DaShaun Williams has seen increased playing time over the last three games and has produced. Since his breakout performance against Southern Miss two weeks ago, the senior combo guard has averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.3 steals off the bench for the Cougars.
Those numbers would speak volumes for any starter around the country, let alone a sixth man like Williams. However, he will take the court at Hofheinz Pavilion tonight in the Cougars game against Texas-El Paso telling himself those numbers are not good enough.’
The Cougars squeaked by the Miners 94-86 on Jan. 14 thanks to a near triple-double (24 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists) by their most complete player, junior guard Aubrey Coleman, and a 17-for-18 shooting night from the foul line by the Cougar’s leading scorer, junior guard Kelvin Lewis.
Coleman will be serving a one-game suspension for stepping on Arizona junior forward Chase Budinger in UH’s 96-90 overtime road loss Saturday.
Somebody will have to step up.
‘My defense always comes first,’ Williams said. ‘I’m going to try to pick it up offensively, because I know that’s what we’re going to need for this game. I’m going to try to guard the best offensive player and do the little things to contribute to the team: assists, get rebounds, steals and scoring the ball, of course.’
True freshman point guard Desmond Wade has not played as many minutes as he did earlier in the season due to Williams’ increased production. Wade said Williams may be known for his defensive intensity, ability to play the passing lanes and get steals, but he has noticed his teammate taking a more aggressive role in the Cougars’ offense lately.
This pattern has taken some of the scoring load off Lewis, Coleman and senior center Marcus Cousin. Wade feels if others can do the same thing, the Cougars will be in good shape tonight.
‘It’s going to be kind of tough,’ Wade said. ‘You know what happened with the situation with Aubrey. I feel like if we stick to the game plan, we can beat them. We’re a better team than them. We’ve got better players. I just feel like if we play our game, we will come out with the victory.’
UH head coach Tom Penders said depending on how large he wants to run, Williams or sophomore forward Horace McGloster will get the start in place of Coleman against the Miners.
UH would like to head into Saturday’s matchup with Memphis coming off a win. Doing this against a conference rival, and creating more separation from the C-USA pack, would make it that much sweeter.
‘It’s turned into a great rivalry. I just hope our fans understand that and come out,’Penders said.’
‘You want to have great rivalries in your conference. We’ve had some unbelievable games with UTEP in the four years they’ve been in this league. We’ve had some incredible games that have gone right down to the wire. Every single one of them has been that way.’
Students are admitted to the game free with a valid CougarOnecard.