UH hoops picked sixth

Well, how about that. The Hawaii men’s basketball team was dealt  a measure of disrespect — how I’m sure it will come off to the Rainbow Warriors — from the media Thursday with UH’s projected finish of sixth place in the Big West Conference preseason poll.

It’s true that UH has several reasons for optimism this year, but, as the poll showed, so do about six other teams in the nine-team league. Many have their top player back from last season. Five of the six All-BWC first-team players from last season, including UH’s Christian Standhardinger, made the preseason all-conference team.

Though Irvine got the top spot after a breakthrough (21-win) year for Russell Turner’s team, it was far from unanimous. Five different teams received first-place votes, though UH was not one of them. Nine of 24 people went for UCI, while six (including myself) went for UC Santa Barbara. Three-time defending regular-season champ Long Beach State got five votes despite losing most of its production from last season. Cal Poly seems to get the most out of its talent and got three votes, and Cal State Northridge, with new coach Reggie Theus and most of its scoring back, got a vote, even though it finished behind UH.

UH might simply have to prove it can consistently win on the road before people take the ‘Bows seriously.

Here’s the results. First-place votes in parentheses.

1. UC Irvine (9) 183 2. UC Santa Barbara (6) 167 3. Cal Poly (3) 165 4. Long Beach State (5) 164 5. UC Davis 114 6. Hawaii 110 7. Cal State Northridge (1) 89 8. Cal State Fullerton 57 9. UC Riverside 31.

The preseason Big West team (there’s only a first team)

Mike Caffey, Jr. G, Long Beach State; Will Davis II, Jr. F, UC Irvine; Chris Eversley, Sr. F, Cal Poly; Corey Hawkins, Jr. G, UC Davis; Christian Standhardinger, Sr. F, Hawaii; Alan Williams, Jr. C, UC Santa Barbara.

My ballot was as follows:

1. UC Santa Barbara. 2. UC Irvine. 3. Long Beach State. 4. Hawaii. 5. Cal Poly. 6. UC Davis. 7. Cal State Northridge. 8. Cal State Fullerton. 9. UC Riverside.

Preseason team: Alan Williams, UCSB; Corey Hawkins, UCD; Chris Eversley, CP; Mike Caffey, LBSU; Christian Standhardinger, UH; Stephan Hicks, CSUN.


On Wednesday, the Rainbow Wahine basketball team got a loftier projection. Laura Beeman’s team was picked second, only behind defending BWC tournament champion Cal Poly.

(It’s likely UH would have been picked third if the defending regular-season champ, Pacific, hadn’t bolted for the West Coast Conference.)

Here was the BWC preseason poll from 20 media members:

1. Cal Poly (17) 177. 2. Hawaii (3) 159. 3. Cal State Northridge 121. 4. Long Beach State 120. 5. UC Santa Barbara 100. 6. UC Davis 72. 7. Cal State Fullerton 59. 8. UC Irvine 54. 9. UC Riverside 38.

The preseason all-conference team:

Brittany Crain, So. G, UC Riverside; Sydnee Fipps, Jr. F, UC Davis; Ashlee Guay, Jr. G, Cal State Northridge; Kamilah Jackson, Sr. F, Hawaii; Alex Sanchez, Jr. G, Long Beach State; Molly Schlemer, Sr. C, Cal Poly.

And here was how I voted:

1. Cal Poly. 2. Hawaii. 3. Long Beach State. 4. Cal State Northridge. 5. UC Santa Barbara. 6. UC Davis. 7. Cal State Fullerton. 8. UC Irvine. 9 UC Riverside.

My all-conference team was:

Molly Schlemer, Cal Poly; Kamilah Jackson, UH; Ashlee Guay, CSUN; Alex Sanchez, LBSU; Sydnee Fipps, UCD; Shawna Kuehu, UH.


  1. poorboy October 24, 2013 2:23 pm

    Simply put: UH MBB team just WIN, and post season awaits. WIN the Regular season and BWC tournament, auto NIT and NCAA bids await.
    Just Win.
    Brian, the media guys, forget Isaac Fotu. That co freshman of the year BWC. Isaac is a completely improved and different PF this year. He is very agile, and added 3 point shot. Along with Guards, the improved PG and SG position, at least 5, including Dyrbe Enos, who are working as hard as any BWC team to get ready for season, Along with 3/4 guys Mike Thomas and Aaron Valdes, I give UH the 3 spot preseason. With a shot to win it all this coming March 2014. Gib, the Mantra, One Ohana, competitive in every thing, do well in school, and work butts off on court, this team will do a lot of damage at SSC. On the road, you know the saying, Win out at home, protect home court and split on the road, usually means top 1 or 2 BWC finish. Saw the guys, in practice, summer league and now, vastly improved preseason, scrimmages. The guys will be ready, that Fotu, Standhardinger, Spearman, Shamburger, Rozitis, leadership , along with Nevels and Smith, and the rest. UH MBB will be better, primarily because of the better guard rotation, guys that will go to the hole , shoot mid range to 3, and something very telling , the guys, share the ball, hit the open man! Key, like the Fab Five, share the ball, play hard, smart and together, UH MBB will have, or potentially have good season. BWC is not the Pac 12! It is totally winnable by all 8 teams!

  2. poorboy October 24, 2013 2:26 pm

    Sorry Brian and fans, to above statement, I meant , BWC is totally winnable to all 9 teams in that league, BWC is not Pac 12, Big 12 ,ACC or SEC. Anyone can win it. Just be playing welll come March 2014.

  3. K-Bay October 24, 2013 5:22 pm

    MOST of Hawaiʻi Fans have Very Little Doubt that UHMBB Will Be Better — but there seems to be a belief that this is true among much of The Conference — IF SO, i hope the coaches and ADs had the kahones to schedule tougher and also DO follow through in inter-Conferene play — itʻs time for The BW to start elevating itself…Lower Third should not be o.k. in populous Cali…WHY Aim Low?

    Whether Hawaiʻi has truly incorporated the elements to Elevate this Program or is just fantasy fueled by Hype and Wishful Thinking will begin to be Self-Evident in a Few short weeks…

  4. ROB T October 25, 2013 2:00 pm

    When you talk to the players do they give you a dirty look that you picked them to finish 4th

  5. Brian McInnis October 25, 2013 8:12 pm

    Hey Rob,

    Haha, no, they don’t. The guys might not like everything I write but that hasn’t come up. Fourth actually looks comparatively high compared to the rest of the media around the Big West. Some folks actually likely picked UH in the seventh or eighth range (as bizarre as that sounds) because I know of third-place votes that went the way of the ‘Bows. Something definitely was keeping their poll score down.

  6. ROB T October 25, 2013 10:18 pm

    I could see Hawaii finishing fourth, but I just have this feeling about this team. Easy to see we are lacking at the 5 spot. In a couple years Jovanovic and Dressler could be something special but are very green. The 3 spot will be an interesting dilemma until next year with three interesting propositions. Proposition 1 Spearman as a small 3. Proposition 2 running Rozitis, Standhardinger, and Fotu as a weird 3,4,5 mix. Proposition 3 is using Thomas and Valdez at this spot. I believe all of these will be used depending on the situation. The most interesting part of the equation will be the way fouls are supposed to be called this year…. Can’t use your forearm for defense down low. Guards can’t keep there hands on the opponent. When driving in with the ball as soon as you start to bring the ball up if the defender is not in defending position it’s a blocking foul. If fouls go up by 20-30% will we make our free throws and are we deep enough when our better players get in foul trouble? I think we are positioned well would be better if NWC was eligible this year.

  7. poorboy October 25, 2013 11:37 pm

    ROB T: I think what Gib is seeing via scrimmages and practices, Thomas and Valdes are upping their game, which is huge. They can help at that 3/4 spot. Smith, is turning out to be a very capable PG, much better than past year. The guy can go to rim, and runs the team pretty well.That first possible group of Spearman, Shamburger, Nevels, Fotu, and Standhardinger, along with first rotation guys, Thomas, Valdes, Smith, Rozitis, and maybe Jawato( if he can D up and shoot the 3 consistently )would be very good first 10. Hackman and Enos, very impressive with their ability to hit the 3 ball , great form, and they know where to go to get their shots. Also, added plus, I saw at Green Black scrimmage, Enos, can run the point, he can handle the ball, going against, great guard athletes in Shamburger, Nevels , Spearman and Smith. Either glass half full or half empty, I say, this year, UH MBB team, 3/4 cup full, sure the new guys have to be NCAA D1 tested. If somehow they can win that competitive Rainbow Classic title against athletic teams, they are off and running towards better things. From my perspective, Brian, I would have picked UH , yeah 3 or 4, it really doesn’t matter pre season, however, funny how they the Media, guys, didn’t factor in return of Spearman and Fotu, co freshman of the year BWC, those two plus Shamburger, make UH at least top half BWC . Probably UH will be battling in BWC between 1-4 spots, once again, ROB T, the most simple, but hard to accomplish formula for conference success, win out at home, and split or better on the road. UH MBB team, love the attitude, athleticism , great academics and agressiveness, They can be a very, very special team, as Artie W, likes to say, and I respect Artie, a very good UH guard with Tom Henderson!

  8. poorboy October 25, 2013 11:46 pm

    ROB T: Probably, and now we don’t have Vander, who , if he were much quicker,, would be a great 5 man with the current guards and wings that UH has now. By committee, Rozitis, Jovanovich, and Dressler, if his back is healthy, the 5 spot, their role, Rebound, block shots, position defense, alter shots, dive to floor for 50/50 ball, bang big bodies of UC Irvine 7 footers, offense would be a bonus. Very fortunate for UH to have 3 Centers , and have 15 fouls to play agressively! I know that everyone is awaiting Negus for next year, however I am very excited for this year! And Negus, in practice with scout team, and his athleticism and overall BBIQ and shooting, as well as assists, makes active players much better. They will probably not see, too, many 2/3 guys who can handle and shoot like Negus in the BWC. He , Negus, if he can hang in there, can help UH this year to get to NCAA’s, and his knowledge of game, he can help the young guys. Love Negus’ attitude, in fact the whole team. Would not be surprised if UH got hot in March and made a dash for BWC tourney crown, or won BWC regular season title and auto NIT bid!

  9. ROB T October 25, 2013 11:54 pm

    If I had a ballot U.H. would have received a first place vote.

  10. ROB T October 25, 2013 11:58 pm

    Brian I was wondering if you had the players vertical leap measurements and wing span measurements?

  11. poorboy October 26, 2013 12:04 am

    Funny Kine the BWC voting! Important how you finish right fans!
    Good point ROB T, you are very,very BB savvy, know the game, and thankyou for your comments, I appreciate and am always learning. I think UH will have good year, so much better athleticism and scoring ability, if UH can play outstanding, shutdown D, and pressure D to create offense, that SSC will be rocking!

    Yeah Brian, would be nice, if ….wel, maybe you will have in SA a newspaper article, about the guys, true heights , weight, wingspan, vertical leap, I know in the past UH MBB coverage, even had what guys bench pressed! Well …would be nice, to know the vertical . I could see at Green Black scrimmage, holy smoke! Garret, Q, and Aaron, can get up there, They must have at least, Nevels and Smith, 33 or 34 inch vertical or more. Mike Thomas, very, very long, it seems like every week or so, he grows another 1/4 inch, and now he is listed at 215 pounds, he really transformed physically from summer, from wiry, long young guy, to more developed body in 3 months! Hope he has great freshman year, he can help!
    Yep, ROB T. , I think Aaron, Qunicy and Nevels, have at least 34 inch or more vertical, Aaron, definite, approach 40 or more!

  12. poorboy October 26, 2013 1:14 am

    Well, come to think of it , Isaac Fotu, has more bounce too! Maybe he is a 32-33 inch vertical?So much, better hops with this team. Spearman, Nevels, Smith, Valdes, Thomas, Fotu, Standhardinger, Jawato, Rozitis, Jovanovich, all definitely can dunk. Who knows maybe even Dyrbe like Miah O. before him can dunk too?

  13. ROB T October 26, 2013 1:18 pm

    Agreed Fotu does seem to be leaping higher, I think I read that he lost a little weight over the summer.

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