Men's Basketball to Celebrate Senior Night on Wednesday vs. Rice
March 4, 2013
The Last Meeting
January 30, 2013
Houston, Texas (Tudor Fieldhouse)
HOUSTON - The University of Houston Men's Basketball team will honor its senior leader during its final regular-season home game when it plays host to Rice at 7 p.m., Wednesday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The team will recognize senior forward Leon Gibson and senior student manager E.J. Akeredolu in pregame ceremonies. More information about each is included below.
The Cougars enter their regular-season home finale on a wave of momentum after an impressive showing last weekend against Marshall. Houston connected on nearly 60 percent of its shots while limiting the Thundering Herd to only 36 percent during a 103-76 win.
It was the most points scored by Houston in a conference game since a 105-96 win in overtime against former Southwest Conference-rival Texas on Feb. 11, 1995. However, it was the most points scored against a conference opponent IN REGULATION since a 108-90 win against Texas A&M on Jan. 27, 1990, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Against Marshall, sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas (25), sophomore guard Joseph Young (23) and freshman forward Danuel House (23) became the first Cougar trio to score 20+ points in the same game since Aubrey Coleman (33), Kelvin Lewis (25) and Adam Brown (21) accomplished the feat against TCU on Dec. 23, 2009.
This season, Young leads the Cougars and stands in a virtual tie with East Carolina's Maurice Kemp for first place in the Conference USA individual scoring race. Kemp leads the league with 17.9630 points per game, with Young a very close second at 17.9615 points per contest, a different of .0015 or 15 ten-thousandths of a point.
Thomas stands fourth in the league with 17.0 points per game and leads the Cougars and ranks second in Conference USA with 9.8 rebounds per game. The Killeen, Texas, native is one of only two players to rank that highly in both categories and is looking to become the first Cougar since 2002 to average a double-double for an entire season.
SENIOR NIGHT FAREWELL
Prior to Wednesday's game, the program will honor senior forward Leon Gibson in ceremonies as part of Senior Night.
This season, the Los Angeles native is averaging 5.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He has competed in 26 games with 11 starts. Gibson scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting and hit several key baskets late in the season-opening win against Florida A&M. In addition, he grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds against SMU.
Gibson joined the Cougars as a junior out of Navarro Junior College. During his first collegiate season, he competed in 27 games in 2011-12 and earned his first start against Big 12 member Oklahoma. That season, he posted his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds against Marshall.
Gibson is scheduled to graduate in the spring with a bachelor's degree in sociology.
The team also will recognize student manager E.J. Akeredolu in pregame ceremonies. Joining the Cougars for the first time this season, Akeredolu has performed a variety of duties for the coaches and student-athletes all season.
He is scheduled to graduate in the spring with a major in sports administration and a minor in global business.
THREE LEGENDS TO BE HONORED AT HALFTIME
At halftime of Wednesday's game, Elvin Hayes, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon will receive awards as Top 75 All-Time March Madness Players during ceremonies inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The Houston trio was determined by a panel of college basketball experts commissioned by the NCAA on the 75th anniversary of the NCAA Tournament.
All three Houston greats will be in attendance at Wednesday's game and will be recognized during an awards presentation.
For the final time in 2012-13, the Men's Basketball program will give away bobblehead dolls. On Wednesday, the first 1,00 fans in attendance will receive a free Elvin Hayes bobblehead.
The team previously gave away bobbleheads of Phi Slama Jama great and current director of operations Michael Young and CBS Sports broadcaster Jim Nantz.
ON THE AIR
Fans can hear Wednesday's game live on NewsRadio 740 AM KTRH with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Houston legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show is slated to begin at 7 p.m., Wednesday.
Fans can hear the audio stream and watch the video stream live at UHCougars.com by clicking the All-Access tab and following the appropriate links to sign up for Cougar All-Access. A charge is required to see and hear games via Cougar All-Access.
Fans can follow live stats by clicking the GameTracker link or by clicking here.
Rice enters Wednesday's game with an overall record of 5-23. The Owls are 1-13 in Conference USA play to rank 12th in the latest league standings. Rice also is 0-10 in road games this season and has lost each of its last eight games.
In most its recent action, Rice dropped a 67-56 decision to UTEP on Saturday inside Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston. Against the Miners, guard Tamir Jackson led all players with 20 points, while guard Julian DeBose added 14 points. Guard Max Guercy posted 11 points with a team-high six rebounds in the loss.
This season, Jackson leads the team with 16.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Guercy ranks second with 10.2 points per contest but leads the team with 2.5 assists per game. DeBose is a close third with 10.0 points per game.
Head coach Ben Braun is in his 36th year as a collegiate head coach and his fifth season at Rice. He has posted a 608-491 career record, including a 66-102 mark with the Owls.
Braun, who is a 1975 graduate of Wisconsin, is 6-6 against the Cougars, with a 4-5 mark against as Rice's head coach.
He previously served as head coach at California (1996-08), Eastern Michigan (1986- 96) and Siena Heights (1977-85).
Following Wednesday's game, the Cougars close out their regular-season home schedule at 7 p.m., Saturday, when they meet Conference USA-rival Tulane inside Devlin Fieldhouse in New Orleans. Houston will have revenge on its mind after Tulane rallied for an 88-85 win inside Hofheinz Pavilion on Feb. 9.
Fans can listen to the game live on NewsRadio 740 AM KTRH with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Houston legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show is slated to begin at 6:45 p.m., Saturday.