High-energy guys

Every team needs them, and the 2011-12 Rainbow Warriors have several.

Two of them won’t be seen on the court by UH fans this season, however. Senior point guard Jace Tavita and junior forward Christian Standhardinger will both redshirt 2011-12 to help the ‘Bows down the line. But they’ll also be of help this year, too, as staples of the scout team.

In Tavita’s case, the Utah transfer could have been eligible for the second half of the season but, after conferring with the UH coaches, agreed it’d be a better deal for him to sit out the entire season and get to play a full year next year instead of burning his final year of eligibility on a half season.

Tavita was impressive with the scout team during a 40-minute scrimmage on Monday. He consistently pushed the primary point guards, Shaquille Stokes and Bobby Miles, to play him honest at both ends. The 6-foot-4 Tavita, a walk-on at UH, has the build of a linebacker. He was known as more of a physical defender with the Utes but showed off some nice takes to the basket, too.

“I’m going to try to push these guys and make them better every day,” Tavita said. “(Sitting out) is hard, but I’d rather play a full year than a half. If I use it wisely, I think it’ll be good for me, continue to work on my game, get all my academics caught up.

“(Competing for playing time) is the way I look at it. I’m trying to compete for a spot for next year. I want to show the coaches every day what I can do. Just push myself and go hard every day.”

In Tuesday’s morning practice, it was the Nebraska transfer Standhardinger who drew the accolades from UH coach Gib Arnold. The 6-foot-8 forward made the going tough for starting center Vander Joaquim by actively using his body and hands to bother the taller player.

“If I play or not play, I can always bring high energy,” Standhardinger said. “Some days the shot will not fall. But you can always affect how you hustle, how you sprint, how hard you go. That’s what I’m trying to bring to this team this year. I’m not playing — trust me, it’s very hard for me. But I will get these guys at the next level, I will play hard against them. Every practice, so they don’t get days off. … I’m trying to do whatever I can do help this team win, even if I cannot be on the floor. I will be the best cheerleader there is.”

That sort of effort from the two wasn’t lost on Arnold.

“They play a much bigger role than anybody can imagine,” the coach said. “The saying we say often here is, ‘Be responsible for the energy you bring to the room.’ And those two guys bring a lot of energy to the room. It’s their job. They’re not going to score any points for us, get any rebounds for us this year. But they can make us better this year, and it’s what they’re supposed to do and why those two guys are really good for us.

“I expect our guys who are playing to match their energy and it’s hard, because those two guys have a bunch of it, especially Christian. Both of them, but Christian has as good a motor as anyone I’ve ever coached. If those two can continue to do that, then I think our team will be that much better.”

Another redshirt possibility is freshman shooting guard Brandon Jawato, who’s effectively third on the depth chart at his position behind senior Zane Johnson and sophomore Garrett Jefferson.


  1. airsumo November 1, 2011 2:06 pm

    Any new info on bb pf recruit Kaluna from California?

  2. oldtimer808 November 1, 2011 8:06 pm

    Mahalo for the updates on the team. It was very informative.

  3. Kendall November 2, 2011 1:54 am

    Thanks for the update Brian. Does coach have any thoughts on letting rupp go out and recruit and maybe have either akana or fisher not recruit? Rupp’s probably already has guys on his radar.

    They got to have one of the best scout teams in tavita, jawato, minns, brown & standhardinger.

  4. jjay November 2, 2011 11:47 am

    In Star Advertiser, report,stated Rupp not allowed to actively recruit per NCAA rules.

  5. k November 2, 2011 4:43 pm

    What happened to Tyler McDaniels, the 6’9″ forward who was planning to transfer to UH as a walk-on? I thought he was going to join the team for 2011-12 as an invited walk-on. Thank you.

  6. Brian McInnis November 2, 2011 11:42 pm

    Tyler is taking classes at one of the local community colleges (I think it’s KCC, but not 100 percent on that) with the goal of being eligible to join the team at semester break. He would have joined the team in the fall but had too many classes to make up this summer.

    ‘Iolani graduate Kainoa Chu, another would-be walk-on, was also a scratch for the fall. Don’t know if he will join down the line or not.

  7. Brian McInnis November 2, 2011 11:46 pm

    Hey Kendall,

    Rupp can help the coaching staff by forwarding contacts to Gib and the other coaches, but he cannot actively go out and recruit unless one of the full assistants leaves the staff either temporarily or permanently (like Walter Roese did this summer). So as far as I know, Rupp will be here.

  8. Brian McInnis November 2, 2011 11:48 pm

    Hey Sumo,

    I haven’t heard anything directly of Kaluna at the moment, other than that he’s got Hawaii on his list.

  9. Shark November 3, 2011 5:47 pm

    Howzit Brian.
    Is Caleb dressler a fill in for ronnie Stevens?
    Good call on rupp. I find it quite strange that gib is able to get coaches with high credentials to have an interest in positions on his staff. It’s generally hard to get quality coaches to come to Hawaii for an assistant position, regardless of the sport (ie: baseball, softball, women’s basketball, and of course football). Expenses high, pay low. Gib must be a good guy, and a great salesman.
    Is Gerry Blakes still expected at manoa next semester?

  10. krump1_AKA_protector November 3, 2011 10:27 pm

    Great attitude by both red-shirt players and they seem to be teamwork-oriented, unselfish and have a good work ethic. Have heard good things about Stanhardinger and I got to see Tavita play in the Summer Basketball League and he was very impressive. Aggressive, great defender and he’d really push the ball up the court and unexpectedly was very efficient at 3-point range. This must be an area he worked hard on. Can’t wait for these guys to play next year; I expect great things. I feel the team will be quite good this year and even with the loss of Zane next year, the team will be unbelievably deep. Still hope Biggs, Blakes and Stevens find their way to Manoa in the future.

  11. Brian McInnis November 3, 2011 11:26 pm

    Hey Shark,

    Caleb isn’t a direct replacement for Ronnie, but there’s no denying the team needed more size with him having to go the junior college route.
    UH has had some good assistant men’s hoops coaches in recent years, even young ones. Many people were high on Eran Ganot before he went back to Saint Mary’s. Gib has some connections; this particular addition wouldn’t have been possible without the two coaches knowing each other in Utah a couple decades ago.
    Last I heard Gerry is still planning to be here at semester break. We’ll just have to wait and see if that happens.

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