Hawaii men’s basketball: Center Dawson Carper enters NCAA transfer portal

Hawaii’s Dawson Carper looked to pass the ball as Santa Barbara’s Robinson Idehen guarded him at the Stan Sheriff Center on Jan. 18. / Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell, Star-Advertiser

“Big Sauce” is taking his talents elsewhere.

On Friday, sophomore center Dawson Carper became the second Hawaii basketball player to enter the NCAA transfer portal in three days, following Drew Buggs on Wednesday.

Carper confirmed his intention to leave the program in a message to Hawaii Warrior World.

The true 7-foot sophomore from Colorado Springs, Colo., started 22 games in the 2019-20 season, although he was not used much down the stretch of conference play. He averaged 6.0 points and 3.9 rebounds, shooting 61 percent from the field. His best career game came in an overtime loss at Cal Poly, 20 points and 11 rebounds.

He will have two seasons to play somewhere that needs a traditional center.

His decision means — assuming Buggs finds a new team as well — that UH will have four new starters next season. Samuta Avea is the only presumed returnee among the first five, although Justin Webster saw some part-time starter’s minutes as well.

The other two 7-foot centers on the roster are Owen Hulland and Mate Colina.


  1. Aiea 7 March 28, 2020 7:23 am

    the 3 7 footers brought in 2 years ago never panned out. all were slow, could not rebound and shoot. they should have never been signed, it stunted the progress of the team. this is not denigrating them, just an honest opinion. they all have not played much so the other two might consider a move. this will allow ganot to find much better players.

  2. Matt March 28, 2020 1:59 pm

    It wasn’t just solely based on stunting the growth of the team, it was more towards them not being able to improve their growth from one game/season to the next.

    What concerns me is the uncertainty of the future for the MBB program. Are we going to have a longer drought to get to the NCAA again under Ganot?

    It’s just hard to witness. At this point, Ganot’s gotta play his cards right with his recruiting. If we can’t find a way to replace Carper, it’s going to be more stressing for the fans to even enjoy the games.

  3. turfwar March 28, 2020 2:38 pm

    The games were so frustrating to watch I stopped going with more than half the season to go. If this recruiting class doesn’t improve the talent level I’m not renewing season tickets I’ve had since the seventies. I wasted a ton of money. Convinced that Matlin will keep Ganot for a long time no matter the quality of play. There are better ways to spend the money and I won’t miss watching Ganot’s brand of basketball.

  4. Aiea 7 March 28, 2020 3:25 pm

    with jesse villa going, watch for ing to go. both of them can play div II in Hawaii or elsewhere. I thought ganot was a good recruiter but it does not appear so. Justin webster was a good one and possibly da silva. he got some others but need to wait for them to play.

  5. Matt March 29, 2020 10:33 am


    That’s the only thing that’s been distracting to look at. Da Silva and Webster were the BEST recruits Ganot had got in his tenure. Why couldn’t he recruit those types of players during the span of his tenure? It’s because of the NCAA infractions that affected us during the 2016-17 season in which brought up the Gib Arnold “incident”. Our recruiting has been affected each season with no signs of improvement after a few years (For the JUCO players) or after the full 3-4 years for the guys that have stayed with the program. Not to mention that the 3, 4 or 5-star recruits are afraid of traveling that far away to play or are wanting to play with a winning team.

    At this point, the uncertainty looms large for the men’s basketball program. We could be experiencing another long drought for us to break through with an NCAA appearance. Ganot needs to get creative with his scholarships on hand and recruit a DI transfer with one of scholarships. A couple JUCO players and some (Potentially) 4-year starters and returnees isn’t going to win them a spot to the NCAA tournament.

    For crying out loud! We ended up being the first DI school to split all our conference matches! I feel ashamed to even want to represent a program that has inconsistencies with their seasons. Three 8-8 conference seasons and a 9-7 isn’t going to make the fans at all happy. This team needs to recruit strategically because the fans are going to disappear one by one unless Ganot and company can fix this.

    At this point, I’m worried about the future for the MBB program. I don’t know what will happen from here on out.

  6. GTbows March 30, 2020 9:15 am


    Hawaii is already going to start next season with 4 really good players (including Junior Madut) – assuming the 2 verbal commits sign their letter of intent. The players that are leaving will open up an opportunity to add even more talented players to the roster. I think Justin Hemsley will be a beast next season. Also, Samuta Avea will continue his improvement and will be even better than he was this past season. As for the 7-footers, if Owen Hulland plays up to his potential, he could be the same kind of player that Stefan Jankovic was. He can shoot the ball well from past the 3-point arc. He’s been injured the past 2 seasons which have affected his development and playing time.

    I am excited about next season and hope that the COVID-19 pandemic does not somehow affect next season’s schedule. Go Bows!!!

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