Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, November 15, 2001



tip off tomorrow

Hawaii opens against
Norfolk State in the
Nike Tip-Off Classic

By Cindy Luis

Ready or not, tip-off is tomorrow.

But the way the Hawaii men's basketball team has been pushing itself this past week, the Rainbows are more than ready to start the season.

"It's good to put the uniform on for real,'' said junior transfer guard Mark Campbell.

Hawaii expects to have everyone in uniform except junior transfer Luc-Arthur Vebobe, who is still awaiting word from the NCAA concerning possible sanctions stemming from pro competition in Europe.

Hawaii opens its regular season tomorrow in the Nike Tip-Off Classic. The Rainbows face Norfolk State in the second game; Sam Houston State takes on Drake at 5 p.m.

Hawaii had a scant scouting report on Norfolk State, 12-17 last season.

The Spartans' only contest against the Rainbows was on Jan. 3, 1998, an 86-67 UH victory.

"But we know they will be well coached as always," said Hawaii associate head coach Bob Nash. "Wil Jones always does an excellent job. His team will put a lot of pressure on you defensively.

"It's a good opener for us. It will be a very good team we will face.''

Hawaii will see a team with what is considered the best backcourt in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Spartans feature 6-foot senior Terrance Winston, who averaged 14.8 points and 3.7 assists a game last year, and 6-4 Derrick Smith, who scored 11 points a game, shooting 48 percent from the field.

NSU lost Darrell Neal's 11-point, seven-rebound averages to graduation, but the Spartans expect solid performances from returning forwards Michael Boyd, Jamal Mills, Greg Quick and Ed Seward. They also picked up 7-foot transfer C.J. Young.

The Spartans, tabbed by some to win the MEAC, are also expected to test the Rainbows' zone defense. The EA Sports West All-Stars shot major holes through Hawaii's zone in last Sunday's exhibition; the All-Stars hit six of their first seven shots from outside, five of those from behind the 3-point line, and finished with 11 3-pointers

"We experimented and it didn't work," said Nash. "We've re-evaluated and been working on it.

"The players showed their mettle and competed throughout, coming back to win after being down by 14. We had some lapses, but overall I thought they made pretty good decisions and the transition game was better than we expected.

"We're still working on getting the new guys on the same page."

Regardless of tomorrow's outcome, Hawaii will play the second game Sunday.

The Rainbows have never played Sam Houston State. The Bearkats, picked to finish seventh in the Southland Conference, are in a rebuilding mode. Their top returnees are junior guard Eddy Barlow (7.9 points, 4.9 assists) and sophomore forward Eddy Fobbs (6.1 points, 4.9 rebounds).

If Hawaii meets Drake, it would be the first time since the 1969 Rainbow Classic, a game won by the Bulldogs, 103-76.

Drake is picked to finish in the middle of the Missouri Valley Conference race. The Bulldogs feature sophomore forward Luke McDonald, the MVC Freshman of the Year, who was the top 3-point shooter among NCAA freshmen (.460) and averaged 14.7 points a game. Junior big men Andy Sola and Greg Danielson combined for 20 points and 12 rebounds last season.

Men's basketball

What: Nike Tip-Off Tournament
Schedule: Tomorrow--Sam Houston State vs. Drake at 5 p.m., Hawaii vs. Norfolk State at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday--Norfolk State vs. either Sam Houston State or Drake at 5 p.m., Hawaii vs. either Sam Houston State or Drake at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Radio/TV: Hawaii games live on KFVE (Channel 5) and KCCN 1420-AM.
Tickets: $8-14.

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin