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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 13, 2001

Need a reason to see UH play basketball? Here's 12

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

Twelve days before Christmas, here are 12 reasons to put the shopping on hold tomorrow night to attend the men's basketball game between the University of Hawai'i and San Diego State.

Predrag Savovic: The 6-foot-6 senior guard will make his season debut after sitting out an NCAA-issued seven-game penalty.

"He'll make a difference," UH head coach Riley Wallace said of last season's leading scorer.

6-1: That's Hawai'i's record this season, its best start since 1997, when it started 11-1.

"People knew from last year that we'd have a good team this year," Wallace said. "It's a wait-and-see community, but I think it's past time for them to start showing up."

11: That's how many consecutive games UH has won in the Stan Sheriff Center, where tomorrow's game will be played.

It is the longest home winning streak since the "Fabulous Five" team of 1971-72 combined with the Tom Henderson-led team of 1972-73 to win 26 consecutive games in the Honolulu International Center.

Carl English: In Savovic's absence, the 6-5 sophomore has led UH in scoring in six of the seven games, and ranks second among Western Athletic Conference players at 17.7 points per game.

"I don't know if the fans understand how much they mean to us," English said. "When the big crowds come out, it lifts the spirit of the whole team."

Luc-Arthur Vebobe: The 6-9 junior forward lived up to his hype in his season debut Monday, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds against Alcorn State. His dunks are worth the price of admission.

Mike McIntyre: The senior guard is in his fourth season at UH. The Stan Sheriff Center has never sold out during that time.

The last time UH played in front of a capacity crowd at home was during the 1998 NIT against Fresno State.

Fan support: The average attendance for four home games is 3,589. The Stan Sheriff Center seats 10,000.

San Diego State: The Aztecs are 5-3 after scoring a 93-78 victory over Fresno State last week.

Al Faux and Tony Bland: The Aztec guards average 20.2 and 20.1 points per game, respectively.

Defense: UH is surrendering just 58.7 points per game — best among WAC teams — while holding opponents to a .391 field-goal shooting percentage.

The gift of giving: Hawai'i's pass-oriented offense has produced 129 assists off its 177 baskets (73 percent). Junior Mark Campbell leads all WAC players with 6.1 assists per game.

No football: Unless UH president Evan Dobelle really is Santa Claus, the UH football season is over — time for fans to move on to basketball.