Houston 66, UAB 61
Veteran Leaders, Talented Newcomers Poised for Great Things
Comes to the Cougars following stints at Tulane, The Citadel, Tarleton State and UNC Pembroke
Freshmen forwards Danuel House, Danrad Knowles to join Cougars in 2012-13
Daniyal Robinson served as an assistant coach at the University of Houston from 2010 to 2013.
He assisted in all coaching aspects with the Cougars, including practices, recruiting and scouting opponents, and owned more than a decade of coaching experience as an assistant at Illinois State, UALR and Iowa State.
He has guided more than 20 players who have competed professionally, including Craig Brackins, who was taken with the No. 21 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Justin Hamilton, who was selected in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft and Diante Garrett.
During his tenure, Robinson's student-athletes enjoyed success in the classroom as well. As a team, the Cougars improved their cumulative grade-point average for six consecutive semesters.
With the completion of the spring 2013 semester, the Cougars posted their highest overall team GPA after a spring semester and posted their best spring GPA since 2010.
Eight student-athletes were named to the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll for posting a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
Robinson also assisted in the coordination of the Cougars' community service duties. Since arriving at Houston, the Cougars served Thanksgiving lunches to Star of Hope Mission residents, assisted in the unloading of more than 22 tons of pumpkins for a local church's fundraiser and moved furniture and equipment for local residents' Extreme Home Makeover.
He left the program in June 2013 to accept a similar position at Loyola (Chicago).
AT WORK IN HOUSTON
In 2012-13, Thomas was named to the league's First Team and All-Defensive Team after averaging 16.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He was one of only two players in the league to rank among the C-USA top-five individual leaders in both categories.
Forward Danuel House was named the league's Freshman of the Year, while forward Leon Gibson saw more than 50 percent improvement in his scoring and rebounding total from the previous season.
In 2011-12, Robinson helped lead the Cougars to wins against Arkansas and NCAA Tournament participant Southern Miss.
Through Robinson's work with the Cougar frontcourt, Thomas was one of two Houston players named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team and was a two-time Freshman of the Week honoree.
On the recruiting side, Robinson played a key role in the Cougars' award-winning signing class which was ranked among the nation's top 25 by ESPN, Rivals and Scout.
He was instrumental in helping ISU land Chris Colvin, who was ranked in the top 100 nationally in the majority of the recruiting services in 2009. He also played an important role in bringing in Marquis Gilstrap and LaRon Dendy, a pair of top-100 prep players who were considered two of the best junior college players in the class of 2009. Gilstrap was recognized as the 2009 Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
In his first season with the Cyclones, Robinson mentored All-America Honorable Mention and All-Big 12 First-Team member Craig Brackins. Brackins, along with Gilstrap, were All-Conference performers in Robinson's second season in Ames. Under his tutelage, Gilstrap emerged as the only player in the Big 12 to average a double-double in league play.
A native of Rock Island, Ill., Robinson spent the 2007-08 season as an assistant at UALR, helping his alma mater earn its first 20-win season (20-11) since 1995-96 and claim the Sun Belt Conference West Division title under head coach Steve Shields.
The Trojans led the league and ranked among the top 35 teams nationally in field goal percentage defense (40.1) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.9).
Prior to his second stint at UALR, Robinson spent four seasons (2003-07) as an assistant coach on Porter Moser's staff at Illinois State. He was the lead recruiter on 2006-07 Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year Osiris Eldridge, who earned All-MVC First-Team honors in 2007-08.
Eldridge was a top-150 recruit in high school with fellow Robinson signee Bobby Hill. Robinson's efforts also landed Lorenzo Gordon, MVC Newcomer of the Year and All-MVC First-Team honoree, and Levi Dyer, the 2006-07 MVC Most Improved Player.
A 1999 graduate of UALR, Robinson was an administrative assistant for three seasons for Moser, when he was the head coach of the Trojans. He was a part of the biggest turnaround in Sun Belt Conference history, helping the team win 18 games after registering just four wins during the previous season.
While at Indian Hills Community College in 1995-96, Robinson helped build a junior college dynasty with the Warriors, posting a 35-4 record and leading the team to state and regional championships as well as a berth in the NJCAA national tournament.
He received All-Region Second-Team honors as the Warriors ended the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA poll.
Robinson was a two-time IBCA All-State and All-Conference honoree at Rock Island High School under head coach Duncan Reid. He was named to the Quad City Times All-Metro First Team and recognized as the team's Most Valuable Player while serving as team co-captain.