The Shambargo

That’s what I’m calling it until the media embargo on Keith Shamburger is lifted — the Shambargo.

Keith Shamburger
Keith Shamburger

Things in Hawaii basketball land took a bizarre twist last week with talk of some team issues following the 92-83 home loss to Long Beach State, and the first-half benching of Shamburger, then the reigning Big West Player of the Week, against Cal State Northridge on Saturday.

After Monday’s practice, UH coach Gib Arnold said Shamburger was not talking to the media until an unspecified time, at the player’s request.

He seems to be back in the team’s fold now, judging by body language at practices since and his Twitter activity. I’m pretty sure he’ll open up eventually, but now is apparently not the time.

I’ll keep requesting him.

UH was pretty shorthanded in Tuesday’s team practice, as Christian Standhardinger missed it entirely with an illness, while Aaron Valdes and Negus Webster-Chan watched from the sidelines for similar reasons. Newcomer Stefan Jankovic was also out. And Niko Filipovich (knee) is done for the year, making for a pretty thin scout team in preparation for UC Santa Barbara on Thursday.


If you missed today’s story about redshirt freshman center Caleb Dressler deciding to opt out of UH in favor of a Division II school or a junior college, here it is (subscriber content, sorry).

Caleb Dressler
Caleb Dressler

It’s no big surprise. Dressler was going to be hard-pressed for playing time next season even if he came back totally healthy (and that was far from a given) coming off his back surgery for a bulging disc.

It’s just a shame he wasn’t able to get even the most basic garbage time in a blowout game before his UH career came to an end. Best wishes for Dressler wherever he lands — likely somewhere in the Pacific Northwest closer to his native Vancouver, Wash.


If anyone’s curious about the whereabouts of UH assistant coach Brandyn Akana — he was not on the UH bench for the last four games, two home and two away — he’s  been doing some international recruiting, this according to Arnold. He’s supposed to be back for games within the next two weeks, although he was seen around campus on Monday.



  1. hoops fan February 4, 2014 11:21 pm

    Why not let it go. Seems like Coach Arnold, Shamburger, the assistants, and the players are all good. Why must the media press on? Who cares? Whatever it was, it’s done. Move on and win games.

  2. K-Bay February 4, 2014 11:42 pm

    Hope Team gets Healthy for Thursday-Saturday Run…
    Focused Defensive Intensity, 40 Hard-Smart minutes of Team Execution
    to WIN …And TWO…

  3. poorboy February 5, 2014 12:09 am

    This is the game where, Jovanovich, Thomas, Jawato, Enos, Rozitis, Smith , have to step up. If Christian, Valdes under weather, the bench has to step up like how Davis and Quincy did against Northridge. Agree, with last year’s game at SSC, Williams was pretty much held in check, however Boswell went off for 27 pts., so UH has to control one or the other. If Williams gets his 20 pts, 12 rebound, couple of blocked shots, however Boswell and shooters, are held down, fares well for UH. Key once again, and correct Eagle…UH Defend 3 line to the rim, for 40 minutes and come out with 2 wins, this weekend,

  4. Aaron February 5, 2014 10:10 am

    international recruiting, eh?

  5. Brian McInnis February 5, 2014 10:34 am

    hoops fan,

    I wouldn’t be doing my job if I just let such an unusual episode go by without inquiries. The team making him unavailable to talk only shines an unintentional spotlight on it. If you read my story about Brandon Spearman today, you’d see one player’s perspective on what happened and how the team’s moved on. But it would be better to hear it from the guy who was at the center of what happened. And what if I want to ask him about a big play in the next game, something I bet you’d want to know about, and he’s still unavailable? It’s just bad policy.

  6. hoops fan February 5, 2014 2:45 pm

    As a member of the media…always looking for a “story.” It is your job. At this point though, “who cares?” Is there public outcry as to what happened? Why keep wanting to turn over old dirt?

    Let’s get a win tomorrow night and beyond. Go Bows!

  7. Brian McInnis February 5, 2014 3:35 pm

    Considering it revolves around what happened in the last game and may directly affect player rotations and roles going forward, it’s not old dirt at all. You may not care, but it’d be a disservice to our readership to just pretend like nothing happened.

  8. poorboy February 5, 2014 3:57 pm

    work nights, sometimes cannot make games, take care of kids when come home, so Brian, thank you, if you did not mention it, even having Spearmans’ take, and trying to find out, their is a readership that wants Gib and team to be on board, united. They are Hawaii’s team, and if some dysfunction, would not want it to linger and affect play of team, attitude , and morale.New and old fans, love this team the exciting play. Glad, they recognize, need to be one ohana and play outstanding D before they get into their offense.

    re: what happend…a lot of folks not their at the game, in particular after final buzzer, or watching like we did on DVR replay late into nite..did not know the particulars, until Gib addressed, not starting Keith on Saturday.

    You could see it, the body language on some of team, after LBSU game and during Northridge game. Credit to guys who did sing alma mater with Gib, a blow up, could’ve been cricitcal if negative feelings carried into play on Saturday and UH lost to Northridge. Well, Brian, you do a great job, just trying to find out what is happening with our only DI NCAA MBB team in Hawaii, which now has a much larger fanbase then a few years ago! Keep getting the correct information, and I am sure, when he is ready Shambargo will be lifted! I think Keith, and about 3 or 4 others on team are as emotional as Gib, so when, they lose, or something else happens, they get frustated.,like Spearman, says, any of OUR own families it happens, then we, if we are strong, get it resolved and move on. That is Good Policy, for UH MBB team Family Ohana , problems, work it out, and move on, Stay, united Stay Strong!

  9. Aaron February 6, 2014 12:13 pm

    i guess it wasn’t international recruiting…

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