Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, November 13, 1998

W A H I N E _ B A S K E T B A L L

Big catch for Wahine:
6-5 post player signs

By Al Chase


The long, frustrating search for a post player ended for the Hawaii women's basketball team yesterday when Christen Roper signed a national letter of intent to play for UH next season.

Roper, a 6-foot-5 center from Ojai, Calif., averaged 18 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game for Nordhoff High School last year. She was an all-Frontier League first-team selection and an all-CIF second-team pick.

With the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher, Roper narrowed her choices to San Diego State, Denver and Hawaii.

"I knew I could get the education I wanted in my major at any of the schools," said Roper, who also competes in track and field (shot put and discus). "I really liked the team and the coaching staff. That was the main thing I was looking for."

"Christen is the legitimate post player we have been looking for," UH head coach Vince Goo said. "An excellent post player with good agility, she'll give us a new dimension we haven't had since Kendis Leeburg."

Roper was named a preseason honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith.

Natasja Allen, a 6-1 forward from Port Orchard, Wash., also signed with the Wahine yesterday. She picked UH over Idaho and Long Beach State.

"Natasja is a rugged power forward who can score points and is aggressive to the boards," Goo said. "She has excellent speed and quickness, but plays much bigger than 6-1."

Allen broke current Wahine Kyla Evers' single-season scoring record while averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game for South Kitsap High School last year. She was named Narrows League MVP.

Goo said the two signings end the early signing period effort. UH will have two scholarships for next spring's signing period.

Tough opponents will
help Wahine rating

By Al Chase


Finding teams for the four preseason tournaments the Hawaii women's basketball team hosts is not a problem.

The question they face is how to sort out which teams to say yes to?

"We go with reputation, the conference and the RPI (Rating Percentage Index) from last year," UH head coach Vince Goo said.

"We like to play Pac-10 schools, SEC schools, schools from the better conferences.

"Right now we're doing next year. You don't know how teams will finish, but if you get a Kansas or North Carolina you know they're going to be at least top 15."

Of this year's 16 visiting tournament teams, seven are in the top 25 of the Associated Press or USA Today/ESPN polls or received votes in those polls.

Kansas, No. 7 in the coaches poll, headlines the season-opening Hawaiian Regent Classic next week.

Also, Massachusetts, although not ranked, was an NCAA tournament team last year.

Four Rainbow Wahine Classic teams are ranked with UCLA No. 6 in both.

North Carolina is in the top 10 in both while Louisville and Nebraska received votes.

Texas Tech, No. 8 in the coaches poll, and James Madison, which received votes, are in the Ala Moana Hotel Paradise Classic.

"We try to schedule as many (ranked teams) as we can at any time in the nonconference games," Goo said.

The idea behind scheduling tough teams is to enhance Hawaii's RPI rating. The Wahine finished 25th a year ago.

The Wahine were not ranked in the AP preseason poll (voters are from the media), but received votes worth nine points in the coaches' poll.

"The media don't just do women's basketball," said Goo, a coaches' poll voter.

"They cover other sports. It's tough for them to get a gauge in preseason," he added.

"The coaches are fulltime and they know the traditional, strong programs."



bullet Hawaiian Regent Classic
Bullet Nov. 20: Kansas vs. Massachusetts, 2:30 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Minnesota, 5 p.m.
Bullet Nov. 21: Kansas vs. Minnesota, 1 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Massachusetts, 3 p.m.
Bullet Nov. 22: Massachusetts vs. Minnesota, 3 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Kansas, 5 p.m.
bullet Rainbow Wahine Classic
Bullet Nov. 27: North Carolina vs. St. John's (N.Y.), 9 a.m.; Nebraska vs. UCLA, 11:10 a.m.; Kentucky vs. Louisville, 1:20 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Illinois State, 3:30 p.m.
Bullet Nov. 28: No. Carolina-St. John's loser vs. Nebraska-UCLA loser, 9 a.m.; Kentucky-Louisville loser vs. Illinois St.-Hawaii loser, 11:10 a.m.; Championship semifinals, Kentucky-Louisville winner vs. Illinois St.-Hawaii winner, 1:20 p.m.; No. Carolina-St. John's winner vs. Nebraska-UCLA, 3:30 p.m.
Bullet Nov. 29: Seventh place, 9 a.m.; Fifth place, 11:10 a.m.; Third place, 1:20 p.m.; Championships, 3:30 p.m.
bullet Hawaii Invitational
Bullet Dec.12: Ohio St. vs. St. Mary's, 5 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Texas Southern, 7 p.m.
Bullet Dec. 13: Ohio St. vs. Texas Southern, 5 p.m.; Hawaii vs. St. Mary's, 7 p.m.
Bullet Dec. 14: St. Mary's vs. Texas Southern, 5 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Ohio St., 7 p.m.
bullet Ala Moana Hotel Paradise Classic
Bullet Dec. 21: Texas Tech vs. James Madison, 5 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Loyola Marymount, 7 p.m.
Bullet Dec. 22: Loyola Marymount vs. Texas Tech, 5 p.m.; Hawaii vs. James Madison, 7 p.m.
Bullet Dec. 23: James Madison vs. Loyola Marymount, 5 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Texas Tech, 7 p.m.
bullet Jan. 7: Texas-El Paso, 7 p.m.*
bullet Jan. 9: New Mexico, 7 p.m.*
bullet Jan. 14: At Brigham Young*
bullet Jan. 17: At Utah*
bullet Jan. 23: At San Diego State*
bullet Jan. 28: Fresno State, 7 p.m.*
bullet Jan. 30: San Jose State, 7 p.m.*
bullet Feb. 4: At Texas-El Paso*
bullet Feb. 7: At New Mexico*
bullet Feb. 11: Brigham Young, 7 p.m.*
bullet Feb. 13: Utah, 7 p.m.*
bullet Feb. 20: San Diego State, 7 p.m.*
bullet Feb. 25: At San Jose State*
bullet Feb. 27: At Fresno State*
bullet March 1, 3, 5-6: WAC Tournament at Las Vegas

* Denotes WAC opponent
Home games at Stan Sheriff Center

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