Musings on Shamburger

Well, if you haven’t heard by now, Hawaii point guard Keith Shamburger is picking up his ball and going home.

Keith Shamburger
Keith Shamburger

If you drew up a list of likely candidates to leave early right after the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, Shamburger wouldn’t have been near the top; his starting job seemed relatively secure. But now UH heads into the fall requiring a new starting ballhandler for the fourth straight year.

Less than two weeks ago, Shamburger was hyping up some pretty eye-opening (and still unconfirmed) names on the 2014-15 Rainbow Warriors schedule. Now, he’ll wrap up his career at a to-be-named school, likely on the West Coast.

Both teammates I spoke to on Tuesday reacted with surprise. You can read their comments in Wednesday’s Star-Advertiser.

So, is Shamburger leaving because of the impending signing of Indian Hills guard Roderick Bobbitt? It would be simplistic to peg it on either end of the spectrum — that it is the whole cause, or completely unrelated and more to do with his relationship with the coaching staff. The truth likely lies somewhere in between.

There were several blow-ups between Shamburger and teammates/coaches during the season, both public (think his first-half benching during the Cal State Northridge game on Feb. 1) and private (locker room angst after the win over Oregon State in the Diamond Head Classic, among other games).

At the time, there wasn’t believed to be any lasting damage done, as there were several emotional personalities on last year’s team — the head coach included). Well, in retrospect, maybe that wasn’t the case.

Some were critical of Shamburger’s shooting struggles (34.9 percent from the field, 30.8 percent on 3-pointers). But you also have to give him credit as the team’s best free-throw shooter (83.2 percent); he helped put a few games away at the line. His ball distribution was generally solid (5.4 assists per game), and UH fans will always have the Hawaii-UC Irvine Sham-battle, which led to a Big West player of the week honor for him.

In one oft-rehashed postgame radio interview, Shamburger himself recognized his own shooting troubles and resolved to come back a much better with plenty of time put in the gym this offseason. He had moments of refreshing self-awareness like that that often made him one of the team’s better interviews, his self-imposed media embargo (Shambargo) after the Northridge game notwithstanding.

UH fans should lament the lack of  continuity at point guard going into next season — it was the team’s first chance in a while to have the clear-cut starter at the position back for another tour of duty. It’ll be up to Quincy Smith, Bobbitt, Isaac Fleming or another newcomer to take command.

Personally, I’ll miss the Sham puns.


  1. turfwar April 15, 2014 10:35 pm

    I’ll miss Sham as a person. Good guy but also one of the most clutch free throw shooters in UH history. He was simply money at the line, a valuable commodity in close games.

  2. Annoddah Dave April 16, 2014 6:57 am

    Throughout the season, Shamburger’s body language gave the impression that he was not a happy camper. I think the final straw was the game in the Big West Tournament…he wore his heart on his sleeve.

  3. kimo browner April 16, 2014 10:02 am

    It really says something for your program when you lose a returning starting PG and still look forward w high expectations to the forthcoming season. Best wishes to Keith Shamburger…

  4. formerlywarriorfan April 16, 2014 10:43 am

    He was a disappointment honestly, good passer/free throw shooter but not a good defender or shooter. I expected more, still an improvement over Tavita though so that will be missed.

  5. poorboy April 16, 2014 2:48 pm

    When do you think NCAA will release their findings on their investigation of UH.? Seems , if Gib signs a couple more recruits, possibly things are good to go. Hopefully.
    As kimo browner says, so many UH die hard fans, can see excitement of UH MBB, when a STARTER leaves, to be closer to family, fans, still excited about next season, i.e., Negus, Jankovich, Fleming, Bobbitt so far ready to hopefully add needed firepower, and play exceptional Defense!

  6. Pocho April 16, 2014 6:18 pm

    any word on Cousins? Is UH still on his list?

  7. poorboy April 16, 2014 11:42 pm

    Brian Mcinnis:

    with the movement of Dressler and Shamburger, plus the graduation of Standhardinger , Spearman and Rozitis. With Jankovich and Webster Chan, Fleming and Bobbitt, having secured scholarships…I believe Jawato, Fotu, Smith, Nevels, Thomas and Jovanovich all signed LOI scholarships or scholarship agreements, that I am pretty certain..

    HOW MANY scholarships are still available for next season. Is it ONE , TWO, or PERHAPS THREE?
    Know that Valdes was a preferred walkon, trying to earn scholie by second year. Is HE on scholarship?
    It gets confusing. Thanks in advance Brian.
    We fans, want clarification if possible, who is and isn’t on scholarship, and if Valdes has been awarded one, or do we have to wait till awards banquet?

    Mahalo Brian!

  8. poorboy April 17, 2014 12:11 am

    Brian….looked at Portsmouth 2014 invitational in Va. I think I saw Brandon Spearman and Davis Rozitis’ names on the roster.
    Are Davis and Spearman playing in that showcase? If they are, good for them!

  9. Pocho April 17, 2014 12:04 pm

    If you read the WI, Coach Taylor says there’s one scholarship left and they are looking for a big man. He’s pretty confident they’ll get a late signer.

    My only hope is they get a ready-to-play Big man and not project. To me the Big man get is the difference of being in the middle of the BW pack or a contender for the title.

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