Houston Concludes Florida Road Swing at UCF
Jan. 30, 2014
ORLANDO, Fla.--- The Cougars conclude their two-game Florida road swing with a trip to Orlando to take on the UCF Knights, Saturday at 3:00 p.m. CT inside CFE Arena.
There will be live television coverage of Houston's game at UCF available through the American Digital Network. Neil Solondez will have the play-by-play, while Leah Secondo will provide the color commentary.
There will be live audio streaming available for Houston's game at UCF. To access audio for the game visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's basketball schedule page, then click the " live audio" link to listen for free through stretch internet. Jeremy Branham will have the play-by-play, while Derrick Fazendin will provide the color commentary
There will be live stats available for Houston's game at UCF. To access live stats for the game visit www.UCFKnights.com, click the women's basketball schedule page then click the "GameTracker" link.
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Women's Basketball Ticket Information
Season tickets for the 2013-14 season are now on sale in the Athletics Ticket Office, starting as low as $100 for general admission seating. Season tickets for floor seating are available for only $250.
Fans can also purchase flex tickets, using all 15 tickets for one home game, one ticket for all 15 contests or any combination in between.
How to Order
To purchase season 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 online at UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links.
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.
Fans are encouraged to purchase their season tickets early for the best seats in the house.
A Look at the Series...
Houston vs. UCF
Overall Record 5-6
Home Record 3-1
Away Record 2-3
Neutral Site Record 0-2
Longest Win Streak 2 games (2x)
Longest Losing Streak 3 games
Current Streak Lost 3
Record in Last 10 Meetings 4-6
Jan. 6, 2006 at UCF (W, 64-50)
Dec. 28, 2013 at Hofheinz Pavilion (L, 67-59)
The Series Game-by-Game
01/06/06 UCF* W 64-50
02/09/07 at UCF* L 73-78
01/17/08 at UCF* W 74-61
01/25/09 UCF* W 80-65
03/06/09 vs. UCF% L 66-79
02/20/10 at UCF* L 66-78
01/27/11 at UCF* W 71-68
02/26/12 UCF* W 66-53
02/28/13 at UCF* L 55-68
03/13/13 vs. UCF% L 59-74
12/28/13 UCF* L 59-67
Series Notes: This will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two schools, with UCF holding a slight 6-5 edge in the overall series, as the Knights have taken each of the last three games from the Cougars...this will be the sixth time Houston has played at UCF, with the Knights’ average margin of victory being just 2.8 points in those five contests...UH’s largest margin of victory came in an 80-65 win on Jan. 25, 2009 (15 points)...the Cougars’ largest margin of defeat came in a 74-59 loss (15 points) on March 13, 2013 in the opening round of last season’s Conference USA Tournament...the last four contests between the two schools have been decided by eight points or more...all 11 meetings between the two programs have been conference affairs, including two conference tournament matchups....Te’onna Campbell, Yasmeen Thompson, and Alecia Smith all played well the last time these two teams met in December, as Campbell scored a team-high 16 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds for the double-double, in a performance that would eventually earn her a spot on the American Athletic Conference honor roll the following week. Thompson pulled down a game-high/ season-high 13 rebounds and poured in seven points, while Smith scored a season-best equaling 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point land.
Not Know About the Knights? Now You Do
The Knights (8-12, 1-8 The American) enter this one sitting in ninth place in The American, as they’ve lost eight consecutive games, with their last win coming the last time these two teams hooked up back on Dec. 28 in the league opener...sophomore guard Briahanna Jackson leads the Knights in scoring, as she averages 17.8 points per game, while Sara Djassi and Zykira Lewis also average double-digit points per contest, posting 12.3 and 11. points per game respectively. Junior forward Brittni Montgomery leads UCF in the rebounding department, grabbing 8.8 rebounds per game...UCF averages just 59.3 points per game, while it gives up 56.8 points per contest on average...UCF was picked to finish eighth in the conference’s preseason coaches’ poll.
Last Time Out For the Cougars
The Cougars received 29 points from their bench, but it just wasn’t enough, as USF downed Houston, 71-53, last Wednesday night at the Sun Dome.
Sophomore forward Marche’ Amerson recorded her team-leading tying ninth double-digit scoring game of the season, as she scored 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, while junior guard Demetria Foreman also poured in 14 points off the bench, as she has now led the team or tied for the team lead in scoring in three of the last four contests.
Senior center and reigning American Athletic Conference honor roll member Yasmeen Thompson also chipped in with six points and a team-best nine rebounds, while senior forward Te’onna Campbell notched a career-best equaling three blocks in the loss.
USF (11-9, 6-3 The American) received a game-high 20 points from Courtney Williams, as she shot 9-of-18 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds. Alisia Jenkins also recorded 10 points and a game-high 16 rebounds and three blocks in the win.
It was a rocky start for Houston (4-16, 0-9 The American), as it saw USF connect on six of its first seven shots from the field to take a commanding 15-2 lead with 13:59 left to play in the half.
But the Cougars would chip away, going on a 9-2 scoring run over the next four-plus minutes to jump right back in the game, trailing just 17-11 with 8:10 left to go in the half.
However, the hot shooting would continue for the Bulls, as they connected on 13-of-30 first half field goals for 43.3 percent, including knocking down a perfect 10-of-10 free throw attempts, while the Cougars didn’t even draw their first foul until there was just 3:03 left in the half.
Despite the adversity, Houston was able to stay within striking distance at the half, thanks to a Jessieka Palmer three-point buzzer beater, to keep the Cougars within 38-25 at the intermission. The shot marked the third time Palmer had sunk a trey at the halftime buzzer this season (Nov. 8 vs. Mississippi State and Nov. 13 at Northwestern State).
The Cougars came out with intensity to begin the second half, as the offense launched a mini 5-0 run out of the gate to climb within 38-30 with 17:16 left in the game, after Amerson connected on one of her two trifectas in the game.
But every time Houston rallied , USF had an answer, eventually extending its lead to as high as 18 points, which would hold as the final margin of victory.
The Cougars shot a season-best 11-of-12 from the free throw line for 91.7 percent, while it committed a season-low seven turnovers and scored 13 points off of 10 forced turnovers in the game.
Where We Rank
Through 20 games here’s a look at where the Cougars stack up early on. Houston ranks fourth in The American in offensive rebounds per game (15.1). Through nine games of conference play Houston ranks third in offensive rebounds per contest (14.6), fourth in blocked shots (4.1 bpg), and fourth in three pointers made per game (4.8)
UH has recorded two or more double-digit scorers in 17 of 20 games this season...Houston has scored more points in the first half than the second half in eight of its last 13 games...UH has won the second chance point battle in 10 of its last 18 tilts...the Cougars have won the turnover battle in 10 of their last 17 games...a Cougar bench player has scored in double-digits in five of the last nine contests.
Palmer Beats Buzzers
Jessieka Palmer nailed a three-ball at the halftime buzzer last time out vs. USF. It was was the third time she had connected on a triple as the first half expired this season. She did it on Nov. 8 vs. Mississippi State and Nov. 13 at Northwestern State.
Keeping it Clean
Houston committed a season-low seven turnovers last Wednesday at USF and scored 13 points off of 10 forced turnovers.
Not Far Off
While it hasn’t been the best start for the Cougars thus far in conference play, a win on Saturday vs. UCF would put them in a tie for ninth place and just one game back of eighth place depending on how the other games play out.
Houston’s Dynamic Duo
Te’onna Campbell and Marche’ Amerson have combined to score 32.4 percent (364/1122) of the Cougars’ total points this season.
Wade Scott Takes Over as Interim Head Coach
Former associate head coach Wade Scott took over the title of Interim Head Coach on Dec. 21, 2013 after former head coach Todd Buchanan chose to resign due to personal reasons. Scott is in his eighth season with the Cougar women’s basketball program and will serve as the Head Coach for the remainder of the 2013-14 campaign. Scott technically becomes the seventh head coach in program history. He looks to earn his first victory this Saturday vs. UCF.
A Team Effort
The Cougars had posted a different leading scorer in seven consecutive games until Te’onna Campbell broke that streak by leading the team with 21 points on Jan. 11 vs. Cincinnati. (Thompson/ Campbell/ Amerson 9 pts 12/08 at Alabama, Texada 14 pts 12/15 at Texas State, Foreman 20 pts 12/20 at Rice, Campbell 16 pts 12/28 vs. UCF, Smith 15 pts 12/31 vs. USF, Ashton 19 pts 01/04 at Rutgers, Amerson/ Smith 11 pts 01/07 at UConn)...Still no player has flat out (all by herself) has led the team in scoring in consecutive games since Te’onna Campbell did it on 11/30 vs. Kent State and 12/01 vs. Prairie View A&M.
The Cougars have received double-digit scoring performances from a reserve in five of the last nine games, three times from Alecia Smith, once from Demetria Foreman and once from Marissa Ashton...the Cougar bench scored 29 of Houston’s 53 points (55%) last time out vs. USF, which was the most the points the bench had produced as a whole since scoring 35 on Dec. 1 vs. PVAMU...the leading scorer has also come off the bench in three of the last six contests...Ashton’s 19 points off the bench at Rutgers on Jan. 4, 2014 were the most amount of points any Cougar reserve has scored this season.
It Starts With Consistency
The Cougars had used the starting lineup of Demetria Foreman (PG), Marche’ Amerson (SG), Te’onna Campbell (SF), Destini Texada (PF), and Yasmeen Thompson (C) in 14 consecutive contests going back to Nov. 30 vs. Kent State, before that streak was snapped last Wednesday at USF...three of the Cougars’ four wins on the year have come when that unit has started.
Shutting Them Down
Houston put together arguably it’s best defensive half of the season during first half at Rutgers on Jan 4, as the Cougars held the Scarlet Knights to just 9-of-37 shooting for 24.3 percent in the half. That was the lowest shooting percentage UH has held any opponent to in a half so far this season...Houston has held an opponent under 50 points for game three separate times this season.
Streaks Meant For Snapping
Houston has dropped nine consecutive games overall, which is their longest losing skid since dropping 12 straight during the 2011-12 campaign...Nine straight losses to begin conference play is the longest such streak since the Cougars lost all 14 league games during the 1996-97 season...Houston has dropped six straight home games, the most since also losing six in a row at Hofheinz Pavilion during the 2011-12 season.
A Part of American History
The Cougars and UCF Knights participated in what was the first ever American Athletic Conference game on Dec. 28. The American marks Houston’s third different conference in school history in what is program’s 39th year in existence. Houston’s game on Dec. 28 was also the debut of the conference’s original American Digital Network. The Cougars will be shown on the network at least seven sperate times this season, not including conference tournament play.
Twelve Cougar women’s basketball regular season games will be shown on television this season. Seven games will be shown on the American Digital Network (Dec. 28 vs. UCF, Jan. 25 vs. SMU, Jan. 29 at USF, Feb. 1 at UCF, Feb 8 at Cincinnati, Feb. 15 at SMU, March 1 at Memphis), four games will be shown on the ESPN family of networks (Dec. 31 vs. USF, Jan. 7 at UConn, Jan. 21 vs. Louisville, and Feb. 22 vs. UConn), while one will be shown on WHAS (Feb. 19 at Louisville).
Campbell Can Do A Lot
Te’onna Campbell has done it all for the Cougars so far this season. She leads the team in steals per game (2.0), overall steals (34), and minutes played per contest (31.5) in just 17 games played this year. While she stands at just 5-foot-10, she ranks second on the team in rebounds per game, grabbing 7.0 per game and leads the team in scoring (10.5 ppg). She’s scored in double-digits in nine of 17 contests played this year and has led the team in scoring in six of the last 15 games.
What an Honor
Te’onna Campbell became the first Cougar to earn a spot on the conference’s weekly honor roll team on Dec. 30, thanks to her 16 point, 10 rebound performance vs. UCF on Dec. 28 in the league opener.
Thompson Joins the Honor Roll
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson was named to the American Athletic Conference honor roll this week after averaging 12.5 points and 10 rebounds in games vs. No. 5 Louisville and SMU last Tuesday and Saturday.
The Philadelphia, Pa. native poured in a team-high tying 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while recording a block and two steals in Houston’s game vs. No. 5 Louisville last Tuesday.
Thompson followed that up with arguably her best performance of the season last Saturday vs. in-state rival SMU, scoring a season-high 15 points and pulling down a game-high tying 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the year and the eighth of her career. She also recorded a steal and connected on 9-of-12 shots from the free throw line.
Fortunate to Have Foreman
Demetria Foreman has either lead the team or has been tied for the team lead in scoring in three of the last four contests, averaging 11.0 points per game during that span. Through seven games of conference play, she ranks second on the team and 30th in the conference in scoring (8.2 ppg), ranks seventh in the conference in free throw percentage (.815), 11th in steals (1.7 spg), 14th in three-pointers made, and 12th in three-point percentage (.303).
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson has led Houston in rebounding in 11 of its last 16 contests. She leads the team in overall rebounding (8.1 rpg), offensive rebounding (3.3 rpg), and defensive rebounding (4.8 rpg). She’s also posted double-digit rebounds seven times this year...her rebounds per game rank seventh in the conference, while her defensive rebounds also rank eighth, and her offensive rebounds per game rank fifth.
Oh So Close
Seven of Houston’s 16 losses have been by nine points or less, while only five losses this season has come by 13+ points...the Cougars have been within three points (or better) of the opposition with under 10 minutes to play in the game in 11 of 20 contests this year. They’ve been within three points (or better) with under four minutes to play in eight of the 20 games.
Marche’ Amerson has started in every game of her Houston career thus far, 50 games and counting. She leads the team in career starts. The next minute she plays will be her 600th of the season.
Turning the Corner?
While Houston’s free throw shooting is a disappointing 61.1 percent this season, it appears as if the Cougars may have turned the corner, as Houston shot a season-best 91.7 percent from the free throw line last time out vs USF, and have shot over 70 percent from the charity stripe in three straight games. Ironicly, the Cougars missed a season-high tying 18 free throws the first time the Bulls and Cougars met on Dec. 31. However, Let’s take a look at what the final scores of all 20 games could have looked like if those misses were turned into makes...with the free throw misses turned into makes the Cougars would be 8-12 with a scoring margin of -1.65 instead of what currently is a scoring margin of -9.7.
11/8 vs. Mississippi State W 82-76 (missed 14 FTs)
11/13 at Northwestern State W 80-74 (missed 10 FTs)
11/17 vs. #12/16 Texas A&M L 63-59 (missed 8 FTs)
11/20 vs. North Texas W 84-61 (missed 18 FTs)
11/23 at Creighton L 65-59 (missed 4 FTs)
11/30 vs. Kent State W 58-44 (missed 4 FTs)
12/1 vs. Prairie View A&M W 80-46 (missed 6 FTs)
12/4 vs. Washington L 66-65 (missed 10 FTs)
12/8 at Alabama L 51-49 (missed 5 FTs)
12/15 at Texas State W 75-70 (missed 12 FTs)
12/20 at Rice W 78-54 (missed 11 FTs)
12/28 vs. UCF W 69-67 (missed 10 FTs)
12/31 vs. USF L 77-72 (missed 18 FTs)
01/04 at Rutgers L 68-54 (missed 7 FTs)
01/07 at #1/1 UConn L 90-41 (missed 1 FT)
01/11 vs. Cincinnati L 59-57 (missed 7 FTs)
01/18 at Memphis L 48-46 (missed 6 FTs)
01/21 vs. #5/5 Louisville L 93-55 (missed 3 FTs)
01/25 vs. SMU L 73-66 (missed 6 FTs)
01/29 at UCF L 71-54 (missed 1 FT)
The Finishing Touch
The Cougars are 4-0 this season when leading with under five minutes to play.
Filling the Void
Houston is still in the process of trying to experience life without Porcshe Landry, who graduated last year as the program’s all-time assists leader (483), as well as the club’s scoring leader from a year ago (16.6 ppg). While it’s too early to tell in just her first season, Houston may have found something in transfer guard Demetria Foreman, who collected a game-high eight assists in UH’s season opener on Nov. 8 vs. Mississippi State. She still has a ways to go to catch up to Landry, but the eight assists were the most any Cougar not named Landry had collected since Roxana Button also recorded eight assists on Feb. 26, 2012 vs. UCF. She is currently averaging a team-best 2.5 assists per game.
Sharing is Caring
Four of five Houston starters (Thompson, Campbell, Amerson, Foreman) scored in double figures and combined to score 57 of the Cougars’ 67 total points (85%) on Dec. 20 at Rice. It was the first time Houston had boasted four or more double-digit scorers in a game since Jan. 24, 2013 vs. Southern Miss. Amerson and Campbell scored in double figures in that game as well.
Houston Signs Four Recruits for 2014-15
Houston brought in Fatima Adams, Moesha Kinard, Dejah Joshua, and Sandra Davis
Fatima Adams | Forward | 5-10 | Blinn Community College (Bryan, Texas)
Adams has averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in 35 games played at Blinn Junior College...so far through four games this season, she’s racked up an average of 25 points per game, while shooting the ball at a 51.6 percent clip...she currently ranks in the top 50 among all active NJCAA members in six different categories: 11th in games played (35), 14th in games started (33), 41st in minutes played (845), 22nd in free throws made (127-167), 16th in offensive rebounds (131), and 18th in total rebounds (302)...she earned second-team all-district honors during the 2010-11 season and first-team all district accolades during the 2011-12 campaign while at Rudder High School...she helped lead Rudder High School to the third round of the playoffs in 2009-10 and the fourth round in 2011-12.
From coach Buchanan: “I think she’s extremely athletic and her natural position is small forward. She can step out and hit the mid-range jump shot, which quite frankly is hard to find in today’s world. She’s a strong kid, really jumps out of the gym and has a knack for the basketball. She’s going to bring tremendous effort and energy, not to mention she can really score the basketball.”
Moesha Kinard | Guard/ Forward | 5-7 | New Iberia High School (New Iberia, La.)
Kinard is a four-year letterwinner at New Iberia High School...New Iberia High School was ranked as the No. 5 high school to watch in the state of Louisiana this season thanks to Kinard’s 19.8 points per game average her junior year...Kinard played every position on the floor except center in high school.
From coach Buchanan: “You can’t really classify her in a single position. She stays true to our core values and how we want to recruit, meaning we don’t just recruit kids for one position; she can really play them all. She is so strong and psychical; it really allows her to play anywhere, but that small forward spot is probably where she fits best.
Dejah Joshua | Forward | 5-8 | West Side High School (Gary, Ind.)
Joshua averaged 10 points and eight rebounds per game in her first season at West side High School, after transferring from Bowman Academy...while at Bowman Academy Joshua averaged 6.8 points, 1.2 assists, 1.9 rebounds, and a steal per game.
From coach Buchanan: “She still has her best basketball ahead of her. She really has a great bounce to her game. She’s athletic, but she’s also a very smart player. She’s very versatile, where she can step back and knock down the three point shot or she can take a few steps in and hit the mid-range bucket too. She’s very poised for a high school kid. That’s what really jumps out at me. She’s also very crafty with the basketball.”
Sandra Davis | Forward | 6-1 | Garden City Community College (Odenton, MD)
Davis has posted two double-digit scoring performances in five games played so far this season for Garden City Community College...earned Co-Best All Around Player of the Year (JV Basketball - 2009-2010), was a member of the Maryland 4A State Championship Team (2010), named team MVP (2011-2012), Second Team All-County (2011-2012), and a member of the county All-Star Team (2011-2012) while at Arundel High School.
From coach Buchanan: “She brings a little bit of everything. She has great length and great size, standing at 6-foot-1. She’s an incredibly intelligent basketball player. She brings that junior college experience that we need too. She’s just a very well rounded player.
Breaking Down the 2013-14 Cougars
Fourth-year head coach Todd Buchanan and the Cougars return four starters and nine letterwinners overall from last season’s squad that finished 13-17 overall and ninth in the final year of Conference USA with a 7-9 record.
The 2013-14 campaign truly marks a new era of Houston basketball, as the Cougars prepare for their first year in the new American Athletic Conference, in what arguably will be the toughest in all of college basketball.
While the Cougars will have deal with the loss of the program’s all-time assists leader and the leading scorer from a year ago in Porsche Landry, Houston brings back 74 percent of last season’s scoring total, including Conference USA All-Freshman team member Marche’ Amerson.
Amerson ranked second on the team a year ago in scoring, averaging 9.1 points per contest and set a UH freshman record as she started in all 30 contests for the Cougars.
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson also returns for her senior year after establishing herself as formidable option down low last season, as she led Conference USA and ranked 10th all-time in program history in field goal percentage (.533), while chipping in 8.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest.
Cougars Tabbed 10th in American Media Poll
The University of Houston women’s basketball team was picked to finish 10th in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference according to a vote of league coaches released by the conference office on Oct. 14.
The Cougars received 15 votes to finish just behind Temple, who was picked ninth with 25 points. Defending National Champion UConn was chosen as the unanimous favorite to win the league crown, as it received 81 overall points and nine of 10 first place votes.
Louisville, the 2013 national runner-up, was chosen to finish second, as it collected 73 points overall and received the lone remaining first place vote.
USF followed with 59 points, as it just edged out Rutgers for third place, who received a healthy 57 points.
In-state rival SMU was picked to finish fifth (50 points), while Memphis (32 points), Cincinnati (30 points), and UCF followed (28 points), earning the sixth, seventh, and eighth spots respectively.
The Cougars will face a schedule loaded with postseason participants from 2012-13, as they will play five NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago (Texas A&M, Creighton, Prairie View A&M, USF twice, UConn twice, and Louisville twice), as well as three WNIT teams from 2012-13 in Washington, Memphis (twice), and SMU (twice) for a total of 14 matchups against eight teams that saw some kind of postseason action last season.
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Houston boasts one of the more rigorous schedules in the nation, as the Cougars will go up against eight teams that are either ranked or have received votes in either the Associated Press or the USA Today Preseason Top 25 Coaches Polls. Three of those games come in the non-conference slate, as the Cougars host No. 16/ 13 Texas A&M (AP poll first), play at RV/ RV Creighton, and host RV/ NR Washington.
The other five ranked matchups come in American Conference play as Houston will take on RV/ RV USF, NR/ RV Rutgers, No. 1/ No. 1 UConn, No. 5/ No. 5 Louisville, and NR/ RV SMU for a total of 10 meetings, as the Cougars will play each school at home and away. If all eight teams were able to find their way into the top 25, the 13 ranked contests in a season would be the most in school history. The most ranked opponents the Cougars have ever played in a single season are nine during the 1978-79 campaign.
By the Numbers
Houston returns 74 percent of its 1,903 points scored, 87 percent of its rebounds, 74 percent of its field goals made, 78 percent of its three-pointers made, 78 percent of its free throws converted, 57 percent of its assists, and 77 percent of its steals from a season ago.
New Kids on the Block
The Cougars welcome in just two new faces to this year’s squad in freshman guard Alexia Sanders and junior college transfer guard Demetria Foreman. Sanders comes to Houston from nearby College Park High School in The Woodlands, where she earned District 14-5A MVP honors her senior season after leading the team in scoring (20.1 ppg), rebounding (7.0 rpg), steals (4.1 spg), assists (2.7 apg), and blocks (1.0 bpg).
Foreman joins the Cougars after playing two seasons at Angelina Junior College, where she averaged 12.8 points and 3.2 assists per game, while shooting 40 percent from the field last season. She was also named to the all-conference team and earned NJCAA All-Tournament team honors.
You Can’t Teach Tall
This year’s Cougar squad is one of the tallest in recent memory, as the team averages nearly six feet with nine players standing at 6-0 or taller. The Cougars ranked third in Conference USA in rebounding and blocked shots a year ago, averaging 41.6 boards and 3.6 swats per game.
Ten of the 14 players on the roster call Texas home, while one is from Oklahoma, one is from California, one is from Pennsylvania, and one comes from British Columbia.
Proud to be an American
The Cougars are one of four teams (SMU, Memphis, and UCF) to make the jump from the old Conference USA to the new American Athletic Conference. The Cougars also join five other schools from what was the old BIG EAST conference (UConn, Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers, and South Florida), and one school out of the old Atlantic-10 in Temple to make up the new league. The AAC is Houston’s third conference in what will be the program’s 39th season.