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Friday, September 22, 2023

Men's Basketball

Men’s basketball team prepares to take on LSU

The Cougars will attempt to cure their road woes today when they travel to Baton Rouge, La., to take on LSU.

Guard Trumaine Johnson and the Cougars hope to improve upon their 0-2 record in road games. Their current three-game road trip concludes Saturday when they play Sam Houston State in Huntsville. | Newton Liu/The Daily Cougar

While sporting an impressive unbeaten home record of 4-0, the Cougars (4-2) are 0-2 in games away from Hofheinz Pavillion this season.

UH is coming off a 79-63 loss at TCU on Saturday. Although four players scored in double figures, they were overwhelmed by a stingy TCU defense that limited the Cougars to 40 percent shooting.

UH kept the game competitive into the second half, until a turnover and 3-pointer gave the Horned Frogs enough momentum to put away the Cougars.

LSU (4-2) is coming off an 80-65 victory over South Alabama. Tuesday’s game is the first of a seven-game homestand for the Tigers, who have lost games only to No. 14 Memphis and Nicholls State.

In the first game of the season, the Cougars edged Nicholls State 63-62 in overtime. Head coach James Dickey and his squad hope the Tigers’ loss to the Colonels can play into their hands.

Seniors leading the charge

Just as Dickey predicted before the season, the most experienced players are setting the tone.

The Cougars are led in scoring by guard Adam Brown, who’s averaging 15.5 points per game. In each game this season, Brown has been the go-to guy when the Cougars need instant offense. Shooting 53.8 percent from behind the arc, he has proven that he can be a threat from long range, in the paint and on the fast break.

Senior forward Maurice McNeil is just shy of averaging a double-double with 11.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. McNeil’s style of play complements the speedy Brown on the floor.

While a 6-9 forward may be small by NBA standards, for the Cougars he is the designated down low player. So far, his role on offense has been to post up defenders as well as drive to the rack to draw whistles. When away from the ball, McNeil sets screens and fights for rebounds.

The Cougars will have to stop freshman guard Andre Stringer, who is off to a hot start, averaging 16.7 points and three assists a contest. Guards Ralston Turner and Aaron Dotson have also made solid contributions on offense, averaging 12.2 and 11.7 points. respectively.

Workman-like approach

UH is no stranger to slow starts. The first half of games has not been kind to the Cougars, who have been outscored in the first half of all but one contest this season.

Brown said that this is an area the Cougars needs to improve on soon.

“I say every time we get on the floor, it is like we’re on the clock,” Brown said. “When you punch in, you’ve got to work. You have to earn that paycheck or earn that scholarship.”

First time for everything

It will be the first time that LSU head coach Trent Johnson and Dickey have coached against each other.

In 14 contests against the Tigers, UH has a 9-5 advantage. When playing at LSU, the Cougars have compiled a 2-2 record.

When the two teams last met in 2005, the Cougars won 84-83.

The game tips off at 7 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

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