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Warriors look to bounce back on “Senior Night” sellout

Perhaps it is fitting that a group that has prevailed through so much turmoil over the past two seasons will have to prove its worth once again on “Senior Night.”

Coming off its most unexpected loss of the season, the University of Hawai’i basketball team will try to get back on pace toward the Big West Conference regular-season championship when it hosts CSUN on Saturday night.

The final home game of the regular season is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. All fans are encouraged to wear white shirts for the “White-Out” game, and four senior players will be honored after the game. All 10,300 tickets for the game have already been issued.

Bench1_UCR_Osumi

The Warriors are 22-4 overall and in first place in the Big West at 11-2. The Matadors are 10-18 and 5-9, including a 69-63 loss to Hawai’i last week at Northridge, Calif.

Hawai’i’s path to the regular-season title and top seed for the Big West Conference Tournament hit a speed bump on Thursday, when UC Riverside pulled off an improbable 77-71 upset.

Hawai’i still has a magic number of two over UC Irvine and Long Beach State. In simplest terms, two Hawai’i victories in the final three games will clinch the title (losses by UC Irvine and Long Beach State can also reduce the magic number).

If anything, the loss to UC Riverside was an ugly reminder that the Warriors have to maintain focus against every Big West opponent. CSUN is no exception.

The Matadors had a five-point lead over the Warriors with under 10 minutes remaining last week, and Hawai’i closed the game with a 7-0 run to win it.

Kendall Smith, a 6-foot-3 junior guard and the younger brother of Hawai’i guard Quincy Smith, leads CSUN in scoring with 15.3 points per game. He scored 13 in the first meeting with Hawai’i.

Micheal Warren, a 6-5 sophomore guard, is averaging 13.0 points per game, and 6-3 junior guard Aaron Parks is contributing 12.3 points per game. Tre Hale-Edmerson, a 6-9 senior, is the Matadors’ top post presence, with averages of 8.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Tavrion Dawson, a 6-8 sophomore, is averaging 9.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Hawai’i junior center Stefan Jankovic had the best game of his career at CSUN, finishing with 34 points on 12-of-13 shooting. He leads the Warriors in scoring (15.9) and rebounding (6.7).

Junior forward Aaron Valdes is averaging 14.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He did not play at CSUN due to illness, but is expected to be in the starting lineup on Saturday.

Matchups and championship chase aside, Saturday is about honoring the team’s seniors:

Roderick Bobbitt, 6-3 point guard from Oakland, Calif.

Bobbitt2_LongBeach

The statistics – and intangibles – are proof that he is one of the best point guards in Hawai’i basketball history.

He set a UH record as a junior last season with 100 steals, also becoming the first Warrior to lead the nation in any statistical category. His two-year total for steals is now at 156, which is four shy of the record held since 1974 by the legendary Tom Henderson.

His 327 assists currently ranks ninth in UH history, and he has a good shot to break into the top five of that category by season’s end. His career per game average of 5.5 assists per game ranks third, behind only Anthony Carter and Tom Henderson.

On top of that, Bobbitt has been the starting point guard for what is turning into the winningest two-year stretch of UH basketball since the Fabulous Five years.

Dyrbe Enos, 5-10 guard from ‘Alewa Heights, O’ahu.

Enos2_Hilo

The Kamehameha Schools graduate is leaving the program with one year of eligibility remaining because he is on pace to graduate later this year.

He has been a fan favorite for the past three seasons, and played a valuable role on the scout team.

Here is the amazing statistic of his UH career: Enos has made 16 total field goals, and 15 have been 3-pointers.

Quincy Smith, 6-1 guard from Antioch, Calif.

Smith6_LongBeach

Those closest to the program can make a legitimate argument that Smith has been the key cog in the team’s rise to prominence this season. He played a valuable reserve role as a sophomore and junior, but emerged as a somewhat surprising starter this season.

All he has done is become a leader of the first-place team, while providing all-around skills (7.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game). His putback dunk to seal the win at CSUN last week was one of the signature plays of this memorable season.

Perhaps overshadowed by Bobbitt’s record-breaking steals numbers, Smith has quietly amassed 114 steals in his career – good for ninth on UH’s career list.

Sai Tummala, 6-6 forward from Phoenix, Arizona.

Tummala1_CSUF

The transfer from Arizona State has made the most of his one, and only, year at Hawai’i. He has been a part of the main rotation all season, in effect splitting time with starting forward Mike Thomas.

Tummala is averaging 6.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, and ranks second on the team with 35 3-pointers. His .432 percentage from 3-point range leads the team, and is currently the fourth-best percentage for a single season in UH history.

Oh by the way, he has already passed the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and has plans to become an orthopedic physician.

— — — — — — —

BOBBITT REPRIMANDED BY BIG WEST

The Big West Conference issued a public reprimand to Roderick Bobbitt and the University of Hawai’i for what it described as “unsporting behavior” during and after Thursday’s loss to UC Riverside.

Bobbitt received a technical foul in the closing seconds of the loss, and then had words for UCR head coach Dennis Cutts in the handshake line after the game.

In a statement issued by UH and attributed to both head coach Eran Ganot and athletics director David Matlin:

“We accept the reprimand handed down by the Big West Conference. Roderick takes full responsibility for his actions during Thursday’s game and he understands those actions do not live up to the standards we expect of our student-athletes. Rod let his emotions get the best of him and he will learn from this and be a better leader of this basketball team. We apologize to UC Riverside and the Big West Conference.”

— — — — — — —

HAWAI’I VS. CSUN
When:
Saturday, February 27, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Tickets: Sold out. Parking is $6.
TV: Both games live on OCSports (Oceanic channels 16 and 1016 in Hawai’i)
Internet video: Live streaming on www.bigwest.tv
Radio: Both games live on ESPN 1420 AM
Internet audio: Live on www.espn1420am.com
Theme nights: Saturday is “Senior Night” and a “White-Out” – fans are encouraged to wear white shirts and stay after the game to honor the senior players.

Screen shot 2016-02-26 at 1.33.30 AM

Saturday’s Big West Games
UC Riverside at Long Beach State
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton
UC Irvine at UC Davis
CSUN at Hawai’i

25 Comments

  1. You all know how good you can be…

    As long as you maintained the proper balance between emotional and logical control –
    Must put “that rock” through the hoop even just one point better than your opponent.

    Only then, you will be one step closer to your goal!

  2. Thank you to the seniors for playing for UH, playing well and representing Hawaii and your families well, for the most part. Dyrbe’s been with the team the longest, then Quincy, Rod and Sai. Dyrbe was awarded a scholarship for this semester, per SA and wants to try his hand in the sports broadcast field. Does that mean Tony will retire ?
    Quincy has shown a great attitude through all the years yet still a fierce competitor. Rod leads the team in a lot of things including on the court. Sai was accepted to Creighton Medical School and is waiting to hear from UH. Why so slow UH ? Shooting 48.7 % 3PT FG’s in conference games.

  3. Although it’s senior night, it would be of great respect that a tribute be made to the great effort that Jamie Smith has done to boost this program in the years he’s been here.
    Mahalo. to Jamie

  4. Terrific group of seniors made for an awesome season, bringing loads of excitement and fun to UH basketball. Best wishes to all the seniors!!

    We need a win on Senior Night – Go Warriors!!

  5. A great bunch of players who has been in the program over the last 1 to 3 years. I applaud you for the contributions made and fighting through all the adversity the last 2 years. A fact that the talent on this team has made it successful in the win loss column for 2 different coaches.

    I am a believer that a good coach with players that have above average talent will win more than lose. A great coach with lesser talent will lose more than win. As Ganot said once it’s all because of the players.

    Have a great last game here at the “Stanley” and make it an enjoyable and proud evening.

  6. About sportsmanship, Coach Reggie Theus is the coach I believe who has exemplified great sportsmanship as a coach. Maybe he does not feel the pressures of other coaches having to make a living at it.

    Viewing him during games played against UH, he has shown the best sideline composure of the Big West coaches. (Ganot not to far behind him) After games the congratulatory handshakes traded between the teams appears very sincere, especially the heart breaking loss against UH at their home court.

    Cannot say that about the UC Riverside coach during the game and the congratulatory handshake after the game reflected through his facial and body expressions.

  7. Did not see any unsportsmanlike attitude from UCR coach under the circumstances, when someone is following him. Coach Adam J was later seen talking in what looked like a conciliatory manner to Cutts as he was going to the locker room.

  8. Have to agree with Islandman. After watching replay, Coach Cutt actually was quite composed while being followed and talked to by opposing player. Just ignored and kept moving forward. Did what an adult coach should do.

  9. Congrats to the seniors on an ongoing great entertaining season! I have to say Quincy Smith in my mind is the most improved warrior this year. He’s a ninja on the court!

    Rod is just a straight up boss! So many big plays in crucial moments. Just needs to learn to be the better man by
    Controling the temper.

    Sai is a great contribution to this awesome team! Great shooter! Just needs to have that eye of the tiger confidence, as he shown us all year.

    I’m a big fan of Dyrbe! Wish he had more playing time.. Scoring that many 3 pointers in so many minutes.. Impressive.

    Looking forward to tonights game! You no what to do Bows! Take it to them!

    Lets go Bows!!!!

  10. Thinking about Senior Night, about the recent little controversy and what it means to play for the University of Hawaii, I couldn’t help but think about my all-time favorite kid—yeah, a mama has favorites—AC Carter. What a humble guy, a great team player, someone who made everyone around him better. I have to admit, Jackson Wheeler aced this one. AC appreciated everything he had, even though he was really the one who worked so hard for it, and he continues to give so much to others, especially the kids. He understood that the UH wasn’t lucky to have him, he was lucky to have UH and Hawaii as his family forever. I hope if nothing else, the seniors tonight take away the understanding that they are forever part of the UH ohana, to carry themselves with pride and to spread aloha and we will always have them in our hearts.

  11. Well said, KelleyO. For any player who chooses to play here, my hope has always been that it is as much an enjoyable experience for him as it is for the fans.

    Mahalo, seniors. May you continue to make this season special for you, and the people of Hawaii. (To Sai: Creighton is a great school, but Omaha can’t even begin to compare with Honolulu!)

    Three more games, two more wins … starting tonight against CSUN.

  12. Another big point spread. Another bad omen. You just can’t come in and show up and win big. The biggest basic rule in basketball is why we lost to Riverside, and that is putting the ball in the basket. From the field and at the charity line. That’s why every game is an unknown and that’s why there are so many upsets in basketball. Sometimes, the ball doesn’t just go down. Home should be an advantage, but if you don’t start out well in the first half, it will fester and it will be a dog fight the rest of the game. We saw that against Long Beach and Riverside.

    Now, it’s going to be very interesting to see what’s going to happen tonight. Will we re-gain some momentum into next week on the road by winning a solid game against Northridge or will we be sloppy with the ball and miss shots, get into foul trouble, and see the unraveling of a team losing it down the stretch.

    What will coach do? What will be players do? I’ll be watching.

  13. I think families blessed especially 3 and 4 year guys.
    What maturity they have grown and have 3 to 4 years on and off court joy. I will really miss Quincy his defense major recruiting target and push ball.
    Mahalo to all grads and seniors good memories over 3 seasons! Go warriors !either tough game or blowout? Just win!

  14. And shout out to enos..tummala..smith..bobbitt..and may grads ohana..families
    Csun vs hawaii..smith vs smith
    10300 of us at arena rock out! Will be fun!!

  15. KelleyO,

    My favorite player in recent past would have to be Spearman. He was a hard worker, always gave 100%, was selfless and respectful, and had so much love for Hawaii. Was the only senior who was in tears on senior night. I love that he’s been rewarded with a pro career in Germany, and especially that he’s come back to Honolulu every summer since he graduated.

  16. Mahalo to the seniors and also to those who might transfer. The Kane from Manoa just finish strong this is yours for the taking

  17. Kelley O,

    I didn’t have a chance to thank you for sharing your background as a parent and former athlete when I asked you a few blogs back about women’s basketball vs. men’s basketball. I don’t always have time to follow this blog daily but do catch up with it by reading most of the comments. I also don’t want to be off topic but you really come across as a person who’s balanced and fair and not afraid to voice your opinion. Just by reading your comments and knowing a little bit by your shared comments, you can tell you’re well educated and a good parent. Sometimes, we hesitate to comment about a player whose parent follows this blog because we don’t want to offend (written words can be misunderstood especially when we don’t know that person) but you went ahead and did a good job of also explaining your comments.

    I do want to add that I have great respect for all of our players on this team and they have given us great entertainment these past few years. Sometimes they get “off track” but I believe they are good people and also young and we all have these moments.

    Hope to see all of you at the game tonight.

    Go warriors.

  18. And shout out thanks to contrbitions to warriorinsider
    frm parents TribeVx4, bigdaddy and Oakland ! Makes
    Team one big family. Appreciate input! Now Go Warriors!!

  19. Thanks, BigFan. It means a lot!

    TAVS. Didn’t know that about Brandon, very cool. Remember most of all his tremendous game against his homies from Chicago when they came to town…I was so happy for him. He had such a tough time with injuries but was, indeed, a great player and person.

    Go Bows!!! Five more hours til we rock the house!!!

  20. KellyO,

    Your being parent kupuna supporter and having
    played and coached sports you have great insight and candor.. Warrioinsider nation wish more the wonderful avid sport fan wahine would comment!. We guys love your hearfelt comments! We cheer team as One Ohana fanbase!! Thankyou Kelly , You make our days brighter!!

  21. KelleyO,

    Well, Brandon came back in Fall 2014 and served as an honorary coach during the Green vs White scrimmage. I remember the players and he pretended to get into a fight but then they all started dancing. He came back last summer and helped with one of UH basketball’s youth camps. He’s also stated on occasion that he wants to come back to UH as a coach.

    Also worth noting is that Spearman and Bobbitt were teammates at Indian Hills.

    Undoubtedly two of the most competitive players in recent history.

  22. TAVS

    Warriors to the max Zane, Spearman , Garrett. Nevels,
    gave blood and sweat and wins to basketball program.
    I check, Nevels and Spearman , Standhardinger doing well in pros. Nevels wants to come back and coach warriors too! Imagine in 12 years, Zane. Nevels. Spearman part of warrior coaching staff full circle. All
    Warriors recent vintage nice yong men.Spearman ever smiling mature! Loves Hawaii!! TAVS and KellleyO very special warriors men basketbal has been!

  23. 4 min. Till tip off. It’s packed ! Senior nite ! Warrior time !

  24. Is Fleming still hurt? We need you big guy. With Isaac, Q and Rod team smooth. Now need fine tuning?
    Go warriors!!

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