Hawaii basketball’s Green & White Scrimmage experiment on Saturday wasn’t perfect (it could have used game jerseys that were, you know, green and white), but it was a fair platform to introduce the 2013-14 Rainbow Warriors without any set national date for Midnight Madness events this year.
There was more actual basketball action than you could ask for in previous iterations of the Ohana Hoopfest/Twilight Ohana/Midnight Ohana. The crowd of about 1,000 was also respectable, and the team and coaches seemed pleased by the reception.
In general, it was occasionally ragged, and UH’s established frontcourt of Isaac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger were the night’s top performers. You shouldn’t look too far into any one player’s performance, good or bad; save that for the exhibition against BYU-Hawaii on Halloween in a more game-like setting against unfamiliar opposition.
Aaron Valdes, the dunk contest favorite, lived up to expectations at halftime with a nice 360 off the side of the backboard on a pass from Keith Shamburger. His winning dunk is here.
I thought I’d offer some observations of each player with some attached statistics from two 20-minute halves of play with varying teammates. Injured players Caleb Dressler and Niko Filipovich are not included, obviously.
In numerical order —
#0 Keith Shamburger, JR PG. 1st half: 1-4 FG, 0-2 3pt, 0-0 FT, 2 pts, 0 reb, 3 ast, 5 TO, 1 stil, 20 min. 2nd half: 0-0 FG, 1-2 FT, 1 pt, 0 reb, 6 ast, 0 TO, 1 stl, 13 min. Analysis: Saying Shamburger struggled in the Green/Black first half is putting it mildly, as Quincy Smith got the better of that head-to-head matchup. But Sham bounced back nicely for the “USA vs. The World” second half (6 ast/0 TOs) while not looking for his shot but setting up others. He looked great in the previous scrimmage the week before. You can expect a happy medium between that and his first half Saturday.
#1 Garrett Nevels, JR SG. 1st half: 1-6 FG, 0-2 3pt, 0-0 FT, 2 pts, 2 reb, 0 ast, 1 TO, 17 min. 2nd half: 2-5 FG, 1-2 3pt, 2-2 FT, 7 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast, 1 TO, 3 stl, 14 min. Analysis: In his introduction to a game setting (with a crowd) in the Stan Sheriff, Nevels had a rough go of it. His above-average shooting ability didn’t show, but trust me, it’s there. He played the passing lanes well in the second half as the guardplay was stacked heavily in favor of the USA squad. Nevels showed off some of his aggressive rebounding for his size and position, as well.
#3 Brandon Jawato, SO SG. 1st half: 0-7 FG, 0-3 3pt, 0-0 FT, 0 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast, 0 TO, 1 stl, 14 min. 2nd half: 1-8 FG, 1-6 3pt, 0-0 FT, 3 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast, 0 TO, 1 stl, 19 min. Analysis: Poor Jawato just couldn’t find his stroke, reflecting a slump in recent practices. He just hasn’t looked like the guy who went 7-for-7 from deep against UC Riverside last season. When he’s not hitting his 3s — what his game is predicated on, and heck, it’s his jersey number — that’s not a good thing. He at least moved the ball better in the second half playing for the World team with his shot not falling.
#10 Dyrbe Enos, RFR G. 1st half: 1-1 FG, 1-1 3pt, 0-0 FT, 3 pts, 0 reb, 0 ast, 0 TO, 6 min. 2nd half: 2-3 FG, 2-3 3pt, 0-0 FT, 6 pts, 1 reb, 0 ast, 0 TO, 10 min. Analysis: Give Enos a chance in small sample sizes, and he tends to deliver. Saturday was no different with his combined 3-for-4 3-point shooting. I’m still convinced if he gets tossed into a game for a few minutes he won’t take much off the table, and you have to respect his range.
#11 Quincy Smith, SO PG. 1st half: 3-3 FG, 1-1 3pt, 2-2 FT, 9 pts, 2 reb, 3 ast, 2 TO, 1 stl, 18 min. 2nd half: 0-1 FG, 0-0 3pt, 6-8 FT, 6 pts, 2 reb, 0 ast, 0 TO, 1 stl, 11 min. Analysis: The best-performing guard of the night. Showed off his athleticism and generally made good decisions, and even hit a 3, something of a bonus to his game. He and Isaac Fotu were the difference in a 42-27 win for the Green squad in the first half. Smith was content to take a ball-handling back seat while playing alongside Shamburger in the second half.
#13 Davis Rozitis, SR C. 1st half: 1-2 FG, 0-0 3pt, 2-4 FT, 4 pts, 4 reb, 0 ast, 1 TO, 15 min. 2nd half: 1-1 FG, 0-0 3pt, 0-0 FT, 2 pts, 3 reb, 0 ast, 2 TO, 1 blk, 8 min. Analysis: UH’s third big man was pretty quiet overall, except when he took the mic from Gib Arnold to thank the crowd for coming. Bonus points for the Jackie Moon/Semi Pro getup for the halftime dunk contest. His per-minute rebounding numbers (0.3) weren’t bad.
#14 Negus Webster-Chan, SO SF. 1st half: 1-3 FG, 1-2 3pt, 0-0 FT, 3 pts, 1 reb, 3 ast, 0 TO, 13 min. 2nd half: 1-7 FG, 1-7 3pt, 0-0 FT, 3 pts, 2 reb, 4 ast, 0 TO, 1 stl, 19 min. Analysis: You could see how this is going to be a challenging season for the Missouri transfer to willingly take a backseat to make his teammates better while redshirting. He was a decent playmaker while mostly deferring in the first half and was the de facto point guard for the international squad in the second half, with Shamburger, Smith, Enos playing for USA and Filipovich out injured.
#15 Stefan Jovanovic, FR C. 1st half: 0-0 FG, 0-0 3pt, 0-0 FT, 0 pts, 2 reb, 0 ast, 0 TO, 7 min. 2nd half: 0-0 FG, 0-0 3pt, 0-0 FT, 0 pts, 1 reb, 0 ast, 0 TO, 3 min. Analysis: I still think Jovanovic will get minutes this season, but his action was sure limited in this setting. He continues to adjust to playing at the college level, and with Dressler still out hurt is the only other big body UH can throw out there besides Fotu, Standhardinger and Rozitis. He still has to earn the coaches’ trust, but has a good attitude.
#21 Jack Hackman, FR SG. 1st half: 1-2 FG, 1-2 3pt, 0-0 FT, 3 pts, 1 reb, 0 ast, 0 TO, 6 min. 2nd half: 2-3 FG, 2-3 3pt, 2-2 FT, 8 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast, 0 TO, 11 min. Analysis: There’s Hackman! He hasn’t hit as many 3s in practice as he was used to coming into the program, but he sure looked like a deadeye in the scrimmage. And yeah, I might be a little partial to the only other redheaded dude at court level, but sharpshooting and hoops IQ are why he was brought here, and he showed some of each.
#23 Aaron Valdes, RFR SF. 1st half: 0-3 FG, 0-0 3pt, 0-0 FT, 0 pts, 5 reb, 1 ast, 0 TO, 1 stl, 8 min. 2nd half: 4-6 FG, 1-1 3pt, 0-0 FT, 9 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 1 TO, 1 blk, 1 stl, 15 min. Analysis: He was aggressive on the backboards throughout and played exceptionally well in the second half, making the high-risk, high-reward plays to which Valdes watchers have become accustomed. And he won the halftime dunk contest without a serious challenge, so his night was pretty much complete at that point.
#24 Michael Harper, SO SG. 1st half: 0-1 FG, 0-1 3pt, 0-0 FT, 0 pts, 0 reb, 0 ast, 0 TO, 17 min. 2nd half: 1-6 FG, 1-6 3pt, 0-0 FT, 3 pts, 2 reb, 0 ast, 4 TO, 18 min. Analysis: Harper played more combined minutes than anybody, likely the only time that half-sentence will be typed this season. You just can’t hate on Harp’s game. If he’s open, he’s taking it. Everyone’s favorite Australian walk-on played with his usual carefree demeanor and it was hard to fault the guy for gunning away in the second half.
#25 Mike Thomas, FR SF. 1st half: 1-1 FG, 1-1 3pt, 0-0 FT, 3 pts, 5 reb, 1 ast, 1 TO, 1 stl, 13 min. 2nd half: 3-6 FG, 0-1 3pt, 3-3 FT, 9 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 1 TO, 14 min. Analysis: A solid, solid overall performance by the frosh. Thomas showed several reasons why he’s worn the green jersey in practices over the last week. He rebounded well, showed off a little range and went strong to the basket. If he keeps playing like this he’ll be in the regular rotation. Thomas was even confident at the foul stripe (in this friendly-fan setting, anyway).
#32 Brandon Spearman, SR SG. 1st half: 4-8 FG, 1-2 3pt, 0-0 FT, 9 pts, 2 reb, 2 ast, 2 TO, 15 min. 2nd half: 1-4 FG, 1-3 3pt, 3-4 FT, 6 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast, 1 TO, 12 min. Analysis: UH depended a lot on Spearman last year, and it depended on him again Saturday to steady the guardplay. He had a nice first-half dunk and was generally himself, not too showy in any one area but generally solid. While some of the newcomers clearly weren’t in their comfort zones, Spearman was right at home with the crowd.
#34 Christian Standhardinger, SR PF. 1st half: 5-11 FG, 2-2 3pt, 4-6 FT, 16 pts, 4 reb, 0 ast, 2 TO, 3 stl, 17 min. 2nd half: 7-13 FG, 1-4 3pt, 7-10 FT, 22 pts, 11 reb, 4 ast, 2 TO, 1 stl, 17 min. Analysis: Though he lost both halves, Standhardinger played a very effective Standhardinger game. Crashed the boards like a madman, outhustled people for loose balls, and generally demonstrated why he got first team Big West last season. It was obvious afterward he hated to be on the wrong side of the scoreboard, but in this setting it didn’t really matter. Hard to argue with 38 points on 50 percent shooting with 15 rebounds in 34 minutes — the rough amount of time he’ll log in most games. Still not a great foul shooter but he got to the line in bulk (16 attempts).
#42 Isaac Fotu, SO PF. 1st half: 7-9 FG, 0-1 3pt, 1-1 FT, 15 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 0 TO, 2 blk, 1 stl, 14 min. 2nd half: 5-6 FG, 0-1 3pt, 0-0 FT, 10 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast, 1 blk, 16 min. Analysis: Fotu showed why he might be the single biggest difference between wins and losses this season. Standhardinger is going to get his numbers, but if Fotu comes close to being as ridiculously efficient as Saturday, watch out. Twelve-for-15 shooting, are you kidding me? A good amount of his shots came from mid-range and he barely missed his two 3-point attempts. (I remain convinced this will be an important facet to his game this season.) He could have rebounded better, but he had two nice swats on Standhardinger that had the crowd oohing and ahhing.