Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Newcomer Jardine provides mature leadership for Warriors

In the first half of his first University of Hawai’i men’s basketball game last Saturday, Casdon Jardine went 1 for 5 from the field, missing both of his 3-point shot attempts, and headed into the SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center locker room with a quiet two points.

Photo courtesy Brandon Flores

In the first seven minutes of the second half, Jardine made all three of his field goal attempts — each a deep 3-pointer — dished an assist to Justin Webster for a layup and also grabbed a defensive rebound to help the Warriors quickly turn a 32-25 halftime lead over Hawai’i Pacific into a 54-31 advantage by the time he subbed out with 12:25 remaining.

It was just the latest of several quick adjustments in new venues and new environments for Jardine, a well-traveled senior graduate transfer from Utah Valley.

“Everybody has a different route, there are players who spend four years at the same school, and there’s a lot of players who have traveled around,” said Jardine, who is from Twin Falls, Idaho and played at College of Southern Idaho and Boise State prior to Utah Valley. “I also lived out of the country for two years (for a church mission in Brazil), so being out of my comfort zone is something that I’m very comfortable with.”

Jardine, who was named team co-captain along with Webster last week, says that role also is something he is comfortable with.

“I’ve been in leadership positions in different countries, I’ve been in leadership positions on different teams, so it’s been a great opportunity for me to jump in and run, and roll with the punches because these are unprecedented times,” Jardine said. “None of us knows what to expect on a day-to-day basis except what we can do on the court. So (I’m) just trying to take advantage of that and really just adapt as best as I can to this situation here in Hawai’i.”

Warriors coach Eran Ganot said Jardine, a 6-foot-8, 215-point combo forward, brings a broad tool set and vast experience which fits in well to the team and his role.

“Right away (he brings) his ability to shoot, but also his experience, his intangibles, his leadership, his spirit, his voice … (are) really important, especially with what we are going through and with so many newcomers,” Ganot said. “I think he’s been thrown into the fire as a leader, coming in as a captain his first year. Obviously he’s still getting comfortable with our stuff. But for him to put (leadership) as a priority, while he is still getting comfortable, speaks to his character.”

Ganot said Jardine, who graduated from high school in 2014 and is married, also helps the coaching staff in communicating many of the big picture “life lessons” that also have been central to the program.

“It would have been important here at any time, and certainly in these times with so many new guys,” Ganot said. “He’s played at the Division I level, he’s mature beyond his years, how he communicates with people, how he leads by example, how he works, how coachable he is … he’s been a real asset for our team. Obviously he’s a guy who can shoot the ball and all those things, we felt good about him on the floor. But certainly his ability to help us off the floor has been a real boost for our team, and (is) definitely needed.”

For his part, Jardine said the transition has been smooth and says the players’ love of the sport is a natural bond, and last Saturday’s 83-50 victory over HPU only strengthened that bond.

“I would say chemistry is something that comes hopefully naturally to most guys on the basketball court,” Jardine said. ” It kind of seems to me basketball is a universal language, it doesn’t really matter where you come from, what your background is. You can speak ‘hoop’ if you know how to hoop. Something you can’t predict is picking your team against another team and getting experience and getting reps that way.

Photo courtesy Brandon Flores

“So I think in our first game you could see that we felt a big difference from the first half to the second half, in chemistry, in ball movement, and our roles. So I think that is something that will just come naturally as we get to play more against other teams.”

Jardine started all 29 games at Utah Valley last season, averaging 10.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per outing and leading the team in three-pointers with 57 while shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc. Last Saturday, he finished with 11 points, five rebounds, one block, one assist and one steal in 23-plus minutes of action.

“It’s like riding a bike, once you’ve gotten up so many shots … the first half was a little bit rusty,” Jardine said. “It was a nine-month break that we’ve had since our last competitive play. It felt great to be out there again, it felt great to see the ball go through the net.”

Jardine said he and the Warriors are looking forward to another in-state non-conference matchup against UH-Hilo on Saturday.

“We just are excited to be on the court, we want to be out there together, going against somebody who is not wearing this jersey,” Jardine said. “That’s exactly what we get so hyped about, is the opportunity to represent the University of Hawai’i and it doesn’t really matter who we are going against — we are going to play the way we are supposed to play.” 

Off the court, Jardine said he and his wife, Savannah, have tried to make the most of their time on O’ahu so far despite the restrictions and impact of COVID-19 island-wide.

“It’s definitely been different, the first part when we were here was tortuous because we couldn’t really do anything,” Jardine said. “But over the last couple months, before basketball has really ramped up … we would really take advantage of those days off, we would adventure off to the North Shore, go on some hikes, things like that. So we’ve been trying to experience Hawai’i and it’s been great.

“This place is amazing, it’s beautiful, the people here are awesome … the culture here is fantastic.”  

Leave a Response

Login or fill in the fields below to comment. (New user? Register)