Men's Basketball Opens CBI First Round vs. Texas on Wednesday
March 18, 2013
HOUSTON - Winners of four of its last five games, the University of Houston Men's Basketball team opens its postseason when it plays host to Texas at 8 p.m., Wednesday, in the First Round of the College Basketball Invitational presented by Buick inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
This marks the first postseason appearance for the Cougars since 2010 and the 31st postseason berth in program history. The 2012-13 Cougars also need only a win against the Longhorns to become the 21st team in school history to win at least 20 games.
Houston (19-12 7-9 C-USA) is led by a trio of award-winning stars. Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas ranks second on the team with 16.8 points per game but tops the Cougars with 9.5 rebounds per contest. The Killeen, Texas, native is one of only two players to rank among the league's top-five leaders in both categories.
For his impressive efforts all season, Thomas was named to the All-Conference USA First Team and to the USBWA All-District VII Team. With a team-best 53 blocks and a league-best 205 defensive rebounds, he also earned a place on the league's All-Defensive Team, a first in his career.
Young leads the Cougars and ranks second in the league with 17.9 points per game. The Houston native and Yates High product has scored at least 20 points in six of his last eight games and was named to the All-Conference USA Third Team.
Freshman forward Danuel House ranks third on the team with 12.4 points per game and emerged as the league's premier young newcomer. The Sugar Land, Texas, native ranked among the league's freshman leaders in numerous categories and was honored as the C-USA Freshman of the Year last week.
One of the nation's youngest teams, the Cougars tied for sixth in the final C-USA regular-season standings and competed as the No. 6 seed at last week's C-USA Championship, the program's highest seed since 2008.
Houston enjoyed a 72-67 win against Rice in the C-USA Championship First Round before bowing out with an 80-69 loss to UTEP in the Quarterfinals.
Tickets for Wednesday's CBI First-Round game are on sale now. To purchase tickets, fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or buy online at UHCougars.com.
Tickets can be purchased for as low as $15 for adults and $10 for youth (3-HS).
Due to the generous contributions of the UH Alumni Association and other Cougar Pride donors, the first 1,500 UH students with a valid Cougar Card will be admitted to Wednesday's game for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Students also may purchase up to four guest tickets for $10 each.
Students also will enjoy free pizza while supplies last.
Cougar Pride Season Priority parking lots around Hofheinz Pavilion will NOT apply for the College Basketball Invitational. There will be NO reserved donor parking for the College Basketball Invitational.
Cash parking for only $10 will be available in these lots: 15C Named Lot, 15C Lot, 16B/C Lot and the Stadium Parking Garage
ON THE AIR
Fans can hear Wednesday's game live on 950 AM KPRC 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 8 p.m., Wednesday.
Fans can watch Wednesday's game live on AXS-TV with Kenny Rice calling the play-by-play action and Tom Walsh providing analysis. Fans should check their local listings to find AXS-TV in their viewing areas or click here for more information.
Fans can hear the audio stream live on UHCougars.com. Due to network broadcast restrictions, the video stream from Wednesday's game will NOT be available.
Fans can follow live stats by clicking the GameTracker link or by clicking here.
Texas enters Wednesday's CBI First Round game with an overall record of 16-17. The Longhorns finished seventh in the final Big 12 regular-season standings with a 7-11 record. In addition, the Longhorns are 2-8 in road games this season and 2-5 at neutral sites.
Texas has won three of its last four games, which includes a 66-49 loss in its most recent action against Kansas State at the Big 12 Championship on March 14 in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Against the Wildcats, sophomore guard Julien Lewis came off the bench to score 13 points and lead the Longhorns. Sophomore forward Jonathan Holmes added 10 points with a pair of rebounds. Freshman forward Connor Lammert led the team with six rebounds, while sophomore guard Myck Kabongo added a game-high seven assists.
This season, Kabongo leads Texas with 14.4 points and 5.1 assists per game through 10 games. Sheldon McClellan ranks second on the team with 13.8 points per game, while Lewis ranks third with 10.8 points per contest. Javan Felix tops the team with 4.1 assists per game.
Head coach Rick Barnes is in his 16th year as a collegiate head coach and his 15th season at Texas. He has posted a 560-288 career record and a 358-154 mark with the Longhorns.
Barnes, who is a 1977 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne, previously served as head coach at Clemson (1994-98), Providence (1988-94) and George Mason (1987-88). He has posted a 2-1 against Houston during his career with all games during his Texas tenure.
With a First-Round win against Texas on Wednesday, Houston would advance to the CBI Quarterfinals to face the winner of the George Mason-College of Charleston game on Monday.
Game time and location will be announced at a later date. Fans should stay tuned to UHCougars.com and Houston Athletics' social media platforms for the latest information.