Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Opening Week Interview: Eran Ganot

It has been a unique off-season for the University of Hawai’i basketball team. There was no summer league, no open gym sessions, and no team training sessions.

Photo courtesy www.hawaiiathletics.com

Regardless of that, official team practices for the 2020-21 season started on October 14. An official game schedule is still in the works, but the players were finally able to practice together. Prior to October 14, the Rainbow Warriors were not able to meet or train together as a team since March due to safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic
Head coach Eran Ganot answered questions from the media through an online video session last week (as seen in the video above).

Here’s a brief rundown of the 2020-21 roster …

Who’s Returning

The entire coaching staff – Head coach Eran Ganot, assistant coaches Chris Gerlufsen, John Montgomery and Jabari Trotter, and director of operations Jesse Nakanishi. This marks the first time since the 2013-14 season that all five of those staff positions returned intact from the previous season.

Samuta Avea (6-6, 195, Sr., G/F) – top returnee from last season; averaged 10.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and finished second on the team with 39 3-pointers.

Mate Colina (7-0, 245, Jr., C) – served as a situational reserve for his first two seasons, but is now the lone true “big man” on the roster.

Bernardo da Silva (6-9, 200, So., F) – averaged 5.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in limited – but sometimes spectacular – minutes as a freshman last season.

Justin Hemsley (6-6, 195, Jr., G/F) – key reserve last season who averaged 5.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Junior Madut (6-5, 175, Jr., G) – joined the program in December 2019 and received three months of redshirt practice time.

Zoar Nedd (6-7, 210, So., F) – local walk-on out of Kapolei High School who received limited minutes as a freshman last season.

Kameron Ng (5-11, 165, So., G) – local walk-on out of St. Francis School who received limited minutes as a freshman last season.

Justin Webster (6-3, 175, So., G) – blossomed into a key contributor/starter late last season as a freshman; averaged 8.8 points per game and was third on the team with 38 3-pointers.

Who’s New

Manel Ayol (6-7, 185, Jr., F) – JUCO transfer from Western Wyoming; averaged 16.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last season and was a second-team NJCAA All-American.

Biwali Bayles (6-1, 180, Fr., G) – member of Australia’s U17 and U18 National Teams.

Noel Coleman (6-1, 175, So., G) – transfer from University of San Diego, where he played a reserve role as a freshman last season.

Casdon Jardine (6-7, 215, Sr., F) – graduate transfer from Utah Valley; averaged 10.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game and led UVU with 57 3-pointers as a junior last season.

James Jean-Marie (6-8, 230, Sr., F/C) – transfer from University of San Diego, where he was a starter last season. Originally from Canada.

Jovon McClanahan (5-11, 170, So., G) –UCO transfer averaged 23.5 points per game at Sheridan College (Wyoming) last season.

Who’s Gone

Drew Buggs – three-year starter at point guard transferred to Missouri for his senior season.

Dawson Carper – 7-footer started 22 games as a sophomore last season; transferred to Missouri State

Garrett Cason – walk-on/redshirt last season; no longer with the program.

Owen Hulland – 7-footer had two injury-plagued seasons with UH; pursuing professional basketball in Australia

Zigmars Raimo – last season’s leading rebounder graduated.

Eddie Stansberry – last season’s leading scorer graduated.

Jessiya Villa – redshirted as a freshman last season; transferred to Chaminade.

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Editor’s note: Due to COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, no one outside of the UH basketball program is permitted to attend practices. Thank you to www.hawaiiathletics.com for providing photos and video interviews from the practice sessions.

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