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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Women's Basketball

Thompson helps Cougars with defense, rebounds like Rodman

Junior forward Yasmeen Thompson keeps the shooter uncomfortable by challenging the shot.  | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Junior forward Yasmeen Thompson keeps the shooter uncomfortable by challenging the shot. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Though junior forward Yasmeen Thompson doesn’t have as many tattoos or participate in fake weddings to herself, on the court she has played like NBA hall-of-famer Dennis Rodman, and it earned her some Conference USA accolades.

“She was in that zone. She was in that Dennis Rodman kind of zone — a former great NBA player, rebounder and all-NBA defensive player,” said women’s basketball head coach Todd Buchanan.  “I think that’s a lot of how she plays.”

Thompson is C-USA’s leading rebounder and one of the league’s top shot blockers, averaging 11.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.  She was named C-USA player of the week after helping guide UH to a 2-1 record and a David Jones Classic title after a loss to McNeese State on Tuesday.

Thompson was happy for the honor but is not satisfied yet.

“It’s a big honor. I’ve been working hard with Coach B. I guess hard work pays off, but I think I can do better,” Thompson said. “Coach B. told me if I run the floor, I can rebound and get easy transition buckets.”

Thompson has a diverse set of skills that allows her to contribute as more than a defensive anchor and rebounder, Buchanan said.

“Now she has that offensive side of it that continues to grow and grow,” Buchanan said. “I think she’s definitely been in a zone and I hope she never gets out of it.”

Against Northwestern State and McNeese, Thompson was the Cougars’ leading scorer with 18 and 21 respectively. She’s also C-USA’s most-efficient shooter with a .732 field-goal percentage.

She averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game this week, shooting 84 percent from the field with 21 out of 25 shots, leading UH to two double-digit victories in the Classic against Southeast Missouri and Northwestern State.

In the two tournament games, Thompson was 12-of-13 from the field, including an 8-8 performance against Northwestern State.

Perhaps Thompson’s best game came in a loss against McNeese State on Tuesday. She scored a career-high in points with 21 points on 9-12 shooting. She was big for the Cougars in the first half, when she scored five of the their six field goals during a four-minute burst.

“She’s meant everything to us. Certainly from the rebounding aspect of the game, she’s really grown into her own and really been that staple force for us controlling the glass,” Buchanan said. “She’s really grown. She’s our warrior.”

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