By Brian McInnis
It's been a long time coming, but Manroop Clair finally made his College Summer League debut on Thursday night for league leader Flipbooks Hawaii.
It probably wasn't the introduction to his long-range skills any UH fan had in mind in the 128-93 blowout of Central Medical ... but at least the UH freshman guard got on the court. Some. Clair, by my count, went 1-for-7 for three points (a lone swished 3) in about 9 minutes of total play time. He was obviously being worked in gently coming off his ankle sprain that's shelved him almost since he arrived at the start of July.
The freshman understandably declined an interview after his brief showing, but his Flipbooks teammate Christian Standhardinger (32 points) was more than happy to speak for him.
"Manroop is an amazing player. Very good point guard. He's just gotta get used to those rims here," Standhardinger said. "His shot always looked good, it was just off 1 inch or something like that. In another time, they all drop. He makes shots from all over. He just started (in workouts/open gym) two days ago. He did pretty well. He brings great energy, and what I really do like is his intensity, playing hard, which I like to play with."
Standhardinger, not one to let what he perceives as a missed call go by even in a 40-point summer league blowout, earned a tech for his trouble late in the game. He was ejected from a game for getting into it with another player a couple weeks ago, as well.
"I gotta gather my emotions and that's what I will work on and not do in a Division I game, because there's just too much on the line," he said.
Chaminade's Leon Ballard added an impressive 31 points in the win for Flipbooks (8-1) which has locked up the top seed in next week's playoffs going into its regular season finale vs. National Fire Protection on Saturday. Brett Caldwell, also of Chaminade, added 22 points with several high-flying dunks.
UH senior Hauns Brereton had 28 for CMC (3-6), which was again with a bare-bones roster of five players. He had to force up a bevy of tough shots in defeat.
There was a bizarre finish to the first game, a 108-107 overtime victory for Wealth Strategy (2-7) over Grantco Pacific (5-5). Grantco led by one in the game's final moments with the ball, but called timeout ... when they had none remaining.
No, Chris Webber was nowhere to be seen in the building.
William Broadus (44 points) of W.S. stepped to the line and made both technical shots for the game's final points, and Grantco was unable to muster a winning shot in the final seconds.
The UH tandem of Garrett Jefferson (26 points) and Brandon Jawato (19) helped W.S. to its second win.
UH alum Geremy Robinson led Grantco with 44 points of his own. Caleb Dressler added 25 in the loss.
Wealth Strategy and Central Medical cap off the regular season with the 7:30 game on Saturday.