Bolstering the ranks

UH coach Eran Ganot spoke to a group at Temple Emanu-El on Wednesday. At left, KKEA's Gary Dickman asked questions.
UH coach Eran Ganot spoke to a group at Temple Emanu-El on Wednesday. At left, KKEA’s Gary Dickman asked questions.

There’s a lot of work still to be done to complete the Hawaii basketball roster for 2016-17, NCAA sanctions or no sanctions.

No doubt, UH’s current reduction in scholarships from 13 to 11 for the next two seasons considerably reduces the flexibility and margin for error Eran Ganot and his assistant coaches have to work with.

UPDATE: UH basketball signed guard Larry Lewis Jr. out of Odessa College today. The breaking write-up is here.

It still behooves the staff to have a full complement of players. A typical college roster has 15, plus or minus a couple. With that in mind, UH recently secured two players from California junior colleges as invited walk-ons.

They are Brian Garrett of Cañada College (that’s Con-YA-da, not Canada) and Darryl Matthews of West Los Angeles College. Both have two years of eligibility remaining.

Garrett, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, scored 14.9 points on 42.5 percent shooting from the field (35.0 percent on 3s, 73.1 percent free throws) in Cañada’s recently completed season. Matthews, a 6-foot-5 forward, scored 9.9 per game on 46.9 percent shooting from the floor (33.3 percent 3pt, 76.9 percent free throws) while snagging 4.6 rebounds.

A little outdated, but here’s a video of Matthews when he was a senior at St. John Bosco High in 2012:

UH picked up some added wing depth with Brian Garrett of Cañada (Calif.) College (pictured) and Darryl Matthews of West LA College.
UH picked up some added wing depth with Brian Garrett of Cañada (Calif.) College (pictured) and Darryl Matthews of West LA College.

Both Garrett, of San Carlos, and Matthews, of Los Angeles, are enthusiastic about the opportunity at UH, and are hopeful to prove themselves.

“It’s definitely been a goal that I’ve been working towards for a while now to play basketball at this high level,” Garrett said in a phone interview Thursday. “Kind of through the recruiting process, as soon as the Hawaii thing sort of became an option, I just pursued it pretty hard ’cause, I mean, what a great opportunity to come to such a great state and such a great school, play for a great coaching staff. It’s really just a dream come true, so I’m just really thankful that it happened.”

Assistant coach Chris Acker was the common thread with both players. Garrett said he’d been in contact with both Acker and John Montgomery, while Matthews was actually coached by Acker his freshman year at West LA.

The Acker connection was especially important for Matthews.

“(Acker) is my guy, he’s trained me and molded me to be a better person and player that I am today,” he said in a message. “So when he contacted me about going to UH it was no question that I would be attending there. … Hawaii is one of my favorite places, I’ve vacationed there once as a kid and loved it so what a great option to have. It was one hard to turn down.”

Garrett also visited the islands when he was younger. In 2015-16, he was the leading scorer on a team that went 10-15.

“First and foremost, being a good teammate, being a hard worker is definitely something I hang my hat on,” Garrett said. “But as far as the basketball side, I think my best ability is being a playmaker. Whether that’s setting up my teammates, whether that’s getting a shot for myself. I have a knack for getting to the basket, for finding teammates, for knocking down shots.”

Here were some Garrett highlights from the past season:

Matthews was his team’s fourth-leading scorer. West LA went 11-14 last season.

“I can add my toughness, leadership, and tenaciousness, and my skills,” Matthews said. “My game is a face up game at the high post. I can shoot the three off the bounce and spot up. I can push the ball in transition as well but much rather fun and finish at the rim. I can isolate up top and get a bucket but I know the closer you are at the rim the better the percentage of scoring. Taking high percentage shots are a huge thing for me. Also on the offensive end I enjoy getting others involved and making good passes to my teammates to score. On (defense) I can guard every position. I rebound at a high level and I’m scrappy too.”

These two bring UH’s walk-on count to five, with expected returnees Zach Buscher, Brocke Stepteau and Jakob Cornelissen. UH still has three scholarships to assign.


  1. K-Bay May 20, 2016 2:33 am

    Welcome Aboard, Brian Garrett and Darryl Matthews,
    Walk-ons are a Great Supplemental Strategy
    Learn the Systems, Earn PT
    and Maybe a Future Scholie when NCAA Fiasco washes out…

    ‘Maybe’ a Change of Plans, Fortunes, And Recognition of Growth Opportunity?
    I thought Jakob Cornelissen was going back (to stay) at least next year in Australia… Clearly there’s a need for numbers and players who can execute here…
    Few Better Atmospheres/Places for College AND D-1 BBall…

    Good to Great Staff Credibility and career equity…

  2. warriorrebel May 20, 2016 4:02 am

    Garrett looks like a poor man’s Steve Nash, good ball skills and nice outside shot. Matthews looks like a good replacement for Valdez (minus the hops) tough inside rebounder and strong inside game. The big plus, both players shoot over 70% from the free throw line! The biggest weak spot in UH game last year. Still hope to see a true center, or a 6-10 post added to the roster.

  3. K-BAY May 20, 2016 4:48 am

    RE: Moderation: several ‘ Opinions’ on Above Post — NOT ‘Accurate’;

    1) UHMBB ‘Won’ Free-Throw ‘Battle’ Most Games; that is,
    MADE More Free Throws than Other Team Attempted…BUT POST Allowed?

    2) Jakob MAY Have Changed his Mind (in the last Two Weeks) BUT He Told me (Twice @ Banquet) he was Playing Next Year / Season in Australia…
    O.K. To Double-Check Facts…

    3) Above: Steve Nash? VALDEZ Mis-Spelled
    REQUEST Feedback on “Moderation” Hold-Up…

    4) 6-10 — More Height CAN BE Better — Jankovic;
    BUT Not Necessarily 6-10 (Jovanovic) VERSUS 6-8 (Standhardinger, Fotu)
    OR 6-9 (J.Purchase, A.Williams)


  4. cappie the dog May 20, 2016 7:59 am

    Relative to what’s going on with the Baylor football program, I hope the NCAA will come to their senses and lift the post-season ban.

    So far, Coach Ganot’s recruits haven’t made me cringe.

    Imagine what kind of players Hawaii would have ended up with had they not made the tournament last season?

    Did you know Wichita State’s Ron Baker was a walk-on? His other offer came from a Division II school. Baker is projected to go in the late-second round in some mock drafts.

    Save a spot for a potential BYUH player next season. There must be somebody on that roster who can play 90 seconds at the end of blowouts.

  5. Hoosier May 20, 2016 8:01 am

    Easy does it K-Bay. Misspelled names can be a typo. No need to jump someone for that. And Bows ft percentage could always improve. I wonder if all five walk ons will stay. Expensive proposition. Three more scholarships out there. Will be interesting to see who signs on

  6. obachan May 20, 2016 8:57 am

    Nice combo pickup by the coaching staff. Matthews is a big bodied guard and Garrett is a nimble play maker with left-handed shot.

  7. H-Man May 20, 2016 9:38 am

    I still think the team needs an experienced big man at center.

  8. oldtimer808 May 20, 2016 12:03 pm

    It’s a tough deal to find the right student/athletes. The coaches I’m sure are working hard to find them. Mathews looks a tad bit slow with no jumbing ability. Garrett looks like an interesting walkon.

  9. mctruck May 20, 2016 4:40 pm

    Mathews has got some long arms=reach which will help greatly.
    Garrett, can shoot out the lights, especially from long range. Can’t wait to see how he does in real games.
    Big man, Big man where are you???, two even better.

  10. Hoosier May 21, 2016 8:59 am

    Coaches keep building team and I am sure they are aware of their needs as much if not more than we fans. Keep plugging away and I am sure team will have what it needs to be successful. Trust this staff, folks. They know what they are doing. Go Bows!

  11. kahuna May 21, 2016 7:57 pm

    I think the addition of Garrett could be HUGE. With no pg returning and only Matt Owies being healthy at this time…..UH would not have any true ball handler. Drew Buggs is recovering from knee surgery and Drammeh……Green…Lewis are really 2 guards so the addition of Garrett to the team will ease some fear of having no experienced pgs.

    Garrett looks to have decent handles on his video so he could easily slide into the pg position if Owies struggles or Ganot need extra ball handler’s on the floor.

  12. jackleg preacher May 23, 2016 11:25 am

    4- I agree Cappie – did you say before you would be checking on BYUH? keep an eye out for that former Kahuku high flyer from NZ….I was surprised he didn’t go D1…maybe it was grades

  13. seewhy May 26, 2016 5:09 pm

    Gibson Johnson headed to UH!

  14. cappie the dog May 26, 2016 8:00 pm

    I was afraid that Johnson would choose Southern Utah. This is great news.

Comments are closed.