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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Men's Basketball

Basketball season finishes, five athletes graduate


The Cougars ended their season at 21-11 overall, dropping from a 22-10 season last year. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

The Cougars’ season ended last week in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament against Akron. They finished with a 21-11 overall record.

From November to May, redshirt junior guard Rob Gray and redshirt senior guard Damyean Dotson led the team in points with 638 and 556, respectively.

Dotson proved his efficiency from beyond the arc, sinking in 108 3-pointers out of 244 attempts. He also pulled down the most rebounds with 222, almost twice as more as any other Cougar. Gray was the most reliable player on the team for the entire year. He led in field goal percentage (47.3 percent) and constantly drew opponents’ best defenders.

The pair both made it to the American Athletic Conference’s All-Conference First Team, making UH the only University with more than one player represented. They led Houston to the being the No. 4 scoring offense, averaging 69.6 points per game. Cincinnati at No. 3 averaged 69.7 points per game.

Outside of the guard position, the Cougars’ frontcourt struggled throughout the year. Redshirt junior forward Devin Davis injured his left foot and complications with plantar fasciitis kept him off the court for 12 games.

In his absence, redshirt senior center Kyle Meyer, redshirt senior forward Danrad “Chicken” and redshirt senior center Bertrand Nkali had to shoulder the weight. Combined throughout the entire year, they amounted to only 352 points. None of them led the team in any statistic except Nkali in blocks with 38.

With four of the six players that comprise the frontcourt graduating, head coach Kelvin Sampson will have a tall task in replacing them.

For the guard position, however, Houston is over-saturated with talent. Junior Wes VanBeck and redshirt sophomore Galen Robinson Jr. are both looking to become more important parts of the team after Dotson’s departure. Freshman Armoni Brooks also impressed and will definitely improve as he gets older.

The 2017-18 season starts in November.

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