Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, February 22, 1999

R A I N B O W _ B A S K E T B A L L

End to ’Bows’ miserable
season is in sight

By Pat Bigold


The merciful end is due this week for the Hawaii men's basketball season.

And it won't be a moment too soon for Coach Riley Wallace, who is eager to join the recruiting hunt for a point guard, a shooting guard and a center.

Saturday night's 78-72 loss at San Diego State, the Aztecs' first victory in 12 Western Athletic Conference Pacific Division games, raises the possibility of UH finishing dead last in the division.

Hawaii hosts San Jose State on Thursday and Fresno State on Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

With a 2-10 conference record, Hawaii is in seventh place. San Diego State is in eighth at 1-11.

"The longer the season went, the more discouraged some of the guys got," said Wallace. "But they played with a lot of heart."

This will be the first time in the 16-year history of the WAC tournament that the Rainbows are not invited. The Rainbows were mathematically eliminated from qualifying with the loss to the Aztecs.

Particularly galling to Wallace were the 29 turnovers the 'Bows committed. That was about a dozen more than their season average.

"That was just sloppy," said Wallace. "I think they tried too hard. They wanted to look good and they hurried their offense and just got impatient."

Johnny White, who led UH with 23 points, also led in turnovers with eight. Marquette Alexander (15 points, 11 rebounds) had seven turnovers .

Philipp Czernin was the only Hawaii player who did not turn the ball over.

Wallace said White definitely figures into his future plans and regrets that he had to play him so many minutes this season.

That's why point guard is a recruiting priority.

"You get tired and you can't do some of the things you'd like to do," said Wallace.

Wallace also needs some perimeter firepower and a center. He said he is looking at about five prospects.

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