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Right-handed layup strikes back

June 29th, 2014

It was at once impressive and highly predictable on the first night of the College Summer League on Saturday.

Christian Standhardinger

Christian Standhardinger

Former Hawaii all-conference forward Christian Standhardinger barreled into the paint again and again. Everyone knew where he was headed — to the right — and yet he kept drawing fouls, kept getting the ball up on the rim. Enough of those dropped for him to accrue 40 points and lead Grantco Pacific over National Fire Protection, 103-95 in the nightcap of the summer doubleheader opener.

"I play my game, no matter where. It's always the same ugly game," Standhardinger said. "But you know what, it's efficient and it's like I'm married to that game. I'm not gonna change my game for a better-looking game because my game was very good to me for the last years and I'm just going to crash the boards, play hard, hustle plays and that's it."

An ex-'Bow of a finer vintage, Geremy Robinson, added 24 points in the win.

On a night when no 2014-15 Rainbow Warriors were in action, Standhardinger (and Miah Ostrowski in defending champion Wealth Strategy Partners' 98-90 win over Clark Hatch Fitness in the opener) gave fans a reminder of the recent past. The crowd, as it has been for the last several years, was enough to fill the stands in the Manoa Valley District Park gym.

It was some of Standhardinger's first officiated action since UH's heartbreaking, season-ending loss to Cal State Northridge in the Big West tournament in March.

Summer opponents will get plenty more opportunities over the coming weeks to prepare, but on this night the right-handed layup was out in force.

"Everybody knows!" Standhardinger exclaimed. "Like, who doesn't know it? I dunno why they don't stop it, I'm still waiting for somebody to finally stop it. I dunno."

He's using the summer league to stay fresh for an upcoming professional career in Europe while he finishes up summer school.

"I have some offers from Italy, Spain and Germany," Standhardinger said. "I gotta see where I go and right now I just keep in shape. And summer league helps me to do that. Then I will sign a contract around the end of July, beginning of August. So I just wait and finish up summer school. ... I'm blessed that I can make my money doing what I love the most, and that's playing basketball. I'm going to keep doing that."

Former Chaminade swingman DeAndre Haskins scored an impressive 30 in the loss for National Fire. It seems he will have to be that team's go-to scorer this summer.


Former UH point guard Keith Shamburger was in the house watching most of the second game of the night. He leaves next week for his postgraduate year at Missouri. Expect to see him back in the islands for the Tigers' appearance in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.


As for the current 'Bows, the first should be in action on Tuesday when Dyrbe Enos and Solar Universe take on Clark Hatch at 6 p.m.

Reyes no-go for summer league

June 26th, 2014

One of the three 2014-15 Hawaii men's basketball signees, big man Sammis Reyes, will more than likely not appear in the College Summer League in Manoa, which begins on Saturday.

Sammis Reyes

Sammis Reyes

If the Rainbow Warriors are fortunate, that's where the disappointment will end and the Chilean will arrive on time for the fall semester.

I received a tip that Reyes has some work to do before he can make it out here from prep school. So I asked him on Thursday if he'll still be able to make it out here for July second session of summer school and the summer league.

Reyes replied, "I don't think I'll be able to," and that he still has NCAA paperwork to complete.

He later qualified that the amount of material he must get through to be admitted into UH is "a lot, actually," but that he's "working on it right now" and is still optimistic things will work out. "I'm really excited to go out there," he added.

It's still too early to panic on Reyes, but UH is staring at some pretty drastic frontcourt issues if it has difficulty bringing him on board by August. Remember, the only other bigs at present are Isaac Fotu, Stefan Jovanovic, Michael Thomas and Stefan Jankovic (once he's eligible). You can bet Gib Arnold and Co. will try to pull out the stops to make Reyes happen.


Most of the roughly seven or eight UH players expected to participate in the summer league won't be in action until summer school begins a week into the league schedule. The exceptions will likely be local products Dyrbe Enos and Zach Buscher.


I didn't get a chance to touch upon Michael Harper's departure in this space yet, so this one's for you, Harp.

Michael Harper

Michael Harper

UH will miss the affable Aussie's team spirit and selflessness as one of the end-of-the-bench guys over the last two seasons. Harper is bound for Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, where he should get a chance at being a rotation player.

During at least one semester (the spring of 2013), Harper was placed on scholarship, which helped the team skirt some potential APR issues. Whether he returned to that capacity during the 2013-14 season isn't known for sure, but it's not believed he kept his full ride.

Fans will probably remember Harper for his inspired play off the bench during UH's season-ending loss to Air Force in the ill-fated participation in the 2013 CIT. He had some hot shooting streaks in scrimmages, as well. He was never one to shy away from hoisting up shots — for good or ill. He didn't lack gumption, that's for sure.

With the projected arrival of three new walk-on guards in Buscher, Tyler Harville and Brocke Stepteau, the 'Bows should be able to keep their scout team rolling.


2014 Summer League rosters revealed

June 18th, 2014

Expecting the bar to rise another notch was probably unrealistic.

We may have been a little spoiled by level of participation of current University of Hawaii men's basketball players in the College Summer League over the last couple of years.

The numbers are down in the rosters revealed for the 38th running of the league, but among the six 2014-15 UH players slated to participate are all three members of the signing class for the coming college hoops season — Roderick Bobbitt, Isaac Fleming and Sammis Reyes.

The summer league regular season starts up June 28 and runs through Aug. 5 at the Manoa Valley District Park, with the same doubleheader format — 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. — on any game night. The majority of games are on Thursdays and Saturdays but with the occasional Tuesday thrown in. The playoffs are somewhat different — this time featuring a format of three consecutive days of play Aug. 7-9. Those will again be held at Maryknoll's gym.

Ex-'Bow Julian Sensley will be around to defend last year's title with Wealth Strategy Partners, but as of this roster last year's league MVP Aaron Valdes will not be playing.

There's plenty of the regular former Division II and small-college players you come to expect. UH fans might also be excited to see Phil Martin listed among the expected participants. Others, like expected Rainbows walk-ons Tyler Harville and Brocke Stepteau, are not listed right now.

The team names are the same, with the exception of Central Medical Clinic, which became Chosen Few.

Here's the list of active and former UH players by team. Keep in mind rosters have a way of changing on the fly leading up to (and even during) the games. Bolded names are current UH players.

Chosen Few (coached by David Patterson) — Zach Buscher, Bill Amis, Jace Tavita

Clark Hatch Fitness (Tim Thorpe and Al Kam) — Isaac Fleming, Phil Martin

Grantco Pacific (Allan Silva) — Roderick Bobbitt, Geremy Robinson, Christian Standhardinger, Tyler Brown

National Fire Protection Co. (Gilbert Hicks) — Mike Thomas

Solar Universe (Artie Wilson) — Sammis Reyes, Dyrbe Enos, Tim Shepherd

Wealth Strategy Partners (Marco Johnson) — Julian Sensley, Miah Ostrowski


Buscher in, Hackman out, Standhardinger spars

May 29th, 2014

Hawaii seems intent on keeping its corps of walk-ons well-stocked heading into the 2014-15 season, while upping its local flair at the same time.

'Iolani shooting guard Zach Buscher said he's agreed to join UH in the fall as a walk-on, which will mark the first time under Gib Arnold that there will be two local players on the Rainbow Warriors' roster (Dyrbe Enos is the other). Correction: It will be the first time under Arnold to begin a season. UH had Pi‘i Minns and midseason addition Miah Ostrowski in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Zach Buscher (photo by Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Zach Buscher
Credit: Paul Honda /

The 6-foot-3 Buscher was an all-tournament team selection for the state champion Raiders, and was the No. 3 player on the Star-Advertiser's 2013-14 Fab 15 list.

He'll be the first 'Iolani alum on the team since Bobby Nash in the mid-2000s. The last time there were two local Rainbow Warriors on a roster (for a full season) was in 2009-10 with Beau Albrechtson of Kaimuki High and Rykin Enos of Kamehameha under former UH coach Bob Nash.

"It means a lot. It's a great opportunity for me to make my dream come true," Buscher said. "I've been going to UH games as a ballboy for years. I always dreamt of playing for UH."

Until roughly the last month, he wasn't sure what level of college ball he'd get a chance to play at.

"I started getting serious about looking at colleges and where I wanted to go," Buscher said. "I always wanted to play for them (UH) and didn't know if it would be possible, but talked to Coach Gib, had a couple meetings with the coaching staff and them. Then, made the decision. ... I definitely wanted to play in college. That was a goal of mine, whether it be D-I, D-II or D-III."

He seemed to realize that there's a hefty down payment of work and time involved before respect is earned at the next level.

"One of the biggest things is attitude, having the right mind-set and working hard," he said. "Because it's going to be at a whole 'nother level from high school. Physically it's going to take some time to get used to. But having the right attitude is going to be huge. There's other ways to help the team ... defense. Defensive is huge; I take pride in my defense."

Seeing another local product like Enos succeed with semi-regular playing time this past season was a major confidence boost for him. Buscher has some familiarity with Enos from ILH games three years ago, when Enos was the state player of the year as a senior and Buscher was a sophomore. They also crossed paths in practices between separate Hawaii Raiders club teams.

"Seeing Dyrbe play (at UH) is great," Buscher said. "It's encouraging seeing him (on the floor). I know him pretty well."

'Iolani coach Dean Shimamoto said Buscher averaged about 11 points per game and shot just under 80 percent at the free-throw line as a senior, while also drawing defensive assignments on opponents' best perimeter players.

"I think that's kinda a testament to the type of player he is and why he may be successful at the Division I level," Shimamoto said. "Defense is about heart and desire, and intelligence. And I think he's capable of bringing that defensively to the next level, but his athleticism's got to catch up. I think if he does that he can contribute both defensively and offensively."

Shimamoto played him at the 2 but said Buscher should be able to play the point at the next level if he is asked to do so.

"He has a long frame, a good understanding of basketball and a great work ethic," his coach said. "You never know how that's all going to turn out. Right now, coming out of high school athletically, I don't think he's a Division I athlete yet. But if you put the work in you can be and I think he's capable of doing that."

Buscher will play in the upcoming College Summer League in Manoa/Maryknoll Gym, so that will be a good opportunity to watch him go against next-level talent.


It's not a direct one-for-one swap with Buscher by any means, but current UH walk-on guard Jack Hackman confirmed Wednesday that he's leaving the program in pursuit of a scholarship situation affording him more playing time. In fact, he was taking a visit to Division II Sonoma State at the time of a phone call on Wednesday.

The scout teamer with the sweet stroke saw action in four games for UH, scoring three total points. He finishes his 'Bows career a perfect 100 percent on 3-pointers — he was 1-for-1, with his score coming against Hawaii Hilo.

Jack Hackman / photo by UH

Jack Hackman
Credit: UH

"You know, just one of the biggest things, just somewhere I could play more right away," Hackman said. "I think I could have played at UH, just a little further down the road. I would have taken a lot of hard work. I'm not afraid of the work or anything, but I mean ... you only get four years of eligibility and I wanted to spend that time out on the floor where I felt like I was a good contributor to the team.

"But I want everybody in Hawaii and everybody to know that I absolutely loved my experience in Hawaii and wouldn't trade anything. I had a great time and it's something I'll never forget."

Hackman, of Portland, Ore., is leaning toward a West Coast situation. He's also been in discussion with Dominican (if it sounds familiar, that's because it's in the PacWest Conference) and Rollins College in Florida.

He's the third 'Bow from 2013-14 confirmed to be leaving the program early, after Caleb Dressler (Central Washington) and Keith Shamburger (Missouri). However, as a non-scholarship player, he does not affect APR.

Hackman is an intelligent, team-oriented guy who showed he could knock down shots in practices. Best of luck to him with a probable expanded opportunity at his next school.



Christian Standhardinger

Christian Standhardinger

My colleague Cindy Luis notified me today that ex-UH forward Christian Standhardinger is appearing on a local boxing card this Saturday, May 31 at Palolo District Park Gym, against an opponent to be determined, in an apparent tune-up to his professional (hoops) career.

Admission is $12 for the show, which starts at 6:30 p.m. and features boxers from Oahu and Maui. Standhardinger, who trained in boxing last summer back in Europe, is fighting in the semi main event against an opponent to be determined.

That fight alone could be worth the price of admission. Standhardinger brings entertainment value no matter what he's doing, and you can bet he'll give his foe an earful at the very least.

The main card is Gaylord Balasi of Kalihi vs. Rocky Vigil of Colorado.


Look for a story in Friday's newspaper about UH director of operations Chris McMillian's next destination.

Good get for 'Bows

May 21st, 2014

The Hawaii men's basketball team may have been quiet for most of the spring signing period, but the Rainbow Warriors made some noise on the final day of the period Wednesday by signing post banger Sammis Reyes of North Broward (Fla.) Prep.

Sammis Reyes

Sammis Reyes

The 6-7, 240-pound Reyes should be of immediate help for a UH team that lost two of three players from its frontcourt rotation in the 2013-14 season. He averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists per game for Broward.

Bottom line, it was a get UH absolutely needed on the heels of losing out on Jaleel Cousins to South Florida. Big bodies don't exactly fall into your lap at this time of the year, and Reyes is a load. He also has junior national team experience with Chile.

Reyes' enthusiasm for joining Gib Arnold's team comes through in his comments in Thursday's edition of the newspaper.

Here's a montage of Reyes highlights from this past season.

He's got a crowd-pleasing game with a degree of ballhandling ability you wouldn't expect from a guy of his dimensions. If everything goes well with Reyes in the preseason, you could see him on the court in games sooner rather than later, especially with Stefan Jankovic ineligible until mid-December.

That, right now, should be something for beleaguered UH fans to get excited about.

UH whiffs on another

May 20th, 2014

Heading into the final day of the spring signing period Wednesday, there was some hope Hawaii could pick up a much-needed big man in the form of Navarro (Texas) College 6-foot-10, 290-pound center Jaleel Cousins.


Jaleel Cousins

Nope. Cousins, who I'm told visited UH recently with his older brother DeMarcus of the NBA, elected to sign with South Florida on Tuesday.

That's two known recruits in a row UH could not close the deal on, after point guard target Joey Frenchwood recently committed to Montana State.

Another big UH is going after, 6-7 Sammis Reyes, reportedly remains uncommitted after his recent campus visit.

While UH can add players with non-binding scholarship agreements until the fall semester, getting another official signee surely would have helped quell fears of a light 2014-15 class (as of now, just guards Isaac Fleming and Roderick Bobbitt) going into the summer.

As of right now, UH's front line for the coming season is Isaac Fotu, Stefan Jovanovic, Stefan Jankovic (starting in December), Mike Thomas, and in a pinch, Negus Webster-Chan.

The 'Bows might be able to squeeze somebody in on Wednesday, but the bottom line right now is this signing class is shaping up as a disappointment amid the ongoing NCAA investigation.

Fisher exploring options

May 13th, 2014

Hawaii assistant coach Scott Fisher could very well be plying his trade elsewhere next season, independent of the NCAA's findings of the UH men's hoops program.

"I'm employed by UH but yes I am investigating other options," Fisher wrote in a message to the Star-Advertiser on Tuesday.

Fisher's Australian connections remain strong. He's regarded as a true Hall of Famer there based on his playing and coaching experience after his days at UC Santa Barbara.

He's been with Gib Arnold since Arnold's arrival in Manoa in 2010.

UPDATE: Arnold said this in a message when asked about Fisher's comment: "Coach Fisher is a finalist for a Collegiate Head Coaching position that he has interest in. I obviously support him and think he would make an excellent Head Coach."

Fisher started at UH as the director of operations as his first gig with a Division I program. From there, he worked his way up to full assistant with the departure of Walter Roese after Arnold's first season.

His primary responsibility is working with the UH big men. One of Fisher's other duties included overseeing team academics.

UH's current director of operations, Chris McMillian, previously confirmed with the Star-Advertiser he was exploring options at other colleges/universities to become a full assistant coach.


In case you missed it, UH recruiting target Joey Frenchwood committed to Montana State. You won't see UH putting that on its list of "best recruiting near misses" anytime soon.

2 new recruiting names

April 29th, 2014

The Twitterverse revealed two new recruiting prospects for the Hawaii men's basketball team over the last 24 hours.

The first is Newark Memorial High (Bay Area, Calif.) senior point guard Joey Frenchwood. The 6-foot-1 Frenchwood picked up his first Division I offer on Sunday from Hawaii, he said in a phone interview Tuesday. He said he plans to take a visit to the islands before deciding — but UH's odds seem good here, as his other interest is from Montana State.

Joey Frenchwood ( photo)

Joey Frenchwood

"I'm liking Hawaii a real lot right now. ... It feels really good (getting that first offer)," Frenchwood said. "I know I want to take a visit for sure. If I like it a lot, I'm sure I might commit. (I want to visit) as soon as possible, honestly."

"(My approach is) whatever I need to do to win. I can score, I can facilitate. I'm a pretty good defender, I'd like to say. Whatever my team needs me to do to win, I'll do it.

"It was a good year. It was a little up and down. We started off strong, then we had a drought where we dropped seven games straight. Then we picked it up, ended up winning 20 straight and going to the (open division) state tournament. We lost in the first round. But it was a real good year. I was happy how we ended.

Here's a YouTube montage for Frenchwood.

The other player is Dallas Jesuit High senior point guard Brocke Stepteau, who said Tuesday he's taken a preferred walk-on spot to play for UH in 2014-15 and will arrive in July.

"It feels really good. I've been wanting to make a decision for a while. ... I've been talking to Coach Gib for a little bit and yesterday (Monday) I just let him know I wanted to be a part of the UH program. I'm going to be coming out July 7."

He helped Dallas Jesuit win its district in Texas' 5A ball, but his team lost in the first round of the playoffs. More recently, he's played for the Dream Elite Unsigned Seniors, with whom he averaged 15 points and seven assists.

Brocke Stepteau

Brocke Stepteau

"I work really hard to get better in every aspect of the game. I like to get my teammates involved as a point guard, and I can also shoot really well from the outside," he said. "I think I can score very well and defend for my position very well."

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Stepteau's other options were Florida Atlantic, St. Peter's and Houston Baptist, he said. He's looking to put on 10 points of muscle once he gets here.

"Definitely the distance is pretty far, but I'm going to enjoy it and I can't wait to get out there," said Stepteau, who was on Maui last summer for a vacation. "It'll probably take a little bit to get used to, but I don't think it's going to be a problem at all."

Here's a YouTube montage for Stepteau. and a pretty crazy buzzer beater he made.


In case anyone is wondering if Stepteau's arrival will prevent Tyler Harville from following up on his decision to walk on at UH, Harvillle said Tuesday he still plans to be here in July for summer school.


If anyone's wondering what became of Vander Joaquim, here's a story about Joaquim's optimism to expand his role with the Angolan national team this summer. He had very brief looks with two NBA summer league squads last year and latched on with a pro team in his native Angola.

Arnold Call the Coach roundup

April 22nd, 2014

Hawaii coach Gib Arnold made a rare after-season appearance on KKEA 1420-AM's Call the Coach Show on Tuesday amid several offseason happenings for his program.

Highlights include Arnold saying he has two scholarships remaining for next season; stating that a game against Pittsburgh on Maui before the EA Sports Maui Invitational was likely; and saying his contract situation still has not been resolved.

Here's a sampling of Arnold quotes on some of the topics discussed, with questions asked mostly by host Gary Dickman and a few by fans calling in.

On signees Isaac Fleming and Roderick Bobbitt: "Both of them are really big athletic guards, something we haven't had since we've been here. They're both combo guards, but Roderick Bobbitt is more of a point guard."

On scholarships available: "I have two scholarships remaining for next year."

On what he needs to fill out the 2014-15 roster: "I always like best player available. I'm not a big guy on positions. ... If you look to where we're the thinnest … we're thinnest at the bigs."

On Negus Webster-Chan: "He's put on almost 20 pounds of muscle since he's been here. ... He could play the point for us. I have no problems with him doing it … but we're looking at him more at small forward."

On Keith Shamburger's departure: "You know, i'm just grateful for what he did for the program here. he played a big role in us winning our 20 games this year, which doesn't happen very often.  He had some big games for us… that UC irvine game he made that miraculous shot. He did have some ups and downs throughout the year but overall I thought he was really consistent. ... He's looking for something a little different and I support him."

On player movement in college basketball: "There's a lot of reasons. … for everybody it's a little different. It's an epidemic. It's something everybody is affected by. ... Utah State … lost their entire team. It happens. I think it has to do with the culture. Very few players play for one high school anymore."

On scheduling Pitt for a game on Maui in 2014-15: "Jamie (Dixon) and I have agreed to it. It's just a matter of getting it done. … We've agreed to a  date and time. I think everything's a go there. … We still have to put the contract together. We've talked about a home-and-home with Pittsburgh as well (the following year)."

On trying to schedule Kentucky: "We talked to Cal (John Calipari) about coming out here … he wanted to do it. He wanted 40 rooms. … it was something we wanted to do, but … you do the numbers, we'll have to play at Aloha Stadium to break even."

On Wichita State and Colorado playing in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: "I'm a big Wichita State fan. I just love what they've done there and how they've done it. ... Colorado's made a name for themselves and done a great job in the Pac-12. I'm exctied. I'm looking forward to those games."

On the NCAA's proposal for unlimited meals for student-athletes and what that might cost schools: "I got no concern. I understand that we gotta figure out how to raise some money, and we gotta go out and make it happen. ... These student-athletes should have a great training table and they should be fed the right food. Our guys unfortunately sometimes skimp by a little bit …. We gotta just find a way. We will. These guys need to be fed, and they need to be fed right."

On his unresolved contract situation: "You know, I have not signed a contract. We have a lot of meetings and … I thought we were in an agreeable place. ... As of this time, I have not received anything written or anything across my desk. ... I would like to sign a contract, you bet I would. Of course I would. I've got five kids. I would like to stay here.

On whether his contract comes up in recruiting: "Every time. Every time. It's a big deal. … Every single home visit. That's a big topic. There's coaches out there who can use that against you. ... But I'm confident that what we agreed upon earlier will make it. I don't know with whom it's at. I don't deal with that. ... I don't want to get into a situation where you fight over this or that. I just want to a coach."

On his philosophy fouling up three in the Northridge loss in Big West tournament: "It does change a little bit depending upon a number of variables. I don't think there's any one way.  ... Coaches go back and forth on it. You gotta look at a couple things. One, have they been hitting shots. … Are they hot, have they been knocking down 3s. The second thing is, do you have free throw shooters that once you (inbound) … can those guys go down and knock down two free throws. This year I had free throw shooters. I'd like to get it into to Keith and to Garrett (Nevels). ... In the past, on a couple of times, my worst free throw (shooters) were my point guards."

On having players who appeared to be worn down at the end of recent seasons: "I did feel that we have worn down. One of our mantras going into the next year is 'finish strong.' ... I do think we need to, all the decisions I'm making early now are so we finish strong. I think we need to get deeper into the bench. ... I think you're going to see more guys play for me next year. I want to make sure we don't wear down. ... Even though the travel is not quite as far (as the WAC), we still travel by far more than anyone else in the country."

On whether Aaron Valdes will receive a scholarship next year: "I've given Valdes an academic goal, and if he hits that he will be on scholarship."

On the ongoing NCAA investigation: "You know, I'm really not allowed to talk a whole lot on that. … But I can reiterate from before, we did find something that didn't look right. When I found out about it, I immediately called Ben Jay. ...We went through the process. ... Once we found out a mistake was made, we did everything we were supposed to do. ... We found out now it was against the rules. We invited (the NCAA) in and opened up our books and records. When they come in, it's not like a little chat. You're getting interrogated over one thing. ... It's a new thing for me. ... They told me it will be taken care of shortly."

On reflecting on last season: "You know, just really proud of this team. Again, to win 20 wins was a big deal for us. I liked how the seniors stepped up and became leaders. Liked the development of the young guys. My guys continue to rip it up in school ... setting academic records. I was pleased. It was one of those years I really felt good every time we went to practice. ... I think we have a really good program right now and our goal is to go from good to great."

Musings on Shamburger

April 15th, 2014

Well, if you haven't heard by now, Hawaii point guard Keith Shamburger is picking up his ball and going home.

Keith Shamburger

Keith Shamburger

If you drew up a list of likely candidates to leave early right after the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, Shamburger wouldn't have been near the top; his starting job seemed relatively secure. But now UH heads into the fall requiring a new starting ballhandler for the fourth straight year.

Less than two weeks ago, Shamburger was hyping up some pretty eye-opening (and still unconfirmed) names on the 2014-15 Rainbow Warriors schedule. Now, he'll wrap up his career at a to-be-named school, likely on the West Coast.

Both teammates I spoke to on Tuesday reacted with surprise. You can read their comments in Wednesday's Star-Advertiser.

So, is Shamburger leaving because of the impending signing of Indian Hills guard Roderick Bobbitt? It would be simplistic to peg it on either end of the spectrum — that it is the whole cause, or completely unrelated and more to do with his relationship with the coaching staff. The truth likely lies somewhere in between.

There were several blow-ups between Shamburger and teammates/coaches during the season, both public (think his first-half benching during the Cal State Northridge game on Feb. 1) and private (locker room angst after the win over Oregon State in the Diamond Head Classic, among other games).

At the time, there wasn't believed to be any lasting damage done, as there were several emotional personalities on last year's team — the head coach included). Well, in retrospect, maybe that wasn't the case.

Some were critical of Shamburger's shooting struggles (34.9 percent from the field, 30.8 percent on 3-pointers). But you also have to give him credit as the team's best free-throw shooter (83.2 percent); he helped put a few games away at the line. His ball distribution was generally solid (5.4 assists per game), and UH fans will always have the Hawaii-UC Irvine Sham-battle, which led to a Big West player of the week honor for him.

In one oft-rehashed postgame radio interview, Shamburger himself recognized his own shooting troubles and resolved to come back a much better with plenty of time put in the gym this offseason. He had moments of refreshing self-awareness like that that often made him one of the team's better interviews, his self-imposed media embargo (Shambargo) after the Northridge game notwithstanding.

UH fans should lament the lack of  continuity at point guard going into next season — it was the team's first chance in a while to have the clear-cut starter at the position back for another tour of duty. It'll be up to Quincy Smith, Bobbitt, Isaac Fleming or another newcomer to take command.

Personally, I'll miss the Sham puns.