Thursday, November 18, 1999
Wahine openBy Al Chase
The Hawaii Wahine starting five will look a lot like they did last year in tomorrow's season opener against Tennessee Tech.
BJ Itoman is gone but Kylie Galloway is back to join returnees Hedy Liu, Raylene Howard and Kyla Evers.
"I think we can be satisfied with them right now, but we have to see them under fire," UH head coach Vince Goo said.
Dainora Puida, the projected 6-foot-4 starting center, has practiced this week without pain or swelling in her right knee, but is not game ready.
All three UH opponents this weekend finished 1998-99 in postseason tournaments. Tennessee Tech and Arizona made the NCAA tournament and Oklahoma was in the Women's NIT.
The Wahine goal in preseason is to get a Top-25 ranking, then move on to win the regular-season Western Athletic Conference title, the WAC tournament crown and return to the NCAA tournament after missing last tear.
The quest starts tomorrow.
Visitors: Tennessee Tech Golden Eaglettes (21-9 in 1998-99), Oklahoma Sooners (15-14), Arizona Wildcats (18-11).
Hawaiian Regent Classic
Coaches: Tennessee Tech, Bill Worrell, 13th season (264-122, .684), Oklahoma, Sherri Coale, 4th season (28-55, .337), Arizona, Joan Bonvicini, 21st season (459-169, .743), Hawaii, Vince Goo, 13th season (241-107, .693).
Season: This is the season opener for all four teams
Series record: Hawaii leads Arizona, 2-0, and Oklahoma, 1-0. This is the first meeting with Tennessee Tech.
Top players: Tennessee Tech, Janet Holt, 6-foot sophomore forward (13.2 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game in 1998-99), Rachael Gobble, 6-0 senior forward (7.3, 4.2), Diane Seng, 6-2 senior center (14.6, 5.1), Ann Parks, 5-6 senior guard (6.3, 2.1), Misty Garret, 5-6 sophomore guard (3.0, 2.4) ... Oklahoma, LaNeishea Caufield, 5-9 sophomore guard (15.8, 5.3), Stacey Dales, 6-0 sophomore guard (11.9, 6.9), Desiree Taylor, 6-1 junior center (9.6, 4.1), Phylesha Whaley, 5-10 senior forward (19.6, 7.5), Shannon Selmon, 6-1 sophomore forward (2.5, 2.6) ... Arizona, Elizabeth Pickney, 6-4 sophomore forward (11.4, 5.8), Tatum Brown, 6-4 senior forward (9.5, 5.2), Julie Brase, 5-9 sophomore guard (6.8, 2.5), Monika Crank, 5-7 senior guard (6.5, 4.0), Felecity Willis, 5-7 senior guard (12.1, 3.6) ... Hawaii, Kylie Galloway, 6-0 junior forward (18.6, 6.1), Crystal Lee, 5-11 junior forward (10.3, 4.7), Hedy Liu, 5-11 senior center (7.4, 5.1), Raylene Howard, 5-11 senior guard (20.5, 7.6), Kyla Evers, 5-8 senior guard (8.2, 3.7).
Interesting facts: Tennessee Tech is the preseason pick to win the Ohio Valley Conference title. Diane Seng, a Kodak District IV All-American, and Janet Holt are preseason all-OVC first-team selections. Holt was OVC Freshman of the Year in 1998-99 ... Oklahoma's Phylesha Whaley is a preseason All-American candidate. Stacey Dales played for the Canadian National team that claimed the silver medal in the Pan Am Games last summer. The Sooners were picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 Conference preseason poll and Whaley was a first-team selection for the third consecutive year ... The Wahine have won 10 consecutive season openers and 11 of 12 under Goo. The only loss was to future Western Athletic Conference member Louisiana Tech, 71-52, in 1988-89 ... Arizona recruited just one freshman, Krista Warren, a 6-2 guard who was California Division IV Player of the Year last season.
Tournament keys: Dispelling season-opening jitters should not be a problem with each team having at least four starters back. "I think sometimes, it's not so much what the other teams are going to do, but what your team does," said Tennessee Tech head coach Bill Worrell. "We have to get over the distractions, the beauty of Hawaii and the hospitality. We know it's going to be really competitive. It's a great way to start the season for all four teams." For UH head coach Vince Goo, "It's a matter of executing and being ready. We have to cover our defensive responsibilities and play fundamentally sound basketball."
Tournament times: Tomorrow, Oklahoma vs. Arizona, 2:30 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Tennessee Tech, 5 p.m. Saturday, Tennessee Tech vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Oklahoma, 3 p.m. Sunday, Oklahoma vs. Tennessee Tech, 1 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Arizona, 3 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center.
On the air: Hawaii vs.Tennessee Tech at 5 p.m. tomorrow and Hawaii vs. Arizona at 3 p.m. Sunday, live on KFVE (Channel 5) and KCCN (1420 AM).