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Stansberry, Raimo highlight intrasquad scrimmage

Junior college transfer Eddie Stansberry made a smashing debut Friday night with 21 points — including torrid 7-for-9 shooting from 3-point range — and a leaner, sleeker returning forward Zigmars Raimo added 18 points and 13 rebounds in the University of Hawaii’s annual “Green and White” scrimmage.

An entertained crowd of about 500 at the Stan Sheriff Center took advantage of the free admission to get a sneak preview of the Warriors, who lost just two seniors from a team that went 17-13 last season.

“It’s a great three-day stretch, really — we had the awesome turnout again at our great Tip-Off event, and then it flows into the Green-White scrimmage where it’s the first time our fans can see us, and then tomorrow having a good practice and then going out to support the football team, handing out schedule cards, and then we’re going to get introduced during the game,” UH coach Eran Ganot said. “At the end of the day, I think we’re doing OK where we’re at right now, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got a big three weeks coming up — three weeks from (now) is our first game. There’s some things that will be good to see live and in the film room, more reps in game situations in front of a crowd … If anything, I saw the flashes with certain players and the potential of our team. But it’s about the consistency, not the flashes — that’s what we’ve got to clean up in the next three weeks.”

Making the most impressive flashes was Stansberry, a 6-foot-3 junior guard who helped City College of San Francisco to a 33-1 record and state championship last season. Several of his 3-pointers were from well beyond the arc, and each was launched from the highest elevation of his jump shot.

“I love playing with this group of guys, they’re a great group, they get me going,” Stansberry said. “I hope to bring a good jump shot this season, I shot it pretty well my last two years at junior college, but I know this is a different level. So my biggest thing is to transition that shot here — not just to settle, but to get it better. I’m loving the arena, I love when we practice in here — I love getting shots in here, the feel for it, every time I’m shooting the ball, it feels like a great presence.”

Ganot said he expects Stansberry to make an immediate impact.

“He does so much for us on the floor, because sometimes the rollers and those other guys are open because he’s out there,” Ganot said. “Now when Jack (Purchase) and Brocke (Stepteau) and Eddie are out there on the floor at the same time, it’s really difficult (for the opponent), because where is your help coming from? He’s a really good shooter and he’s an underrated passer, he’s gamer, he’s a competitor, you could see that. There’s some mixing and matching we could do that makes us exciting.”

Besides his crowd-pleasing jump shot, Stansberry said he hopes to bring winning ways from his junior college experience. City College went 62-4 during his two seasons there.

“With this group, I feel we can do special things, we all have the same mindset — we all want to win a championship,” Stansberry said. “But we know it takes time, day-by-day. I definitely want to bring that competitiveness, bring that winning over here as well.”

Stansberry drained both of his first two 3-point attempts in the first period, then stayed hot by swishing 3 of 4 from long range in the second period and 2 of 3 in the third.

“After I knocked the first one (down), it felt good,” Stansberry said. “I just look to catch the ball and shoot it … if it’s within my range. Most of the time, it feels comfortable. My teammates help me a lot by getting (me) open shots.”

Raimo, a 6-8 junior who mostly served as a rugged enforcer off the bench the past two seasons, showed that same toughness as an example to 7-foot newcomers Mate Colina, Dawson Carper and Owen Holland.

“We have big guys in our conference, so I’ll make sure that our guys are tough and they fight for every board,” Raimo said. “That’s what we have to do, I’m trying to show the new guys we have to do that, it’s how we’re going to win a championship.”

But Raimo also showed improved agility and quickness, the result of losing 10 to 15 pounds in the offseason.

“I mean I was still working out to get stronger,” said Raimo, who said he now weighs between 227 and 228 pounds. “I knew that I had to be faster — I’m just 6-7 or 6-8, so I’m not the tallest guy on the court, so I need to be fast and tougher and stronger. I will do my best to make sure our team is winning — if they need me to score, I will score, if they want me to pass to the shooters, I will pass.”

Raimo also showed improved confidence, after a summer in which he displayed offensive skills in routinely scoring 25 to 30 points per game against local competition.

“If you’re sitting on the bench (for) two years, it doesn’t give you confidence … (but) in the summer, it was great, an opportunity for me to remember what I can do, what I am capable of,” Raimo said. “So this year I’m really trying to get more playing time and do more things.”

Ganot said Raimo’s overall improvement is noticeable.

“You can see the confidence, the sacrifices he’s made,” Ganot said. “They all had a pretty good offseason, but his was premier. He’s as good as been as he’s ever been for us, it’s reflected in every area — offensively, he’s improved, on the glass he’s a factor, defensively, his talk, his leadership, getting to the line … It’s nice to see, you always want those guys rewarded, and he deserves it, I think he’s gonna continue to improve.”

The Warriors’ next public competition will be an exhibition game vs. Hawai’i Pacific on Nov. 2 at the SSC.

(Photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)

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7 Comments

  1. Thanks for the coverage and video. Did Hulland play ?

  2. Oh, he was one of three held out because of ailments. Who were the other two ? Green and ______ ?

  3. Mahalo, Dayton and Wes, for the video and story.

    islandman: Unless I missed it, I didn’t see Hulland, Green, and the two walk-ons in the video.

  4. clyde, i didn’t see them too. But today’s paper said 6 were on each side. So 15-12=3 didn’t play.

  5. Yes, DNP: Leland Green, Owen Holland, Huthifah Abdeljawad.

    Zoar Nedd played under a minute in periods 1 and 2, but had no stats.

    Additional stats:

    Stepteau 14 pts., 8 assists

    Sheriff Drammeh: 13 pts.

    Samuta Avea: 11 pts. (11-12 FT)

  6. … so, … are there stats ?

  7. Dawson Carper will become a good player if given the correct nurturing. Stansberry’s Offense looked good for and outside shooter (can he take it to the hoop on people off the dribble?) I couldn’t get a reading on his defensive ability. Right now I give the edge to Brock as starter at 1, Stansberry starting at 2, Avea at the 3, Raimo and Jack starting with 2 people at the 4 spot and no 5. I would love to see practice film to see who works best with each other. I would love to see a hard full court press where players are subbed in and out quickly so no one gets tired.

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