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H A W A I I _ S P O R T S

Notebook

Wednesday, December 6, 2000

RAINBOWS NOTEBOOK

Just like
starting over

Hawaii men's basketball coach Riley Wallace said the 13 days between the 65-63 loss to San Diego and Saturday's game at UCLA is the longest in-season layoff he can remember.

"In some ways it's good," Wallace said. "But we picked a tough one to come out of the chute against.

"But they've got to learn to travel, and they've got to learn to play against good teams."

Wallace said it's almost like starting the season over -- but with two weeks more practice time.

"It really is," Wallace said. "Like (assistant coach) Scott (Rigot) said, 'Wouldn't you love to take this team the way it is now and play Louisville?' "

That sentiment is due to the Rainbows' better overall grasp of the team's offensive systems.

"A lot of people have really improved," junior guard Mike McIntyre said. "It's not like it's second nature yet for the new guys, but they're getting there."

Hawaii is 1-2 and UCLA is 2-3.

Starting lineup status quo

Wallace said he plans to start the same five that tipped-off against San Diego: point guard McIntyre, wing Predrag Savovic, small forward Nerijus Puida and posts Troy Ostler and Bosko Radovic.

Shimonovic won't travel

Freshman center Haim Shimonovic's eligibility is still in question and he won't make the trip, Wallace said. NCAA rules prohibit ineligible players from traveling with the team.

Wallace said a case is still being prepared for presentation to the NCAA to resolve the eligibility situation. Shimonovic reportedly played in a professional league in his native Israel, but did not receive money to play.

Stats and stuff

After three games, Ostler leads the team in scoring (18), rebounds (7.7) and blocks (1.3). Puida is top assist man (5) and Savovic leads in steals (2.7).

Mindaugas Burneika is the top 3-point shooter (3-for-7, .429). Ostler, Savovic, Puida and McIntyre all average 33.7 minutes or more.

Tip-ins

Wallace said Hawaii's participation in next year's Big Island Invitational is nearly a "done deal." Other teams tentatively in the tournament include Colorado State, LSU, Mercer, Pepperdine, Weber State, Wisconsin and the host Vulcans. ... The Rainbows leave for Los Angeles tomorrow morning at 7:55 aboard United Flight 934 and are scheduled to return Sunday at 11:50 a.m. on United Flight 53. ... The next home game is Dec. 16 against Texas-Pan American. ... Guard David "Jeep" Hilton practiced with a bulky bandage on his left hand to protect a jammed thumb. The Rainbows are otherwise healthy. ... Wallace said UH tried to recruit UCLA sophomore sharpshooter Jason Kapono, but the part-Hawaiian who was born and raised in California made it clear early that he was not interested.


Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin



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