Cougars look to soar
By Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff
At this point last season the Cougars were
4-12 overall, 1-3 in Conference USA and just happy to be competitive against
Kevin Harwerth/The Daily
Junior forward George Williams
fights for a rebound. Williams has solidified his play lately to prove
himself a leader for the team.
What a difference a year makes.
This season the Cougars are in front of
expectations and are sitting pretty with a 10-7 overall record, 3-2 in
Houston has won three straight games including
impressive victories over Texas Christian, Prairie View A&M and Alabama-Birmingham.
starters are averaging in double figures
and seem to be coming together as a unit.
As if the news hasn't been good enough
for the Cougars, junior forward Louis Truscott was named Conference USA
Player of the Week after
averaging 17.3 points and 11.7 rebounds
in three games last week. Truscott is now averaging 12.6 points and 9.0
rebounds on the season.
Sophomore point guard Kevin Gaines, who
transferred from Michigan, seems to be settling into his role as floor
leader, averaging 12.5 points,
and senior center Patrick Okafor is averaging
13.8 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Dominic Smith, a 5-10 senior shooting guard,
has overcome his lack of height to average 13.3 points, and George Williams
is averaging 11.4
points with 7.9 boards.
The Cougars have also received much-needed
contributions all season long from junior guard Marcus Oliver, junior forward
and freshman Bryan Shelton.
Riding high and always looking to improve,
the Cougars will next face Southern Miss at 7:30 tonight at Hofheinz Pavilion.
Guided by Elvin Mims, the Eagles are 6-9
overall and 1-4 in C-USA. Mims is averaging 19.2 points a game. Clement
Carter is the only other
Golden Eagle averaging double figures
with 10.7 points per game.
Southern Miss has dropped its last two
games, falling to Tulane 70-61 and Memphis 73-64 last week.
After Southern Miss, the nationally heralded
Memphis Tigers will come to town to scratch it out with the Cougars at
7:30 p.m. Saturday. The
Tigers boast an intimidating starting
lineup including Dajuan Wagner, the nation's No. 1 high school recruit