The Commit That Wasn't … Yet // Fotu vs. Standhardinger

By now most of you have probably heard about Aaron Valdes, the La Jolla Prep guard/wing who supposedly committed to play for UH starting with the upcoming season.

Word of this spread when two of the more prolific college hoops recruiting twitterers, Josh Gershon of and Alex Kline of The Recruit Scoop, both tweeted about the commitment almost simultaneously on Sunday afternoon.

Valdes confirmed to the Star-Advertiser he intends to commit to UH … but after more digging, it was discovered that the situation is nowhere close to a done deal. I was compelled to re-word the breaking news on the Star-Advertiser website. Gershon later took his tweet down.

Can Valdes, an athletic slasher with some shooting ability (and a fantastic water polo player to boot) still end up at UH? Yes. Will we have to wait to find out? Yes. But he’s not the only option for UH out there right now, so fans hungering for recruiting news should prepare themselves for multiple scenarios in the coming weeks.


The final day of the College Summer League regular season was hit or miss on Saturday night. Christian Standhardinger and Flipbooks Hawaii continued their dominant play with a 97-80 rout of Isaac Fotu and National Fire Protection, while Garrett Jefferson and Wealth Strategy Partners edged Hauns Brereton-and-Jace Tavita-less Central Medical Clinic 89-86.

Brandon Jawato of W.S. and Manroop Clair of Flipbooks were also missing in action on this night, so if you went to sate your thirst for UH hoops, Fotu vs. Standhardinger was the unquestioned highlight.

Tuesday’s quarterfinal matchups are set: Third-seeded Grantco Pacific vs. sixth-seeded Central Medical Clinic, 6 p.m., followed by fourth-seeded National Fire Protection vs. fifth-seeded Wealth Strategy Partners. Flipbooks and Solar Universe received byes to the semifinals on Thursday.

Fotu continued his strong play in the loss, scoring 25 to Standhardinger’s 29 for Flipbooks. It was an entertaining battle on the occasions the two UH power forwards matched up against each other — an occurrence that will be repeated every day in practices this fall. Fotu has a deft touch in the paint, while Standhardinger has a knack for outworking opponents. Both players had a degree of success against the other.

The two newcomers already have a bit of a feel for the other. Fotu laughed as he described their head-to-head meeting.

“In open gym we match up quite a lot,” Fotu said. “But (Saturday) we played against each other and it’s really fun playing with him. Defensively, he tries to flop on me. But it’s good because that’s the standard we’re going to be playing against in college. Going up against some better defensive players.

“Christian can do quite a lot,” he continued. “Outside, inside. I’m definitely getting a feel for everyone on the team. I know what their strengths and weaknesses are. … He’s always getting on the freshmen. On defense if you let your man score, if it’s your responsibility he lets you know. But that’s good, that’s what we need.”

Has Fotu enjoyed the summer league?

“Yeah, definitely. Getting back into shape, and the playoffs are coming, so it’s time to go hard or go home.”

Jefferson (14 points) went hard late in his game against Central Medical, helping his team leapfrog CMC for the fifth playoff seed. He had the go-ahead free throw with just under a minute left and got a steal on the ensuing CMC possession.

“It’s always nice to see improvement on stuff that you’ve been working on,” Jefferson said. “(The win) gives us confidence. We hadn’t won two in a row … it was just good for the team.”

Jefferson also said he’s enjoyed his summer league experience.

“It’s been fun. You get to run up and down, play. I mean, there’s nothing better than that.”


  1. Sickman Fraud July 30, 2012 4:01 am

    Brian,thanks for the updates. What is your opinion of Fotu at this stage of his game? Does his play remind you of any former Bow from the past? It seems that the diehards are very excited about Fotu.

  2. poorboy July 30, 2012 6:48 am

    One thing about Isaac Fotu. Great footwork. Nose for the ball. Quick feet. Can go right , go left, soft hands, big hands, has a great feel for game. I don’t know who to compare him to. In the past several decades, for a Big at 6’8″ 235 or so, I don’t recall anyone with that skillset. A legit player. He can be real good in my opinion. And he is only a freshman, Don’t recall any freshman post with that ability yet. JMO.

  3. Derek July 30, 2012 7:54 am

    I wonder what multiple scenarios mean? Maybe 2 players? And one of them Armstead?
    In the coming weeks means next week to the beginning of UH school semester. Guess gotta just stay tuned. Thanks. At least, Brian, you are keeping us interested and on the edge.

  4. fan4mb2 July 30, 2012 10:33 am

    Thanks, BM:

    Another recruit who maybe a teaser!?
    Privacy restrictions prevent qualification check or..

    Most Inspiring Player => Brereton.
    Most Win-Oriented Player => Standhardinger.
    Best Potentate Newcomer => Fotu.
    Most Improved Player => Jefferson.

    Keep it up, guys!

  5. Craig July 30, 2012 11:53 am

    Just wanted to say Mahalo and great job Brian on the coverage via Courtsense. This timely update helps Warrior Fans stay up to date, and keep our excitement and expectations on possibly adding one or maybe two late prospects in perspective. Appreciate the redux on Valdes’ situation-hope it works out and UH can get the top late add prospects they’re wanting cleared etc. Great job and many Thanks-Courtsense and Warrior Insider do a very nice job keeping Hawaii Basketball Fans dialed in, and building up interest. Mahalo!

  6. jahwarrior July 30, 2012 1:54 pm

    armstead is out of the question this year..would like to see a true slashing SF at a true 6’6-6’7..valdes seems to be 6’4

  7. pocho July 30, 2012 5:22 pm

    Biggs went to prep school, maybe he’s still available?

  8. Derek July 30, 2012 5:26 pm

    What about Gerry Blakes? What happened to Victor Bermudez? When is Shamburger coming? Is he enrolled for the fall sememter?

  9. K-Bay July 30, 2012 7:09 pm

    Biggs tweeted today that he’s not available until second semester (grades)…

    Armstead, Valdes and Biggs’ situations are consistent with Gib’s general comment (RE: Academics) …”…that we’re so far away from getting there…”

    i would think multiple scenarios confirms that we still have at least one, maybe two shots with the remaining scholies … original target was by End of August; based on above could see one extend to mid-term (January — Conjecture ONLY)…

    i guess i don’t understand — don’t know anyone who actually thinks High School is Hard … but getting what you need to Qualify for UH is harder than some or many … IS NCAA Actually pushing towards “Exclusionary”?
    (Other Students Can Get in ?)

    Maybe a Good Attorney should Challenge …NOT on behalf of “our” school…

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