Fotu, Spearman step up

After resting his shoulder and playing light minutes in National Fire Protection’s previous College Summer League game in Manoa, Hawaii freshman forward Isaac Fotu came back with a vengeance on Saturday night.

Fotu went right at fellow frosh Caleb Dressler of Grantco Pacific, spinning around him several times to score inside on his way to a game-high 26 points. With Julian Sensley out of the lineup for Grantco, there was no interior answer at the other end and NFP (3-3) won in a 109-89 blowout.

Dressler, meanwhile, struggled to five points.

“I was jet-lagged all last week, but I’m feeling better now with all the (workouts) getting in and playing over here,” Fotu said. “I’m used to playing against Caleb in practice … I want to play with that aggression all the time now. Aggressive around the basket.”

Late in the game, a clearly confident Fotu stepped out to hit some 15- to 17-foot jump shots.

“Once I got my confidence, I got out,” he said. “(I play) mostly around the basket, but I’ve been working on my midrange a lot. I want to use it more … it was feeling good. I just want to get better over this (summer). I’m nowhere near where I want to be. I’m working with Coach Gib Arnold over the summer to get better and hopefully have a big impact on the season.”

Freshman walk-on Michael Harper picked up the scoring load for Grantco with Sensley out and had his best game, a 26-point outing. But despite 25 apiece from Geremy Robinson and James Francisco, Grantco (4-3) could not keep up and lost its third straight.


In the nightcap, junior guard Brandon Spearman put together his best outing in four games for Solar Universe (3-4), scoring 29 points and hitting the game-clinching free throws with 4.5 seconds left in a 109-104 win over Central Medical Clinic (3-3).

Spearman was at his all-around best, hitting a couple 3s, driving to the rim and throwing down a dunk or two. He got in the passing lanes defensively to collect a few steals.

“I’ve been kind of comfortable playing with the guys on Solar Universe, these are good guys,” Spearman said. “And Coach (Artie Wilson) is a really good coach. I just came out here and gave it my all.”

UH senior swingman Hauns Brereton was coming off back-to-back 40-plus scoring games for CMC, and not surprisingly had a target on his back. Summer veteran Derrick Low put the defensive clamps on Brereton and made him work for most of his 18 points.

“I told Hauns he wasn’t going to score 40 on me,” a grinning Spearman said. “I’m sorry, I got too much pride for that.”

‘Iolani and Colorado School of Mines alum Kyle Pape (35 points) trimmed the deficit to three late, but Solar closed it out with a solid defensive possession on which Spearman grabbed the board and was fouled to put the game away.

“On the defensive end we came out and showed everybody we could play defense,” Spearman said. “We’ve been lacking on the defensive end … we picked it up near the end.”

Low added 24 points for Solar. UH point guard Jace Tavita showed off some range for CMC, hitting three 3-pointers straight at one point in the second half, and finished with 20 points.


The next summer league games aren’t until next Thursday, 6 and 7:30 p.m., as usual at the Manoa District Park gym. UH’s Manroop Clair and Brandon Jawato could shake off their ailments and be back in action then. Enjoy your weekends all.


  1. K-Bay July 14, 2012 11:26 pm

    Thanks, Brian

    GREAT to see more “UH Warriors” steppin’ up…
    Portends good things this coming season that what’s needed on any given night may be available with whomever coach may be calling upon — out of the five on the court and whoever on the bench gets the call, there are/ will be answers…that would be a whole ‘nother level, but every (UH) player has demonstrated that they’ve got something to offer–it’s up to coach to make the call…and each player to bring it…

  2. Turfwar July 14, 2012 11:29 pm

    Thanks for the report Brian. Harper really did have a good outing scoring on drives and showing confidence in his outside game. Fotu was very active all game.

  3. K-Bay July 14, 2012 11:51 pm

    …so Dressler was on the mark, flagging in advance (last week) that he would need to improve his defensive footwork (after playing mostly zone defenses in high school);

    AND teammate Fotu could expose and exploit that weakness in their First Week together…i don’t expect Dressler to play stationary tree or tackling dummy for long …. He’ll soon have a better answer…. The Better/ Best situation is where your own teammates are your best competition…and opponents have fewer effective answers…and better in July than November…

  4. krump1_AKA_protector July 15, 2012 12:03 am

    I agree with K-Bay and Turfwar that the UH players looked very promising. Fotu looks pretty polished for a freshman and he was “schooling” Dressler for the most part. It was encouraging that Dressler improved his defensive play as the game went along. He truly is a work-in-progress as he looked winded and he definitely needs to hit the weights. Decent size though and you can’t teach ‘size’,, lol.

  5. K-Bay July 15, 2012 12:57 am

    These guys are so young… Already displaying skills…
    Glad they’ve chosen to grow and improve here…AND they’re already here…

    Four or Five Years…with even ‘a portion’ of Vander’s Two-Year improvement,
    …should be pretty good players…

    Even the early struggling is probably a long-term positive thing…

  6. fan4m2b July 15, 2012 4:51 am

    Well, jet-lag, whoteva.. thata way Spearman & Fotu + Harper:
    you guys performing as advertised on your video (We admired).
    Hauns & Tavita:
    Seniors gota show leadership. maintained this kind of average will cut it (Keep it up)!
    Hey Dressler:
    Last year you was huffing & puffing & now, you still are!?
    You shown your talent with that cool, soft-touch + good mindset..
    Com’on, need your hustle all the time (talked tough. now go for it).

    WARRIORS let’s go!

  7. fan4m2b July 15, 2012 5:21 am

    Hey Roopi & Jaw:
    We fans been waiting, waiting & waiting!
    But, don’t forget to bring your ‘Handle, Assist & Defense’ too (always, o.k.)!?
    You might find Rasheed Sulaimon(liked) here, also.. (prove it).

    Hawaii proud to have you.. ALOHA.

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