Hawaii Athletics Press Release
After a 2014-15 run that ended in the Big West Tournament final, the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior basketball team has been picked to finish third in the league's preseason media poll. Earning a spot on the preseason all-conference team was junior guard Aaron Valdes.
2015 Big West Tournament champion UC Irvine was picked to win the league for the third straight year, receiving 19 of a possible 23 first-place votes with 198 total. UC Santa Barbara garnered two first place votes and Cal Poly, picked to finish sixth, earned a pair of votes as well.
Valdes saw his first significant action on the court last season en route to earning all-Big West honorable mention honors. Leading the team in scoring and 10th in the Big West with 13.6 ppg, he delivered a handful of outstanding performances during the season beginning with 28 points in UH's season-opening win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He dropped 31 against UH-Hilo less than a week later and posted his career high of 34 points in a January game versus CSUN.
Hawai'i is already three weeks into practice under the direction of first-year head coach Eran Ganot. He inherits a squad that finished 22-13 overall and has four returning starters and nine letterwinners including Roderick Bobbitt, a second team all-conference pick, who became just the fourth player in Big West history to rack up 100 steals in a season and finished as the national leader in the category. Along with Valdes, Stefan Jankovic returns as an all-conference honorable mention selection.
The 'Bows tune up with an exhibition game versus Chaminade on Nov. 5, then tip off the season Nov. 13 against Montana State at the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.
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