AAC Basketball Conference Play Preview and Predictions: Houston Cougars

By Daniel Karpuc
TaShawn Thomas
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

After getting off to a 6-0 start, the Houston Cougars have struggled by going 3-5 over the last eight contests. Their losses include a few tough ones to swallow against San Jose State and Louisiana-Lafayette. They easily could have lost their last game when they beat Rice by the score of 54-52. They pulled off the upset over Connecticut on Tuesday night, but unfortunately for Cougars fans life isn’t about to get any easier.

Junior big man TaShawn Thomas might be the best forward in the American Athletic Conference. Averaging 17.4 points to go with 9.3 rebounds, he consistently leads the team in both categories almost every time out on the court. His sidekick Danuel House is also having a good year putting up 15.6 points per game. Point guard L.J. Rose is also doing well, averaging 10.1 points and having an assist-to-turnover ratio of 56-to-29, but there just seems to be something missing. As you can see above, maybe the lack of inspiration from their home fans might be a problem!

Here’s how I see the AAC schedule shaping up for the Cougars. Hint: it isn’t pretty.

I will characterize their win over Connecticut on Tuesday as a fluke as it seemed like almost every one of their three-point shots went in. I see them earning wins against Rutgers, at Rutgers, Temple, and Central Florida.

They will lose at South Florida, against Cincinnati, at Louisville, at Memphis, SMU, at Connecticut, Louisville, at Cincinnati, at SMU, Memphis, at Temple, South Florida, and at Central Florida.

If my predictions hold true — which usually happens of course — the team will go 5-13 in AAC play and finish the regular season at a 13-18 clip. But who knows, with Thomas down low, this team might be able to pull off a surprising upset against a weak team on the interior as it did Tuesday against the Huskies.

Dan Karpuc is an American Athletic Conference basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_karpuc, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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