Anthony Knox has been virtually nonexistent for the Cougars during the last nine ballgames. The 6-8, 250-pound junior has scored in double figures just twice this season and is averaging just 4.2 points during the aforementioned nine-game stretch. The Dukes' James Coleman is not that much better. The 6-9, 265-pound senior is averaging just 6.2 points and 5.5 rebounds a contest.
Charles Lott is JMU's second-leading scorer at 13 points per game, but starting-mate Lamont Boozer shoots 42.6 percent from the field and is scoring a meager 4.8 points a night. Houston's Tim Moore and Kirk Ford should dominate. Combined, the two still pace the Cougars with 32.3 points and 17.7 rebounds. Lott and Boozer do have a size advantage over Moore and Ford (6-9, 215 and 6-10, 255, respectively, compared to 6-8, 225 and 6-7, 210, respectively, for UH's starting tandem), but are not utilizing it as the two combine to pull down just 9.2 boards a contest.
Though just 5-11, Dukes senior guard Darren McLinton is one of the nation's leading scorers at 21.2 points per game and has thrown in 82 three-pointers. Damon Jones (38 treys) is coming off a 4-of-13 shooting afternoon against Texas Saturday, but the 6-3 sophomore rarely ever has two bad games in a row. Junior point guard Lonzell Gowdy (5.9 points) is also capable of making some big shots down the stretch, while JMU freshman Eugene Atkinson complements McLinton nicely with 9.1 points and 6.1 rebounds an outing.
Although junior Willie Byrd and sophomore Galen Robinson have been struggling for Houston recently (a combined 17 points in the last three games), both still provide solid depth because they play more than one position. But Kenya Capers continues to be the Cougars' spark plug off the pine, averaging 16.7 points per game. Alone, the 6-5, 200-pound junior outscores the Dukes' top four reserve players (a combined 13.4 points for a group that includes two freshmen).