Redshirt freshman forward Danrad Knowles
Jan. 6, 2014
HOUSTON - After leading his team to the top of the American Athletic Conference standings, University of Houston freshman forward Danrad Knowles was honored Monday as the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week.
Junior forward TaShawn Thomas earned a place on the league's Weekly Honor Roll, a first in his career.
With his performance in wins against No. 17/15 UConn and at USF, Knowles helped lead the Cougars to their first 2-0 start in league play since 2008-09. The Nassau, Bahamas, native scored 13 points with nine rebounds against the Huskies and played a key role in the defense on the Huskies' game-tying layup attempt.
Knowles followed that with 12 points and five points in a 67-58 win at USF.
Last week, Thomas led the Cougars in minutes, field goals, field goal percentage, free throws, blocked shots and steals. In the Cougars' win over UConn, he broke a 71-71 tie with nine seconds remaining with a pair of free throws. On UConn's ensuing possession, he blocked the game-tying layup attempt with just five ticks left on the clock to seal the win for the Cougars and give them their first win against nationally ranked opponent since 2010-11.
Against USF, Thomas did a little of everything for the Cougars. He led all players with 13 points and added four rebounds, five assists, six blocks, a career-high six steals and only one turnover in 35 minutes.
Cincinnati forward Justin Jackson was honored as the league's Player of the Week. Thomas was joined on the Honor Roll by UCF guard Isaiah Sykes, Louisville guard Russ Smith, Rutgers forward Kadeem Jack and SMU guard Nic Moore.
Knowles, Thomas and their Cougar teammates return to action at 8 p.m., Tuesday, when they play host to league-rival Cincinnati inside Hofheinz Pavilion. It will be a battle between two of the league's three 2-0 teams.
Fans should note that Houston Men's Basketball will not celebrate Guy V. Lewis Night on Tuesday as originally scheduled. That special event - to honor Coach Lewis and his family on his recent induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame - has been moved to the Cougars' Feb. 5 showdown against defending national champion Louisville.
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