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Warriors rising again in national recognition

Valdes1_UCI

A resurgent University of Hawai’i basketball team is resurging in the Top 25 national polls.

The Warriors, who have won four consecutive games since a disappointing home loss to Long Beach State last month, are in the “Others receiving votes” category for both the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Hawai’i is having one of its best seasons in program history at 20-3 overall and 9-1 in the Big West Conference.

Of particular note, Hawai’i received a season-high seven points in the USA Today Coaches Poll, after not receiving any points in that poll last week.

The Warriors received five points in this week’s AP Top 25, after receiving three points last week.

This is the first time since January 11 that the Warriors received points in both Top 25 polls.

Despite the recognition, the Warriors remain a long way from breaking into the Top 25 for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The No. 25 team in the current AP Poll is Baylor with 97 points; No. 25 in the current USA Today Poll is Texas with 73 points.

CLICK HERE to view this week’s national polls

Also of note, Hawai’i is projected as a No. 14 seed for the NCAA Tournament in this week’s “Bracketology with Joe Lunardi” on www.espn.com. Lunardi projects the Warriors to face No. 3 seed Oregon in Spokane.

Hawai’i is also in the current USA Today tournament projection as a No. 13 seed to face No. 4 Duke in Spokane.

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HAWAI’I AT UC IRVINE WILL BE ON ESPNU

The Warriors’ road game at UC Irvine on February 20 has been selected for television broadcast on ESPNU (Oceanic channels 221 and 1221 in Hawai’i). As such, the game will have a later-than-usual start time of 8:30 p.m. in Irvine, Calif. (which will be 6:30 p.m. in Hawai’i).

Before that, the Warriors will play a road game at CSUN on Thursday, February 18. That game will start at 5 p.m. (Hawai’i time), and will have an online video broadcast via ESPN3.

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LONG BEACH STATE’S LEVIN GETS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The Big West Conference apparently wanted to extend its Player of the Week Award beyond Hawai’i this week.

Long Beach State sophomore forward Gabe Levin is this week’s conference Player of the Week. He averaged 17.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game as the 49ers got two wins during the week.

He had a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds in a road win at UC Davis, and had 11 points and six rebounds in a home win over Cal Poly.

Hawai’i’s nominee was junior forward Aaron Valdes, who had a legitimate case. He averaged 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game as the Warriors went 2-0, including an epic victory over UC Irvine in a showdown for first place.

Hawai’i still leads the Big West with four conference Player of the Week awards this season.

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HAWAI’I UP TO NO. 5 IN ONE MID-MAJOR POLL

The Warriors moved up to No. 5 in this week’s College Court Report Mid-Major Top 20 Power rankings by www.collegecourtreport.com.

The only four teams ranked ahead of Hawai’i in that poll are, in order: Dayton, Valparaiso, Little Rock and Gonzaga. Among the “name” teams ranked behind Hawai’i are Saint Mary’s (No. 6), Wichita State (No. 10), St. Joseph’s (No. 12) and VCU (No. 17).

In some of the other mid-major polls, Hawai’i checks in this week at No. 8 in the Men’s Mid-Major Top 25 by www.collegeinsider.com, and No. 12 in the Mid-Major Madness Power 15 by www.midmajormadness.com, and

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OFFICIALLY BACK-TO-BACK 20-WIN SEASONS

As has already been discussed at length in the Comments section, the Warriors are officially being recognized as having back-to-back 20-win seasons (22-13 last season and 20-3 so far this season).

The 20 wins recorded on the court during the 2013-14 season were vacated by UH and recognized by the NCAA during its investigation last year.

Still, it is the first time since the Anthony Carter and Alika Smith “Dynamic Duo” teams of 1996-97 and 1997-98 that Hawai’i has recorded consecutive 20-win seasons.

21 Comments

  1. Hawaii gets no respect in the National Polls and that’s probably correct because what have we done over the years. To finish in the top 25, at a minimum is to win the next 9 games, including the conference tournament. That would be a record of 29-3. Then, in the NCAA tournament to stay in the final top 25, UH probably have to make it to the Sweet Sixteen before losing. That has never happened either. In fact, UH has never won an NCAA tournament game, period. There have been very good teams what were never finished in the top 25. I can remember Murray State at one time was something like 31-2 and after they lost in the NCAA tournament, that was it. Stephen A. Austin had a very good record last year and they weren’t ranked either. But, it’s fun to talk about it and Hawaii fans keep wishing and hoping that a great ride to continue. Ganot knows that he has to keep his troops well grounded and can’t get a big head. The bubble can burst any time. Look at St. Mary’s, they were 21-3 at one time. Now, after last week they are now 21-5 and on the verge of not getting in the NCAAs. So, you can’t overlook anybody. Not Northridge on Thusday, and not definitely Irvine on Saturday. Gotta keep getting better and focus on your own team.

  2. Sorry, my bad. St. Mary’s is now 20-4, but they have lost 2 out of their last 3 games.

  3. Anyone else see Eran’s twin brother on the basketball game telecast, i think it was Saturday ?

    “The son of a Romanian immigrant father and Israeli immigrant mother, Ganot and his twin brother Araf were encouraged by their dad, Mickey, who loved his soccer. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Philadelphia,the twins were fixtures on the courts. When they moved to Bergen County in northern New Jersey for high school, they resolved to bring Tenafly High School its first league title in 32 years. …
    Ganot aspires to be a head coach some day, but knows it’s a process.”
    http://archives.midweek.com/content/columns/curranevents_article/for_the_love_of_hoops/

  4. McInnis ‏@Brian_McInnis 51m ago

    Good news for UH: Isaac Fleming is going full speed in practice again

  5. ^^^^^ there we go!

  6. Great to see Fleming back at practice!

    Sadly I have to agree with Derek in regards to the Top 25. At issue is not so much our weak schedule but our weak conference. The BWC has had top teams scheduled but we really haven’t beaten any top 50 teams. That said a conference like the PAC 12 and to me it seems weak this year still has about 8 teams still being considered for the NCAA tourney. This is going on with several big conferences. So what you have is a top 50 school playing a top 50 school practically every time in these Big Conferences. You would think that they would cancel each other out, but at this point they are really not dropping in the polls like a Hawaii or Irvine would if one was to lose a fluke game in conference. For example a UCLA team is still considered on the bubble even though they are 14-11. Meanwhile a Hawaii team that is 20-3 can’t even break in because of our strength in schedule. That’s the way the NCAA has made it work. The bigger draw schools have a huge advantage over the mid-majors. We know that Hawaii’s non-conference schedule is tough to draw big time schools because teams want us to play them at their home but not want to fly to Hawaii to play us. That hurts us too. The system is not set up for mid-majors and until something changes the BWC will always see one team in the NCAA tourney sadly.
    We have one advantage and that is the DHC in December. We always need to win that or have a good showing. I would venture to say that even if we would’ve beaten Oklahoma we would still find it tough to be in the top 25. We all knew from day one, that all that matter is the last 3 days/games of the BWC. In short we have to win the BWCT. GO Bows!

  7. I think even if we win the BWC and the BWC tourney, we still won’t be top 25. It’s a shame because our team is awesome, and they’re still improving. However, what’s still an issue is our free throws. Our terrible percentage could be a factor in why coaches don’t even consider us a top 25 team. But more importantly, it could be the decisive factor in why we’ll lose a close game in the future.

    I’m happy Isaac is back. These ‘minor’ injuries were a blessing in disguise because it forced other players (Niko and Sheriff) to step up, and it made the players, staff, and fans realize that our team is pretty deep. Imagine how deep we would be if Reyes, Webster-Chan, and Fotu were still around.

    Time to focus on Northridge.

  8. And don’t forget Bryce Canda, who committed to Hawaii, but either couldn’t finish his classes at JC or couldn’t get admitted into school at UH. He definitely could have helped our team. Because of his misfortune, I think Drammeh was able to get a scholarship.

  9. Dyrbe graduating this semester and will in the senior ceremonies, per McInnis. He is a junior (redshirted in 2012-13).

  10. Good for team graduates! We applaud you!

    Another point, if Eran not Big West coach of year

    even if warriors split this road trip. It would

    be a huge travesty! He has done a great job!

  11. Islandman,

    do you know which other Juniors are on course to graduate this May? I believe Jankovic and Thomas.

    I understand all our juniors are eligible to transfer if the NCAA pos-season ban is upheld. After all the hardships they’ve gone through due to the NCAA investigation, I wouldn’t hold it against them if they transferred – on the condition that they don’t transfer to another BWC team. My only regret would be if they ended up transferring and we – the fans – weren’t given the opportunity to say aloha to them at the last home game of the season.

    Anyway, go bows!

  12. Good on Dyrbe for getting the work done. He is one of the guys I wish got more game time this year. It really looked like he was making progress the last years before this and then I don’t know what happened.

    Is he the first of the dominoes to fall?

  13. ChuckCheese,

    Can’t say he’s the first of the dominoes, because in doing you’re implying that his departure will affect the rest of the team’s decisions. No way is that the case.

    I’m not sure I think Dyrbe’s decision is the right one but then again I don’t know his situation. However, I do know that he gets little to no playing time. Of course if our juniors transfer then he would be given significantly more playing time.

    Next year we’ll definitely have Jack Purchase, Owies, and Buggs – pretty solid players.

    I think Jovanovic is on course to graduate this semester as well.

  14. Tavs …. from interviews on this site this past fall , Valdes and Janks were trying to graduate maybe this May or a little later ? Valdes red shirted in 2012-13, Janks, played part of 2013-14 for Missouri, then sat out part of 2013-14 and part of 2014-15 at UH, i think.

  15. Exciting times!! Lets keep the ball rolling one game at a time. Really happy for hawaii!

  16. Jovanovic and Thomas are true juniors, so they aren’t graduating this may. Janks and Valdes are academically seniors, though, because of their redshirt year.

    And as far as the talk about being ranked, sure, it’s great recognition and exposure for the team and school, but it’s not one of their goals. Our goal is to win the regular season, win the BW tourney, and go dancing. That’ll do more for recruiting then any top 25 ranking will do.

  17. slam dunk, Gary Dickman was talking about this contest today. LaVine is 6-5, Gordon 6-9.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKFF78tHN_k

  18. S23A,

    I remember Quincy saying in a post game interview (it was pre-LBSU) that the players talk about breaking into the top 25 and that it’s one of their goals.

  19. S23A,

    Also, I think Thomas is on course to graduate this fall. If I remember correctly, he mentioned that in a video from last summer. I believe he’s taken summer classes every summer.

  20. …on course to graduate this *May.

  21. Maybe I should resay it to Dyrbe is the first to make it official. It is nice of UH to let Dyrbe be in the senior night but now I am wondering if guys like Valdes and Janks announce they are graduating if they will get to be in senior night.

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