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


Tuesday, November 9, 1999



Rainbows get some
Baywatch exposure


"The more your name's out there
and your face is out there,
the better it is."

Riley Wallace


Head coach Riley Wallace, his assistants and the Hawaii men's basketball team were to be featured in Baywatch Hawaii filming this morning at the Manoa campus.

Wallace, who took drama at Centenary College, played himself in two scenes shot at the Stan Sheriff Center and the Duke Kahanamoku Pool.

In the scene done at the Sheriff Center, Wallace was filmed talking to assistant coaches Jackson Wheeler and Scott Rigot as the Rainbow practiced in the background.

He has dialogue with Baywatch Hawaii actors there and at the pool.

The plot revolves around a fictional Rainbow player who also happens to possess world class talent as a swimmer.

Wallace is urged to watch the player swim the butterfly in the pool. When he sees how fast he is, he is amazed. Wallace promises to help the player pursue his Olympic swimming dream by either redshirting him or getting him a transfer.

In a scripted reference to Wallace made by one of the show's lifeguards, the coach is compared in terms of attitude with UCLA coaching legend John Wooden.

"That's a little far-fetched," said Wallace with a laugh. "That's the greatest coach in the history of the game. The producer (Greg Bonann) is just using it because he's a big UCLA fan."

Wallace acknowledged that the episode featuring the Rainbows might be a boon to recruiting in a season devoid of national TV exposure.

"The more your name's out there and your face is out there, the better it is," said Wallace.


Wallace knows that the Rainbows face a much bigger exhibition challenge when they host the California Midwest All-Stars on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Unlike the Northwest All-Stars, who were primarily from smaller college programs, this traveling team has former Division I players from schools like DePaul, California, Wisconsin, Oregon State, and Louisiana State.

Their schedule is also much better. They've played St. Louis, Missouri, North Carolina State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, DePaul, and Northwestern, and will face Northern Illinois, Michigan, Washington and USC before coming here.

The Northwest All-Stars were playing together as a team for the first time on Sunday.

"So they'll (California Midwest All-Stars) be weathered by the time they get here. They'll be a better team."

The Northwest All-Stars were a late replacement for the originally scheduled Chinese National Team.

"But they were a perfect opener for us and you build up to the next one," Wallace said.


Wallace was pleased with the intensity of yesterday's practice, in which he substantially stepped up the tempo of drills.

"It's one of the better practices we've had," said Wallace.

But he said his team, which was outscored, 49-45, in the second half of Sunday's 89-67 victory, is still vulnerable to pressure.

"That's because they don't know where they're supposed to be," he said. "They know the basic sets, but they don't know the timing of the sets yet."


Small forward Nerijus Puida, injured in a bicycle accident last week, is likely to play on Sunday, according to trainer Jayson Goo.

Puida, whose right elbow and left wrist and hand are still heavily bandaged, jogged on the inner concourse of the Stan Sheriff Center yesterday afternoon while his team practiced. He later took soft jump shots on the court.

But the 6-foot-4 Lithuanian native said he is having difficulty pushing upward with his right arm due to the deep and wide gash on his elbow.

He said he is taking pain killers every four hours.

Puida said he thinks he can play but doesn't believe he's ready to start.

"Lane (O'Connor) is doing very well," he said.

O'Connor started in place of Puida on Sunday and led Hawaii with 17 points.


Tomorrow is the first day that players may sign early letters of intent, and Hawaii is expected to have a recruit.

Wallace would not say who it will be but speculation has it that it will be yet another Canadian.

Lunzaya Niandu, a 6-7 forward from Montreal who made a verbal commitment last summer, could be that player.

Niandu played with Rainbows reserve point guard Carl English for the traveling Prep Stars Canada team.


Despite the fact that Predrag Savovic, Lane O'Connor, Troy Ostler, Geremy Robinson and Marquette Alexander all scored in double figures Sunday, the biggest ovation of the night was reserved for the late entry of 5-4 former Mid-Pacific Institute guard Lance Takaki.

Takaki, a freshman who played dogged defense, was on the floor for one minute and picked up two personal fouls.


Forward Bernard McIntosh (eight rebounds, seven points on Sunday) did exercises on the floor and bike to relieve back spasms instead of practicing yesterday.

Wallace said McIntosh will be ready to play Sunday.

By Pat Bigold, Star-Bulletin

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