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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Commentary

Column: What is going on with the Cougars?


WEB-Justin-Cross-IMG_2963

The men’s basketball team is riding a four-game losing streak, all to conference rivals. | Justin Cross/The Cougar

 

With the recent loss to the University of South Florida Bulls at home, the Cougars are on a four-game losing streak. What hurts them the most is that all four losses are conference losses.

After starting the New Year on top of the American Athletic Conference, UH is now eighth in the conference. Although the 13-6 record is not a bad start, its 3-4 conference record is a huge blemish.

When playing in the same conference as teams like Southern Methodist University, the University of Tulsa and the University of Connecticut, fans don’t care that Houston is almost winning. The brutally honest truth is that the Cougars should be either leading the conference or at least second behind the SMU Mustangs.

So what is going on with the Cougars?

Defense

For the most part, the Cougars have been a good scoring team. The lowest amount of points Houston has put up is 59, and that was on the road.

The problem is that the Cougars struggle with keeping opponents from scoring. All six of their losses have been within 12 points. Because of their defensive struggles, they were never able to gain and keep up a large lead.

Not Finishing Strong

With every loss on their record, the Cougars had the ability to take over the game within the last five minutes of the game.

Yet, whether it be through defensive struggles, turnovers or not making shots at the end, UH did not finish strong.

Free Throws

Free throws are possibly the biggest issue so far. Of the four conference losses, only against USF did the Cougars shoot over 64 percent from the free throw line.

With UH shooting between 50 and 60 percent from the line in most games, important points are being left on the table which have obviously been needed in the last four games.

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