By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
Floor leader. Playmaker. Facilitator. Distributor. Coach on the court. These are all descriptions of basketball’s point guard position. The University of Hawaii has had some terrific point guards over the years, including two that would showcase their talents in the NBA. But who are the best UH point guards of all time? Here is one highly subjective Top Ten list. Disclaimer: The list doesn’t include some fan favorites, including Kalia McGee, Jeremiah Ostrowski and Brocke Stepteau. Aaron Strayhorn and Matt Gibson led their respective teams in assists, but I felt they were more shooting guards. Also, we did not include players who were at UH for only one year; thus, Reggie Carter and Victor “Tiny” Kelley were also left out. Here we go…
1 – TOM HENDERSON – The standard. Heady floor leader came to Hawaii with a lofty résumé, including a starting spot on the 1972 U.S. Olympic team. In his two seasons at UH, he could dish the ball (6.4 assists per game) and score (20.0 points per game). Earned First Team All-American honors for the 1973-74 season (Sporting News). Drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 7 overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft. Was the starting point guard on the Washington Bullets’ 1978 NBA Championship team.
2 – ANTHONY CARTER – “You’re going to like Anthony Carter,” former UH coach Riley Wallace once promised me. “He’s got hops.” Perhaps the most electrifying player in program history, “AC” dazzled with his flashy passing and gravity-defying dunks. Like Henderson, never had a consistent jump shot, but made up for it with penetrating drives and relentless motor. Teamed with shooting guard Alika Smith to form the “Dynamic Duo.” Holds the single season record for assists (212) and is the career leader in assists average (6.9). Later played 13 NBA seasons.
3 – RODERICK BOBBITT – The floor leader of Hawaii’s 2016 NCAA Tournament team. Fifth all time in UH career assists (367) and first in steals (168). In 2014, in just his fourth game as a Rainbow Warrior, Bobbitt recorded the program’s first triple-double (12 points, 10 assists, 10 steals) since Reggie Carter did it in 1975. Played all 40 minutes in Hawaii’s historic win over Cal in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, scoring 17 points, dishing 4 assists and grabbing 7 boards. Led UH in both assists and steals in both of his seasons in Manoa.
4 – JEROME FREEMAN – “The Hook” made the “Fabulous Five” go. The 5-9 guard led Hawaii in assists for two seasons, compiling a 5.3 assists-per-game average (fifth all time). A crowd favorite for his dribbling prowess and flashy style. Along with his fellow “Fabulous Five” teammates, Freeman helped UH earn its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 1972. The Harlem Globetrotters reportedly offered him $12,000 to sign with them straight out of Crane Tech High School in Chicago.
5 – TROY BOWE – Hawaii has had more talented point guards, but none were as tough as the 5-11 Bowe. Until Buggs surpassed him earlier this year, held the school’s all-time record for career assists (412). Played sturdy defense throughout his three seasons at UH, twice leading the team in steals. Was the floor leader for Hawaii from 1989 to 1991, playing alongside the likes of Chris Gaines, Phil Lott, Vincent Smalls, Terry Houston and Ray Reed.
6 – THOMAS LOUDEN – Heady floor leader who was highly recruited out of junior college powerhouse Independence Community College in Kansas. Two-year starter led Hawaii in assists both seasons. Frankly, Louden might be ranked higher on this list if his Rainbow Warrior teams had more success; the ’Bows were a combined 23-31 in his two seasons (1978-80). Scored 18 points and added 4 assists in Hawaii’s first-ever win in the Western Athletic Conference (80-78 in OT).
7 – MARK CAMPBELL – The 2001-02 edition of the Rainbow Warriors had a great roster of talent – Predrag Savovic, Carl English, Phil Martin, etc. – but it was the addition of Mark Campbell that kept the engine running. Savvy passer and defensive-minded bulldog helped the team to a then-school record 27 wins that season and a second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. Led team in assists in both of his seasons at UH. His 192 assists in the 2001-02 campaign ranks third all time in single season performances.
8 – DREW BUGGS – The program’s all-time assists leader. Dislodged Troy Bowe from the top spot on Feb. 8, 2020 in a road loss to Cal Poly. Came to the Islands as a combo guard, and steadily developed as a PG. Injuries limited his effectiveness at different points of his UH career. Topped the Big West Conference in assists in the 2019-20 season, then transferred to Missouri. Re-entered the transfer portal at the end of this past season.
9 – DAVID HALLUMS – The floor leader for Riley Wallace’s first UH team. In his senior season, Hallums quarterbacked Hawaii to the program’s first postseason appearance in 15 years. Teamed with Chris Gaines to form a formidable backcourt. Led UH in assists in both of his seasons in Manoa. Transferred from BYUH.
10 – WILLIAM COLSTON – Four-year player made totaled 352 assists in his career, good for fifth in the all-time career list. Served as co-captain his senior season (with post player Ray Arthur).
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