because the case was classified as Level II – Aggravated. Due to aggravating factors for the former head coach, his assistant and the institution. The institution, UH, had some mitigating factors but all the aggravating ones outweighed those. The former head coach and his assistant had no mitigating factors listed in the decision.
    Syracuse’s case was classified as a Level I – Aggravated but they had the more lenient penalties because their violations occurred mostly before the new penalty structure was approved or implemented. So they got only a one year post-season ban.

  28. On another note, just reposting the link in case anyone is interested in what Negus is doing:


  29. I wish NWC the best!

  30. Good Luck to NWC, but playing in the Canadian Basketball League isn’t very impressive. Teams have a $150K salary cap for 12 players and the competition is much lower than the NBDL. Seems like a long shot that any NBA team would be interested if he’s in the Canadian League.

  31. Interesting on one of the CBL’s roster? Stephen Maxwell, who played for CSUN.. he that 6’7″ rebounding machine and great FT shooter..
    hope that Ganot gets guys like Stephen… or a couple of Mike Thomas’ , that would help, down the road.

    NWC…he has a ways to go.. in those online interviews.. he knows he has to grind.. get way better, stronger,,.. get used to playing with strong mature men basketball athletes. to compete overseas or a shot at NBA roster.. we see how much work Steph Curry puts in.. he is in great shape.. looks lean and lithe, however strong.. explosive.. and a hard worker.

    NWC.. and Garrett Nevels who is doing well overseas in Euro Pro ball. wish you all, Davis, Standhardinger, Fotu, Spearman.. the best.. would not doubt, if the former UH guys, if they cross paths, or compete against each other, they are in contact.. without question
    Band of Brothers.. that is the legacy of recent MBB.. the past going on 6 years of MBB alumni… they still remember each other, joy of playing at UH and for Hawaii.

  32. W-L 0-13, Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils, RPI 337, lost close ones to Air Force, 64-65, BYU,68-75 and Robert Morris, 64-67, all on the road.
    (Jerry Rice’s alma mater. Women’s teams are called the Devilettes)
    7-6, Howard University Bison, RPI 248, beat William & Mary, RPI 51, 79-77, ( one of Bobby Curran’s alma maters, women’s teams are called the Lady Bison)

    UH, RPI 56

  33. islandman:

    I guess like the Big Boys, who do play NAIA, there is now a Christian University athletic association? It is like an NAIA group of schools that play one another, and are able to go against NCAA DI schools, plus the DII and even I see DIII schools that the big boys play..
    How does it help UH to play schools ranked RPI between 250 and 337?
    Would have loved to see Ganot have played at least at SDSU.. before DHC..prepare UH one more time for BWC road games..
    well, UH can play the bench, the Hawaii 5-0 bunch.. ironic.. if Riley were coach again.. he loves to watch great defensive disciplined, hard effort and working teams.. he would love this year’s team.. with smart PG, guards and wings..wonder how the Ole Red Head would like the antics of the bench? Well that Monmouth college, who is ranked above UH, way above in RPI. their bench started a lot of routines. and YouTube viral, their antics.. really funny.. however.. it takes the edge off for Eran.. I am sure.. Eran looks so serious all the time.. if they win the BWC tournament. he can finally smile !

  34. You can Graduate and still play at another university if u have elidgability remaining in Valdes case it would be not smart to stay when u can graduate and play at another school and contend for a title lol I’m just saying.

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