Houston vs. Georgetown
December 31, 2000, Guy V. Lewis Court, Houston, Texas, 2:00 p.m.
The University of Houston men's basketball team returns home to play host to the 21st-ranked Georgetown Hoyas in a non-conference game on December 31 at 2:00 p.m. The Cougars enter the game with a 3-8 record this season after a second-place finish in the Sierra Providence SunClassic on December 28-29 in El Paso, Texas.
Houston beat Southeast Missouri State, 69-64, in the first round of the Tournament. Houston lost a 72-67 decision against Texas-El Paso in the championship game of the Tournament.
Meanwhile, Georgetown is 10-0 this year after beating Maryland-Eastern Shore on December 22.
Houston will be looking for its first win against Georgetown when the Cougars play host to the Hoyas this afternoon. UH enters the game with a 0-4 record Georgetown and this will mark the first time the two teams have played each other in Houston.
The series began at the 1979 Nike Classic in Albuquerque, N.M., when the Hoyas edged the Cougars 78-75. The two teams met each other for the second time in the 1984 NCAA Championship game when Houston suffered an 84-75 loss.
The Cougars and Hoyas met in their first regular season game on December 29, 1990 in St. Petersburg, Fla. At the Sun Coast Dome. The Hoyas prevailed in that game 63-51. Houston traveled to Georgetown last year, where the Cougars suffered an 83-75 loss on December 18, 1999.
Last Year at Georgetown
After battling toe-to-toe for 46 minutes, 16 seconds, Houston ran out of gas as Georgetown defeated the Cougars 83-75 at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C.. Kenny Younger's three-point basket from the top of the key tied the game at 75-75 with 3:44 remaining to play. That was the last basket the Cougars scored as Kevin Braswell made a three-pointer from the left win to give the Hoyas a 78-75 lead. After the Hoyas added two more points, the Cougars were forced to shoot from beyond the three-point line without their best three-point shooter in the game. After missing three straight attempts, the Cougars were forced to foul Braswell, who calmly sank both free throws. After another three-point attempt went awry, Georgetown's Anthony Perry added another free throw to make the final score 83-75.
Braswell led the Hoyas with 18 points, while Houston's Gee Gervin scored a game-high 24 points despite sitting out six crucial minutes in the second half with four fouls.
Houston in the Sierra Providence SunClassic
Houston's second-place finish in the Sierra Providence SunClassic was the Cougars' best finish in the tournament in UH school history. UH also finished in third place in the 1972 tournament when the Cougars lost to Indiana in the first round and beat future SMU in the consolation game. Houston also suffered a 78-68 loss against UTEP in the first round of the 1979 Classic before beating Alabama in the consolation game.
Houston Head Coach Ray McCallum
Ray McCallum is in his first season as the head coach at the University of Houston and enters the Georgetown game with a 129-84 career record. McCallum, who is in his eighth season as a collegiate head coach, came to Houston after compiling a 126-76 record in seven seasons at Ball State University.
His .624 winning percentage at Ball State was the fourth-highest overall winning percentage in the history of the Mid-America Conference. He also was the only coach in Ball State history to lead the Cardinals to seven consecutive winning seasons and his 126-career victories rank second in the school's history.
McCallum led Ball State to two MAC Tournament championships and two first-place finishes in the MAC's Western Division. He guided the Cardinals to two NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance.
Looking back at the UTEP Game
UTEP used two decisive runs in the second half to hold back Houston's strong challenge in the championship game of the Sierra Providence SunClassic. The Cougars led 35-28 at halftime after holding the Miners to just 22.2 percent (6-27) shooting from the field in the first half. Chad Hendrick and Dominic Smith were the primary weapons on the offensive end in the opening period as Hendrick came off the bench in the first half to score 13 points and Smith added nine. The Miners were able to stay close primarily at the free throw line as they made 15 of the 19 attempts. Brandon Wolfram, who was named the tournament's MVP, made all nine of his free throws and scored 20 of UTEP's 28 points.
The Miners climbed back into the game early in the second half as they outscored Houston 18-11 in the first six minutes of the second half to tie the game at 46-46. The Cougars refused to back down as George Williams scored on an ally-oop slam dunk and Patrick Okafor made a jump hook in the middle of the lane to give Houston a 50-46 lead with 11:57 left to play.
The complexion of the game changed in the next eight minutes as the Miners used an 18-7 run to take a 64-57 lead with 3:43 left to play. UTEP went on to win 75-67.
Hendrick led the Cougars with 19 points, while Dominic Smith added 17 points and three assists. Williams also finished with his second double-double performance of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Smith was named to the All-Tournament team after netting 35 points and nine assists in two games.
Looking back at the Southeast Missouri State Game
Using a stifling defense and some key plays down the stretch, Houston beat Southeast Missouri State, 69-64, in the first round of the Sierra Providence SunClassic. The Cougars held the Indians to 36.6 percent shooting from the field and had a 42-33 rebounding edge.
George Williams, Dominic Smith and Patrick Okafor made the key plays down the stretch as they combined to scored Houston's final 14 points. The Cougars led throughout the game, but the Indians closed to within 59-56 before Smith made two free throws and Williams made a lay-up to put Houston up 63-59 with 1:09 left in the contest.
After Terry Rogers made a lay-up to pull Southeast Missouri State to within 65-61, Williams made a jumper in the lane and two free throws to give Houston a six-point cushion, 67-61, with 17 seconds left to play.
Okafor iced the game with a slam dunk to make the final score 69-64. Williams led the Cougars with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Smith netted 18 points and handed out a career-high six assists and Okafor tallied a career-high 17 points.
Houston held Southeast Missouri State to just 36.6 percent (26-71) shooting from the field to mark the fourth time that the Cougars have held their opponent under 40 percent shooting. UH also held St. Mary's College to a .333 (17-51) field goal percentage, Southwest Texas State to just .339 (19-56) and LSU to .369 (24-65).
The Cougars enter the Georgetown game holding their opponents to a .405 (244-603) field goal percentage overall, and that ranks sixth among Conference USA teams. Last year, Houston ranked 12th among C-USA teams in field goal percentage defense with a .451 percentage.
UH is also holding their opponents to 67.5 points per game this season after allowing teams to score a 79.9 clip in 1999-00. Houston ranks fifth among C-USA teams in scoring defense in 2000-01 after ranking 12th last season.
Cougars Discover Shooting Touch
Not only did Houston play outstanding defense against Southeast Missouri State, the Cougars also had their best shooting performance of the season. The Cougars made 53.3 percent (24-45) of their field goal attempts against Indians.
It is the second time this season that Houston shot 50 percent from the field this season. The Cougars had a .500 (27-54) percentage of their shots against Southwest Texas State.
Chairman of the Boards
Houston enters the Georgetown game averaging 38.5 rebounds per game. The Cougars rank second among Conference USA teams in rebounding margin. Houston holds an average rebounding advantage of 5.3 rebounds per game over their opponents after recording a 36-33 edge over Texas-El Paso and a 42-33 dominance over Southeast Missouri State.
It marks the eighth time out of 11 games that the Cougars have won the rebounding battle. Houston also held a 38-21 advantage over Air Force, 51-22 over Mount St. Mary's College, 34-29 against Rice, 39-34 versus Southwest Texas State, 38-34 over LSU and 41-37 against Texas. The only three teams to out-rebound Houston were Connecticut, SMU and Texas Southern.
Houston's eight-point loss (75-67) against UTEP marks the fourth time this season that Houston has lost a game by eight points or less. Houston also suffered a 59-53 loss against Air Force in its regular season opener, a 61-59 loss against LSU and a 71-68 loss versus Texas Southern.
Houston Faces Tough Slate
Houston plays 16 games against teams who reached postseason play in 1999-00. The Cougars played against 2000 NCAA Tournament teams LSU, Connecticut and Texas. UH also plays against Louisville, DePaul, Saint Louis and Cincinnati.
Houston faces its fourth game against a 2000 NCAA Tournament team when the Cougars face Southeast Missouri State in the first round of the Sierra Providence SunClassic in El Paso, Texas.
In addition, the Cougars are scheduled to play eight games against six teams who played in the NIT last year. The Cougars faced SMU and will play Georgetown in non-conference games, while they play Charlotte, South Florida Marquette and Tulane in C-USA action.
A Local Roster
Houston has 10 players on its roster who are from the Greater Houston area. These 10 players include Torrence Botts (Friendswood), Alton Ford, Chad Hendrick, Calvin Murphy, Jr., Terry Price and Patrick Okafor (Houston), Joey Kane (Spring), Willie Moore (League City), Bernard Smith (Conroe) and George Williams (Missouri City).
The other players on the roster include Treva Crosby (Galliano, La.), Tega Moceanu (Burbank, Calif.), Marcus Oliver (Charlotte, N.C.) and Dominic Smith (Ashland, Va.).
Houston Player-of-the-Year Pipeline
The Cougars also have three of the last four All-Greater Houston Players-of-the-Year on its roster this season.
Bernard Smith was named The Houston Chronicle All-Greater Houston Players-of-the-Year in 1996-97. George Williams attained the honor in 1998-99 and Alton Ford earned the accolade in 1999-00.
The lone All-Greater Houston Player-of-the-Year not signed by the Cougars in the last four years was Rashard Lewis, who bypassed his collegiate career after his senior year in 1997-98 and is a forward for the Seattle Super Sonics.
Freshman Alton Ford is the second McDonald's High School All-American to ever wear a Cougar uniform in 2000-01. He was named the best high school post player in the nation by The Sporting News. The only other McDonald's All-American to play at Houston was Rickie Winslow, who was a four-year starter for the Cougars from 1983-87.
Houston signed three players in the early November signing period. The Cougars inked Rickey Huckaby, Darrius Brannon and Bryan Shelton.
Huckaby is a 6-1, 175 pound guard who is a two-time Class 3A First Team All-State selection from Mexia High School in Mexia, Texas. He has a 40-inch vertical jump and averaged 21 points per game as a junior after scoring 24.7 points per game for Mexia's 1998-99 Class 3A state championship team that finished the season with a 33-5 record.
Brannon is a 6-9, 205-pound forward who is very athletic and has a good outside shot. He earned All-Golden Triangle and All-Region honors after leading Port Arthur Lincoln High School to a 32-3 record in 1999-00. Brannon also has been nominated for the 2000-01 McDonald's High School All-America team after averaging 14 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Shelton is a 6-4 shooting guard from Clear Brook High School in Friendswood, Texas. He was an All-District 24-5A performer as a junior in 1999-00 after averaging 14.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He also made 55 three-pointers as a junior. Shelton is a preseason all-district selection entering his senior campaign.
Updated Cougar Profiles
1 Dominic Smith
Dominic Smith was named to the Sierra Providence SunClassic All-Tournament team after registering 35 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and seven steals in two games. Smith has started the last five games for the Cougars. He tallied 17 points, three assists and five steals against UTEP in the championship game. He also had 18 points and a career-high six assists versus Southeast Missouri State.
Smith made his first start at UH against SMU when he scored a career-high 23 points and handed out five assists against the Mustangs. He totaled 14 points versus Texas and scored 18 points against Texas Southern in his other two starts.
Smith leads the Cougars in assists with 29 this season and is Houston's best three-point shooter with 50 percent (16-32). He also leads UH in free throw percentage with .881 (52-59) after making six of his seven free throws against UTEP. He made all six of his free throws versus Southeast Missouri State.
Prior to the SMU game, Smith served as Houston's sixth man. He scored 12 points and handed out two assists at 16th-ranked Connecticut.
Smith came to Houston from Paris Junior College, where he was named a second-team all-Region XIV selection after averaging 16.2 points, 6.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game in 1999-00. He led Paris to a combined 44-22 record in his two years at the school, including a 20-13 mark during his sophomore season. He helped lead Paris to a 24-9 record as a freshman while averaging 7.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. Smith went to Paris after averaging 21 points, six rebounds and two steals per game at Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, Va.
3 Marcus Oliver
Marcus Oliver scored two points and grabbed two rebounds against UTEP after scoring one point and handing out one assist versus Southeast Missouri State. Oliver also registered seven points and five rebounds against Texas Southern.
He also scored 10 points and grabbed a season-high seven rebounds versus Texas. He opened the season with a season-high 12 points against Air Force.
A 6-2 sophomore guard, Oliver averaged 5.3 points per game in 1999-00. Oliver made eight starts for the Cougars and played in all of Houston's 31 games as a freshman. He scored a career-high 13 points against Texas Southern and Charlotte. Oliver grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in his first collegiate start against SMU.
4 Alton Ford
Freshman center Alton Ford scored three points and grabbed three rebounds against UTEP after sitting out the Southeast Missouri State because of disciplinary reasons. Ford was limited to just 11 minutes of action against the Miners because of foul trouble. It marked the fourth time this season that Ford has seen limited duty due to foul trouble. He played 11 minutes against SMU after sitting out the final 11 minutes of the Southwest Texas State game and playing 10 minutes against Air Force.
Ford scored 10 points and grabbed three rebounds against Texas Southern prior to the Providence Sierra SunClassic. His best game this season was against LSU when he scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
Named one of the top 10 high school recruits in the nation by ESPN and Fans Only, Ford came to Houston after being named a McDonald's All-American and a finalist for the Naismith High School Boy's Basketball Player-of-the-Year Award in 1999-00. Ford set the career scoring, rebounding and shot blocking records at Milby High School in Houston with 2,162 points, 1,381 rebounds and 268 blocked shots. He also was named the best senior high school post player and 13th best overall recruit by The Sporting News after averaging 23.5 points, 15.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots in his senior campaign.
11 Torrence Botts
Torrence Botts played one minute against UTEP after grabbing a season-high two rebounds against Southeast Missouri State. He also played four minutes versus Mount St. Mary's College and one minute against Air Force.
Botts is a junior reserve guard who averaged 4.0 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in 1999-00. Botts tallied a career-high 23 points and six steals to lead Houston to a 74-70 victory over crosstown rival Texas Southern at the Hawkeye Challenge. He also netted 16 points in 12 minutes versus Memphis. Botts played in 22 games and started 12 contests as a walk-on guard in 1998-99 when he averaged 4.5 points per game. He tallied a season-high 14 points and made four treys against Portland State in the first round of New Mexico Lobo Invitational.
21 Bernard Smith
Bernard Smith totaled six points, four rebounds and two assists versus UTEP after recording two points, three rebounds, one assists and two steals against Southeast Missouri State. Smith's two points against the Indians came with 7:12 to play in the game after Southeast Missouri State tied the contest for the third time at 45-45. Houston led the rest of the way.
Smith scored four points against Texas and Texas Southern after handing out a career-high seven assists at SMU.
He scored nine points and handed out three assists at 16th-ranked Connecticut after he tallied four points and two assists against LSU. Smith also registered a career-high 12 points and four assists in Houston's victory over Southwest Texas State.
A 6-3 guard from Conroe, Smith missed seven games and played the final two-thirds of the 1999-00 season with a two broken bones in his right wrist. He played in 24 games and made 14 starts for the Cougars last year after transferring from Texas. Smith scored a season-high 10 points against George Washington.
23 Calvin Murphy, Jr.
Calvin Murphy has dressed for the last four games after completing NCAA satisfactory progress requirements during the first semester. Murphy played in 11 games in 1999-00 and averaged 1.5 points per game after transferring to Houston from Angelina College. He began his collegiate career at Niagara in 1996-97.
24 Willie Moore
Willie Moore played one minute against UTEP and SMU in his only two appearances this season after sitting out the first six games of the season with an ankle sprain. Moore suffered in the final play of practice on November 14.
Before he suffered the injury, Moore grabbed two rebounds and handed out an assist while playing six minutes during Houston's second exhibition game versus Ezybonds.
Moore sat out last season as a redshirt after playing 19 games and averaging 2.1 points and two rebounds in 1998-99. He saw his most extensive action in 1997-98 when he started 11 games and averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 29 contests.
31 Terry Price
Terry Price dressed for the last four games as a walk-on guard after practicing with the team during the fall semester. The marks the first time Price has suited up for the Cougars since 1997-98 when he grabbed one rebound in three games.
32 Chad Hendrick
Chad Hendrick led Houston with 19 points off the bench against UTEP after scoring nine points against Southeast Missouri State.
Prior to the Sierra Providence SunClassic, Hendrick scored in double figures during Houston's previous two games off the bench when he netted 11 points against Texas Southern and 13 points in 23 minutes against Texas.
Prior to the Texas contest, Hendrick started Houston's first seven games of the season. He scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds at SMU after he tallied eight points and nine rebounds against LSU.
Hendrick was named to the BCA Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 19.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in Houston's first two regular season games. He totaled a career-high 25 points and eight rebounds against Mount St. Mary's College. Hendrick opened the season with 14 points and six rebounds against Air Force.
Hendrick averaged 8.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 31 games last season.
35 Treva Crosby
Treva Crosby did see any action in the Sierra Providence SunClassic after playing eight minutes against Texas Southern when he missed his only free throw attempt. He also played 12 minutes versus Air Force and had limited appearances against SMU, Southwest Texas State and St. Mary's College.
Crosby returns to Houston's lineup after sitting out the 1999-00 season with a right shoulder injury. Crosby was Houston's third guard in 1998-99 and averaged 5.0 points per game. He tallied 16 points versus Charlotte that year and netted a career-high 18 points against UAB in his freshman campaign.
42 George Williams
George Williams recorded his second double double of the season when he scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds versus UTEP. Williams led Houston with 19 points and nine rebounds against Southeast Missouri State. He also led the Cougars with 18 points and nine rebounds against Texas Southern.
His 12 rebounds against UTEP marks the second time in the last four games he has grabbed 10 or more rebounds. Williams led the Cougars with 12 rebounds versus Texas. He also tallied eight points versus the Longhorns.
Williams recorded his first double-double performance of the season at Connecticut when he scored 15 points and snatched 10 rebounds against the 16th-ranked Huskies.
Williams tallied a season-high 20 points and eight rebounds in Houston's 73-59 victory over Southwest Texas State. He returned to Houston lineup at Rice after sitting out the first two games of the season with a strained calf muscle.
The 6-8 Missouri City, Texas native was a member of the Conference USA All-Freshman team after averaging 14.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in 1999-00. He started every game for Houston and is the only returning C-USA player to record 12 double-doubles last year.
43 Patrick Okafor
Patrick Okafor scored a season-high 17 points and grabbed six rebounds against Southeast Missouri State after sitting out the Texas Southern game for disciplinary reasons. Okafor has grabbed 10 or more rebounds four times this season, including a season-high 16 rebounds against Mount St. Mary's College. He also grabbed 14 rebounds at SMU, 13 boards versus Air Force and 11 rebounds against Southwest Texas State.
In addition to his 16 rebounds versus Mount St. Mary's, Okafor also scored a season-high 17 points against the Mountaineers Okafor began his UH career scoring 11 points against Air Force.
He was named one of the top five junior college sophomore power forwards in the nation last year by The Sporting News and a two-team Region XIV selection. Okafor led Region XIV in rebounding with 12.1 rebounds per game and averaged 18.7 points per game as a sophomore after registering 22.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per contest as a freshman.
45 Tega Moceanu
Tega Moceanu played some valuable minutes in the Sierra Providence SunClassic. Moceanu scored five points and grabbed three rebounds as a reserve forward in the tournament. He totaled two points and a rebound against UTEP after he equaled his season-high of three points against Southeast Missouri State. He also netted three points against Rice and Mount St. Mary's College. In addition to his three points versus Southeast Missouri State, Moceanu also grabbed three rebounds against the Indians. He pulled down a season-high five rebounds at Rice.