Two-day recap and roundup
This seems like a good time to recap the last couple days of events in UH hoops.
So, after what coach Gib Arnold considered the worst practice of the young season Tuesday — featuring his first five getting booted from the proceedings — how would the Rainbow Warriors respond on Wednesday?
Pretty well, actually. Arnold called it the best session so far. The previously shunned five of Keith Shamburger, Garrett Nevels, Brandon Spearman, Isaac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger set the tone.
“You look at it, they’re your five best players,” Arnold said. “The No. 1 team rule we have is compete. It’s a central part of our culture. And the one thing I was upset about … I’m not too upset about execution this time of year. But you compete and I didn’t feel like they competed at the level they need to compete. And that’s what upset me. But I thought they competed (Wednesday).”
Fotu isn’t normally a magnet for criticism during practices going back to his successful freshman season. He seemed to take it pretty well, though.
“It was embarrassing,” Fotu said. “We just said we’re not going to let it happen again. So that’s why we responded the way we did.”
Center Davis Rozitis summed it up best.
“Everybody came back locked in and ready to work,” he said. “Coaches were pleased with our work today. And it was more fun to do the things we did today than it was yesterday. It’s not fun to get cussed out. It’s fun when you get encouraged for doing a good job, you get dap, and that’s what happened today. You get support from coaches, from each other. … I think we didn’t turn the ball over as much and I think communication was great. Since we were communicating, there were less turnovers. Better passes, more teamwork. The ball was moving, everybody was rebounding and competing.”
The team had Thursday off and will get back at it on Friday.
For those of you anxious to watch the team’s next officiated intrasquad scrimmage, it’s currently planned for 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Stan Sheriff Center. Keep in mind times and venues can change swiftly if you plan to go.
Thursday wasn’t bereft of hoops news. UH announced its Halloween exhibition against Brigham Young-Hawaii It will be UH’s only exhibition, not including the Oct. 19 Green & White scrimmage at the Stan Sheriff.
UH is encouraging fans to bring canned goods to donate to the Hawaii Foodbank. It being Halloween, kids who come in costume will receive candy at the main gate, which would hopefully help negate what they’d be missing out on during a regular trick-or-treat session around the neighborhood. (Admission is free whether or not you bring canned food … or a kid.) One can argue the merits of a 7 p.m. game on one of the more popular days of the year (for kids and adults), but it’s happening. It will be interesting to see the level of turnout.
Including regular-season games against Chaminade (on Kauai) and Hawaii Hilo (at the Sheriff) UH will now see three-quarters of the local PacWest Division II contingent this season. There’s still time to work in Hawaii Pacific for the clean sweep! Get PacWest commish Bob Hogue on the phone.
As I reported on Thursday (sub content), Arnold will be taking a trip to Louisville early next week to do some recruiting in the area, and sit in on two of Rick Pitino’s practices. What are your thoughts on this? Is it a worthy use of time and resources? The ‘Bows are off Tuesday and Wednesday, so Arnold won’t be missing time with them and if all goes well it could result in some new tactics from one of the best teams and coaches in the country.
Though Pitino has at times been reluctant to acknowledge his history as a UH assistant and interim head coach, he could have a soft spot for one of the places he got his start.
Nothing new on the Josh Fox recruiting front yet.
It’s been a frustrating preseason so far for redshirt freshman center Caleb Dressler. He’s missed close to a week of action now with a bulging disc in his back, and isn’t expected to return through this weekend.
“It’s just really sore. It sucks having to watch this but I feel good,” he said. “It’s getting there. Hopefully be cleared by next Wednesday. … Last Monday, just got hit really hard and it kept bugging me. … It hasn’t been the same. So I haven’t been able to really go when I’ve wanted to.”
Meanwhile, true freshman Stefan Jovanovic has been active as the next big man behind Rozitis. He’s fairly mobile when he wants to be and, with Dressler out, has seen an increased minutes workload. Arnold has said he wants one of those two players to assert themselves for rotation time. If the season started now, it would be Jovanovic.
“It’s incredibly frustrating for me,” Dressler said. “Last year I had to sit and watch everybody else do their thing. … But this is the time where I figure out in the rotation and show Coach I want to play, show Coach I have everything I need down. And just having to sit hurts me because it’s almost like I’m taking up more time than I’ve already (taken).”
Gib sitting in on Pitino’s practices illustrates his desire to improve and demonstrates the importance of having a “OPEN mind” and wanting to pass on the best to his players. Besides, networking is important and who knows, we may get the next Tom Henderson type player from that area.
Brian, Thanks for Weekly/ Regular Updates
Keeps us all current Anyone the Same page…
I like the Pursuit of Louisville/Pitino Lessons Learned/ Drills & Team Skills!
GOT TO be Worth At Least A Point Each Game….
Do One Thing Different, One Thing Better
Then, A Whole Bunch
Maybe An Avalanche or Two…
BTW Coach Jackson noted that despite an emphasis on ‘freshman’ recruiting, the team remains (at least the Top Players with Most of The Minutes/Scoring) Two D-1 Transfers, Two JC and a sophomore foreigner, which was largely what comprised Riley’s Teams as well; maybe the other freshmen will progress to front-liners like Phil Martin or Haim Shimonovic, etc.
K-Bay: Unless incoming freshmen are a Reggie Carter or even Chris Gaines, and sadly we lost both of them in recent years, freshmen take longer to develop. Especially if not a top 30 athlete. I did like Melton Werts, the guy was a beast, fantastic rebounder and shot blocker, he played when Freshmen first were allowed to compete from day one, did not have to wait till sophomore year.
Agree, hopefully, Mike Thomas, Aaron Valdes, Stefan Jovanovich, Nikola Filipovich, Caleb Dressler, Dyrbe Enos, Jack Hackman, will be starters when they are Jr or Sr, or even before that. JW, has a point and he knew, Rocha, knew, Little knew, Nash knew, Hawaii so unique and far away from Mainland, hard to draw top 30 talent, so mixture of D1 transfers, JC transfers and a few good to develop HS, which is the way to go. I think Gib, is doing that now. Negus, who will be here a year or two, is a Mizzou D1 transfer, and that guy is working to bet bigger , stronger and better, he wants to make it to NBA, however , love his attitude as RS, help this year’s team make the NCAA playoffs, the attitude of the guys, when ONE OHANA, this year is very good!
Hey Brian: Great writeup, a lot of the core diehard UH MBB junkies for decades, are getting excited for UH MBB. WBB too, with Laura B, she will have the girls competing very well!
Thanks for ramping up the blogs, writeups, interviews, latest, tweets about possible recruits, you alongside, two other sites, are really giving Gib and UH MBB a great boost, Hope the SSC will witness, along with close to 6800 -7000 per nite, hopefully, a winning team, a lot of wins by UH MBB this year, I think they have that chance, though what worries me a little, are those, athletic, teams, in Rainbow Classic, and Diamond Head Classic, even Northern Arizona on the road. Those teams could match UH, or surpass UH in athleticism, especially if they go 3 bombing away again! Hopefully UH will defend 3 better and as a team rebound like beasts!
Excited to see scrimmages, and exhibition, then GAME ON! Rainbow Classic first game against Tenn. St.
Thanks for coverage of soccer, WBB, and MBB Brian, and your tweets, we fans love it!! Mahalo!
Brian: regarding Gib’s trip to Louisville, if it helps recruiting a hotbed of talent in the bluegrass , Kentucky Basketball crazy state, where Gib might find a hidden gem, HS, JC or D1 transfer, I say it is worth it. To improve the recruiting pool and athletes coming in to help UH get to next level.
To pick the brain, of a hugely successful coach, who has ties, very briefly , albeit to Hawaii, and Pitino willing to let Gib have access to practices at the defending National Champion? Gib go for it. It will help Gib become better coach,and true, how to deal with today’s MBB athletes, as well as that high level O and D uptempo. One day, Gib might have 10 athletic types that can run all 40 minutes long!
So my vote: YES. It is worth it, not impacting the kids schooling, UH practices, and within, guidelines. I remember, though this in school year visit really unique, Riley Wallace picked the brain of Rick Majerus, to learn the ins and outs of the Flex Motion. Rick really helped Riley and when Riley’s teams were running that O system to perfection, hard to defend, always gave someone, after going through several sets, an opportunity for a good shot!
Have a good trip Gib, maybe Brian, you will receive a tweet about potential get from Louisville area!
Caleb , hang in there, I have disc problems from sports injuries in years past. Takes time, however you have to treat, rehab, ice, heat, and take care so don’t reinjure.
You are correct, you are one of my favorite young bigs, a great , smart, high IQ big, heal up, rehab well, your back will get better, takes a little time. Then when season starts, you will be ready to go. It is frustrating, however, when your body is ready, you will definitely be needed against the Big BWC and out of conference teams you will face.
Take care, and best health and speedy recovery Caleb Dressler!
I like that Gib has the opportunity to sit in on a successful programs practices. It can only help our young coach Gib.