Friday, April 23, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 137

Sports Opinion

About the Cougar

UH sports: a look back at '98-'99

By Erik Williams
Daily Cougar Sports

Well, the semester is almost over. And most of us are going through the usual "end-of-semester" rut with major papers, final exams and graduation around the corner. But, I've proudly taken a time out from the insanity and craziness to reflect on the previous year in UH Athletics.

There have been lots of ups and downs between now and last August. First, there was the football team. It should have been a better season for them last year. After all, it was the first time since '93 that they were playing all of their games at Robertson. But, they go 4-7.

Oh well, it was one season. And, it wasn't that bad. They could have been some overrated losers like Kansas State, who came from ahead to choke in the Big 12 Championship game against, brace yourself, Texas A&M. Never you mind last year -- this year will be much better for the gridiron Coogs as they've got some good recruits in there.

Without question, the biggest thing for Athletics this year was the beginning of the Clyde Drexler Era in men's basketball. At first, it started great. I thought that we'd be able to make some huge noise after beating Texas in the opener. But, as the season wore on, the road got rough and the season came to an abrupt end at the C-USA Tourney.

Even though they've got a tougher run to the top than the football team, they've got a great recruiting class coming in. Oh yeah, here's a suggestion for Drexler: Get a 7-foot center who can bang the boards. That's really the only missing element. We're pretty deep on the guard line as it is, even though Gee Gervin is gone after next year. William Stringfellow and Kenny Younger are solid players, but they're playing out of position. String's a four (power forward) and Kenny's a three (small forward). Just add a 7-footer who can rebound like Jake Ballis, and you're in the NIT at least.

As for women's basketball, they've got a tougher road to rebuilding than the Chicago Bulls. But, they've also got some good recruits coming from various places. So, I'm not worried. But, what would really help the Lady Cougars would be some more fan support.

Finally, the baseball team is doing very well again. Sure, they're behind Tulane in the C-USA standings, but, they beat A&M this week. Those silly Aggies were ranked No. 3 before that unfortunate encounter. But, anyway, I think they've got a good shot to make the College World Series this year. Why? They're very unpredictable.

In one game, the punch could come from Shane Nance or Kyle Crowell on the mound. In another game, it could come from Brandon Carraway or Mike Medrano. Point is, you just don't know where it could come from. That unpredictability will serve the baseball team well come late May at the C-USA tourney.

Well, that's it. This past year in UH Athletics was a pretty good one. Yes, it could have been much better in some areas. But, for what it was, it was a great year. And next year will be even better.

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