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Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, June 17, 2000

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

UH basketball
recruits unproven

FutureStars, a publication
that ranks the NCAA's crops
of newcomers, says most of
the Rainbow men are unknown

By Pat Bigold


Despite acquiring depth at point guard and in the low post, the University of Hawaii men's basketball recruiting class is being ranked lower than last year by a major recruiting analyst.

Van Coleman, whose FutureStars publication ranked the Rainbows 54th in the NCAA last year, said he might drop the team as low as 75th this year.

The rankings should be finalized within a few weeks.

The main reason for the lower ranking, according to Coleman, is that there are too many unknowns in the class.

He said two of the five players UH signed this year are foreigners and one is a prep school product.

"With the foreign kids it's really hard to tell," he said. "Some foreign kids work out great, and some you never hear of again once they get to school. It's a real tough situation from that standpoint."

Coleman said he ranked Hawaii higher last year because he was sure that the recruits would be successful in the Western Athletic Conference. At the time, he said it was the program's best recruiting class of the '90s.

"This year, you have two foreign kids and you don't know if they can play," Coleman said. "The only kids we know can play are the one (Mindaugus Burneika) who played at Weatherford (Junior College), and the (point) guard, Ricky Terrell (Santa Monica College)."

UH also signed point guard David Hilton from The Hyde School in Connecticut.

Coleman said UH ranks in the middle of the WAC in recruiting but the conference ranks 10th overall in the NCAA.

Burneika, a 6-7 forward, is from Lithuania, but Coleman credits him because he has played in the American junior college system. He was named player of the year in the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference last season.

Hawaii signed two players straight out of Europe. One was 6-10 Israeli pro league center Haim Shimonovich and the other was 6-9 Bosko Radovic, a power forward from Montenegro.

ALEXANDER UNIMPRESSIVE: Marquette Alexander, the Rainbows' 6-8 center who led UH in scoring the past two seasons, went through an unsuccessful workout for the Sacramento Kings last week.

A team scout said Alexander apparently was not in shape, and is not likely to be invited back for another look.

The same scout, however, said that Alexander is talented enough to play pro ball in any number of settings other than the NBA.

Alexander's agent, Dr. Miles McAfee, said his client has options in Europe (Finland and Italy), Australia, the CBA and the IBL.

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