Houston won the 2010 Conference-USA Tournament, earning a spot in the Big Dance via the league’s automatic bid. That appearance marked the Cougars first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1992.
The days of success on the national stage are nearly three-decades-old for Houston fans, as the program has not won a NCAA Tournament game since 1984.
On Sunday, September 11th, with the nation standing together to reflect upon the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, a pair of Top-100 recruits from the class of 2012 made their collegiate decision.
Danuel House and Danrad “Chicken” Knowles both verbally announced their intentions to join the Cougars’ program in 2012-13.
The decision was seemingly shocking, yet only to an extent. The Cougars had been on the radar of both senior prospects for some time and the opportunity to remain local had always presented itself.
Both House and Knowles, who are members of the Texas Pros AAU squad, each had terrific summers, shooting up the recruiting boards and garnering continued attention from numerous, high-major programs.
It also came to no surprise when the pair of teammates committed as a package deal. When asked if they had always planned on going to school together, House replied, “yes, we did.”
At 6-foot-6, Danuel House is overly athletic, making him very difficult to defend in transition. The wing had been previously receiving attention from Georgetown, Baylor, Ohio State, Kansas, and Texas, among others.
House is currently ranked at No. 15 overall within the class of 2012, according to ESPNU.
As for Knowles, the 6-foot-9 forward is described as a highly-skilled forward who can get out and run on the break. “Chicken,” which is his nickname, committed in favor of Houston over interest from Arkansas, Missouri, and Baylor, among others.
Knowles is currently ranked at No. 56 overall within the class of 2012, also according to ESPNU.
The pair of commitments has helped catapult Houston up to the No. 10 recruiting class, according to Scout.com.
While Houston’s success rate has dipped over the course of the past decade or two, it certainly is rare for the program to receive the oral commitments of not one, but two, prospects of this caliber.
However, that’s what House is most looking forward too.
“I want to put Houston back on the map,” House explained, aerating a sense of confidence as the Cougars’ program moves forward.
A tall task, but one that may certainly be possible given the potential of its two recent commits.
Alongside that potential also comes a sense of comfort. When asked what his biggest attraction to Houston was, House explained, “the coaching staff, and I also know some of the current players there.”
After a 12-18 season a year ago, Houston has some work to do under second-year head coach James Dickey, and although the House/Knowles combo will not suit up until 2012-13, the Cougars will certainly be looking to turn the page into a new era.
*Photo: Danuel House
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