UH-Rutgers rundown: What to know about Houston’s second-round opponent
The Houston men’s basketball team will face off against Rutgers on Sunday in the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Region on Sunday evening.
The Cougars (25-3) are coming off a strong first-round victory over Cleveland State on Friday. UH was able to turn up the intensity and polish up its defense in the second half against the Vikings as it outscored Cleveland State 50-27 in the second half.
Junior guard Quentin Grimes scored 18 points and got four rebounds in the win. Freshman guard Tramon Mark had 15 points and sophomore guard Marcus Sasser tallied 14 points.
In the frontcourt, senior forward Fabian White Jr. had 12 points and five rebounds while senior forward Justin Gorham had 10 points and four rebounds and junior forward Reggie Chaney had four blocks.
A look at the Scarlet Knights
No. 10 seed Rutgers (16-11) defeated No. 7 Clemson in a four-point close game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
The Scarlet Knights were led by junior guard Caleb McConnell, who came off the bench and recorded a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double.
On the season, the Scarlet Knights are led in scoring by junior guard Ron Harper, who averaged 15.2 points per game. Rutgers was led by junior center Myles Johnson in rebounds with 8.7 per game. Senior guard Jacob Young leads the team in assists with 3.4 per game. He also averaged 14.3 points a contest.
“They have outstanding guards,” UH head coach Kelvin Sampson told reporters on Saturday morning. “Baker, Young, Harper, then McConnell. Just a talented group as you’d expect.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Sampson said he was told by someone familiar with the Big Ten Conference that Young’s defense is like a one-man press. He also added that Johnson is the team’s rim protector and offensive rebounder.
Jacob also has a connection to UH. His father, Michael Young, was a charter member of Phi Slama Jama. In addition to the relationship with the Cougars program, Jacob has been a nice player for the Scarlet Knights and will give UH a tough task when it plays against him.
“He’s evolved into a really good basketball player,” Sampson said. “Playmaking, shotmaking, pick and roll game. Getting in the paint in between games. Scores at all levels, rim, free-throw line, behind the 3-point line, he is a great player.”
On Saturday morning, Sampson said senior guard DeJon Jarreau, who suffered a hip pointer injury in the opening minute against Cleveland State, was the first player to meet the team’s training staff to receive treatment.
“It’s about all I know,” Sampson said. “We’ll see what he can do in practice today.”
Jarreau, who was the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, remains a question mark for Sunday’s game against Rutgers.
He averaged 10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the Cougars throughout the 2020-21 season.
On Saturday afternoon, Fox 26 reported that Jarreau will give it a go against Rutgers, per Sampson.
A UH spokesperson told The Cougar on Saturday afternoon that Jarreau’s official status is a game-time decision for Sunday’s game.
How to watch
Sunday’s game between UH and Rutgers will tipoff at 6:10 p.m. and air on TBS. It will also be able to be heard on KPRC 950 AM and Westwood One.
For more on The Cougar’s coverage of UH’s run in the NCAA Tournament, click here.