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Friday, November 16, 2018

Men's Basketball

Roundtable: Basketball has multiple players ready to surprise


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Senior Galen Robinson Jr. has been a big contributor for the Cougars, but this season could see him become a huge conference star. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

Men’s basketball tips off its season Nov. 1 with an exhibition against Dallas Baptist at Texas Southern’s H&PE Arena, and it will be the first look at the new Cougar squad.

The regular season is a little over two weeks away, and the Cougars have had a lot of changing to do. The team needs to rework itself after it lost star guard Rob Gray, defensive stalwart Devin Davis and good bench shooter Wes VanBeck to graduation.

But members of The Cougar’s Sports section think there are a few players who could surprise fans and become household names.

Assistant Sports Editor Trenton Whiting

The biggest surprise for the Cougars will be one of the new additions to the team. Out of all the new players, graduate senior Landon Goesling will be the most helpful addition.

Goesling is a huge addition to the Cougars. In his last year at St. Edward’s University, he averaged 22.9 points per game and 38 percent shooting from three-point range.

Since Gray is gone, UH will need scoring from other players. Adding Goesling’s level of shooting helps toward this goal and fits well with the Cougars, which were the best three-point team in the American Athletic Conference last season..

He is also going to be replacing the production of Wes Van Beck as role-playing sharpshooter. The part Goesling will play is going to be vital for the Cougars’ success, and his production will be the most surprising part of this year’s team.

Sports Editor Andres Chio

The most surprising player on this year’s roster will be senior Galen Robinson Jr. He has been a big playmaker and court general for the team but has not been a big scorer.

Robinson Jr. has quietly had a fantastic career for the Cougars and has flown under the radar for much of his career.

With 395 career assists, he is seventh all time in Houston’s history, is 12 away from No. 6 and 107 away from No. 4, which is shared by two players.

Robinson Jr. will likely rise to take fourth by the end of the season and his college career, but that is not the only way I think he will surprise people this season.

This season, he will need to add a bit more shooting to his game to help score and stretch out defenses. He probably will not be scoring 20 points a game every night, but he will start to have more games in which he scores 10 or more points this season to help Houston have one of the most balanced offenses in the conference.

Staff Writer Abenezer Yonas

Junior guard Armoni Brooks was undoubtedly an integral part of Houston’s stellar 2017-2018 season. The 6-foot-3-inch guard averaged the fourth most points last year at 9.3 per game while shooting a respectable 41 percent from downtown.

Brooks’ growth throughout his collegiate career so far has been incredible, doubling his freshman scoring average by more than 218 percent in his sophomore season.

The only statistic of his that did not improve but in fact declined during his second year was his total field goal percentage. He still shot with a respectable 42.5 percent accuracy and was No. 5 in the American Athletic Conference in three-point accuracy.

If given the opportunity to start, No. 3 definitely has the potential to become an instrumental shooter for Houston and average well into double figures.

Staff Writer Brayley Crowe

While UH lost two of its three leading scorers, the Cougars will still be in good form to make a repeat appearance in March Madness.

Sophomore Fabian White Jr. will be a crucial factor in replacing Davis, who averaged 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season.

White appeared in all 35 games as a freshman and quickly established himself as a contributor with 5.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and .9 blocks per game.

Overall, the sophomore showed real promise in his first year and earned a spot on the AAC All-Rookie Team.

White will most likely be a starter come this season. Paired with senior Breaon Brady, the duo could make for one of the most prolific front courts in the conference.

The sophomore’s long wingspan and agility near the rim should make him a well-known name throughout the conference.

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