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Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, December 14, 2000

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

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Hilton, Martin could start


Dave Reardon

If you combined Mike McIntyre's experience, Ricky Terrell's athleticism and Jeep Hilton's quickness, you'd have what the University of Hawaii men's basketball team needs.

Unfortunately, Dr. Frankenstein doesn't construct point guards, and the revolving door continues at one of the Rainbows' most important positions.

Hilton has the job "on a trial basis between now and Friday," coach Riley Wallace said.

If Hilton continues to practice well, he will start Saturday as UH (1-3) hosts Texas-Pan American (3-4).

McIntyre and Terrell have started at point guard every game, including the two preseason exhibitions, and played most the minutes.

Hilton played 15 minutes in Hawaii's loss at UCLA on Saturday. He didn't score on one 3-point attempt, but dealt four assists with no turnovers.

"He has the best (ballhandling skill of the three)," Wallace said of Hilton. "He's now trying to understand what I want him to do offensively. I've got him semi-where I want him offensively. Now I've got to hammer him about his defense, using his quickness."

"As you can see, he's got to get tougher."

Hilton, a 5-foot-11, 145-pound true freshman from New York, said he is ready for the challenge -- and also grateful.

"I think I realized it in the layup line at UCLA," he said. "Man, I'm playing college basketball, and a lot of people never thought I'd make it. It's a blessing."

Redshirt freshman forward Phil Martin has also worn the first-team silver regularly in practice this week, and could be another new starter Saturday.

Martin, a 6-foot-7 redshirt freshman from Ontario, Canada, averages 2.8 points and 0.5 rebounds in 5.8 minutes a game. But against UCLA, he scored 9 points in 7 minutes on 3-of-3 shooting.

Martin's athleticism has never been questioned. Now he is becoming more consistent in practice, Wallace said.

He is more physical than Bosko Radovic, whom he would replace in the starting lineup.

Progress on Shimonovic's status

Wallace said UH has two of three letters it needs to present its case to the NCAA regarding the amateur status of freshman center Haim Shimonovic.

Shimonovic reportedly played in a professional league in his native Israel before enrolling at UH. The Rainbows are trying to prove that Shimonovic, who was in the Israeli army at the time, did not receive money to play in the league.

Shimonovic has been held out of play since the season's start, and is not expected to play Saturday.

Stats and stuff

Shooting guard Predrag Savovic leads Hawaii in scoring with 16.8 ppg, followed by post Troy Ostler at 16.3.

Ostler is the top rebounder at 7.8, and leading shot blocker with 1.5.

Small forward Nerijus Puida leads in assists at 4.3 and Savovic is tops in steals at 2.5.

Barber's chair for Wallace?

It's final exam time. And forward Lane O'Connor says he might get a 4.0 grade-point average this semester.

That would mean a nearly bald haircut for Wallace.

"If anyone gets a 4.0, I told them I'd get a burr cut," Wallace said. "I've had a flat-top, but never a burr cut."

O'Connor expects to know his grades by tomorrow, which means Wallace could have a new 'do in time for Saturday's game.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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