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Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, October 12, 2000

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

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Gimme that ball. David "Jeep" Hilton, left, and Ricky
Terrell are good buddies, and both want to be the
University of Hawaii's starting point guard.

On guard!

Roommates Hilton, Terrell
are just trying to make a
'point' for the Rainbows

By Dave Reardon

The way University of Hawaii basketball veteran Mike McIntyre sees it, Ricky Terrell is ahead of David "Jeep" Hilton.

But McIntyre isn't talking about who will start at point guard for the Rainbows this year -- he's referring to who's winning the nightly basketball video game wars in their Noelani dormitory suite.

"I was on top for awhile, but now it's Ricky," McIntyre said. "He got Jeep pretty good last night."

And when Terrell and Hilton aren't playing -- either on the court or on the tube -- they're both talking a good game.

"It's constant noise in the room," McIntyre said, with a smile indicating it amuses him most of the time.

They'll all put the joysticks and trash talk away for awhile tomorrow night, as UH marks the beginning of real practice with Midnight Ohana at the Stan Sheriff Center.

"I've been waiting all my life for this. It's a big step," said Terrell of his ascent to Division I college basketball.

With it being Friday the 13th and this being the 13th annual Midnight Ohana, the first 4,000 to arrive for the free event receive a glow-in-the-dark "Jason" mask.

The doors open at 8 p.m. with a carnival that runs until 11:15 p.m.

An hour after that, the first scrimmage begins. And so will the evaluations of Terrell and Hilton -- one of whom will become the Rainbows' on-court leader at the point.

"They start out even. Everybody does," said UH coach Riley Wallace, discounting whatever he's heard about informal scrimmages the past two months.

Hilton and Terrell are as different as the places from which they come -- New York City and Southern California.

Hilton is a lithe 5-foot-11, 145- pound freshman. His forte is quickness. He averaged close to 30 points-a-game over his three-year high school career, but didn't receive much early notice; his team at The Hyde School was not a winning one.

Hilton began to open eyes when he played well at an all-star camp in 1999, and had 37 scholarship offers. But he signed with UH partly because it was among a handful of schools that started recruiting him earlier.

"Sometimes I look around and can't help but think about how far I've come," said Hilton, who spent some of his teen years homeless. "And I'm not just talking about the miles."

Terrell, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior, was a big scorer at Santa Monica (Calif.) College. He led his team with 16.8 points and 5.71 assists per game last year.

He was consistent, scoring in double figures in 29 of his team's 34 games.

"I see myself as being creative, and a penetrator," Terrell said. "And if you leave me open, I'll hit the shot."

Assistant coach Jackson Wheeler has had more contact with the two than Wallace so far this fall, in small-group and individual sessions that are permitted by the NCAA.

"David's quicker, faster, a typical smaller player. He puts a lot of pressure on you," Wheeler said. "Ricky's more of a physical guard. Good size, so there's a big difference there.

"It gives us some contrast, which is nice to have."

Because of that, it's possible for them to play together. But with returnees Predrag Savovic and McIntyre at shooting guard, it doesn't appear likely that Hilton and Terrell will be on the court together often.

It might seem Terrell has an experience edge because of his two years at junior college. But that would be an incorrect assumption, Wheeler said.

"Jeep's 21 and went to prep school so it's similar to coming out of junior college," the coach said. "They're both older players. It's not like David is an 18-year-old freshman, so that helps."

Whichever player wins the starting job, it won't put the other in a funk, Wheeler said.

"They're both good kids and they both want to win," he said. "They'll be fine that way."

Besides, you can always regain some pride with the video game back at the dorm.

"It's all good, we all get along," said redshirt-freshman forward Phil Martin, a fourth roommate.

Midnight notes: Stacey Kamano and Greg Bonann of Baywatch Hawaii, Kylie Galloway of the women's team and program benefactor Carolyn Berry will judge the dunk contest.

KCCN's Bobby Curran will be in the 3-point contest with players from men's and women's teams.

At halftime of scrimmage, one male and one female student will get a chance to make a shot to earn a tuition waiver, sponsored by Honolulu Ford.

UH Basketball

Bullet What: 13th annual Midnight Ohana.
Bullet Who: UH men's and women's basketball teams.
Bullet Where: Stan Sheriff Center.
Bullet When: Friday night, Saturday morning.
Bullet Schedule: 8 p.m., Arena opens for carnival; 11:50 p.m., team introductions, followed by slam dunk and 3-point shooting contests and men's scrimmage.
Bullet Coaches: KCCN-FM100 personalities Bill Von Osdol and Charley Espina and UH assistant Jackson Wheeler vs. KDNN 98.5 personalities Augie T and Lanai and UH assistant Scott Rigot.
Bullet Admission: Free, but a limited number of $31 VIP seats are available.

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