Cougars take on Blue Demons
By Crystal J. Doucette
Daily Cougar Staff
Sundayis 73-72 victory over Charlotte was
sweet, but itis time to get back to business.
UH menis hoops take on DePaul in Chicago,
Ill., tonight after an upset weekend. DePaul is 10-11 overall and 2-7 in
Conference USA play, but the Cougars (5-15, 2-6 C-USA) will have to work
hard to pull off a win on the road.
"Weire looking forward to the conference
game against Houston," DePaul head coach Pat Kennedy said in a C-USA teleconference
Considering the trouble UH has had this
season, the Blue Demonsi confidence is understandable -- but UH did shock
the conference Sunday.
"Iim really proud of it because weive been
in those situations before and weive kind of given in," UH head coach Ray
McCallum said Monday.
Junior guard Dominic Smith
is taking on the role of scoring leader for the Cougars.
The Daily Cougar
Junior guard Dominic Smith has stepped
up and taken on the responsibility of team leader for UH, pouring in 23
points and making the two clutch free throws with four seconds left for
the win on Sunday. Smith also put in a conference season high eight steals
for the night.
"(Smithis) a converted point guard," McCallum
said. "He played two most of his life."
Smith is handling his new role on the court
well. Heis second in C-USA in free throw percentage (90.7) and is No. 1
in steals with 2.2 per game. He leads UH in scoring average (13.3 ppg)
and three-point percentage (42.3), playing an average of 32.5 minutes per
But basketball games require five players
per team on the hardwood all at one time.
Freshman Alton Ford is still adjusting
to Division I play, but heis beginning to show some of his recruiting potential
in his recent double-digit offensive contribution in conference competition.
"I think he came in as a typical freshman,
not knowing what to expect," McCallum said. "The last three or four games
his confidence has grown."
DePaul is coming off of a tough four-game
road schedule against Cincinnati, South Florida, Louisville and Saint Louis.
Cincinnati downed the Blue Demons 91-70 on Saturday.
Sophomore center Steven Hunter played his
first double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Hunter
has 105 career blocks, putting him in seventh place in Conference USA record
Imari Sawyer contributed 20 points and
four assists Saturday.
The Blue Demons outrebounded the Bearcats,
39-29, in the loss. DePaul has outrebounded its opponents by double digits
six times this season.