Men's Basketball Set to Face #18/14 Louisville on Thursday
Jan. 15, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Winners of three of its last four games, the University of Houston Men's Basketball team meets its second ranked opponent when it faces defending national champion and No. 18/14 Louisville at 6 p.m. (CST)/7 p.m. (EST) Thursday, inside KFC Yum! Center.
The Cougars (10-6 2-1 The American) should be well rested entering their first game of the week. In its most recent outing, Houston dropped a 61-60 heartbreaker to Cincinnati on Jan. 7 for their first American loss.
Against the Bearcats, senior guard Brandon Morris tied a career high with 17 points and added a personal-best five 3-pointers to lead Houston. Sophomore guard Jherrod Stiggers came off the bench to post 11 points with a pair of treys, and junior forward TaShawn Thomas added 10 points with nine rebounds. Redshirt freshman forward Danrad Knowles scored nine points with a career-high 10 rebounds.
This season, junior forward TaShawn Thomas leads the Cougars with 17.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.6 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. The Killen, Texas, native is the only player to rank among the American Athletic Conference top-four leaders in both scoring and rebounding and is ranked among the nation's top-20 leaders in both blocked shots and field goal percentage.
Stiggers ranks third on the team with 10.3 points per game but leads the Cougars with 31 treys.
Earlier this season, the Cougars faced No. 17/15 UConn on Dec. 31 in their game in The American, taking a 75-71 win against the Huskies. It was the highest ranked team the Cougars knocked off since the 2005-06 season.
ON THE AIR
Thursday's game can be seen live on CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan calling the play-by-play action, Pete Gillen providing analysis and Evan Washburn reporting from the sideline. Due to the television broadcast, video stream will NOT be available through Cougar All-Access.
Fans can hear Thursday's game live on 950 AM KPRC with Matt Thomas calling play-by-play or by clicking here. The pregame show will start at 5:45 p.m. (CST), Thursday.
Fans can follow live stats by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com or by clicking here.
Louisville enters Thursday's game with a 14-3 overall record and 3-1 mark in The American play. The Cardinals are ranked No. 18 in the latest Associated Press poll and No. 14 in the most recent USA Today Coaches' poll.
Louisville has won three of its last four games. In its most recent outing, Louisville jumped out to a 12-point lead at halftime and never looked back in a 71-63 win against SMU on Sunday in Louisville, Ky.
Against the Mustangs, Russ Smith and Luke Hancock posted 23 points apiece to lead the Cardinals, while forward Montrezl Harrell added 12 points with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead all players.
This season, Smith leads the Cardinals with 18.1 points and 4.9 assists per game. Harris stands second on the team with 11.9 points per game and is averaging a team-best 8.4 rebounds per contest. Chris Jones stands third with 11.3 points per game, while Luke Hancock ranks fourth with 10.5 points per game.
Head coach Rick Pitino is in his 13th year at Louisville and his 29th season overall as a head coach. He has posted a 324-114 record at Louisville and a 678-242 overall career mark.
Pitino was a member of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2013, joining legendary Houston head coach Guy V. Lewis.
He previously served as head coach at Kentucky (1989-97, 219-50 record), Providence (1985-87, 42-23 record), Boston Univ. (1978-83, 91-51 record) and Hawai'i (1975-76, 2-4 record).
Thursday's game will be the fourth time that he has faced Houston. He has posted a 2-1 record against the Cougars with all three previous meetings coming during his Louisville tenure.
Following Thursday's game, the Cougars will return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to Rutgers at noon, Sunday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
From there, the team hits the road again to face Memphis at 7 p.m., Thursday, inside FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.
Houston Men's Basketball Tickets are on sale NOW. Fans can purchase single-game, 3-, 6- and 9-game mini-plans by visiting or calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-Go-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or by clicking here.
To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information.