Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Jankovic, Ganot take top honors in Big West Awards


A University of Hawai’i basketball team that took top honors in the final standings of the Big West Conference was justifiably rewarded with several top honors in the Big West Conference Awards, announced on Monday morning.

Most notable, junior forward/center Stefan Jankovic was named the Big West Conference Player of the Year, and Eran Ganot was named the Big West Conference Coach of the Year.

Jankovic is now just the second player in UH basketball history to receive a conference Player of the Year award. Anthony Carter was the first, earning the Western Athletic Conference Pacific Division Player of the Year award in 1997.

Ganot’s recognition is the fourth conference Coach of the Year for a Hawai’i coach. Riley Wallace won WAC Coach of the Year three times during his 20-year tenure.

Senior point guard Roderick Bobbitt joined Jankovic on the six-player All-Big West Conference first team.

Junior forward Aaron Valdes was named to the five-player second team.

This marks only the second time in UH basketball history (37 years of conference affiliation) that two Hawai’i players were named first-team All-Conference. The first time it happened was 2014, when Isaac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger were named to the All-Big West Conference first team.

Also of note, the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award went to UC Irvine’s 7-foot-6 center Mamadou N’diaye. Bobbitt received that award last season.

Here is the complete release from the Big West Conference:

IRVINE, CA – After capturing a share of the regular season title, Hawai‘i collected two of the premier individual awards to highlight the announcement of the 2015-16 Big West men’s basketball all-conference team. Junior Stefan Jankovic earned Big West Player of the Year honors with Eran Ganot notching Coach of the Year accolades. Nick Faust of Long Beach State collected the Newcomer of the Year award while Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad garnered Freshman of the Year recognition, as voted on by the nine head coaches.

Jankovic is the first Rainbow Warrior student-athlete named as Player of the Year. The 6-11 forward averaged 15.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game. He ranked third in the conference in field goal percentage (.559).

Jankovic, a two-time winner of Big West Player of the Week honors, topped the 20-point mark eight times and scored a career-high 34 points on Feb. 18 at CSUN. Jankovic accumulated a league-high tying five double-doubles. In conference play, Jankovic’s numbers climbed to 16.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, ranking him No. 2 in both categories.


Ganot becomes just the fourth head coach to earn Big West Coach of the Year honors in his rookie season, joining UC Santa Barbara’s Bob Williams (1998-99), San Jose State’s Bill Berry (1979-80) and Fresno State’s Boyd Grant (1977-78) on that list. He guided the Rainbow Warriors to a 24-5 overall record and a first-place tie for the Big West title at 13-3, the program’s first league crown since winning the WAC in 2001-02. Ganot’s 24 wins are tied for the most by a first-year Big West head coach, alongside coaching legends Jerry Tarkanian and Lute Olson from Long Beach State.

Faust, a transfer from Maryland, is the first student-athlete from the Beach to be honored as Newcomer of the Year. The 6-6 guard averaged 18.4 points to lead all scorers during conference play, and was second in overall games (17.1 ppg).


Faust posted nine games of 20 points or more, including a career-high 34 points versus UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 28 and 30 against Cal State Fullerton on Mar. 2 Faust also ranks among the conference leaders in steals (No. 3 – 1.5 spg) and three-point field goals made (No. 4 – 2.4 3pg). The native of Baltimore, Md. secured Big West Player of the Week honors on two occasions.

Ahmad is the third Cal State Fullerton student-athlete, and first since Bobby Brown in 2003-04, to be bestowed with the Freshman of the Year honor. The 6-4 guard broke Brown’s single-season freshman scoring record of 369, and has scored 424 points for the Titans. Ahmad ranks No. 7 in Big West scoring at 14.6 points per game. The Corona, Calif. native has scored in double figures in 22 of 29 games, including six contests of 20 or more as the conference’s top scoring freshman.

The All-Big West First Team features one multiple selection – UC Santa Barbara senior Michael Bryson makes his second straight appearance. The remaining five members make their initial appearances – UC Irvine junior teammates Luke Nelson and Mamadou Ndiaye, Hawai‘i mates Jankovic and senior Roderick Bobbitt, and Faust from Long Beach State.

Of the 20 players who received first team, second team or honorable mention recognition, 13 have at least one year of eligibility remaining.

Eight Big West Conference teams head to Anaheim to compete for the 2016 Big West Basketball Tournament championship and the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The action begins on Thursday, March 10 at Honda Center.

Player, School, Ht., Yr., Pos., Hometown

Roderick Bobbitt, Hawai‘i, 6-3, Sr., G, Oakland, Calif.
^Michael Bryson, UC Santa Barbara, 6-4, Sr., G, Sacramento, Calif.
Nick Faust, Long Beach State, 6-6, Sr., G, Baltimore, Md.
Stefan Jankovic, Hawai‘i, 6-11, Jr., F, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Mamadou Ndiaye, UC Irvine, 7-6, Jr., C Dakar, Senegal
Luke Nelson, UC Irvine, 6-3, Jr., G, Worthing, England

Player, School, Ht., Yr., Pos., Hometown

Justin Bibbins, Long Beach State, 5-8, So., G, Carson, Calif.
Jaylen Bland, UC Riverside, 6-3, Sr., G, Saginaw, Mich.
Josh Fox, UC Davis, 6-6, Sr., F, Daly City, Calif.
Aaron Valdes, Hawai‘i, 6-5, Jr., G, Whittier, Calif.
Alex Young, UC Irvine, 6-2, Sr., G, Phoenix, Ore.

Player, School, Ht., Yr., Pos., Hometown

Khalil Ahmad, Cal State Fullerton, 6-4, Fr., G, Corona, Calif.
Eric Childress, UC Santa Barbara, 6-0, Jr., G, Hawthorne, Calif.
Tre’ Coggins, Cal State Fullerton, 6-2, Jr., G, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Darius Graham, UC Davis, 5-10, Jr., G, Sacramento, Calif.
Secean Johnson, UC Riverside, 6-5, Jr., F, Philadelphia, Pa.
Gabe Levin, Long Beach State, 6-7, So., F, Oak Park, Ill.
David Nwaba, Cal Poly, 6-4, Sr., G, Los Angeles, Calif.
Kendall Smith, CSUN, 6-3, Jr., G, Antioch, Calif.
Gabe Vincent, UC Santa Barbara, 6-3, So., G, Stockton, Calif.

^ Two-time All-Big West First Team selection

Stefan Jankovic, Hawai‘i

Nick Faust, Long Beach State

Khalil Ahmad, Cal State Fullerton

Eran Ganot, Hawai‘i

Travis Hammonds, Long Beach State

Mamadou Ndiaye, UC Irvine

Darius Graham, UC Davis


  1. Congratulations all around. POY, COY, Bobbitt (1st) and Valdes (2nd). Well deserved recognition. The only surprise was that Quincy didn’t get any honorable mention love. Awards are nice but dancing in the NCAA would be better.

  2. More awards:


    Travis Hammonds, best sixth player, averaged 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for LBSU.

  3. As the Player of the Year, Jankovic should have the motivation to have a great tournament and excel. The last couple of games he hasn’t performed up to both his and the team’s standards. Need to step up and show the way to convincing wins. Well served to him, Bobbitt, and Coach Ganot, and also Valdes for 2nd team. If he didn’t get hurt Valdes could have been 1st team too. Unfortunately, one player could have won 6th man of the year award, but decided not to be part of our championship team. It is what it is and today we look forward to getting better every day.

  4. Congratulations to Coach Ganot and all the UH players who got awarded!

    This really looks like the Big West coaches got it right on. I can’t see any bad choices that they made except for one and that is would of been nice to see Quincy Smith get the Best Hustle Player Award instead Graham.

    In the end, the awards don’t mean as much as the team winning. Lets not forget that UC Davis won a lot of the awards last year and remember what happened to them at the Big West Tournament.

  5. Congratulations!! Well deserved! Rod. Aaron. We know Q is our TEAM MVP most inspirational! Stef and Eran good job!! The Never say die Rainbow Warriors taking care of business! Thanks to warrior nation and legacy heritage of program. For every Rainbow that played. They are proud!
    Janks . all the seniors and juniors your futures just got way brighter!! One more goal? Get the “SHIP” ! NCAA BID!

  6. Derek: I was thinking the same thing about a certain Agent 0 should’ve won the 6th man award if things didn’t go sour poi at the end. Yup, it is, what it is, and we shall move on.

    ChuckCheese: I definitely think Q should’ve won the best hustle player award. It’s like that award was made for him to win, haha, but I don’t want to be greedy so we’ll share the love to the other BW teams.

    As for your last comment about Davis winning awards last season and how they blew it in the BWT, that’s true but our UH team is a lot different and better imo than last season’s Davis’ team. I guess we shall see in a few days.

    Go Bows! Just win baby!

  7. Congrats to HC AG and SY, RB, AV!

    You made the TEAM as winners possible!

  8. Congrats Bows! Now go out there and bring that title home!

  9. Quincy should have received something. He was so consistent this year and made a difference in almost every game.

  10. Gotta send some recognition to Gib for putting this team together. He really was an exceptional recruiter. This would also have been Fotu’s senior year. He might have been collecting his second consecutive POY award. Hope he’s doing well where ever he’s currently playing.

  11. It’s nice that you get recognized for your hard work but still more work to be done

  12. I love to hate Faust but I gotta say I was worried he was gonna get POY and he would have deserved it. BUT the TEAM got Janks the award by being the champs and top seed. Not saying he didn’t deserve it too, but the whole team earned it, really. Congrats to everyone for their accolades. Feels much better than NOT getting it, like Shauna Lei getting iced out last year. And if Isaac had stayed on the team, I doubt he would have gotten sixth man because he wasn’t even being allowed to BE sixth man…just keeping it REAL. He wasn’t even playing, remember? They weren’t gonna take him on the road trip, remember? So please leave the poor guy out of it.

    NOW just GO BOWS!! You got even more targets on your back now. Focus on Fullerton.

    By the way, just applied for my NIT tickets. Hated doing it ’cause it felt kind of bachi.

  13. KellyO: If you were responding to what I wrote then I guess you didn’t read what I said carefully. I said IF he had stayed and IF things didn’t get sour at the end then he would’ve been deserving of the reward. I was just stating a hypothetical situation IF things were all good between him and the coach and his playing time wouldn’t have been cut down. Not picking on the guy so not sure why you said leave the poor guy out of it?

    Good bows!

    Warrior fan for life!

  14. Seems like this team is breaking records left and right!!!!! Way to go guys. Big Up to Janks, Rod & Aaron !!!!!!!! Now lets go handle business this week!!!!!! JUST WIN BOWS!!!!!!!

  15. kaneohe97, I was responding to Derek, actually.

  16. Congrats to coach, Janks, Bobbitt and Valdes … all deserving of the recognition. Like others, I’ve been a Quincy fan throughout his career and noted the improvement he made from last season during his summer-league play. If not an HM honor, I hope he was seriously considered for the hustle award. Graham didn’t impress me in the games against UH.

    By comparison, here are their stats. Quincy: 8.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.7 SPG, ranking him 2nd in the league in that category to Bobbitt. Graham: 10.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, 0.8 SPG, ranking him 29th in that category.

    And yes, we’re biased, but we’ve also seen how much heart and hustle Quincy brought to every game this season.

  17. If the Tip of the Spear Award were still around then I’d give my vote to Q!

    Well done Ganot, Janks, Bobbitt, and Valdes! But there’s no doubt the award winners wouldn’t have won had it not been for a great TEAM effort.

  18. Congrats Fellas! Yes I too agree Quincy should have gotten something. He’s improved on every aspect of his game..especially shooting. Just a tough guard with hops and is fun to watch.

    Speaking of hops..AV! Nobody does those one handed ally oop dunks better than Valdes!

  19. Kelleyo. My bad.

    Clyde all good points. The stats you listed prove that Q deserves it more than Graham but I think they didn’t want to give it to Q because other teams would be crying favoritism since we already have the POY, COY, and two more players on the first and second teams.

  20. turfwar.
    Good point GA recruited better talent every year. Fotu man if he was senior with this group. Pretty certain 2 huge runs to ncaa deep wins. Well we move on. Bet even formet recent Rainbow Warriors very happy for Q. AV. MT. Rod. Janks and guys. Eran keep the train moving!! Gives UH fans something to cheer about! Biggest wish? Laiura And Eran guide warriors and wahine to ncaa’s and advance! Very happy! Men basketball and wahine really huge upswing past near 5 years! Going to the “SHIP” !! Gals and Guys focus and get it!! Hawaii 808 pride. Zero too!!

  21. That is hard to believe that AC Carter and Janks are the only two UH guys to get player of the year. I am wondering now that didn’t Savo get player of the year when UH won the WAC?

  22. Indeed, Congrats to the Janks, RB, AV, Head Coach and all the team, all of them !! Go Bows !!

  23. And Savo played a year and some in nba with Denver nuggets
    I am SAVO!
    UH. didappointing Quincy not on Any team.or recognition . he was recruited specifically for what he is doing now. Super high energy and part of over 60 near 70 wins. Q sharpen up FT shooting pro career or coaching definite. Q MVP? over 3 years no question! Just keep emotions in check and helped team win !! We are going to miss Q. Rod . Isaac big time! NCAA GET IT GUYS!!

  24. Not surprised of the BWC awards to both Jankovic, Bobbitt and Ganot !

    All THREE with Aaron Valdes has been exceptional during this conference championship along with Quincy Smith who epitomizes what a true Rainbow Warrior is with his determination, dedication and desire to win. An exceptional LEADER along with Roderick Bobbitt !

    The ENTIRE team are ALL outstanding as they have to sacrifice and put in many hours on the hard court buying into Ganot’s new system and philosophies on how this basketball season will go plus going to class, maintaining and above average gpa to stay eligible in hopes of graduation while having no public off court issues that will embarrass the program. Now the BIGGER picture is the BWC tournament right here in Anaheim at the spacious Honda Civic Center !

    Will be attending the Hoops Happening at JT Schmids Restaurant Brewery this Wednesday, celebrating with Southern California and local Hawaii fans for both the men’s and women’s team !

    As a former player from way back in the 70’s it is GREAT to see Hawaii basketball back where it has always belong “rich in tradition and honor in respect” !

    This team has captured the heart beat of ALL Hawaii fans and former players by representing that HONOR in which I am grateful and proud of this fantastic accomplishment !

    Thursday will be this Hawaii team of players FINEST moment coming out on the Honda Civic Court as the #1 team from the Big West Conference representing the 808. It does not get better then that !

    IMUA Warriors !

  25. Congratulation ,great job!

  26. Congratulations, TEAM!

    AS I’m Sure Jank would point out,
    As Many of On this site Pointed Out
    THESE Are TEAM Awards
    Because of Top-Notch Team Success
    BY THEIR Votes, You’re Winning The Respect of The Head Coaches

    ‘BOWS …Now Go Back ‘Em Up
    NO (Saturday?) Resting on Laurels

    EVERY DAY You’ve Been Working and Building To This Week
    Anaheim IS OUR (wife & me) ONLY Road Trip Two Years Runnin’
    ‘Cos We Believe In YOU

    Just Keep WINNIN’
    2.9(?) Last Year…
    THREE This Week?

    So You Can Battle and Showcase On The BIG Stage
    Like YOU Been Dreamin’/Visualizing…

    GO ‘BOWS!
    CLOSE The Loop
    WIN BOTH BWC Championships
    Then Elevate The WHOLE Conference
    Go ‘Bows!

  27. OAKLAND510, Congrats on Rod being on the first team selection! You must be a proud Papa! I wish I could go to the tournament and cheer on the Bows but I’m go to cheer for the Bows, long distance kine, to finish strong and win win win! Go Bows!

  28. The Tip of the Spear Award was presented in only one year, 2014. That was the only award given for that season.
    “Senior swingman Brandon Spearman was named the first recipient of the “Tip of the Spear Award,” given to the player who best represents the basketball program’s five core values of humility, passion, accountability, relentlessness and “teamanship.”

    Last year, the Art Woolaway Most Outstanding Player Award made a come back.

  29. Congrats to coach, Janks, Bobbitt, Valdes and the whole entire team for an amazing season thus far! Still got a lot of noise to make come tourney time as well.

    Ganot deserves a heap of credit even though these are not necessarily “his players” so to speak..In the beginning of the season I was prepared for a mass exodus of players when they screwed coach Benjy, but Ganot got them to believe and buy into the system he wanted to run, and that deserves respect.

    Win and advance, Go ‘Bows!

  30. Enjoy the moment, then put the awards aside and play hard. Keep the vision of being Big West Tournament Champs and then more accolades will come to this team.

    For those of you who will not be in Anaheim, set your dvr’s. All time are HST
    Thursday Channel 1228 Starts at 10:00am with game time at 12:30pm
    Friday Channel 1221 7:00pm and 9:00pm
    Saturday Channel 1224 6:30pm

    See you in Anaheim!

    Go Bows!!!

  31. Friday is 4:30 and 7 pm HST, i think.

  32. islandman – thanks for the correction.

  33. Congrats Janks, Coach, Rod and Aaron…well deserved. You have made the state of Hawaii Proud.

    By those opponents that got beat out, know that you now have just got a locker room target on your back.

    Been quite a year, but without a BWC Tournament Title, it will just end on your next loss. ONE GAME AT A TIME! Save those legs when possible Coach.

    As the legs get more and more tired, those longer shots will be harder to make.


  34. The Hawaii fan lost a fotu or frotu wig on Saturday to a Long Beach fan, per Gary Dickman. But he got it back.

  35. Congratulations Rod,Aaron & Janks much respect .Q you were the glue I have the utmost respect may u shine in ur future endeavors.

  36. If Janks is smart….he should come back his senior year and play with Jack Purchase. I think this will make for a very potent dual as both have similar skill sets and both will be hard to stop.

    Purchase was a SEC recruit just like Janks and can score inside and out just like Janks.

    Even if there is a potential for no post season Janks can shoot for being a two time BW POY and win the conference regular season twice.

  37. Kahuns: that would be awesome if Janks came back next season although I think that only way UH would have a shot at a BW regular season championship is if Valdez and Thomas come back as well. This scenario is our hope but I think we all pretty much know those juniors will be transferring.

  38. Kahuna,
    Your statement that “if janks is smart, he will come back” implies that he is not smart if he leaves! You, sir, are NOT SMART then. There are about 100 reasons for him to leave and maybe 1 (your selfish) reason for him to stay. As fans, we would ALL like to see him stay, aaron as well. But to imply that a player is stupid for leaving a program that he has helped elevate and that he has given his heart and soul to, that is just immature and self-centered…
    First off, janks is an old 4th year college player (he turns 23 during the summer). Scouts and pro teams (Europe as well as nba) prefer to draft younger players, players that have more time to develop and a longer future career. Pro scouts are drooling at his skill set and versatility. He will not get added exposure or raise his draft stock by staying another year, especially with no post season to speak of. His stock is about as high as it will get.
    There is literally nothing for him to gain (future, career wise) by staying, and everything to lose. He could get injured in senior year. He could have an off year and lose potential money. He loves this group and is a team first guy. But he has to think about his future!! Thinking about ones future IS the “smart” thing to do
    Not stay because he can play with an unproven sophomore lol

  39. ^^^BUT, as everyone repeatedly points out, kahuna, LET’S FOCUS ON THIS MAGICAL SEASON…it’s not over yet!! Who cares, 3 days before tourney time, what happens NEXT YEAR???

  40. The maturity of Jankovic. Quincy. Really stands out! Spokesman for team 2 or 3 years. Rest of family of brothers thicker than molasses. Like any young family. Growing pains bumps in road.overcome. Guys never gave up. Everyone had share from Davis to Dyrbe. We are so proud!! This past half decade of Men’s Basketball should be a documentary by espn. Incredible! At this point . I will say it. Coach Gib. Benjy. Brandyn major share and happy too. Know they are. Men basketball program pinnacle. Touchstone.So much credit to all down this great path! UH Basketball number one in 808! Rainbow Warriors all! Next stop 3 w’s in Anaheim!!

  41. I thought we were focused on THIS season. Guess not…

    These accolades were very well earned! Congrats to Janks, AV, and Rod! Also big congrats to Ganot and the coaching staff for bringing the best out of all their team players!

  42. Team1st, … A documentary of other things too. Bruce O’Neil was a great recruiter too, Artie calls him the best recruiter ever for UH. However, his legacy is tarnished somewhat by the NCAA sanctions of 1977. He did land on his feet later though, doing other work.

  43. Photo of the hawaii fan with the wig and lavalava, courtesy of posters on wsn board.

    Comment by poster 2left:
    “Looks like the same guy and wig I sat behind at the UCI game. If so, pulling the wig off of that guy would be a bad decision!”

  44. Eran was not happy that the Big West champion t-shirts were ordered before the winning game, per Bobby C. Who did the purchase ?

  45. I think the Championship T-shirt thing is common practice and done by t-shirt company. If team doesn’t win, they take the hit and send the shirts to Africa as a donation. On championship night of Tournament, they will print T-shirts for both sides and be ready to sell one of them right after the game.

  46. Eran impresses me as Team First above self. He with team exploded with happiness when warriors secured share of campioship. All season long. He deflects praise to hard working team.I think personal award for He and Janks. They are similar. Humble .Not the personal accolades. Team First. That is what I appreciated last April when hired. Talk to guys returning and set process in motion to get to ncaa’s. In effect. Eran does recognize team and athletes recruited before. He is amazed at their resilience and will to get better and win. That is what makes him attractive to other schools too for future. Eram Ganot is all about Team. Legacy. Process and people. Hawaii we are proud of coach Ganot and the Rainbow Warrior family. He has these recruits POY. first and second all Big West from another family member before. Eran gracious he knows and appreciates it. Without those 7 athletes pre era. Not as much to be happy. Go Warriors and Eran I hope UH takes care of you and assistants! You all deserve it. Now next year Eran get some players continue 20 plus win march!! Very happy. We all should be TEAM first!

  47. Just couple of reminders as we all head across the pond to the “Pond.”

    Thursday UH fans wear black, if we win –
    Friday UH fans wear white, if we win –
    Saturday UH fans wear green.

    Thursday Channel 1228 12:30pm HST
    Friday Channel 1221 6:30pm and 9:00pm HST
    Saturday Channel 1224 6:30pm HST


    March 8, 2016 • 4:30 am
    I’ll have red label (“heart of a warrior”) shirts for sale in green, black, and white at Honda center or in the area, if anyone needs…daboyz and I both…it’s the shirt that a lot of the players wear, as the team had it special made/ordered themselves at the red label shop…limited sizes and quantities

    May be available to JT Schmidts

    Go Bows!!!


  49. Geez, we thought our refs were bad. Check this out. A sports radio announcer was ejected from the game in the Horizon League last night, lol. Hilarious! http://kentuckysportsradio.com/basketball-2/pat-adams-ejected-play-by-play-announcer/

  50. The previous family member also brought about a post season ban.

  51. Congrats to Jankovic for earning United States Basketball Writers Association All-District IX team! Awesome!


  52. My God……I opined about what Janks should do and I get insulted. What I suggested is not over the top. If you think Janks cannot improve then maybe YOU the one that not smart.

    He is not a consistent rebounder……he does not block as many shots despite being nearly 7ft….and he is foul prone. If he can improve in those areas maybe he has a better shot at the NBA. Right now according to those in the local media he is not NBA ready.

    By the way……what is wrong with coming back for your senior season. Many of the nation’s top players are seniors……Kansas’ Perry Ellis……MSU’s Darnell Balentine……..WSU’s Ron Baker/Fred Van Vleet.

    Wishing someone comes back to improve himself is selfish? Brah……you need to chill with the name calling.

  53. Oops….I meant to say MSU’s Denzel Valentine.^^^^^^^

  54. Haha! Kahuna, I’m with you brah. I did not think your post warranted such a mean spirited response. I think there are things that Janks could work on that another year might aid in getting him a higher rating. But then again, if he were to be drafted or invited to a NBA camp, he would have tons of time and coaching to get better. Not have to worry about school or meals.

    Anyway, I not worry about that now. All my mental energies will go to rooting for winning the next 3 games.

    Go Bows!!!!!

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