The Houston Cougars are currently 11-7 overall and 3-2 in the American Athletic Conference. A young team, Tione Womack, who is averaging just 4.5 points per game, is the only senior difference-maker on the team, as he provides depth off the bench.
Junior big man TaShawn Thomas is putting up huge numbers this season, scoring 16.7 points and pulling down 8.7 rebounds per game this year. He is arguably the best big man in the AAC and may declare for the NBA Draft following this season.
The Cougars have signed two recruits to join their program next season, three-star point guard JaQuel Richmond and three-star power forward J.C. Washington. Richmond, a 6-foot-1 guard from Wesleyan Christian Academy, can look to provide depth behind rising junior L.J. Rose, who will assume the starting role.
The big question comes when Thomas decides whether to stay for his senior season. If he does, this team can, in my opinion, be extremely dangerous. Washington, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Jack Yates High School in Houston, might need to develop an outside shot in order to fit into the rotation, as he currently is too small for a starting power forward in the AAC.
A starting lineup of Rose, Danuel House, Jherrod Stiggers, Danrad Knowles, and Thomas can be one of the most talented lineups in the AAC, especially with the exodus of the Louisville Cardinals. Once again, it all hinges on the question of whether Thomas declares for the 2014 NBA Draft or if he returns for his senior season.