And they’re off

Isaac Fleming won't be dishing any more passes in a UH uniform. / Darrell Miho, Special to the Star-Advertiser
Isaac Fleming won’t be dishing any more passes in a UH uniform. / Darrell Miho, Special to the Star-Advertiser

It wasn’t the most ideal of circumstances to launch a road trip from the islands for what should be the final time of the season.

Hawaii’s parting of ways with Isaac Fleming, as I’m sure you know by now, came just before the Rainbow Warriors conducted their final planned practice at the Stan Sheriff Center in 2015-16.

I’ll be making the road trip this week for the critical contests at UC Davis on Thursday and Long Beach State on Saturday, and am staying up for the Big West tournament (both for the UH men and women).

Coach Eran Ganot continues to take the high road on the subject of Fleming, one of the team’s best playmakers. From the moment the news broke (Fleming’s now-infamous tweet of the release form) to the boarding of the team bus at noon Tuesday, Ganot has offered up little more than, “He was granted his release, and we wish him all the best of luck in the future.”

If you saw some of Fleming’s comments to local TV media, you heard from him about the disconnect between himself and the coaching staff.

All the signs were there that both coaches and player were getting ready for a mutual parting of ways: Fleming staying home from a road trip to rehab his ankle injury instead of accompanying the team; the marginalization of Fleming’s bench role once he became healthy again; erratic practice performances. The endgame was pretty clear watching his body language (when he was visible on the bench) during the CSUN game on senior night.

No more Binding of Isaac.

It’s unfortunate for all involved that they couldn’t make it work. Fleming coming off the bench as a change-of-pace player was a real weapon. When Aaron Valdes went down with a toe injury, UH sweeping that first Big West road trip was much due to Fleming’s play.

Now the team’s margin for error is far more narrow. UH must count on complete player health for its big guns (Roderick Bobbitt, Stefan Jankovic, Aaron Valdes) and contributions off the bench from Sheriff Drammeh and Niko Filipovich, not only this week to try to clinch the No. 1 seed, but in the Big West tournament next week — and possible postseason beyond. Drammeh has gotten an increased role (factoring into Fleming’s displeasure), it is true, but can he keep supplying meaningful minutes when the pressure’s on?

Going by body language in the final practice before the team departed, Monday night, the elimination of a distraction was welcomed.


  1. mctruck March 2, 2016 4:11 am

    Wishing the BB Warriors the best from Texas. I’m sure the well wishes=adds to strong wind behind their sails right on through the Big West Tournament and beyond.

  2. pochoboy March 2, 2016 5:35 am

    Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

    Rain! —> Bows! Rain! —> Bows! Rain! —> Bows!

  3. H-Man March 2, 2016 6:20 am

    Go Bows ! Go Rainbows ! Go Warriors ! Have a great road trip.

  4. Hoosier March 2, 2016 6:36 am

    Go Bows!!! Have fun competing for this championship! This is where you want to be, not limping along in fourth or fifth place. Enjoy the ride and show everyone what you can do as a TEAM! Pulling for you

  5. cappie the dog March 2, 2016 7:19 pm

    Hawaii almost caught a break.

    Nick Faust got fouled hard on a breakaway layup.

    Initially called a flagrant one, the referees took another look at the play and reduced it to a common foul.

    Nevertheless, Faust stayed on the floor for awhile and came up gimpy. Alas, his ankle looks okay.

    LBSU played at half-speed and still came up with a two-point victory over Cal-State Fullerton.

    Long Beach won it on a coast to coast layup. I think the Titans coach had the wrong personnel on that final play. There should have been one big in the lineup.

    I can see Long Beach State as a possible destination for Isaac Fleming.

  6. pochoboy March 2, 2016 8:10 pm

    ^^^ I wouldn’t want to see that happen.

    Maybe he’s in contact with Coach Taylor.

  7. cappie the dog March 3, 2016 5:08 am

    Keith Shamberger transferred to Missouri.

    If, Mr. “I Can’t Catch an Inbounds Pass Without Stepping on the Line” was good enough for a high major(Missouri), Isaac Fleming, who has a lot of upside, can too.

    Long Beach State isn’t a high major, but Fleming would be overqualified for SE Missouri State.

    I think Fleming chose Hawaii over Virginia Tech.

  8. David J. March 3, 2016 8:37 am

    GOOD LUCK! Isaac in your next step into your future!. But GO BIG GREEN & WHITE or WARRIORS! Let’s get the Big West Conference Title for Isaac!. Whatever he had said is really seriously the truth! School is really seriously important then sports. I’ve understand where he is coming from!. Because look around the countries!. The largest Universities like University of Louisville, University of Syracuse, Oklahoma University and others. Some good players grade average is lower then 2.5. But Head Coaches know about it and won’t say anything about it to the public news. When the NCAA find out they say that? I didn’t know nothing about it!. I really like some coaches. When they start recruiting great players from High school. They tell the kids parents that ? They’re son and daughters will be in good hands at the University!. My danm A**!. For Rick Pitino he really a lair! He said that? He didn’t know nothing about it! And most of all had said that on TV that? He wasn’t an never were on the University of Hawaii basketball program at anytime his career. Everybody who follow University of Hawaii basketball program knows that is not true at all!

  9. Seawalker March 3, 2016 12:09 pm

    In my heart, hoping we complete the road sweep and win the BWC tournament crown. But in my mind, it would not be a small consolation prize if U.H. loses in the BWC tournament.

    We are still going to the NIT, people. There’s a possibility of hosting 3 games in the Stanley. After that, it’s on to the Big Apple at Madison Square Garden. Anything’s possible at that point. Can you say Sugar Bowl all over again?

    But if we were in the NCAA tournament, Hawaii will be seeded lower than dirt. Don’t forget, ‘dirt’ plays the top seeds early. One and done, baby! The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Nope, the bigger they are, the harder they hit.

    Braddah Isaac, good luck to you and your future. We could have used you in the stretch-run. But one thing for sure, the team’s not missing you one iota. See ya!

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