Exhibition postmortem

Hawaii huddled up with Benjy Taylor during a timeout.
Hawaii huddled up with Benjy Taylor during a timeout.

Here’s the good news for Hawaii: it pulled out Thursday night’s exhibition, a 62-55 win over Hawaii Pacific. It was missing a few key players in doing so. And a few guys who aren’t used to starting roles got a chance to break them in in front of a friendly crowd. Forward Mike Thomas especially looked ready to take on a larger role this season. Guard Garrett Nevels struggled to a 4-for-15 night but hit the game-sealing 3 when it counted. And UH’s man-to-man defense was athletic and active enough to cause plenty of disruption.

The bad? Well, HPU shot 31 percent and still nearly won. UH’s moments of cohesion on offense were few, as you might expect given the team’s recent overhaul. And UH’s shallowness in the frontcourt was exposed for all to see late in the game when Thomas and center Stefan Jovanovic both sat with four fouls — leaving Aaron Valdes as UH’s tallest player on the court — and the Sharks made a run to pull within a point.

Oh, and there were the “exhibition” jerseys. UH’s official game jerseys aren’t in yet, so they went with their semiofficial practice duds. I hadn’t seen them wear those until last night.

Acting coach Benjy Taylor played an extremely tight rotation, going with only seven players (except for when Dyrbe Enos appeared for a minute in the second half).

Negus Webster-Chan (sore ribs) and Quincy Smith (sore back) should be available for Friday’s regular-season opener vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Despite the factors working against it, UH got to enjoy the feeling of pulling out a win. Of course, the competition ramps up from here, even against some low-tier Division I teams in the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.

About 500 UH students turned out for the exhibition.
About 500 UH students turned out for the exhibition.

Also, kudos to the UH students for showing up in force, about 500, which was announced as a new student record for an exhibition. The UH football team would drool over those numbers right now.

If you were one of the roughly 2,500 in house at the Stan Sheriff, Who or what jumped out at you in the exhibition?


  1. poorboy November 7, 2014 1:55 pm

    Brian: Cannot go down, little too old and tied down, however, Gary Dickman’s play by play? Excellent. That is one Sport Animal who could tame Jeff Portnoy. A real good job by Gary. I had feeling like old days, when UH MBB was not on TV all the time. Or they had the delay or PPV broadcasts more recently. The radio coverage, by aforementioned. I could feel their excitement, and that core about 2500, and the 500 students, if you count the athletes , staff, official and band, cheer squad, dancers, maybe 3000 in the house including yourself. So just the support, and feeling it, from the radio broadcast, and the queasy stomache we all get, even if exhibition, when HPU made that run. Fantastic feeling when Nevels hit that game sealing three. Benjy says the win , maybe not as important.. IT WAS HUGE FOR THE TEAM AND FANS…With healthy Quincy, and Negus(who can be that point producer, rebounder, facilitator, big time for UH this year), Jawato, if recover well from concussion by BWC play, and Jankovich ready by DHC.. I would not count out UH having winning season and , think Cal Poly, that is the mantra, never count teams out, no matter what the adversity. I am impressed with Benjy , his handling of team, a different and supportive way, and the Team that is bonding, challenging season, though, I think enough athletes, and scheme, to have chance to win BWC..

  2. Chicken Grease November 7, 2014 2:15 pm

    This win is just what our b-ball Warriors needed, HPU or not. They must needs keep in mind how they felt playing in this game.

    Here’s to a fine esprit de corps for these gentlemen!

    P.S. Portnoy . . . is cool!

  3. Lowtone123 November 7, 2014 2:53 pm

    With Gib scheduling soft again in the early season might give this team time to gel.

  4. De November 7, 2014 3:02 pm

    Don’t know why Enos wasn’t in as the other guards couldn’t shoot. I hope Benjy realizes that a local boy can sure energize the crowd and bring in fans…remember Miah Ostrowski.

    I also think Benjy should realize he is the head coach and should focus on the team. He would argue with the refs when he should be talking to his team during time outs. I know Gib also consulted with his assistants prior to talking with the team during time outs but last night Benjy sure took awhile. The time out is practically over by the time he starts talking with them.

  5. kahuna November 7, 2014 4:34 pm

    Regarding Enos…..Benjy took him out after the HPU guard abused him and took him off the dribble and right straight to the hoop. UH now is a slow down team that will rely on defense. If Drybe cannot play D, he will not play…regardless of how good a shooter he is. That is probably why Niko Filipovich(who is a tireless defender) played and Enos did not. I hope Benjy doesn’t take your advice and put Enos in just because he is local. If Enos cannot perform up to the coaches expectation then he should not play. I don’t care if he is local or not.

    Also keep in mind, the walkons were those of Gib’s. I don’t think Benjy has anything to do with any of the walkons so if he doesn’t think they will help the team win, then it is his right to not play them.

    As for Benjy talking to the refs…that is part of his job. The refs were horrible. They failed to call obvious push offs by the HPU guards and also failed to call obvious fouls numerous time. I had no problems with Benjy’s attempt to get an explanation from the refs. It’s not like Benjy’s offense is 50 pages long and he needed to make sure the players knew the play. UH have only been practice for 3 days since the removal of Gib so I am sure the playbook was pretty simple and consisted of only a few plays.

  6. Kanole November 7, 2014 7:27 pm

    Derby was inserted late in the game when Javonovic got his fourth foul. He was getting eaten alive defensively and HPU made their run. He was mismatched out there. Not his fault as he was put in a bad position.

  7. Kanole November 7, 2014 7:30 pm


  8. ROB T November 8, 2014 7:03 pm

    De i dis agree the referees are a very important part of the game and at times need tobe put in their place. Did you know that hawaii had 7 strait fouls called on them? 3 to end the half and the first 4 of the half. HPU physically could not match our speed and were holding and pushing off. The referees adjusted the way they were calling the game to keep HPU in the game. In the first half HPU had 9 foul calls against them to 3 against UH. Referees play a huge part in the game and should never ever be forgotten by the head coach. An assistant coach has no power to go talk to a referee, while an assistant coach can go over with the team what play the head coach wants played.

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