No playing favorites

With great playing time comes great responsibility.

Hawaii coach Gib Arnold had seen about enough of his current first five — Keith Shamburger, Garrett Nevels, Brandon Spearman, Isaac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger — for lackadaisical play while working through a new offensive set in Tuesday’s practice in Gym 2.

The five were excused for the last half hour or so of the abbreviated (roughly two hours) practice, then allowed in afterward to work on their game independently.

Spearman and Standhardinger are two of the team’s three captains.

“He was trying to prove a point that we just weren’t doing what we were supposed to do as, I guess, the leaders of the team,” Nevels said. “We were supposed to lead by example and we weren’t doing that today, so kicking us out, he doesn’t care who we are. Everybody’s held accountable.”

Nevels was asked if the message was received.

“Yeah, it was,” he said. “Tomorrow we have to come out harder. Show him that we know what he said, and fix what we did wrong.”

Nevels has proven to be a dead-eye shooter in practices so far. He stayed late to work on jab-step shots from triple-threat (pass/dribble/shoot) positioning around the perimeter while being defended by assistant coach Scott Fisher. He made more than he missed, I’ll say that.

Meanwhile, Missouri transfer Negus Webster-Chan has made it a point to keep shooting and dribbling on his own during just about every team timeout, and well after practices end. Webster-Chan must redshirt this year but any questions about his work ethic during this interim before he can play again are ill-founded.

He was dribbling furiously with basketballs in either hand in the corner of the gym while Nevels spoke. They were the last two players present.


Former UC Riverside forward Josh Fox is leaning toward committing to UH, but is not a done deal to my knowledge.

Fox responded positively to his official visit to UH this past weekend. He’s been offered a scholarship by Arnold, but it might be time-sensitive.

More to come on Fox if/when his commitment is known.


San Diego Parker big man Evan Fitzner, a high-value target by UH for the 2014 recruiting class, is off the board to Saint Mary’s, as reported by Josh Gershon, Alex Kline and several other recruiting gurus in the Twitterverse.


  1. K-Bay October 9, 2013 8:06 am

    Great! Fire The First Team Now…
    Wake and Fire ‘Em Up Now
    Build that Every Day Go-Hard Consistency, and Every-Minute Focus and Intensity…

    TODAY’S Efforts to Build Personal and Team Self-Discipline
    should Help Prevent one or two (or forbid, more) Lackluster, Lackadaisical game stretches or Losses.
    The Really Good teams can Adopt a Business-Like approach irrespective of the quality, ability or success of their opponents, Great In-Arena Example in Dave Shoji’s Na Wahine Volleyball Team (This and Most Years)…

    GREAT To also hear ’bout The Davonne Bess (NFL) level of effort and work ethic brought to the team by new-arriving stand-outs Nevels and “No Days Off” Negus — Hope it IS Noticed and is rubbing off… Bess was always setting up the field as first to arrive AND cleaning up as well as Last to Leave… but after awhile, Numerous Teammates began prepping and turning out for practices early… working Hard Every Play…and setting up their own off-day practices…

  2. poorboy October 9, 2013 11:18 am

    K-Bay: Agree 100% with you and what coach Gib is trying to instill . Total effort all the time. Good that they have a large roster. If those “first” team FOR NOW, don’t get it done, on the court,off the court, don’t lead, or just don’t work hard, BENCH THEM, and Gib move on to the next FIVE. Good competition. Gib now, can control the attitudes of the guys, One Ohana, One Team, no prima donnas, no entitlement athletes, if you work hard, as a team, listen to coaches, play to win ALL the time, UH MBB will have success.

    I like it, these young guys, even last year’s guys, have to Listen to Coach, otherwise there is a long line at the end of the bench. Hope All the guys get the message!

    I think NOW they will, work hard UH MBB team and you guys can have an excellent season, no slackers!

    WE support the 100% All IN, Ohana, One Team guys!

  3. setaone October 9, 2013 2:33 pm

    I’m curious what Jawato’s role with the team will be. Any insight Brian?

  4. fan4m2b October 9, 2013 5:05 pm

    It depends, depends on a couple of elements on the circumstances:
    Did all of them goofing-off from the beginning of the first two hours of the workout?
    Did they do really well then, start slacking a bit (post boring)?
    Did the day before and/or from the beginning of the practices had had been perfect?
    Did you warned them nicely, even give them a friendly pat on the back to wake’m up?
    Did you reward then with an occational praise when they’ve done good?
    It’s same reward they had had given you by giving you 100% steadily (a full game last only 2hrs)!

    Be an Akamai disciplinarian but, not an abuser;
    Don’t let things happens beyond reasonable doubt!!!

  5. poorboy October 9, 2013 11:57 pm

    fan4m2b: sure you are right, we don’t know, I don’t know the particulars, of exactly what went down, still at your company, business, in the military, school, family unit, the HEAD, in this case the Coach, Gib, has the say, if guys, are not doing what they have to do, well, he is not kicking them off team fan4, the discipline, getting their attention , so UH MBB team will be ONE OHANA and have chance to dance. Without discipline and going all in , in any sport, family, business, or just life, you have to abide by the rules agenda. One, thing, with Brian’s post, remember, Gib let the guys come BACK IN, to work on individual stuff. Bet that starting five, PLUS NEVELS, who is showing he , as well as Negus have great work ethic, got the message, no prima donnas, that is OLD SCHOOL, and you take 15 guys, who are disciplined, and work together all the time hard for team, school and coach, is going to beat 15 super talented guys, who, don’t care, just think they can show up and go through the motions.

    Those starters, remember,Hawaii, Taxpayer monies, your taxes, help to fund THEIR scholarships, full ride, many UH kids, have to get student loans, and take years to payoff, so once again, the athletes, have to abide by LOI,agreement. Only fair, as I stated,

    Without question that starting five, if they want to play a lot and help UH win a lot, have to follow coach’s direction. Pretty sure , Gib is not, being abusive, heck, media, is right there, he would be nuts to do so, plus Ben Jay, watches everything.

    Gib is doing a good job, the kids he has now, are good guys, students and athletes, they will be alright, totally sure, Gib is not an abuser, otherwise, he would have been gone 2 years ago!

    Enjoy the season, can be a really good one fan4!

  6. Jjay October 10, 2013 7:33 am

    Wow that was a lonnnnnng story. It’s BB time !

  7. kimo browner October 10, 2013 11:43 am

    what point does Gib have to make? He has 3-veteran starters and another veteran redshirt with 2 years of D1A start time on his resume– on his current starting team. Nevels is the only program newbee. Look, unless Coach Arnold has his (stuff) together to mix n mash his players into a winning package–speed and athleticism is a wasted commodity…notwithstanding his histrionic drama.

  8. poorboy October 10, 2013 2:23 pm

    kimo browner: Maybe, if Gib is not X and O coach, let Associate Coach Benjy Taylor and assistants Brandyn and Scott Fisher, work out the sets, which I am sure they do call in, let them have more hands on, then Gib can work on dealing with players, the emotions, attitudes, work as ONE OHANA, etc, and recruiting, which Gib is good at establishing relationships, and starting to get good kids into the UH MBB program.

    Other teams , have done it, even in the NBA and top notch NCAA MBB teams, they surround themselves, i.e. Phil Jackson, and assistant Tex Winter, etc. Get the Assistants to help with X and O’s until head coach gets it down, however it is by committee, so it is a joint effort.

    However, Gib needs the talent, and now, he is getting there..let’s see what he can do. The buggah, nevah had losing season yet, even though two CIT buy in tourneys, however, some MBB programs would die for that over 3 year period for sure, how many mid major or lower, teams have gone to post season 2 out of past 3 years, maybe a few dozen, not a couple of hundred, so select few. Give Gib a chance, YEAR 4 , money year, NCAA’s

  9. kimo browner October 10, 2013 2:47 pm

    Gibs recruiting hype has never matched his teams performance and mass exodus of players he brought into the program. He has been criticized for not being up to snuff on his coaching skills. I fail to see how his latest tantrum in practice is instructive? He is the coach, so this latest episode is meaningless discussion unless he produces another mediocre outcome or less. Winning offers little in apologies. Like many fans, Im sitting on the edge of my chair with eager anticipation for the season to start. Consensus is we have two legit PGs–heretofore a hole in our lineup. His coaching acumen will be highlighted as much as our point play.

  10. K-Bay October 10, 2013 10:31 pm

    Gib’s Recruiting ‘Hype’ i considered understated — he said we would like Standhardinger and Fotu Last Year — I Did and so did Big West … i expect Shamburger and Nevels, maybe Quincy ‘could’ be affecting Big West opposition coaches — Shamburger bothered us, and Nevels probably would have too, IF they had ended up on the other side…

    WHO Said, “Tantrum”?
    — i don’t like teammates messin’ around either, when there is improvement to be gained….
    Nevels didn’t seem to think the message was a waste —
    and the returnees ought to know they let winnable games slip away…like the last four…

    Lack of Focus and Intensity is probably ahead of lack of talent in contributing to winnable losses….

  11. kimo browner October 10, 2013 10:43 pm

    You are the type of individual who sees the tank as half-full. Other fans view the bottom line–wins and losses. The Big West was ranked 22 out of 33 D1A conferences and Hawaii @ 208 out of 347 teams. You want mediocrity–you have it!
    Another thing. Gib said all 5 positions are open. So why, I repeat, why the tantrum?
    you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. make changes and start the players who want to play enough to listen.

  12. K-Bay October 11, 2013 12:02 am

    SO WHO is Willing to FOOT The Bill, PAY for a “Better Bottom Line”?

    I Hear/See ‘Complainers’ –WHAT Solutions Do YOU or Any One Else have?
    What Have you Got Better?

    I Would Like “Better”, too
    Irrespective of (UH) Schedule, GIB has Posted THE BEST Three-Year Start of ANY UH Coach in 60 Years including #1 PAID Pitino…THAT is a BOTTOM Line — I’m NOT saying He, You or i need to be “Happy” with it …BUT GET REAL!

    RILEY Said TODAY, Gib (who he did not even initially like) is doing a Good Job…
    HE knows better than either of us…
    Heʻs done it, not just talk about it…

    Iʻm looking for UH to climb into the Top 150 or 100 by this or next season…

    YOU Can “Call” it mediocrity, but challenge other/good smart coaches and Bigger Budgets w/o Three Time Zone Travels and DO IT From the Middle of the Pacific with the CLOSEST D-1 Recruit “Prospect” a Minimum 2,000 MILES away…and WHY Would he come here and play for you?

    EASY for you…

  13. Brian McInnis October 11, 2013 12:34 am


    Right now Jawato is working with the secondary rotation guys which includes Aaron Valdes, Stefan Jovanovic, Niko Filipovich and Caleb Dressler. He should still be in line for minutes given his experience with Gib and occasional scoring bursts (such as his 7-for-7 3-pointer game).

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