By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
Putting together an all-time University of Hawaii men’s basketball team isn’t easy. There have so many great Rainbow Warriors over the years. So in choosing this roster, we went with the 13 players who we think would comprise the best possible *TEAM*. Each player would have specific roles to play. We’re confident this team has it all: interior defense, outside shooting, playmaking ability, leadership, toughness, unselfishness and basketball IQ. Here’s our team:
C – BOB NASH: The best player on Hawaii’s most “Fabulous” team. Averaged 16.8 points and 13.6 boards per game over two seasons. Holds the school record for most rebounds in a single game (30). 1972 1st-Round pick of the Detroit Pistons.
F – REGGIE CROSS: Dominant inside scorer and rebounder. Averaged 17.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game over two seasons.Cross is the last Rainbow Warrior to get selected in the NBA Draft (1989, 2nd Round by the Philadelphia 76ers).
F – CARL ENGLISH: 2x All-WAC selection and 2001 WAC Tournament MVP. Scored 30+ points on four different occasions. Led UH to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. Tremendous shooter. Could play either swing position.
G – PREDRAG SAVOVIC: 2x All-WAC selection and 2002 WAC Tournament MVP. Savvy scorer who led UH in scoring for three straight seasons. Along with Carl English, led Hawaii to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. Transferred from Alabama-Birmingham.
G – TOM HENDERSON: 2x All-American who former ‘Bow teammate Artie Wilson calls the greatest player in program history. His 20 points-per-game average over two seasons is tops among all Rainbow Warrior players. 1st-Round pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 1974. Starting point guard for the 1978 NBA champions, the Washington Bullets.
OFF THE BENCH:
C – TONY MARONEY: Would bring size (7-2, 280 lbs.) and an inside defensive presence to this team. All-time leader in blocked shots (173). His 103 blocks during the 1993-94 season is a single-season. Also contributed 13.6 points and 9.7 boards in his two seasons in Manoa.
F – STEFAN JANKOVIC: Terrific shooter who developed an inside game as well during his senior season. The 2015-16 Big West Player of the Year. Led UH in scoring (15.6) and rebounding (6.6) that year, helping the school notch its first-ever NCAA Tournament win. Would bring a unique skill set to this roster.
F – VINCENT SMALLS: Why would we include a guy who averaged “just” 7.5 points and 5.6 points as a Rainbow Warrior? Because every team needs a Vincent Smalls, a rugged defender and one of the toughest players in program history. Didn’t worry about stats. Instead, focused on defense and was named 1st-Team WAC All-Defense in the 1988-89 season.
F – JULIAN SENSLEY: 2006 1st-Team All-WAC honoree. Kalaheo product was one of the program’s most versatile performers. By the time he completed his UH career, he was in the Top 10 in career points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots. One of only four players at UH to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
G – ANTHONY CARTER: One of the most exciting players to ever wear a Hawaii uniform. A 2x All-WAC selection. Led Hawaii to back-to-back NIT appearances. Averaged 18.4 points and 6.9 assists over two seasons. Still holds the school mark for most assists in one season (212). Enjoyed a long NBA career and is now an assistant coach with the Miami Heat.
G – ALIKA SMITH: Teamed with Carter to form Hawaii’s “Dynamic Duo.” Smooth shooter and heady player who finished third on UH’s all-time scoring. The most prolific UH scorer to come from the state of Hawaii. Posted scoring averages of 17.9 and 18.3 in his junior and senior seasons.
G – TREVOR RUFFIN: Instant offense. 1st-Team All-WAC selection. Holds the program record for most three-pointers made in one game (10). His long-distance treys helped Hawaii upset BYU in the 1994 WAC Tournament title game, giving UH its first NCAA Tournament appearance in more than 20 years. Played several years in the NBA.
G – RODERICK BOBBIT: Henderson and “AC” were great pointbguards, but it doesn’t hurt to have one more. Quarterback of Hawaii’s 2015-16 Big West championship and NCAA Tournament team. Averaged 11 points and 5.4 assists at UH over two seasons. The first player to lead the Big West in both assists and steals in consecutive seasons.
HEAD COACH – RILEY WALLACE: 334 coaching wins. .558 winning percentage. 3 NCAA Tournament appearances. 6 NIT appearances. 3x WAC Coach of the Year. Inducted into the UH Sports Circle of Honor.
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