2008-09 Houston Basketball Preview: #137
Overall Rank: #137
Conference Rank: #8 C-
2007-08: 24-10, 11-5, 3rd
2007-08 postseason: CBI
Six players started 11 or more games last season and five of them are gone. Sharpshooting Rob McKiver led the way with 23.6 points per game. Dion Dowell was no slouch from beyond the arc either and he led the team with 6.8 rebounds per contest. Tafari Toney was the defensive presence under the basket, Marcus Malone provided a spark off the bench and point guard Lanny Smith made everything tick. That is a lot of talent and experience to replace.
But the Cougars have five guys ready to step in and
replace the departing five. They might lack in experience and chemistry for the
time being, but the talent level takes a surprisingly small drop. The lone
incoming freshman is Desmond Wade. The point guard is extremely quick and plays
a smart game. He will keep the turnovers down and create plenty of turnovers on
the other side of the court. His offense will be limited for a while, but the
Who to Watch:
The big question is whether or not the returning
perimeter players are ready to become team leaders. Zamal Nixon had a decent
freshman campaign and will battle with Wade for the starting point guard spot.
Brockeith Pane could be a dynamic scorer if his outside shot develops a little
more consistency and DaShaun Williams is a solid rebounder for a 6-2 guard.
However, it is Kelvin Lewis who averaged 10.2 points per game last season and could
be the team’s leading scorer this time around. Lewis, who played at
There are a lot of questions, but there is a lot of talent too. Marcus Cousin only averaged 13.8 minutes per game last year, but now he will likely be the starting center. There are a lot of players like Cousin who will go from roleplayers to starters this year. If the transition is successful, the Cougars can win 20 games and think about a better post season tournament than the CBI. If not, even another trip to the CBI will be tough to attain.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Desmond Wade, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Kelvin Lewis, Junior, Guard, 10.2 points per game
Aubrey Coleman, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Qa’rraan Calhoun, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
Marcus Cousin, Senior, Center, 4.4 points per game