Stiff competition

If Hawaii is to land the services of Mount San Antonio College guards Corey Allen and/or Garrett Nevels, it will have to beat out some tough competition to do so. The two completed their mid-week visit to UH on Thursday.

Allen has visits coming up to Pittsburgh and South Florida and Nevels to Morehead State, and likely Seton Hall and New Mexico.

Nevels and Allen, reached in separate phone interviews, said they both enjoyed their time in the islands. Their trip included a tour of the UH campus and academics offices, dinner at the UH banquet on Wednesday night, and a surf session on Thursday morning before flying home. Neither sounded in a rush to make his decision where to play his final two years of college eligibility.

Here’s what each had to say:

Garrett Nevels:

Q: What were you hoping to get out of your visit?

A: I wanted to see what it was like out here. Get a feel for the campus and the people. … We walked around the campus. It was a real nice campus, I liked it a lot. After that, we met some academic counselors, and played (open gym) with the team. So it was a cool day.

Q: On playing with Allen at Mt. SAC and having success with the state JUCO championship:

A: Just hard work and being hungry from losing early in the playoffs in the year before. … (Coach Clark Maloney) challenged us every day, kept on pushing us.

Q: When you go back home, do you know where you’ll be in your recruitment process?

A: I want to use all my visits so I can really see which school would be the best fit for me.

Q: Where else are you visiting?

A: Morehead State, probably Seton Hall and probably New Mexico.

Q: What are you looking for out of the program you end up at?

A: Well, I didn’t really know what to expect. This is my first time being on the main island. I like it a lot.

Corey Allen

Q: How do you like it in Hawaii?

A: It’s my first time being in Hawaii. Got to see campus and the coaching staff, and all the support they have. It’s pretty good so far. … We got to play open gym with the guys. Some pretty good runs. I was pretty impressed with the bigs, how they played. That’s one thing I was looking forward to, playing with some good bigs at the next level.

Q: Your style of play at Mt. SAC was pretty run and gun?

A: Yes sir, we were a run and gun team. We just ran the floor. Pressed people, fullcourt pressure. Then we just ran and scored at the other end. It’s pretty good.

Q:I know you took a visit to UTEP previously. You planning any other official visits coming up?

A: I plan on taking one to Pittsburgh and to the University of South Florida. I’m going to compare all the schools and see which one best fits me.

Q: What did you tell yourself you’d be on the lookout for in your recruitment process?

A: Just trying to find the best situation. Playing time. Coaching staff. If I was comfortable at the school. My major, a good supporting cast as far as academics. That’s about it.

Q: You and Garrett must have some pretty good synergy. What would it be like to play together at the next level, if it worked out that way?

A: Top-25 team. Personally, I don’t think any guards out there put in as much work as us, and (we’ll) try to win at the next level, just like we did at Mt. SAC.


Check out tomorrow’s (Friday) edition of the Star-Advertiser for some fresh comments from Vander Joaquim on his time at UH and his impending play in the Portsmourth Invitational Tournament.


  1. innocent observer April 4, 2013 5:26 pm

    it appears they were not sold on playing in hawaii and want to look at other schools; hence the liklihood of getting them is small at best. gotta go recruiting again or go to plan b or c. plan a does not look good.

  2. gobows April 4, 2013 7:08 pm

    with gib, it’s always go to plan b AND plan c. i’d really like to see allen play for Hawaii, but i doubt that will happen.

  3. poorboy April 4, 2013 11:18 pm

    Brian this is going to be an interesting two weeks. Wonder who Gib is bringing in next week? A few more guards? An athletic JC Center like Vander?
    Still wonder how UH MBB team is going to adjust for one or two more players for 2013-14. I guess this spring semester finishing up will be telling. Who is moving on or not.

    Without question, athletic, scorer, albeit PG who can shoot, or SG/combo who can run sets, would be great addition for next year’s team. Need more firepower on the perimeter, and athleticism.

    This should be a crucial Spring signing for Gib, for sure.

    Keep us informed Brian, on who is coming in next week! Mahalo, you do great work!

  4. Pocho April 5, 2013 5:38 am

    Both of these recruits are well spoken and I guess UH,Coach, Staff and team tried their best in making them feel they belong. Doesn’t sound like they’re wanting to play here so we’ll hear of the other recruits wanting to come here. Since there is no hoopla on the other 3 recruits making the trip to the islands, you can’t help but feel it’s a big letdown not getting the verbal to commit.

    Brian those were good questions put forth to them. Mahalo!

  5. Shoko April 5, 2013 6:46 am

    Yep, don’t get a strong feeling that Nevels or Allen seemed particularly interested other than to visit and experience the island life. At least Gib made the effort and they both enjoyed the islands. Time to initiate da backup plan.

  6. EMS April 5, 2013 9:53 am

    I think Gib has a good chance, especially if these two guys want to continue playing together…looks like HI is the only school to offer BOTH of them.

  7. Derek April 5, 2013 1:11 pm

    What I did like what they said is they are a run and gun team. I’d like our team to be a pressing team to wear down opponents. Use your roster and keep them fresh. The key is conditioning, foot speed, fast hands, and shooting. Don’t necessarily have to be big. I liked the UNLV Running Rebels when they were scoring over 90 points a game and also Loyola Marymount when Paul Westhead was coaching. It’s just exciting basketball, not the boring slow down defensive oriented type of basketball. I also want the shot clock to be shortened to 30 seconds instead of 35. It would make for a better game. My take is that as long as they take all their recruiting trips before they decide, we still have a chance. Here’s hoping at least one of them will say Yes to Hawaii.

  8. hon2255 April 5, 2013 1:20 pm

    For the program’s sake and Gib’s future, lets pray we get these two important recruits. A 48 hr visit is hardly anytime to get the feel of the island .

  9. poorboy April 5, 2013 1:36 pm

    EMS: I never thought of that aspect. The Two Offer deal. If Corey and Garrett want to continue to play together. Hope they are team guys, you know that they are going to have battle for PT with Spear and Sham. Would be great as Derek says to have Allen, Shamburger at PG, Spearman, Nevels, Jefferson, running wings , full court pressure, traps, steals, runouts, after made or missed shots, get it up the court quickly and score . With guards that can D up, get steals and most importantly FINISH and one. Exciting brand of ball.

    They , Nevels and Allen played Open gym with the MBB team, so they know that Standhardinger and Fotu, athletic enough to get in position and score off of transition . I think that is the type of offense, Gib would want to run, however have to have the athletes.
    Hope, Gib can sign one excellent quick PG and an athletic scoring SG, or at least one , hopefully he is looking, if he cannot sign Allen or Nevels, for a PG who is a great scorer too.

  10. islandman April 6, 2013 7:07 pm

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

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