By Brian McInnis
Former San Jose State point guard Keith Shamburger was looking for a change, that much was clear. Now he explains why.
A few days after news broke that he'd be transferring to UH, the one-time UH recruit answered a few questions about his impending move to Manoa. He averaged 13.1 points and 5.2 assists per game in 2011-12.
Q: What happened after your sophomore season at SJSU?
A: A couple days after the season, I asked for my release. I really didn't know which school I wanted to go to. I just wanted to sit down and just worry about school for a couple weeks. ... I just wanted basically to get away. To go as far as possible. I mean, Hawaii's a good fit, Hawaii has good coaches.
Q: That's interesting, because when you picked SJSU over UH, a lot of it had to do with being closer to your family, right? Now it sounds like you want some space?
A: I think it's best for me to get away, and I want to get away. I'm still going to be able to play at home (Los Angeles), with the Big West schedule that we have.
Q: What was it like being on the other side of things and playing UH from that standpoint for two years?
A: Being on the other side, I always talked about, when I came to Hawaii, how good the fan base was. How they support the team, and how Coach Arnold wants his players to fight. He wants to win games. I like that. I want a coach that's going to push me, make me work. And I feel Coach Arnold and his staff there will do that, and make me into a better player. All that came into consideration. When I was being recruited out of high school, I knew he could do that out of high school for me. But I was just too scared to go all the way to Hawaii for college when I was 17. Now I'm matured and ready to go out there on the island, play basketball and go to school.
Q: How do you think you'll handle sitting out games during the redshirt/transfer year?
A: I'm not worried about that. Pepperdine called me up a couple times, asked me to come back home ... Pepperdine was going to try to get me to play (immediately) because my grandma had just died, and move me back closer to home. I could have tried to get a year (exemption) to play next year right after I transferred. But I'm not worried about it. I'm looking forward to sitting out this year. I'm going to practice with the team, get used to the system that they have. I'm going to get used to playing with the players. This year is going to be a good year for me to just sit out, and watch, and learn and get better.
Q: When do you expect to get into the UH system and arrive here?
A: I'm going to be out there for summer school in July.
Q: How would you sum up this past season at SJSU?
A: It was real frustrating. I'd never been on a losing season like this before. I really felt a lot of things, being on the other side of the losing. I'm glad I saw it now and it's not too late to make a change. I don't even know what to say, why we had the losing season (9-22, 1-13 WAC) that we had. I know last year I played through a back injury the whole season. I'm not going to use that as an excuse why I had my low numbers and shooting percentage (33.7) and all, but I know I can do better at my shooting percentage. I'm working on getting my back checked on now. I'm going through that, and everything should be good.