UH scoops up Brandon Thomas

Outside shooting came and went for the Hawaii basketball team in 2016-17. Its ho-hum 32.5 percent team accuracy on 3-pointers was sixth among nine Big West Conference members, and was especially felt at times given that UH runs a four-out offense.

The Rainbow Warriors hope their latest addition will make them a touch more deadly in that regard.

Riverside Community College 6-foot-4 wing Brandon Thomas, the younger brother of UH senior forward Mike Thomas, was made official by UH on Friday afternoon.

Brandon Thomas (Riverside City College photo)

The last brothers to play for UH basketball were Rykin and Dyrbe Enos, although they did not play together. The Thomases are expected to be the first brothers on the same roster in the modern era (all college opponents) of UH basketball.

Brandon Thomas’ game is considerably different than his brother’s energy-and-post repertoire.

Thomas sank 41.1 percent of his 3-pointers his freshman season at Riverside Community College, which went 23-9 in the CCCAA. Of his 9.8 field-goal attempts per game, more than half (5.8) were from beyond the arc.

Riverside CC coach Phil Mathews said that while Thomas did not have any other Division I offers, that was because Thomas was expected to return for his sophomore season. He added it would’ve been much tougher for UH to get him at that point.

“He’s a great addition, great family, great person,” Mathews said. “Excellent student. Just a great kid. A joy to coach him. As a player, he’s going to be very good for them. He was one of our best shooters. I think his best basketball’s ahead of him. They’re getting him at the right time; I think he has a lot of growth in him. Athletic, quick, was one of our best players this year.

“Hawaii did a great job recruiting him throughout the year. Kept recruiting him and staying in contact with him. When it came time for him to decide, Hawaii was right there.”

Thomas is the fourth player added for the 2017 signing class (three of them for 2017-18), along with Samuta Avea, Jaaron Stallworth and Jessiya Villa. UH has two more scholarships it may award for next season.


Former Gonzaga guard Bryan Alberts is still out there as an undecided, at least publicly. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, Alberts has visits coming up to VCU and Florida International. If accurate, that would seem to make UH’s chances at Alberts quite a bit tougher.


Didn’t get a chance to put this in a blog earlier, but Matt Owies has found a home. He’s landed at Seattle University in the WAC.

The Redhawks went 13-17 last year. Remember Manroop Clair? He went the same route, going to Seattle U after spending his freshman season at UH. Clair played three years there (he just finished his career in 2016-17) with his most meaningful action happening in 2015-16. That season, he averaged 8.1 points in 21.5 minutes per game.

Best of luck to Owies at his new home.


  1. RoyGBivs May 26, 2017 5:28 pm

    I’m hopeful that we land some ‘bigs’ with the remaining scholarships – gotta get some beef in the paint I think

  2. AllG May 26, 2017 10:40 pm

    Yes would love if we could add a 7ft shot blocker similar to Rozitis. Not sure if there are many quality big men left to be had at this point. I would say Jaron Stallworth and Brandon Thomas seem like they will at least be upgrades to the two players who transferred out.

  3. Derek May 27, 2017 11:05 am

    If Mike Thomas is the “Rock”, is Brandon Thomas the “Scissors”?

  4. cappie the dog May 27, 2017 1:13 pm


    Wouldn’t Alberts have to fight for playing time?

    I thought the point of him transferring was to apply his high major talent to a low mid-major program, where he can, hypothetically, dominate, like Noah Allen did to a certain extent.

    Florida International makes more sense. It’ll be easier to take if he chooses the Golden Panthers over UC-Davis or Long Beach State.

  5. cappie the dog May 27, 2017 1:21 pm

    Of all people, it was Mike Thomas who came up big against Maryland. That performance changed my opinion of the incoming senior. I am looking forward to seeing his younger brother play. Welcome aboard, Brandon.

    We need consistent three-point shooting.

    Hawaii hasn’t had a true pure shooter since Matt Lojeski.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

  6. cappie the dog May 27, 2017 1:26 pm

    Remember how another Brandon; Brandon Jawato would line-drive his three point shot attempts?

    No arc, whatsoever.

  7. Brian McInnis May 27, 2017 3:30 pm

    I’d throw in Zane Johnson, Bo Barnes, Garrett Nevels, Negus Webster-Chan and Stefan Jankovic as some pretty good shooters of recent vintage. And Jack Purchase is right there, too. But Johnson is the record-holder.

  8. Carl May 27, 2017 4:38 pm

    Brandon seems to be the real deal. We got a great core; just need some inside presence…

  9. Kahuna May 29, 2017 6:40 pm

    This guy have characteristics that coaches love. He has athleticism, he has length and most importantly…he has work ethic. Guys like him will work hard and put forth great effort. That is all you can ask for…right?

    I get the feeling he will make all those who doubt him eat crow. I can see a Phil Lott clone in Brandon Thomas.

    Welcome to the Warrior Ohana Brandon!

  10. cappie the dog May 29, 2017 7:52 pm

    Chris Gaines: academically ineligible. The late Chris Gaines.

    Conference opener against Air Force: Phil Lott hits the game-winning shot from the baseline as a freshman.

    Phil Lott had an unorthodox looking shot but it worked for him.

    He was a hypothetical fifth round NBA draft pick, I remember reading.

    Riley Wallace had a pretty good string of guards who could shoot, really shoot.

    Imagine a backcourt of Michael Kuebler, Matt Lojeski, and a senior Carl English.

    Back-to-back-to-back. It would have happened.

  11. na alii pride May 30, 2017 10:26 am

    Cappie #10

    I agree that would have been a great back court, but as I remember, we were able to offer Julian Sensley a scholarship because English left? I’m wondering what the next three years would have been like with Julian. But who knows?

  12. cappie the dog May 30, 2017 8:00 pm

    Sensley was a big “get” for Hawaii according to Andy Katz.

    His signing made the radio version of “Sportscenter”.

    What I remember about Julian is the same as what I remember about Rodrick Fleming: The best player on the team is not the hardest-working one.

    At least Sensley put up better numbers.

    Rodrick Fleming would actually show up on the NBA Mock Draft put together by NBAMockDraft.net. Middle second round.

    Fleming needed Bill Ames’ heart.

    Ames is my only positive memory of the Bob Nash era.

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