Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors rout Mississippi Valley State, 77-48


Picking up right where it left off last week, Hawai’i kept running on all cylinders Tuesday night and rolled past visiting Mississippi Valley State, 77-48, in non-conference men’s basketball action.

A fun-seeking crowd of 3,570 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched Aaron Valdes score 17 points and grab six rebounds and Mike Thomas add 16 points and six boards as the Rainbow Warriors improved to 10-2. The last time a UH team started a season 10-2 was during the 2004-05 season.

Point guard Roderick Bobbitt — the reigning Big West Conference Player of the Week after back-to-back 30-point games vs. No. 3 Oklahoma and Auburn — added five points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals to help keep the Delta Devils winless at 0-14.

“I’m pleased with the win and with the overall team effort,” UH coach Eran Ganot said. “We got contributions from everybody, and we had 31 baskets and 24 assists.”

The Warriors, who took third place in the prestigious Diamond Head Classic with three impressive games last week, jumped out to a 5-0 lead Tuesday night and quickly extended it to 15-4 and 18-6 after an 11-2 run ignited by Stefan Jankovic’s slam dunk and punctuated by Valdes’ two free throws with 12:32 remaining in the half. Hawai’i later strung together a 13-2 surge started by Isaac Fleming’s jumper from the right corner and capped by Thomas’ layup off a Bobbitt assist to make it 34-11 with 5:15 left, and then finished the half with a 9-3 run to lead 43-16 at the break.


Ten different Rainbow Warriors saw action in the first half, including six minutes each by seldom-used guards Niko Filipovich and Sheriff Drammeh.

“It was great to get guys in the game not just at the end, but also in the first half,” Ganot said. “We were trying to get Sheriff and Niko in there early, we wanted them to get minutes in the first half, because there may be times this season when we’ll need them in the first half.”

Filipovich and Drammeh each had two assists in the first half, and each finished the game with three assists in 14 minutes played.

“Those guys do that every day in practice, they really share the ball,” Ganot said.

Valdes scored 15 of his points and grabbed four of his rebounds in the first half, and Thomas had 12 points and five boards by halftime, making all six of his field goal attempts.

“Layups,” Thomas said. “Just staying aggressive. Part of it was controlling the paint, but when you get 31 baskets and 24 assists … that’s gotta be everybody being unselfish. It’s a testament to the camaraderie on this team, we’re all best friends.”

Mississippi Valley State could not get closer than 25 points in the second half, and Hawai’i stretched the lead to 58-24 seven minutes into it, at which point it started to replace starters with deep reserves.

Walk-on shooting guard Zach Buscher, a redshirt freshman from ‘Iolani School, entered the game with 13:02 remaining and promptly scored a layup 24 seconds later. Dyrbe Enos, a redshirt junior walk-on from Kamehameha, dropped in a 3-pointer from the left corner with 6:55 left, then drained another shot from beyond the arc to make it 77-42 with 1:59 left.


“We want guys like Zach and Dyrbe and Brocke (Stepteau) to get in there,” Thomas said. “They work hard in practice to make us better, so they deserve a chance to get into the game.”

Stefan Jovanovic added six points and six rebounds off the bench, and fellow backup Sai Tummala finished with five points and six boards.

In total, the Rainbow Warriors got 36 of their 77 points, 18 of their 41 rebounds and 14 of their 24 assists off the bench.

“To see a lot of those shots go in is a nice bonus,” Ganot said.

Hawai’i also controlled the inside against the smaller Delta Devils. In particular, the Warriors’ four post players – starters Jankovic and Thomas, and reserves Jovanovic and Tummala – combined for 39 points on 16-for-20 (80 percent) shooting, and 22 rebounds. Thomas finished 8 for 9 from the field, while Jankovic went 3 for 3.

The Warriors also held the Delta Devils to 32.3 percent field goal shooting (21 for 65), including just 9.1 percent (1 for 11) from 3-point range. It is the second time this season that Hawai’i has held an opponent below 50 points.

UH’s next game is at 5:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Howard, as the opener of a Stan Sheriff Center doubleheader featuring the 8 p.m. Rainbow Wahine women’s basketball game vs. Penn at 8 p.m.

“This is the next step for us, ” Ganot said. “It’s human nature to be fired up for the Diamond Head Classic, but we’ve always said the most important game is the next one we play, because they’re all tough. We need to respect all, but fear none. It’s about having that killer instinct ready to roll all the time.

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

(WarriorInsider.com file photos courtesy Brandon Flores and Matt Osumi)


  1. Happy Face of the Year – Zach.

    Happy New Year, Y’all!

  2. I like Drammeh, he is quick to the loose ball, looks like he can handle the ball, defend, shoot pretty well. He had 3 assists, 1 steal. And Buscher, 2 for 2, 2 rebounds, 2 assists.
    Looking for Jakob to make his first pts. and Brocke his first FG.

    Off-topic, for Clyde … C. Kalaugher and Kaiser def. No. 1 Iolani 53-46 and he had 24 pts, 17 rebounds, 4 for 6 on 3’s. Although 6-8 Hogland of Iolani was hampered by an ankle injury.

  3. Thanks, islandman. Those are some impressive numbers that Kalaugher put up. I’ve only seen him play a couple of times on TV last season. I read that he’s worked hard to improve his perimeter game, and it’s paying off. I just thought his upside in football is greater but I applaud him for his stated goal of trying to play both sports in college. Hope he makes it.

  4. Does anybody know if anything happened to Stepteau? Lets not forget that he was the guy who saved the team in the exhibition against Chaminade when he hit a bunch of 3 balls and scored something like 15 points. They said that was going to be his role but now he is one of the last guys off the bench. Even Buscher went in before him last night.

  5. Impressive game considering that brutal 3 games in the DHC. What did Mississippi Valley have in the first half? 18 points? I never saw a team totally shut down like that. Fact they were always scrambling at the end of the shot clock. Great to see Thomas have a good game and keeping his fouls in check. He can be another weapon for UH, especially when others having poor games. He reminds me of those drag races. When the car comes to the line it’s all pumped and full of energy. But as soon as you press the throttle something goes wrong. But one day they will get it right and it will be a joy to see that motor hum with the true potential that it has. And no better time than now with BW play coming up.

  6. How does playing RPI 338 team MVS help UH get ready for BWC play? I guess just let the cheerleading bench get into game, which is good for team morale. they work hard too.

    I think after last night’s game, UH RPI went down? PRI in the 90 range or near 100?
    Howard U.. in the 200 RPI range.. so that is another one that will affect UH RPI..however still early. the RPI, BPI ranking at end of BWC tournament key.. higher for UH can help them get good seeding in Post Season..

    hopefully, see , i.e,. Shoji and wahine VB..

    Howard U.. coming to town with nations’ leading scorer, I think at 29 ppg. should be good match.. hopefully more competition. out of MEAC.. another team, having 7 losses. however lost to some teams of note..
    have those athletes. though it seems… that 5’11” guard does the bulk of scoring.

    go Bows.. and post season or not. go for History. .get 28-30 wins for season !

  7. The Beach up on Duke at Durham, 34-29 with 3:08 left in 1st half!

  8. Duke scored 11 straight to lead 42-36.

  9. UH RPI went to 52, Irvine 58, UCSB 67. Long Beach St. 85. Means keep winning and your RPI will be pretty high.

  10. LOL, Duke wins 103-81. The Beach went from thinking upset to not even covering the points and they were getting 20!

  11. The Beach fall 103-81 to Duke.

  12. ESPN just “recalculated” Hawaii’s RPI…

    From 52 to 80 after last night’s game. Remember, when we play a team, their wins and their losses gets factored into our RPI equation. ALL of Mississippi Valley State’s losses (13) gets factored into our drop in RPI. They had NO wins to raise our RPI.

    Here is the RPI website which is updated more readily for Hawaii: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/rpi/_/teamId/62

    By the way, RPI is calculated by adding three parts.

    Part I (25% of the formula): Hawaii’s winning percentage. About 20 years ago, the NCAA added a bonus/penalty system, where each home win or road loss get multiplied by 0.6 in the winning percentage calculation. A home loss or road win is multiplied by 1.4. Hawaii’s winning percentage is good (8-2 versus NCAA I are counted), BUT… we only get the value of .6 for each of our home wins. We would get the value of 1.4 for each road win. Beating Texas Tech on the road actually would have had a BETTER bump to our RPI than a win over Oklahoma. I’m not kidding.

    Part II (50%): Average opponents’ winning percentage. To calculate this, you must calculate each opponent’s winning percentage individually and average those figures. MVS had a winning percentage of 0. Ouch. That value would be strong enough to drop up BIG TIME.

    Part III (25%): Average opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage: Basically taking all of the opponents’ Part II values and averaging them.

  13. “PERFECT” Example of WHY I think (Believe) RPI Just Supports The Old BOYs’ Clubs…

    SHOULD NOT Get Penalized For WINNING

    Questionable IF You Should Get “Rewarded” For LOSING…


    Kinda Like “SCRABBLE”?



    BEATING The Spread Against MVSU Jumped UHMBB from 67 Up To 65…

    NOT MUCH… BUT Much More Appropriate….



    ONLY #32 BY RPI…


  14. Hawaii ranked 65 in Pomeroy ratings. Irvine at 89, Cal Poly 126 .


  15. I’ve always wondered if the NCAA selection committee ever looks at kenpom? I know they use RPI as one of their determining factors.

    On another note, after watching Irvine and Long Beach get blown out by top 20 teams just in the last few days, I’m starting to believe that Hawaii’s half court defense may be the best in the Big West right now when facing elite quality teams. I am anxious to see how well we do on January 14 when we go on the road… finally.

  16. Matin is a clone of Ben Jay according to Bley Vroman, I think they had it right, however heard the masses like we are doing now.. let last year team play post sesason, don’t ban this year. we take the ban if any NEXT season. that would have been better and it would be Really hard hitting message to UH admin and Amanda Paterson, that person, really caused trouble for MBB. , your Compliance officer did not do the job. We the NCAA can fix your appeal, allow you to have post season next year, however we add one more year to probation period, a historic 4th year, with limit of 11 scholarships..

    The Key: UH Manoa. move Amanda Paterson to highest paid Intramural Sports director. she did not do a good job with the Admin backing her up, it all could have been avoided. if there were no Agenda from Day one to outster Gib and his program, just got together, and worked Together for sake of great Athletic dept. Amanda Paterson, with her backing of inept, admin.. has a part in the sanctions. and post season, ban, not even helping UH coach and his program. for couple of years. which led to Manini things. small things.. and Your agenda went to town to blow up and hurt the great student athletes playing ball for UH MBB.
    Shibai is how you talk Amanda, Lassner, and Bley Vroman, with your New Clone of Ben Jay, Dave Matlin. who made a big mess and causing horrible feelings for long time UH MBB team supporters. .give her her high salary.. however MOVE HER to intramural sports director.. get her out of the UH Athletics dept.. think that the past AD’s could have helped mitigated the acrimonioua atmosphere in UH MBB program and the infighting by Gib and Amanda. just like an older brother and younger sister, fighting over something at homw. sheesh, UH being the parent./ guardian. to keep UH in good stead. just go between the two and conflict resolution. would have avoided the NCAA getting involved. worked things as Athletic family. and we would be seeing UH MBB team with Gib Benjy, Senqye and Brandon Loyd leading Fotu and company to second elite eight run in NCAA tournament for sure..
    GET RID OF AMANDA from UH Athletics dept.. bet NCAA would then listen to APPEA:L
    we all listen and read carefully and watch online or TV what Matlin and counsel will say on Monday. Jan the 4th 2016. they have heard the masses. however,… UH counsel could not mitigate, the sanctions/ probation this go around.. WHAT secret weapon or added information will change NCAA mind? interesting. UH admi/ Matlin/ Amanda, Lassner and Bley Vroman.. reap what you have sown..

    spit in the wind at ncaa. what happens.? that spit from your mouth comes right back into your mouth.!!

  17. Whatever went on, the former head coach and assistant had numerous aggravating factors assigned to them in the Level II case along with the institution. The institution had some mitigating factors, per the Infractions Decision, pages 23-25, but there were no mitigating factors assigned to the former head coach or assistant. In other words, they aggravated the case (made it worse) against the UH and themselves.

  18. James Daniel III..Howard U. Guard..
    the Bison team buit arond him…so many shot attempts
    And free throw attempts and makes..

    Looks likw will be UH vs. James Daniel III.

    GO Bows!!
    Should be good game..
    One of those potential 40 point scorers against Warriors..

  19. LOL. A team led by Gib would never get to the Elite 8 lol. He was a decent recruiter, but he didn’t know what he was doing as a coach…couldn’t get the guys into an effective offensive set to save his life. Gib couldn’t keep any associates or assistants because they knew he couldn’t coach. He couldn’t make adjustments. Same for taylor. Just let ’em play. Lol
    With Ganot at the helm, he is getting guys to mature, understand their roles, and teaching. The guys have even noted the difference. Ganot is proving he can develop guys. It remains to be seen if he can recruit, but a lot of guys, including players, like what he’s doing. We’re lucky to have him!

  20. NJ: I DO think Hawai’i’s DEFENSE has IMPROVED This Season — Our On-Ball coverage is More Focused, Positioning and Footwork Better — Even Off Of the Bench Thru 9/10, maybe 11; Adjacent Players are Rotating Quicker And Smoother Without On-Ball Player Relying On it, and #1 switches to cover #2 man And Back again Really Smoothly, often confusing the offenses’ players…

    Might’ve just been MVSU, but watching their coach implore his guys to play “emotionally harder, more intense” reminded me of Fred Von Appen (Or maybe last year’s coach) — “Just Block Somebody!” — Intensity can cover a Bunch of Ills, but Not Consistently TEAM-Work, One-Plan, One Scheme & Cohesive Effort and Synchronicity — when this Team breaks down (e.g., watch them after their (few) turnovers) they’re talking to each other as they head up-court, telling each other what they themselves will do different, not what the other guy gotta do different…

    AND Bobbitt – Q – Fleming – Valdés – Drammeh – Filipovich are a Tough Defensive Rotation

    FRONT-LINE: Jankovic – Thomas – Tummala – Jovanovic Looking TOUGH and Getting Stronger …
    (Purchase Might Be Real Good Plug In for Tummala) – We’ll See What Conference Reveals…

    The Passing is starting to Look Prescient, because players instinctively (muscle memory? Scheme & Repetition?) Know where their teammates WILL (or should) be — THIS Could Get Challenged In Conference where players sometimes report “the other team was beating us to our positions” (better scouting and preparation — maybe similar to Fisher and The SL Rams 4-1 in division against 12-2 Arizona and 8-5 SEATTLE but 3-7 out of division)

  21. ChuckCheese, great question about Stepteau… Saw him when he played this summer, and in the exhibition game, and he’s a pretty solid player. I agree he saved that Chaminade game. Ganot even spoke highly of him in interviews. Not sure what’s up, but hope they use him more. Think he can help the team when needed. Been out of pocket, but will check in from time to time. Trying to get caught up. Lots of great info and input here.

  22. Just thought about ChuckCheese question about Stepteau, it might have something to do with recruiting…. Just thinking out loud.

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