Hawaii men’s basketball back on the court

On the first day of summer training, 6-8 post player Zigmars Raimo weighed 221 pounds — 9 pounds lighter than last year. / Photo by Stephen Tsai

After a break of about seven weeks or so, the Hawaii basketball team was back on the court yesterday. The NCAA allows members eight hours each week for team activities, of which up to four hours may be spent on the court. This training session runs for about six weeks.

> What’s new? As previously reported, Gibson Johnson and Jack Rydquist have been added as graduate managers. Dominic Drury, who was a graduate manager last year, is now the assistant director of basketball operations. Freshmen Justin Webster and Kameron Ng began attending Summer Session II yesterday, which made them eligible to participate in the first day of organized team activities. Three other newcomers — Junior Madut, Bernardo da Silva and Jessiya Villa (who is on a mission in Ghana) — will join on Aug. 26, the first day of UH’s fall semester.

> Is that it? There still is one available scholarship. The Warriors’ preference is to fill it before the start of the fall semester. If not, it can be held for a mid-year signing.

> Fond farewell: A team and fan favorite, guard Huthifah Abdeljawad, is not returning to the team. “He was a good teammate,” head coach Eran Ganot said.

Gibson Johnson and Dominic Drury mark the NCAA’s new 3-point line.

> Deep thoughts: The ‘Bows are preparing for the NCAA’s 3-point stripe, which at 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches is 16 1/4 inches farther than the previous line. “Something we used to joke about (was) why I was shooting it too far behind the 3-point line previously,” guard Eddie Stansberry said, smiling. “If anything, I was getting ready (for the rule change).”

Last season, 72.4 percent of Stansberry’s shots were launched from behind the 3-point arc. In all, 43 percent of the ‘Bows’ field-goal attempts were 3-point shots last season. They attempted 24.2 3-pointers per game.

> Good health: Point guard Drew Buggs said he was able to mend problems with his right meniscus with intensive physical therapy instead of surgery. Owen Hulland, whose freshman season was limited to eight games because of a foot ailment, said he is in good health. Post player Zigmars Raimo, who weighed 252 as a freshman, enters his senior season at 221 pounds.


  1. Whitey July 2, 2019 9:34 am

    Good morning Tsaikos

  2. Warrior Lifer July 2, 2019 11:38 am

    Great news on the new guys coming in, and glad to hear Hulland and Buggs are in good health for summer training. Excited for the new season!

  3. sackkabooya July 2, 2019 12:07 pm

    I fully expect Hemsley’s progression to follow the same (or similar) trajectory to Mike Thomas except with more shooting range. Multiple position “glue guy” who can rebound, cut and slash, run/fill on fast breaks, maintain the flow (passing wise) in the motion offense, and handle the ball vs certain match ups. Going to be a solid piece soon.

  4. sackkabooya July 2, 2019 12:21 pm

    I think once Drew Buggs gets more upper body strength then he will blossom. He will be the next Rod Bobbitt. Even defensively. His strength seems to be in the torso/low back parts of his body so far. He has all the tools in his game. Smart player with creativity and “hockey assist” vision. Even defensive vision as well. Just needs some physicality and a little more explosiveness. Awesome.

  5. islandman July 2, 2019 12:30 pm

    I think the 3-pt line is 16 3/4 inches back from the old line or 2/4 inch more than stated in the above article.

  6. sackkabooya July 2, 2019 12:50 pm

    Samuta needs to strengthen his hand grip so he can easily palm the ball. Will be way more explosive. He has the physical abilities, you can see it at times. Its there. He just has to figure some stuff out. Starting with his hand placement. Will help him gain some confidence with the rest of his game. Huge “sky’s the limit” potential. Awesome too.

  7. sackkabooya July 2, 2019 2:08 pm

    Zigmars’ finish looks like it has a half second video screen “lag” when he shoots. Like when you NBA2k player controler is not synched up with the picture because of bandwidth speed. Part of the reason he misses bunnies I think. Trying to rush with “finesse”. He just got to go up stronger. Easy to fix, with a little hard work and repetition. Can do.

  8. pukalani boy July 2, 2019 2:12 pm

    great outlook for this team

    Great outlook for this team, I hope they recruit another athletic wing that can defend.

  9. sackkabooya July 2, 2019 5:28 pm

    I see Stansberry as more of a specialist than a scorer. Similar to Tes Whitlock. I feel like the more he is used as the primary “scorer” the less effective he will be. Pick and choose shots in the offensive flow without worrying about touches. There will still be at least 10 to12 shots per game for him, probably all 3 pointers with maybe some backdoor layups when the defense overplays the 3 point line. Just has to adjust to the new distance. He will be open enough I think. No need to force shots. Practice. Can do.

  10. Kev-1 July 2, 2019 9:59 pm

    I actually liked the bigger Zigmars of last season.

  11. Kev-1 July 2, 2019 10:02 pm

    Or wait … 252 as a freshman? What was he last season? I thought he added weight for last season? Or was it muscle type weight?

  12. MrOkada July 2, 2019 11:05 pm


    I want to see this kid do well in his last two seasons at UH. That said, unless Avea improved his ability to handle the ball under defensive pressure 100%, having the ability to palm the ball better is not going to make him any more of a threat on the court. Without the ability to put the ball on the floor and create, he’ll continue to be relegated to a guy who scores off hustle and “rubbish” plays or his the occasional open 3. I’m worried Madut may take some minutes from him if it doesn’t improve for him. Will be nice to see him reunited with his Kahuku runningmate, Villa, once again though.

  13. sackkabooya July 2, 2019 11:20 pm

    Hulland seems to me to be similar to Chris Waltz but with more range and size. Not a real low block threat but able to work toward the basket from the high post, just like Waltz. He is bigger though, so he will be a legit 5. Different from Purchase (and Waltz)who was primarily baseline/wing “flasher” (with great mid range game) then “stretch”. So the strategy/usage may be a little more complicated for him. But it creates a whole new “animal” offense wise. Way more options (than with Purchase), especially with picks from the wing/elbow (tall pick and pop). Hulland has a lot to work on firstly (footwork and mid range) and he needs to stay healthy but you can see the potential with him. Lots. Awesome

  14. sackkabooya July 3, 2019 4:49 am

    Carper reminds me a lot of my recollections of Haim Shimonovich. Big body that can score from the low block and finish around the rim. He’s still young so there is a lot to look forward as his game develops. Pretty physical as a freshman. Gotta get a little bigger/stronger to make a larger impact in the paint (especially defensively) this off season. If he can develop a foul line/elbow mid range game he might be like Bill Amis one day. Nice piece real soon.

  15. hilorain July 3, 2019 8:17 am

    #11 Believe Zigmars was in the 230 range last year. Lost fat, but gained muscle

  16. Na Alii Pride July 3, 2019 10:40 am

    #12, 13 – I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Colina? He seems to run the floor well, and was a good free throw shooter. A big man who can get to the line AND make his free throws would be valuable. He did look lost at times last season, which was a little disappointing considering he spent a semester as a redshirt learning the system. I hope he can emerge quickly.

  17. sackkabooya July 3, 2019 11:59 am


    I think its all related. Mostly confidence. The use of his hands. Avea’s first step with his upper body strength and quickness is pretty good. He is not someone who will be expected to dribble and handle to set up his shot like a true scorer would. But I think he approaches the basket hard, then pauses, and attacks the rim at a reduced aggressiveness than his drive. All because of his hands. Fotu could go up aggressively because he had complete control of the ball attacking the rim. So could Valdes. I think Avea can go into that category of player. Fix the finish then the rest of his game (even some situational ball handling) will improve. Confidence.

  18. Inyoface July 3, 2019 9:42 pm

    Anyone know if Hawaii will ever have a mascot.

  19. islandman July 4, 2019 8:33 am

    18. Suggest some culturally sensitive mascots for UH. Like San Diego St had to change its Aztec mascot’s purpose and Long Beach St had to change from its Prospector Pete 49er mascot to a shark.
    Vili the Warrior won’t make the cut.

  20. sackkabooya July 4, 2019 9:31 am

    Hard to get a good read on Colina. He has a “clunky” style of play with weird (but active) footwork and not so much polish to his game. But he is such a strong, big, “hefty” guy. And like a “bull in a china shop” he can cause a lot of damage (and pain) to your merchandise. All without even trying to. I think once he realizes he has a unique skill he should expand on it. Hard picks, hard block outs, hard rim protection and bully the block on low posts. Pain. Zaza Pachulia? Kendrick Perkins? Good “eccentric” piece for Ganot to use once they figure him out. Nice to have one.

  21. Inyoface July 4, 2019 1:21 pm

    Watched the unlv football game on the stadium app from 2018. I forgot how a great a comeback Cordeiro orchestrated. We should have a great season this year with Cole at the helm and Cordeiro ready to jump in. Defense will kill too.

  22. iGrokSpock July 4, 2019 1:54 pm

    18 and 19. The Marshmallow Man was inoffensive to the PC’ers back in the day, although quite offensive to the rest of us who were in the stands that night at Aloha Stadium. He just might be available still yet.

  23. iGrokSpock July 4, 2019 1:56 pm

    20. Agree that Colina can be the “Enforcer” that has been lacking on court for the Rainbow Warriors. Can’t remember who the last one was.

  24. sackkabooya July 4, 2019 4:07 pm


    John Molle and Tom Sheppard come to mind as Rainbow Warrior enforcers

  25. sackkabooya July 4, 2019 4:08 pm

    Tim not Tom

  26. burro sabio July 4, 2019 4:34 pm

    We don’t need no stinking mascot.

  27. iGrokSpock July 5, 2019 7:47 am

    sackkabooya – plenny mahalos! Those two dudes were from long ago. Time for a new Enforcer in da House.

  28. Inyoface July 5, 2019 12:58 pm

    We do need a mascot, statistically it brings in more of the casual fans to the games, as well as women and children. The last time we always packed the stadium Vili was there.

  29. War zone July 5, 2019 1:02 pm

    Rip sanitoa

  30. Andrew July 5, 2019 1:21 pm


    I’d disagree. The last time UH always packed the stadium was well a long time ago. The mascot has zero to do that. It’s the quality of the team and the quality of the opponent. Even in the success of the 06 and 07 seasons, the only time the stadium got packed was when big name teams came in like Boise State, Washington, and even for Oregon State/Purdue the stadium got pretty crowded too. Vili was great for pumping the crowd up, but he’s not the reason people went to the game

  31. burro sabio July 5, 2019 11:23 pm

    Important stuff that matters – condolences to Scheyenne’s family and friends. Jahlani Tavai’s tweet said a lot.

  32. burro sabio July 5, 2019 11:42 pm

    Unimportant stuff that doesn’t matter – a mascot is something that finds you, it’s not something you can go looking for. Last time someone wanted a mascot, we ended up with Marshmallow Head. UH has played football for about a hundred years, if we don’t have one yet it just isn’t going to happen. And if you have to pay for services, it’s not a mascot.

  33. sackkabooya July 6, 2019 1:25 am

    Scheyenne Sanitoa seemed to be a very humble, quietly intense, accountable, team first guy. He was just starting to get things figured out scheme wise. I remember him having an outstanding Paradise Poly Bowl performance on OC16. Looked ready to have “breakout” season this year. Very sad to hear of his passing. Condolences to all of his Family and his University of Hawaii Football Family.

  34. Kawika July 6, 2019 8:49 am

    Condolences to the family of Scheyenne Sanitoa. Lots of speculation about the cause of his death, but people should show some respect during this trying time. Rest in Peace, Braddah!

  35. A-House July 6, 2019 10:58 am

    A-house family sends it condolences and deepest sympathy to the Sanitoa family for the loss of Scheyenne.

  36. Stephen Tsai July 6, 2019 1:51 pm

    New post: https://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=50090

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