Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

This week’s poll updates and more


Breaking into the national Top 25 polls is not as easy as you think. The University of Hawai’i basketball team has one of the best records in the country at 16-2, and is on an eight-game winning streak, but the Warriors continue to have a long way to go in terms of being ranked in the Top 25.

Hawai’i received nine points in the “Others receiving votes” category of this week’s Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The AP poll consists of 65 media members from across the country, and only two of them voted for Hawai’i (one had the Warriors at No. 20, which is good for six points; another had the Warriors at No. 23, for three points).

To illustrate how far away the Warriors are, Notre Dame is ranked No. 25 this week with 136 points.

What’s more, there are several more recognized programs ahead of Hawai’i in the “Others receiving votes” category, including South Carolina, Saint Mary’s, Pittsburgh, USC and Butler. For what it’s worth, Saint Mary’s has a 17-2 record, beat Gonzaga last week, and only received 42 points.

Still, there are only 43 teams that are receiving points in the current AP Top 25, and the last time prior to this year that a Hawai’i team was receiving points was during the 2005-06 season.

In the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, Hawai’i did not receive any points from any of the 32 coaches on the voting panel.

CLICK HERE to view the national polls

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Meanwhile, the Warriors continue to gain recognition from the so-called mid-major polls.

They are ranked as high as No. 6 in the College Court Report Mid-Major Top 20 Power Rankings by www.collegecourtreport.com. The only five teams ahead of Hawai’i in that poll are Dayton, Saint Mary’s, Valparaiso, Little Rock and Grand Canyon.

Hawai’i also moved up three spots to No. 9 in the Mid-Major Madness Power 15 by www.midmajormadness.com.

Hawai’i is up one spot to No. 12 in the Men’s Mid-Major Top 25 by www.collegeinsider.com.

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Hawai’i’s Stefan Jankovic had legitimate enough statistics to warrant consideration, but this week’s Big West Player of the Week Award went to UC Riverside forward Taylor Johns.

Johns averaged 17.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 72.2 percent (13 for 18) from the field, as the Highlanders went 1-1 last week. Most notable, he scored 26 points, including the go-ahead basket with less than a minute remaining, in UCR’s 74-72 upset win over Long Beach State on Saturday.

Jankovic scored 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting, and also grabbed eight rebounds as Hawai’i won its only game of the week, 78-62 over UC Davis.

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Just like last week, the Warriors will play just one game this week – Hawai’i will host Long Beach State at the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday.

All of the other eight teams in the Big West, including Long Beach State, will play a game earlier in the week. The 49ers will host UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night in Long Beach, Calif., and then will take a flight to Honolulu on Friday.

UC Davis had to endure a similar schedule last week – host a game on Thursday, then play at Hawai’i on Saturday – and appeared to wear down in the second half of a loss to the Warriors.

In any case, this is the last such single-game week for the Warriors. From here on out for Hawai’i, it will be five consecutive weeks featuring two games per week, including three separate road trips of two games each.

Wednesday’s Big West Games
Cal State Fullerton at UC Davis
UC Irvine at CSUN

Thursday’s Big West Games
UC Riverside at Cal Poly
UC Santa Barbara at Long Beach State

Saturday’s Big West Games
Cal Poly at UC Davis
UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine
UC Riverside at Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach State at Hawai’i, 8:00 p.m.


  1. I think RPI. have to be in top 40, plus SOS not the greatest for UH.. realtimerpi, and some other poll rankings. Only consider UH wins against DI teams , not Chaminade and Hilo UH wins over. so really UH is 14-2 against all DI schedule.

    Very, very hard to do.. as team says.. All they can do is Keep on winning. those polls, really the rank that UH finishes AFTER post season pau, the most important.. if UH is finished, in top 25. after April 2016..team deserves it.

    BWC league.. exciting.. any one.. from 1 through 9 on their home floors.. can beat anyone else.. makes for exciting finish to UH’s last 11 games. 6 out of last 10 warrior games ON THE ROAD

    Go Bows.. and Seniors.. go all out !!

  2. Kerry Rupp is Associate Head Coach at Oregon St., since last season.

  3. I guess everyone in Basketball employ somewhere…

  4. What Rupp did or didn’t do at UH didn’t affect his future employment. He seems to have gotten off clean, i guess not held accountable at the level he was at.

  5. That is no good…do the crime..pay the time…, man..never ends islandman..
    I just want team go far as can..love MBB..


  6. Or pay the penalty/fine…lot of problem that one!

  7. UH gotta continue to win on the road if they want any major consideration.
    I’m like Ganot only focus on your next opponent with that approach they should make a late season run.

  8. bigdaddy and others, how do you box out someone like Mamadou N’Diaye , listed at 300 lbs ? How would you defend against him ? Play in front or in back of him ?
    There are at least 5 athletes with the same name including another basketball player born in 1975. (wikipedia) He was 7 ft, played for Auburn and in the NBA. Drafted in the 1st round. He is now as assistant coach at Georgia Tech.

  9. islandman, looks like UH’s biggest literally challenge, with Irvine having I think 4 guys 6’10” , 6’10”, 7’2″ and 7’6″, those guys not super quick, however decent ball players.

    What concerns me, and Ganot as well, that Second time playing the teams UH beat.. BWC has some good to great coaches Bigdaddy.. Ganot and staff, I believe Adam Jacobsen, with his experience. huge help to Eran, on scout and game plan/ adjustments.. Eran very glad to have him on board,.
    How to adjust second time around to teams.. AND as bigdaddy allued to, last 10 games BWC.. 6 on the road, with LAST 2 on the road to finish regular season…so Eran is correct.. One game at a time. and UH HAS TO get better .. finish strong to BWC championship game.. NCAA dance the goal.. I want them to go Far, get some wins and DANCE !

  10. Islandman,

    There are a few things a team can do to make mamadou a non-factor.

    First, get him in foul trouble early.

    On offense, run the ball up court quickly – he’s a slow runner and not much stamina. Practice threes and hope they fall in come game day. Be aggressive, move around him quickly, tire him out.

    On defense, apply full court press to delay opposing guards and hope we get some steals.

    What’s reassuring is that Saint Mary’s beat Irvine earlier in the season. I’m sure Ganot will watch tape from that game and probably ask for advice from his former colleagues.

  11. I will front him play the pg 90ft with the 30 sec shot clock it enables their ability to get a good offensive set and also limit his touches. Our 4 guards create problems with any team in the country most teams aren’t that deep in that position like Oklahoma.

  12. bigdaddy.

    ..you are correct..any level
    Your team has great defensive guards, turn guys over and finish, deadly
    Huge reason UH do so well this year, reason I thinl UH can win games in ncaa tournament
    Great guard play spells championship teams..
    Fun watching Mamadou. He is very nice generous human being..ganot has to recuit Senegalese bigs..

  13. mahalo for your well thought-out replies.

  14. Bigdaddy…

    I Forgot… Irvine has 3 excellent guards, gave warriors hard time past 3 years..
    Should be great battle, who dictates tempo..
    Love that referees are letting guys get more physical, not as many touch fouls..
    UH can get steals..that is what warriors do..

  15. Everyone’s talking about Irvine, but let’s not forget that LBSU has like 4 shooters hitting 40% from three. our perimeter game needs to be sharp on D to beat these guys.

  16. Xer21:

    LBSU seems like half roster guys in 6’4″ to 6’6″ range,
    Shooters, not scared, Monson for athletic program to survive
    Played one of tougher SOS schedules, road games in nation..
    Xer21 ..you are right, 49ers one team might match warriors athletically..
    Always thought 5 teams UH beat so far, just could not get over the hump…warriors
    pull away second half..should be awesome game.. 49ers play well at SSC..

  17. Play quick and don’t get injured. Don’t let them fall on you. I know we are pretty good at drawing a few charges, but think, and pick the spots, and don’t let 300lbs fall on you.
    We can shoot over them, and with that, it may be time to call for Bobbitt to have a monster game. Our big guys are going to enjoy this game, count on it! The team, and our front line in particular, has been looking forward to this game. And I think our Coaching staff has been looking forward to this game. It will be fun !! Go Bows !!

  18. Just another Mahalo to Davis for participating with the Superman Batman night. I expect that LBSU will be no less ready to make it a fun night for all. The Bows will have to be ready.

  19. Nah, LBSU are punks. Two years ago their players were making fun of Shamburger’s dead aunt at the SSC. There is nothing fun about the Beach.

  20. On another board someone posted “The entire lower section and even several of the upper sections are almost completely sold out.”
    UH website says a sell-out is anticipated. “Pepsi is the game sponsor and will award a years supply of Pepsi products during halftime. Fans can register to participate in the halftime contest at the sports marketing table at Gate A.”

  21. That is a good rivalry..
    Make game fun if you can go in person..youngin…enjoy the game
    Basketball.. see the ball, put the ball in the hoop..
    Stop other team from making baskets..win by one at buzzer..
    Xer21…just be happy team doing great!!

  22. Sham’s dead aunt? I remember that.
    Alright. I take it back. It’s on !!
    Go Bows !

  23. It would be a win win if we can pack the Stanley this weekend. It’s also a big weekend for the football team as a lot of recruits will be in town and most likely attend this game. It will show them how UH fans can get behind a team and support them. Hope we pick up a W on the hardwood and some commits on the FB front.


    Interesting insight from Acker about the mindset of this year’s coaching staff.


    Curran: We are going to welcome to the program Assistant UH Basketball Coach Chris Acker, who joins us courtesy of the CarQuest Hotline. Hey, Chris, how are ya?

    Acker: I’m doing good. How you doing?

    Curran: I’m well. I wanted to get to a couple of things. With you guys having a 16-2 slate and you’re 5-0 in the conference, I think it’s gets that much tougher for two reasons. For one thing, you’re now kind of a target. Everybody’s now like, wow, that’s that team that played Oklahoma close. They’re undefeated in the conference and we need to knock those guys off. And Long Beach State might be – or some people are saying at least – that they might be the most physically gifted team in the conference. And I think that’s so typical of a Dan Monson team. He seems to bring in a ton of disaffected transfers and they’ve had some talented guys come through that program and this year is no exception. Chris, in terms of getting ready for Long Beach State, what are you seeing as the particular challenges that they present?

    Acker: Like you said, that’s a really good team. Long Beach State’s going to be loaded with talent every single year. And this year in particular they’ve got a lot of transfers and high level energy guys. And I think they’re leading our conference in 3-point shooting, so we definitely have a challenge ahead of us. But I think one of the things that we try to do is be process oriented and take things one game at a time and make sure our guys are healthy and our guys are ready to go. And then prepare accordingly for what the other team is going to bring against us. So I think we’ll be ready but, again, we definitely have a challenge ahead of us.

    Curran: You guys are unusual in this conference in that you are very much a base man-to-man defensive team. One other team that seems to do a lot of that is Long Beach. And I think part of the reason is – or at least historically they have, I don’t know if this year’s edition is the same – but I think there’s always been a feeling with them like, you want to match up our guys against your guys? Okay, we think we’re better than you. And that’s always been their kind of attitude. From what you’re seeing, have they been playing a lot of man with the group they have currently?

    Acker: Definitely a lot of man-to-man. They also press and they play a little bit of zone as well. So I think it’s going to be a high energy game. I think it’s going to be game where who ever decides to sit down and actually get stops is going to be the team that comes out and wins the game.

    Curran: I think that makes it fun because once conference started, if you see any kind of man it’s some sort of help man where they’re sloughing off on a couple of guys that they don’t regard as a serious threat from outside. But you do see a lot of straight up zone defense. And I think some of the conference teams are playing it almost exclusively against you guys.

    Acker: Yeah, credit to our guys and our offensive arsenal. I think our guys do a great job of sharing the basketball when teams play us man-to-man, and I think we’re doing an even better job now with adjusting to how teams are playing us when they go zone. So I think our guys are going to continue to be aggressive and really try to focus on taking what the defense gives us.

    Curran: Chris, in terms of the best players – I know Nick Faust is a highly regarded transfer out of Maryland, he’s one of the players – do you regard him as their best player? Or, if not, who would you put in that spot for Long Beach?

    Acker: I think they have several really good players that impact the game in different ways. You could even argue that Bibbins is their best player because he’s their energy guy. He brings the ball up in transition and pushes it, gets other people involved, and I think he’s scoring it a high level and shooting the 3 really well. So they also got 3 or 4 guys, like Blackwell, 3 or 4 guys who are on that roster that we’re going to have to have a heightened awareness of every time they have the ball in their hands, and even when they don’t have the ball in their hands.

    Curran: In terms of the pace and the way you’d like that to go – you guys are the highest scoring team in the conference at just about 81 points – is this a team you’d like to get up and down with?

    Acker: I think we’re our best when we’re playing uptempo. I think the biggest things for us always come down to make sure you secure a rebound. Make sure you keep your guy in front of you. And then once we have the ball, get out and run. I think if we get into a scoring competition, it could be a long night if we just try to trade basket for basket. But if we do what we’ve been doing all season, which is try to focus on getting stops, finishing with a rebound, and outletting the ball to our point guard and pushing and trying to get easy buckets, I think we’ll be good.

    Curran: Chris, this is the last game on this homestand. You’ve had a nice opportunity, especially with Valdes out, to play just consecutive Saturdays. But after Saturday it heats up pretty quick with you guys going on the road, one of the farthest flung road trips of the year when you have to go up to Santa Barbara and follow that with moving right up the coast to Cal Poly.

    Acker: I think what’s great about the homestand we’ve had is our guys are able to get adjusted to exactly what we needed to do to be successful in terms of continuing to improve our free throw shooting and continuing to improve our 3-point shooting. And Coach Ganot has done a great job of balancing rest with preparation. So I think we’re in a good spot right now. So we’ll focus on Long Beach and then mentally we’ll focus on the road trip once the Long Beach game is over and, hopefully, we come out of that victorious.

    Curran: Chris, joining up on this staff with Eran and Adam and John Montgomery. This staff seems to work pretty well together. I was just curious, in your case, what’s your favorite part about college coaching? I mean is it recruiting? Is it game planning? Is it individual work with players? What’s your favorite part of the game?

    Acker: I’d say it’s combination of all of those things. I think the most important part for me has always been making sure – and I think Coach Ganot and the rest of our staff share in the same mindset – and that’s just making sure that the guys we have in our program right now are focusing at the level that they need to focus so that the program this season is in good shape. But, obviously, we enjoy recruiting, we enjoy individual skill development. But there’s so much involved with trying to make sure your program is running at the highest level that you just try to enjoy everything.

    Curran: Well, there’s plenty of opportunity. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that it’s way more fun when you’re winning.

    Acker: Yeah, absolutely.

    Curran: 16-2 sounds pretty good. The 5-0 in conference is the goal of the exercise. You guys have done a fabulous job so far. Hey, can you give us your thought on this, or maybe what you’re seeing, does Aaron Valdes look a little closer than he has been, maybe in terms of being ready to rejoin you guys? I’m not looking for you to get specific now, I’m just saying is he looking better?

    Acker: Yeah, I think our training staff has been doing a good job. They’ve been working with him since his injury. Jay Goo and those guys have been working with him and helping him get better. So it remains to be seen. I think Jay Goo can talk more about it than I can but it remains to be seen where he’s at and, hopefully, we do get him back very soon.

    Curran: It’ll be great when he does rejoin the club. And you have to think that having had other guys get to play prime time minutes is only going to help your depth in the long run, especially when you get to the conference tournament where you play a lot of games in a short time.

    Acker: Yeah, absolutely. If we continue to focus and continue to work on the things that are going to lead to winning – our defense, our rebounding, continuing to share the basketball offensively – I think we’ll be in good shape. No matter what happens in all of these games, if we can continue to focus on what we have to do to be successful, we’ll be fine.

    Curran: Chris, this is a fun team to watch and the atmosphere last Saturday was so terrific. I’m really hoping that you get that kind of support for the rest of the home games.

    Acker: Well, I appreciate that, and we appreciate all of the fan support It was an unbelievable atmosphere last Saturday. We’re hoping that everybody comes out this Saturday. We’re going to need all the help and all the support we can get so that we can pull this out as a community and as a program.

    Curran: Chris, thanks so much, appreciate it!

    Acker: All right, thank you so much for having me, Bobby. You enjoy the rest of your day.

    Curran: 45 minutes past 8 o’clock. Chris Acker, the Assistant Coach at UH. This is a young, vibrant staff that seems to get along very well. These guys are absolutely dead serious about their basketball, in fact, I would say more than almost any staff that I’ve been around. They’re non-stop. I mean even at breakfast, these guys are talking about entry passes. How are we going to cover this screen? I’ve got an idea. And everybody is kind of poring over it. Let’s see it. Is that going to work? It’s really interesting to be around that level of intensity. It’s not just on the practice floor or in games. I mean these guys are 24/7 with it. And it stems from Eran because that’s his personality. It’s 46 minutes past 8 o’clock. You got something you want to chat about? Give us a jingle.


    I’m really enjoying the ride this year. I think this season is going to be one for the books. If they can get a sell out this Saturday, the arena will ROCK.


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