Former Hawaii team captain and All-WAC second-teamer Bill Amis connects from London during March Madness to talk about a whole host of topics, including his recent 15 minutes of fame on social media. Amis, one of six players to block 100 or more shots for his UH career, went on to have a productive seven years as a pro spanning Europe, and he just launched his own business, Off the Court, to help student-athletes capitalize on their likeness rights. Meanwhile, it's already been a turbulent offseason for the one-and-done 'Bows.
In this Big West tournament edition of the pod, one of the guys calling the action from the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, Trent Rush, takes a break from his prep work to talk matchups on the men's side of the bracket. Does Hawaii have what it takes to emerge from the field as the 6 seed? First the Rainbow Warriors, who have not won a tourney game since 2016, must take their matchup with No. 3 UC Riverside. Meanwhile, the fifth-seeded UH women get No. 4 Cal State Bakersfield in their quarterfinal on Wednesday.
Welcome to March! The first madness-month edition of the pod doubles as the first appearance by an active Rainbow Wahine basketball player, none other than senior forward Amy Atwell. The fifth-year sharpshooter from Australia is closing in on becoming the program's all-time 3-point marksman, but she has more pressing concerns on her mind -- namely, bringing back a conference championship to Manoa. And, who knows, she still might have a couple of cracks at it. But first, the UH women and men face UC Davis in the final games before the conference tournament.
A fixture in the Hawaii basketball program for more than two decades, former assistant coach Jackson Wheeler left a indelible impression with just about everyone he came across -- players, fellow staffers, media members, you name it. With his ability to relate to a broad cross section of people and tell-it-like-it-is style, he was invaluable in bringing in some of the top talent on some of the top teams in the 1990s and 2000s. Meanwhile, the 2020-21 Rainbow Warriors battle to rise above the dreaded play-in round of the conference tournament.
The winningest player in the history of the Hawaii men's basketball team, Mike Thomas, reminisces about his five-year career in Manoa spanning three head coaches, an NCAA investigation and NCAA Tournament run. Thomas breaks down how Gib Arnold, Benjy Taylor and Eran Ganot found success through different methods. He's left hoops behind -- at least as a player -- and is focusing his energies in athletic training, player development and music. Meanwhile, the bank is open for Biwali Bayles as the 'Bows withdraw a one-point W at Cal State Northridge.
Hawaii basketball co-captain Justin Webster, the reigning Big West Player of the Week, is in high demand after his sublime shooting led the Rainbow Warriors to a two-game sweep of Cal Poly and got UH back to .500 in Big West play. An 11th-hour pickup by the 'Bows last year, Webster kept falling back on the work that he'd put in with his father, a former NBA draftee. In doing so, he went from overlooked commodity to go-to guy and team leader by the midpoint of his second season in Manoa.
Dayton Morinaga, the founder and operator of the Hawaii basketball-centric website WarriorInsider.com, trades war stories with the host from his more than two decades of covering Rainbow Warrior hoops. From being on site for NCAA Tournaments in the early 2000s as a beat writer for the Honolulu Advertiser, to journeying on the mythical 2011 "Warriors to Asia" tour, to the present season defined by the pandemic, Morinaga has seen a ton. Meanwhile, the 'Bows try to end a run of futility against nemesis UC Irvine.
Let Dr. Sai Tummala be the cure for what's ailing you this week, as the former Hawaii sharpshooter comes on to share memories of that magical 2015-16 season that capped his college career as a graduate transfer from Arizona State. Tummala went on to get his degree from the John A. Burns School of Medicine and is in residency for orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in his native Phoenix -- a hotspot during a pandemic.
At last, the pod gets a guest from the current Hawaii men's basketball roster. (It only took 35 episodes ... that's the host's fault.) Senior forward Casdon Jardine demonstrates why he was a natural candidate for co-captaincy, with an easy give-and-take to match his ultra-efficient start to the season as the nation's leader in 3-point percentage. He nearly willed the 'Bows to a road sweep of UC Riverside and now matches up with a familiar foe from his WAC days in Cal State Bakersfield.
Hawaii's Big West-opening series was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test for Cal Poly, following a trend for the entire conference. Thankfully, former 'Bow Brandon Spearman had some time between training sessions and chatted about his overseas career, interesting roommates, his bond with Gib Arnold and the possible whereabouts of his "Tip of the Spear" award.
Former Hawaii basketball point guard and current Spectrum Sports analyst Johnny White gives his take on the Rainbow Warriors' 2020-21 season-opening win over Hawaii Pacific and offers up some observations on the team's many new players. White speaks about two prominent games of his era (1998-2000), being a point guard for Riley Wallace, and playing for an NBA D-League title in its very early days.
NBC Sports Philadelphia hockey correspondent Taryn Hatcher, a former Hawaii News Now sports reporter, talks life since she made the move from the islands to her backyard market in 2018. Covering the NHL's Flyers is challenging, but nothing compared to when she arrived in Hawaii and had the teleprompter crash while reading Polynesian names on her first high school football weekend. Plus, the UH basketball season finally gets underway -- minus a key player.
Chaminade basketball coach Eric Bovaird isn't at this week's Maui Invitational in North Carolina, and heck, his team is scattered to the wind while the small Division II Catholic school yields to state COVID restrictions. But Bovaird, ever the optimist, sees no reason to pout. His giant-slaying Silverswords will be back someday and, until then, he's got time to re-live his journey from rural Pennsylvania to the shores of Lahaina.
Just in time for the revised start to the 2020-21 college basketball season, ESPN/Big West fun-loving analyst Richie Schueler prospects the shaky ground the sport is on as teams press ahead with competition -- even as many games are postponed and canceled due to COVID. (Hawaii is among the programs still without a posted nonconference schedule.) Schueler gives his outlook of the BWC and what obstacles, chiefly UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara, stand between Hawaii and a title.
Former Hawaii big man and current Rainbow Warriors graduate manager Gibson Johnson provides some updates on the state of the 'Bows a mere two weeks before the newly slated start of the 2020-21 season. Johnson, an All-Big West honorable mention in 2016-17, details why he pursued coaching over playing pro right after college and recalls his reaction to being dubbed "Old Man Swag" by the host for his effective, deceptive, YMCA-esque post game. Plus, the Stan Sheriff Center gets a new name.