Diamond Head Classic 3rd-place game: Hawaii vs. Georgia Tech

Mele Kalikimaka on Year 11 of the Diamond Head Classic on Christmas. / Photo by Brian McInnis

The Yellow Jackets hold the Rainbow Warriors to only four field goals in the second half, including none in the final 9:52, en route to a 70-53 victory in the third-place game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

* * * * *

Since Jordan Usher’s ejection for a flagrant-2 foul, the Jackets have outscored the ‘Bows, 16-4, for a 61-50 lead with 3:51 to play.

* * * * *

Georgia Tech’s Jordan Usher is ejected on a flagrant-2 foul for throwing Dawson Carper to the court.

* * * * *

A 7-0 surge has given the Jackets the lead, at 45-42, with 10:55 to play.

James Banks blocked UH’s Bernardo da Silva, triggering a fast break that finished with Bubba Parham’s layup for a 43-42 lead.

* * * * *

The Jackets are on a 12-4 run, closing to 42-41 with 12 minutes to play.

Michael Devoe has 12 points, but only three — on a 3 — in the second half.

* * * * *

The Jackets have come out of the intermission flat. In the first 4 minutes, 9 seconds of the second half, the Jackets have missed all five shots, turned the ball over three times and committed six fouls.

UH leads 38-29 at the first media timeout of the second half.

* * * * * *

Bernardo da Silva’s layup on a drive-and-dish from Drew Buggs extends the ‘Bows’ lead to 32-29 at the intermission.

Buggs was key in the final two minutes of the half, hitting a 3 to close the ‘Bows to 29-28 and then making a diving play on an pass into the lane.

Justin Hemsley came off the bench to score eight points to energize the ‘Bows. He also has not committed a foul.

* * * * *

Michael Devoe, who is eighth among ACC players in scoring, already has amassed nine points.

It’s 23-all with 3:46 left in the first half.

* * * * *

Justin Hemsley sparked UH’s 9-0 run as the ‘Bows vaulted to a 19-12 lead. Hemsley has six points and, more importantly, no fouls.

It’s 21-15 with 7:19 left in the first half.

* * * * *

The ‘Bows are countering the Jackets’ trap with a smaller lineup of Drew Buggs, Eddie Stansberry, Justin Webster, Justin Hemsley and Zigmars Raimo.

Jackets lead 10-8 at the second media timeout.

* * * * *

The Jackets turned to the press early, forcing a steal that led to Michael Devoe’s layup and an 8-4 lead with 15:34 left in the first half.

* * * * * *

The Warriors face a top defensive team in today’s third-place game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Since the beginning of last season, the Yellow Jackets have held 24 opponents to under 40-percent shooting.


  1. wafan December 25, 2019 2:18 pm

    Merry Christmas, ‘Bows faithful!

  2. wafan December 25, 2019 2:19 pm


  3. sackkabooya December 25, 2019 11:47 pm

    I watched the condensed game on you tube. Weird game. Clunky. Especially defensively vs penetration. Georgia Tech’s defense second half was good too. UH needed to adjust something and did not. They needed a game like this frankly. Before conference. To feel what real “failure” actually feels like, and avoid it when you sense it approaching. Seemed like they were waiting for someone to make a play. Just watching and waiting. Like playing pick up ball with people you don’t know. Weird. But I think this will help them figure things out later, in conference play.

  4. sackkabooya December 26, 2019 12:49 am

    As for McDonald I think he can be a 2nd to 5th round pick in 2021 Draft. UDFA this year IMO though. But the potential to prove he has what the NFL is looking for is really possible. He just needs to improve/develop some skillsets.

    Firstly he needs to put on some weight. He needs to be a more physical runner (NFL QB trend). He is pretty easy to tackle or avoids contact (slides) all together. A bigger frame should help him be more confident (able to handle contact) from the pocket too. He has good straight ahead speed and pretty good “footwork”. He just lacks “fleet footed” quickness with them (like Chevan has). He can develop this offseason, guarantee (this would be the first thing whichever NFL team signs him as UDFA will fix, throwing motion would be second IMO). It might not look like Chevan’s (foot speed) but it should be less “stretchy” with a quicker “re-coil” so he can cut better. Imagine if he could develop this. NFL scouts would take notice for sure.

    Secondly is his passing adjustment IQ. Really looks bad when he gets in his “adjustment” (when defenses adjust) funks. Lots of interceptions. And a lot of dropped interceptions. All while staying in the frame of the passing scheme (unlike someone like Jameis Winston, true gunslinger). So he needs to overcome this problem. Rolovich could help him with personnel specific to his skillsets (like bigger physical slots in some packages) so he can run more often when LB’s key on slots and RB’s.

    Lastly would be his throwing motion. But that will be the NFL team’s problem to fix. Not a big problem currently. Just the arm strength needs to improve (should improve with weight/strength gain) some. So he can throw deep with more trajectory (higher arc) than now. Will have big, rangy outside targets and one really fast slot (Phillips) so the potential to put up big numbers will be unreal.

    As for his competition with Chevan it should be moot. They are such different types of QB’s. Chevan needs to develop physically. He has all the skills, just his physical ability is holding him back. Not really ready yet. Once his body matures he will be unreal. You can see it. Maybe soon. Maybe next year. But because their skillsets differ so much yet both suit this system (unlike Tua and Hurts) both can and will play. And if they are replaced (by each other) it might not be due to inefficiency. I hope Cole will come back. Can be unreal next year.

  5. Whitey December 26, 2019 6:03 am

    Spring practice will be interesting cause the Warriors are loaded at the QB position and each will have a chance to excel. Hope none of the reserve Qb decide to quit or transfer. Competition is good and hopefully the cream rises to the top. Be super if the 2020 recruits could enroll for spring semester.

  6. cappie the $2000 dog December 26, 2019 6:28 am

    I guess it’s better to lose the first game. Hawaii could have played, perhaps, Boise State on Day 3 and finish 2-1 like they sometimes do. Maine on Sunday.

    I hope Cole McDonald comes back. McDonald, at the press conference, said he’s going home to mull over his future. Not what I wanted to hear. He’s a redshirt junior. Did McDonald graduate? He could do the graduate transfer thing. Very humble. I had to turn up the volume. Easy to root for.

  7. cappie the $2000 dog December 26, 2019 7:07 am

    BYU’s decision to pass on 3rd and 2 and stop the clock cancels out the play in Provo that allowed the Cougars to march down the field in the final minute and kick the game-winning field goal as time expired. But in Paul Johnson’s defense, the play was there. The receiver simply dropped the ball.

  8. Andrew December 26, 2019 8:11 am


    I don’t blame him if he leaves. Everyone is so quick to turn on him. The local bias with Cordeiro is real. He handled being pulled from games well and it would be understandable that a player may not want to return to a situation where he gets pulled every game when he has a bad series or throw. I think that dual QB situation here really works well but as a player it’s probably very frustrating especially when trying to set yourself up for an NFL future.

  9. cappie the $2000 dog December 26, 2019 9:00 am


    This is true. But if Cordero underperforms, they’ll turn on him with greater force. Local-born quarterbacks undergo even more scrutiny. The guy not playing is always the better quarterback.

    Hawaii who lost to Texas Southern, but beat Texas, who beat #1 Stanford, then lost to Idaho. Also UW lost by 2 at Vanderbilt.

  10. haka December 26, 2019 11:56 am

    2020 receiver Jay Wilkerson commits to Hawaii!
    Go Warriors!

  11. ai-eee-soos December 26, 2019 12:13 pm

    #10. Rob DeMello mentioned this on his show. found this on google.


  12. Kahuna December 26, 2019 4:00 pm

    If you are going to be a QB, you got to have thick skin. You are the leader of the team and the leader will get all the glory and all the blame.

    If either Cole or Chevan have such fragile ego that they want to transfer because of bad performances or critical evaluations, then maybe they need to change position.

    QBs come into this program knowing they need to be play makers. This is an offense made for QBs to shine…and fall. If they QBs don’t want to be a play maker, then maybe they need to transfer to a program where they can manage the game and just hand to ball off.

    I don’t find what Rolo was doing this season to be unwarranted. Cole was making bad reads at time and trying to force the ball into tight spaces. His “benching” is not uncalled for.

    As for Chevan, his numbers are not that great. He is a change of pace guy who will give the opponents a different look and give UH sparks. If the spark is not there, changes need to be made. I think Rolo have pulled all the right strings this season.

  13. NorthShoreFan December 26, 2019 7:32 pm

    Good Christmas present…. will take all the talented receivers we can get. …. BUT all I want for Christmas is a bunch of nasty DL and OL dudes. Can’t have too much of these kind of guys…..next man up!
    Have a good year Tsaikos!….Year of the Rat will be chasing championships!

  14. cappie the $2000 dog December 26, 2019 8:37 pm


    I have the same conversation with my cousin at men and women’s basketball games. If the players produced consistently at a high level day in and day out, they would be playing at a Power 5 school. Not you, per se, but I’m sure there are some people who wanted to see Cole permanently benched, not as part of a two-quarterback rotation. I like Cole. I like Chevan. I hope they both come back next season, and co-exist. Rolovich did do an excellent job of subbing Cordero for McDonald when the latter kept throwing it to the other team. And for that matter, most of all, I hope Coach Rolovich returns, too.

  15. SteveM December 27, 2019 7:25 pm

    As for too many QBs recruited and on the roster, I recall June Jones saying the QB is usually one of the most talented guys on their former team and could play another position, if not QB.

    As for Cole… well, I remember the decision Colt Brennan made to return…it was great for Hawaii but not so great for him. I am sure this is a factor in Cole’s decision…go when he can or stay and try to make history. Tough call.

  16. winning December 28, 2019 11:31 am

    Cole McDonald does not have that peripheral vision critical for a QB. He could work on it but its 50/50. Also, quicker recognition is not yet part of his DNA. Really got to work on that if its possible. Cordeiro has to get stronger period. Hope they recruit some D players that can plug up the middle and penetrate. We’ll see

  17. sackkabooya December 28, 2019 1:09 pm

    I think instead of citing Colt as his example McDonald should look at Jahlani’s return for his senior as what is possible for him. He, like Tavai 2017, showed promise and physical attributes that could rationalize to be at least a late round pick. But for both there is/was question marks here and there that needed/need to be verified and sorted out. Tavai confirmed his abilities and despite a season ending injury still parlayed his potential into a second round pick coveted by at least two teams. Cole can do the same if he returns. Guarantee.

    McDonald really relies on the system to flourish. As the system struggles, Cole struggles. But he has the physical tools to overcome these struggles when the offense bogs down because of defensive adjustments. He can do this. The offense would be unstoppable for real. Like the combination of the first halves of Arizona, CAU, and New Mexico games. Imagine whole “complete” 4 quarters of this kind of proficiency. 2nd round grade for sure. I think its possible. Cole just has to return and adjust. Rolovich and Stutzmann can help him. Easy. Unreal.

  18. Whitey December 28, 2019 1:33 pm

    Wow, this is one long game with Ga Tech.

  19. sackkabooya December 28, 2019 1:34 pm

    I also hope to see more specific packages offensively, mainly because the O-line and receivers groups are so varied (skillset wise) and deep (of equal abilities, not much drop off player to player). Especially in the red zone and goal line. Really looked “Base Packaged” when a specific package was necessary. Can do? I think Rolo can figure it out.

  20. sackkabooya December 28, 2019 2:17 pm

    If Ernest Moore can get some good reps and Nuuanu-Kuhiiki can be ready for duty (both as capable back-ups) then I feel like Rolo should consider moving Vanterpool to TE-H, similar to how they moved Kaiwi Chung.

    Vanterpool looked good catching passes in a “for fun” off position group drill so he has “hands” catching ability. He can also have a chance to display his ability to block in space in goal line packages. He has good foot work to block and seal off the edges on the line of scrimmage or even off set as H (maybe not as FB though). He can always move back to OT 2021 when a lot of guys graduate. He has the skill to do this. Maybe scouts will take notice. He needs to get on the field. Would be a weapon I think.

  21. Whitey December 28, 2019 7:19 pm

    Fantastic game between Ohio State and Clemson.

  22. Buffoman December 28, 2019 7:27 pm

    Watching the games today and watching the qb play, I wonder why Cole did not run more, as the qbs from OSU, Clemson, Oklahoma and even LSU did. It created interesting plays for the offense, especially for both OSU and Clemson. Cole showed he was a running threat when he ran, but he did not run as often as these did as an overall offense scheme. Enjoyed watching Clemson ‘s Lawrence in that offensive scheme. Think Cole could be as effective if there was a designed strategy to make him a true run threat.

  23. ai-eee-soos December 29, 2019 11:31 am

    Colt Brennan’s record of 58 passing TD’s in jeopardy.

    Joe Burrow has 55, with 1 more game to play.

  24. NorthShoreFan December 29, 2019 1:08 pm

    Watched a game where he “jumbo package” used additional O linemen. Worked great. Insead of additional running backs or TE’s. They punched it in from short yardage…..maybe…?
    Great games yesterday….finished the mochi pounding quickly….so could watch the games.

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