Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors complete first week of practices

With 10 players returning from last season, there is reason for cautious optimism surrounding the 2017-18 University of Hawai’i basketball team.

The Warriors completed their first week of official practices recently, and head coach Eran Ganot expressed a mixed review. He said the progress has been improved since last year, but there is still much to be accomplished before the regular-season opener on November 10.

“We’re probably the furthest ahead we’ve been at this point (in the last three years),” Ganot said. “But there’s a balance you have to find. While the older guys are helping the younger guys, we want to keep moving forward and continue this pace, you don’t want to leave the younger guys and newcomer guys behind too much.”

Ganot noted that the incoming class of recruits (Samuta Avea, Justin Hemsley, Jaaron Stallworth, Brandon Thomas) has helped with the fast start in practices this season. “I’ve actually been pleased with the newcomers, just in terms of staying afloat really, in week 1,” Ganot said.

He also noted that senior forward Mike Thomas and freshman guard Drew Buggs are back at full strength after redshirt seasons due to injury. Starting lineups and playing rotations are still to be determined, but both Thomas and Buggs are expected to be in the mix.


  1. Basketball season, the best part of the year!

  2. I can agree with that.

  3. While I’m a Ganot supporter there just isn’t as much interest in the program. He’s a better coach but he needs to pick up the recruiting and also the PR aspect to promote the program.

  4. I agree 100% with Pono’s last comment. I hate to say it because I think he’s a talented coach but Ganot is pretty boring in terms of media appeal. Also think the program could use Jamie Smith.

  5. I would like to say that I think Ganot is willing to let the wins speak for themselves.
    We have a weak schedule, yes. But if we make it to the dance and start to do well, well, maybe it won’t be so bad. Still would like to see a better schedule next year !!

  6. I agree with Pono and TAVS too. Sure, if we win a lot of games and make it to the dance the PR aspect will kind of take care of itself but how likely is that? It still would be a smart idea for the University to pick up where Jaime Smith left off and use a little more resources to promote UH basketball however that may be. I understand commercials and advertisements cost money that UH doesn’t really have so why not continue what Jaime Smith was doing? His creative ideas like the Themed games and starting new cheers during games got fans excited and promoted interest with non-basketball fans as well. I feel like Jaime Smith started it by laying the ground work, just now, someone at UH athletic dept. needs to step up and follow up in Jaime’s footsteps.

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