21-22 Record: 32-6
Conference Record: 15-3 (AAC)
Last Year’s Stats:
Scoring Defense: 58.8
Rebounding Margin: +7.0
Turnover Margin: +3.0
Shooting Percentage: 46.5
3-pt Percentage: 33.8
Free Throw Percentage: 66.7
What To Look Out For:
What will Marcus Sasser bring this year, and can he stay healthy?
Sasser, a 6’2 senior guard for Houston, was tremendous to start the season as he averaged 17.7 points per game in the first 12 games but was then sidelined for the remainder of the season due to an injury in his left foot. Now, he is back and looking to be one of the clear leaders for this team again. Houston showed that they could withstand his injury, going on to win 32 games but this team is even better with Sasser on the floor and healthy. He should once again be a scoring machine for the Cougars and if he can stay healthy, could be looking at Player of the Year honors in the conference.
How to replace key losses from last year?
Houston lost players like Kyler Edwards, Fabian White Jr. Josh Carlton, and Taze Moore, all of which averaged double figures and were key pieces for the team in their run. That is tough to replace but the Cougars will have some guys that can help in that area. Junior Tramon Mark will be able to help, as he was sidelined for the season after seven games but averaged 10ppg last year. Junior Jamal Shead returns as a starter again after averaging 10ppg as well but will need to improve his 3-point shooting. After those, a few new names will need to step up; names like Emanuel Sharp, J’Wan Roberts, Reggie Chaney, and others could blossom more for Houston.
Early success for Jarace Walker?
There is no doubt about it, Jarace Walker was one of the biggest gets for Houston as far as recruiting in the program’s history. A top-ranked forward from IMG, Walker is at his best as a finisher, especially getting to the rim and showing off his athleticism, and using his frame, especially at 6’8, 235 pounds. Though he is extremely talented, will he be able to adjust to the college level quickly or will it take time? That remains to be seen but if he can come in and provide immediate help for Houston, that will go a long way to the team’s success.