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Bragging rights


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POSTED: Thursday, November 05, 2009

Time to settle the debate.

Who is the best basketball team on the island—Hawaii or Division II's top-ranked squad, Brigham Young-Hawaii?

Granted, tonight's 7:05 p.m. exhibition contest at the Stan Sheriff Center is worthy of an asterisk. Some of the matchup's luster is removed because BYUH is without D-II player of the year Lucas Alves, while the Rainbow Warriors might be without star swingman Roderick Flemings and sharpshooting guard Dwain Williams.

Still, the teams have plenty of offensive options to toss at each other. The Seasiders—27-2 last year and the only team from the islands playing into mid-March—brim with confidence and complementary talent. And the Rainbows, 13-17 last season, are wary after a less-than-convincing win over D-II Hawaii-Hilo in their first exhibition nearly a week ago.

One man has direct insight on both groups. Former UH walk-on Gary Satterwhite Jr. transferred out this summer and is now a Seasiders reserve guard.

               

     

 

BYUH AT HAWAII

        When: Tonight, 7:05 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center
       

TV: None

       

Radio: KKEA 1420-AM

       

 

       

The former Radford High standout was diplomatic when asked of his thoughts on his return to the Sheriff, where he practiced but never played in a game. He figures it'll be an important test for both teams as they go their separate ways into D-II and D-I play.

“;I've been looking forward to this game since I found out about the schedule,”; said Satterwhite, who redshirted in 2007-08 then missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. “;I'm just excited. I don't want it to come off like, you know, I'm trying to get back at UH. No, that's not it at all—there's no hard feelings toward UH. That program, the whole situation, all the players, all the coaches, made me such a better player and person overall. So, I'm just excited more than anything. I can't wait to get back in there.”;

To back up the hype that accompanies their No. 1 preseason ranking in D-II, the Seasiders look to make waves in upper-division Manoa with a victory.

“;Oh, that would be huge. That's the perfect way to start off the season, get some momentum going into our regular season,”; Satterwhite said. “;It's a good confidence-builder, whenever you play a Division I team as D-II, that's big-time.”;

The 6-foot-4 Satterwhite is playing on the Seasiders' second team at shooting guard and is one of several new players BYUH coach Ken Wagner is excited about. He also raved about established returnees JR Buensuceso (point guard), Marques Whippy (power forward), and “;Jet”; Chang (swingman).

Wagner knows his guys from the North Shore are jacked up about testing themselves against a bigger opponent.

“;Well, it's always fun to win against anyone, but this is probably a little nicer against Division I,”; Wagner said. “;Many of our players feel they should have been Division I players, so it gives them a chance to prove that they're as good as the players in Division I.”;

Nash leaving lineup open

Hawaii coach Bob Nash said he wasn't ready to announce a final lineup against the Seasiders. But Hiram Thompson, Jeremy Lay, Adhar Mayen, Bill Amis and Petras Balocka were the primary first-teamers in practice yesterday.

Besides Flemings (groin) and Williams (thumb), senior forward Brandon Adams hasn't practiced since tweaking an ankle last week. Nash wants to get Flemings more touches in a game setting before the regular-season opener Nov. 13 vs. Southern Utah.

Senior forward Paul Campbell said yesterday he was awaiting results of an MRI on his sore knee before he'd know how much more time he'll miss. The problem flared up in the exhibition vs. Hawaii-Hilo last Friday and Campbell hasn't practiced since.