Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors focusing on Fullerton


Next game up.

After thoroughly dismantling previous conference leader UC Irvine on Thursday night, the University of Hawai’i basketball team needs only to reflect back on January 16 as a reminder of how difficult the entire Big West Conference can be.

The Warriors needed a 3-pointer at the end of regulation and then an extra five-minute overtime to defeat Cal State Fullerton back then.

Much has changed since that first meeting in Fullerton, Calif. Specifically, the Warriors are now in sole possession of first place atop the Big West and the Titans are tied for last.

The teams will meet again on Saturday, February 13, at 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. Hawai’i is 19-3 overall and one victory away from the 10th 20-win season in program history. More important, the Warriors are 8-1 in the Big West following its impressive 74-52 drubbing of UC Irvine in a battle for first place on Thursday.

The task now is to maintain focus on a Fullerton team that is 9-14 overall and 2-8 in conference.

“We have a game on Saturday that we have to focus on now, so we’ll put this (UC Irvine) game behind us and focus on Fullerton,” senior point guard Roderick Bobbitt said.

Fullerton’s eight Big West losses have come by an average margin of 9.3 points per game, with the largest margin being “only” 13 points.

Hawai’i won the January 16 game at Fullerton, 86-79. Stefan Jankovic drained a 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime, then UH out-scored the Titans 14-7 in the extra five minutes.

Of note, the Warriors played that game without starting forward Aaron Valdes, who sat out with a turf toe injury. In his absence, sophomore guard Isaac Fleming started and scored a career-high 23 points.

The roles could be reversed this time. Valdes, who is averaging 14.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, is coming off a 16-point, 9-rebound performance in the win over UC Irvine. Fleming, who has an injured right ankle, has sat out the last three games and remains questionable for Saturday.

Jankovic, who scored 21 in the win at Fullerton, is averaging team-highs of 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.


Bobbitt was spectacular in the win over UC Irvine, and is now averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He also leads the team with 41 3-pointers and is shooting 40.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Despite Fullerton’s record, the Titans should be considered a dangerous opponent, due mostly to an abundance of scoring guards.

Tre’ Coggins, a 6-2 junior, ranks fourth in the Big West in scoring at 16.5 points per game, and third in the Big West in 3-pointers with 62.

Khalil Ahmad has emerged as the top freshman in the conference, averaging 15.3 points per game. He has been especially effective against Big West opponents, averaging 18.3 points per game, including 19 against Hawai’i last month.

Malcolm Brooks, a 6-5 senior, is averaging 12.1 points per game and could be an X factor for the Titans. He did not play in the first meeting with Hawai’i due to an ankle injury.

Lionheart Leslie, a 5-10 junior, is averaging 8.6 points and 2.1 assists per game, and had 17 points and 10 rebounds against Hawai’i last month.

The Titans have a pair of bigs, but their primary roles are to set screens for the guards and rebound. Jamar Akoh, a 6-7, 240-pound forward, is averaging 5.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game; Kennedy Esume, a 6-10, 245-pound center, is averaging 3.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

Saturday, February 13, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Tickets: Lower Level – $26 for any remaining seats; Upper Level – $18 for adults, $16 for senior citizens (ages 65-older), $5 for students (ages 4-18). Parking is $6.
TV: Live on OCSports (Oceanic channels 16 and 1016 in Hawai’i)
Internet video: Live on www.bigwest.tv
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Internet audio: Live on www.espn1420am.com
Live stats: www.hawaiiathletics.com
Autograph session: The UH players and coaches will be signing autographs on the concourse after the game. The session will start approximately 15 minutes after the conclusion of the game.
Theme night: “TV/Movie Character Night” – fans are encouraged to dress as their favorite TV or movie character, and the UH student with the best costume will win a hoverboard.

Saturday’s Big West Games
Long Beach State at UC Davis
CSUN at UC Irvine
Cal Poly at UC Riverside
Cal State Fullerton at Hawai’i, 7:00 p.m.

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  1. Dads, Moms …
    Gotta Love These Guys, This TEAM
    Earning Our Trust, A Place In Our Hearts
    They ‘Might Not’ even Know It
    But they Probably Always Have a Second Home in Hawai’i
    The Way Dyrbe & Zack & Family Host & Welcome Your Sons, Their Teammates
    Special, But Not Unique in Hawai’i
    Opened Our Home When Earlier Team’s Mates were Strugglin’

    Go Bows!
    Lock In, Shut Down Fullerton Early and Often
    Build a New Resume’ of Dominant Play
    Shut Down, K.O.,
    ALL BWC Games Except The Beach and Fullerton 8-point Plus WINS
    Minimize… Practice & Play 40 So as Much As Possible,
    NO More ‘Needing’ Last-Minute Shots to Survive
    UCSB, Cal-Poly, NOW Sweep Fullerton
    Second Half BWC ..Now It’s Stamping UH Dominance

    Go ‘Bows
    Fought, Earned Your Way to The Top
    Just Keep on Winning
    One More WIN Tonight
    Six/Seven More to Lock-In An NIT Invite
    PLUS Three to Dance
    Just Keep on Winning
    Best of The Big West?!
    NOW When Recruits ‘Consider’ Hawai’i
    It’s An Invitation to Join The Best Team in The Pacific?!
    Go ‘Bows!

  2. When you play for University of Hawaii on the basketball team, you are a celebrity, most times. See the autograph session video above.

  3. I don’t know about you guys but I’m as equally excited for this game as I was for Thursday’s. Just enjoy watching this team and looking forward to get to that much deserved 20 win mark! I feel like the bows have a chip on their shoulder after nearly losing to one of the worst teams in the conference. I fully expect CSF to compete and make it interesting. Should be a fun and entertaining game tonight. Let’s GO BOWS!

  4. Hottest Ticket in Manoa is Tonight’s Game at the Stanley!

    No doubt, this team’s goal is to Go Dancing.

    However, “IF” they can win the outright BWC regular season championship, they will get an automatic bid to the NIT. With that said, it is time now for the UH ADMIN to prepare for hosting the first two rounds of the NIT which would most certainly be filled and give US that home court advantage.

    Northern Iowa knocked off and broke the 43 game home winning streak of Wichita State today and Auburn has already beaten Kentucky…sure does not hurt the Bowz.

    GO BOWZ…single goal tonight is the Titans.

  5. Also, Texas Tech knocked off No. 14 at the time Iowa St.

  6. Fill the Stan Sheriff Center! Only 3 more home

    games! Go Warriors !!

  7. UH is the professional team of Hawaii. Will tonight be a sellout?

  8. Can’t wait for tonight’s game. Lock it in, Warriors.

    Just read UH’s appeal. Our attorneys in Alabama did a great job, and I’m confident the Infractions Appeals Committee will life the post season ban.

  9. Did the attorneys show that the matrix below does not apply to UH ? Maybe because it is not fair or others did not receive similar treatment under the new penalty guidelines or the Level II-Aggravated case is not a fair decision ? The UH is subject to a post-season ban according to the matrix which was approved on Oct 31 2012 and went into effect on Aug 1, 2013, so it is not arbitrary, it seems.

  10. Well, I was hoping the Alabama firm would present a strong appeal seeing as how they likely encouraged UH to self-penalize itself thinking that would have satisfied the NCAA. My guess is the Alabama attorneys were as surprised as anyone when the NCAA added the post-season ban to the self-imposed penalties. They ought to be doing the appeal pro bono, or at a discount.

    Now, all we can do is wait … and wait … and wait. Don’t even want to think about when or how this case will be resolved. The focus is on the next game, the next victory. Hoping the final three home games draw big crowds. The concessions and parking must help boost the AD coffers.

  11. islandman,

    I looked at the matrix but couldn’t make much sense of it. Our attorneys argued that teams who made similar infractions in the past didn’t receive post season ban. They also argued that all those who committed the infractions are no longer at UH, and that the punishment handed down affects only the innocent.

  12. TAVS, …. If you look at the 2nd column for Violation Level II, go down to Aggravation, then across to the next column on the right, it says 1-2 years for Post-season Ban.

    It’s possible that other schools in the past committed violations covered under the old penalty structure, so had less severe penalties. That is unfair, but that was why Syracuse had a Level I – Aggravated case, but only had a one year post-season ban plus loss of scholarships for 4 years and 5 yrs probation, etc. They appealed and lost “only” 8 scholarships instead of 12.

  13. Islandman,

    If it’s as simple as that then I wonder why UH even appealed. I would also laugh at the NCAA appeal committee for taking more than a week to draft their response.

  14. There should be a transition period where UH would be covered under the old penalty structure.

  15. The appeal is saying among other things that the old penalty structure should be used for UH because most of the violations occurred before Oct 31, 2012 and also that the case against UH should be classified as Level II – Standard.

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