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Friday, December 6, 2002


[ DIVISION II REPORT ]



art
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Chaminade newcomer Roy Stigall has coach Aaron Griess thinking the Silverswords can turn it around after finishing last in the conference in assists and turnovers last year. The Sacramento, Calif., native was recruited by Division I schools.




Making a point

Junior Roy Stigall has
given Chaminade the point
guard it lacked last year


By Brandon Lee
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Defense is the top priority for Chaminade point guard Roy Stigall III. On offense, he thinks pass first and shoot second -- but shoots really well.

Along with a great attitude, these are the reasons Silverswords basketball coach Aaron Griess calls Stigall "the complete package."

On a veteran-laden team expected to contend for a conference championship, these attributes already have allowed the newcomer to assume a leadership role as Chaminade's floor general.

"Roy is a true point guard," Griess said. "We lacked a true point guard last year.

"He can run the offense and he's a point guard who can score, too. And he couldn't be better defensively. He gives the other team's point guard fits every time we play."

With the Pacific West Conference season still a month away, the Silverswords have the worst nonconference record among the six league teams, entering last night's game with Lees-McRae at 1-5. Chaminade hosts Cal State Stanislaus tomorrow.

Unlike the others, however, the Silverswords hosted the Maui Invitational last week, playing three major Division I teams -- and losing each time.

According to Griess, Stigall more than held his own against all three opposing point guards at the tournament. He scored a team-high 18 points against No. 22 Virginia, which went on to play in the championship game.

On the season, Stigall is averaging 10.5 points per game -- good for second-best on his team and No. 14 among conference players -- and shooting 45 percent (13 of 29 attempts) from 3-point range. He dishes out four assists per game, third-best in the PacWest.

"I think I've done alright," said Stigall, a 20-year-old, 6-foot junior transfer from American River JC in his home city of Sacramento, Calif. "I try to help the team win, do whatever possible to make that happen.

"But it kind of sucks right now (with the recent losses) because we have a great team and I know we can be really good. Some of it starts with me, and I have to help get us there."

Stigall was recruited by a couple of Division I schools and had never been to Hawaii before, but chose Chaminade because of a quick connection with Griess and the talent coming back (seven returnees) from a 16-11 Silverswords squad last year.

He was initially homesick, but is quickly growing comfortable with life in the islands and his new team.

"I need to keep getting the ball to the right people, making sure to get people their shots and run the offense," he added. "I want to be like coach's eyes out there on the court."

Chaminade is coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1985-87. Stigall hopes to provide the key ingredients this year to lead the Silverswords to their first PacWest championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II tournament.

Stigall may be shutting down his man consistently. But in order to realize these goals, Chaminade will have to improve its team defense. The Silverswords are giving up 81.8 points per game -- worst in the PacWest.

Still, like pressing his opponent and biding his opportunity for a steal -- his favorite thing to do on a basketball court -- Stigall feels that the improvement will come with a little patience and persistence. He is confident that Chaminade will turn things around and live up to the hype that saw it receive a first-place vote in the preseason coaches poll.

"We're starting to (come together)," Stigall said. "We haven't clicked yet, but we're very close. We need to mesh a little better and once that happens, look out, because we'll be coming."



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