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Monday, December 5, 2016

Commentary

Round table: Are women’s basketball’s worst days behind them?


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The Cougars have a combined 11-41 record over the past two seasons under head coach Ronald Hughey. | Matthew Barrett/The Cougar

The women’s basketball team is having a tough rebuilding year under second-year head coach Ronald Hughey. Is a turnaround on the horizon for the Cougars, or will there be more years of difficulty ahead? The Cougar sports staff discusses it in this week’s round table.

After a 6-24 season last year and a 5-17 season so far this season, do you think this is part of the rebuilding process for the women’s basketball team? Or do you think something is wrong?

Staff writer J.D. Smith: I believe that it is. The team has shown improvement in almost all aspects with scoring-up an points-against lower than last season. Although the football team may be the exception, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Staff writer Reagan Earnst: I think something is wrong within the women’s basketball team. It’s on the verge of posting its 5th straight season being below the .500 mark, the last three seasons it failed to even reach double-digit wins. This is not acceptable by any means.

Do you think Ronald Hughey is the right coach for this team?

J.D.: I think he is the right coach. He has the team working hard and improving all the time, with underclassmen playing key roles in the team’s success. A coach can’t be fully evaluated until three to four years after taking on the job — that’s when the players they recruit become upperclassmen.

RE: This is only Ronald Hughey’s 2nd season as the head coach, so it is tough to gauge whether or not he is a good fit. Hughey’s record with the Cougars has now dipped to 11-41, and 2-27 in conference play. In his defense, he has not had a chance to get all of his recruits in, but if the program does not turn around by next season I think a coaching change should be in the works.

How long do you think it will be until this team .500 or above again?

J.D.: It’s going to take a couple seasons, especially in the tough American Athletic Conference, but in basketball more so than any other sport, a single player can make a world’s difference.

RE: Obviously the ladies will not reach the .500 mark this season. The outlook for next year looks bleak as well, but with a light non-conference schedule on tap for next season it is not unreasonable to think they could potentially reach the coveted mark early next year. But if they can maintain that success will remain to be seen.

With seven conference games left in the season, what do you predict Houston’s record will be over those games?

J.D.: It wouldn’t surprise me if it went 2-5 or ever 3-4 over the final 7 games as it has some beatable opponents coming up. It should be victorious against Southern Methodist University and the University of Central Florida, while victories over the University of Cincinnati and East Carolina University aren’t out of the realm of possibility.

RE: With only 7 games left in the season—4 of them on the road—the outlook for the remainder of this season appears bleak. Although not a difficult remaining schedule, our ladies do not have much left to play for as they will likely not receive any kind of post season tournament invite. All things considered I see them knocking off UCF once again. I hate to be a pessimist, but that is the only game I realistically see them winning, ending their season at 6-23.

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