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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Men's Basketball

Cougars prepares for big stage

The Cougars have been anxiously waiting to play in front of a nationally televised audience, and they will get their chance to strut their stuff against Stanford on ESPN2 at 8:30 p.m. Monday.

“It’s what these guys work for,” said head coach James Dickey. “They’ll get to be in front of a great audience — certainly a very knowledgeable basketball crowd in New York and the national media.”

Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas was 6-7 from the floor against UTSA.  |  Caitlin Hilton/The Daily Cougar

Junior forward TaShawn Thomas and the Cougars will have to play top-notch defense against an aggressive Cardinal squad. | Caitlin Hilton/The Daily Cougar

The championship rounds of the Progressive Legends Classic will go underway in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the Barclays Center, where the Cougars will face off against the Cardinal for the first time since 1991.

Junior forward TaShawn Thomas will look to continue his defensive prowess in the paint for the Cougars. Thomas has had a career-high seven blocks in consecutive games during the tournament and has anchored the Cougars’ defense.

“He’s really springy and has good timing on his blocks,” Dickey said. “A couple of them he knocked out of bounds, but a lot of them he’s been able to keep in play and have somebody go chase them down.”

Through the regional round, UH’s defense has led it past Lehigh (80-66) and Howard (75-62.)

The Cougars will look to keep this defensive intensity against Stanford, where they will put their undefeated record on the line. After playing Stanford, UH will close out the tournament Tuesday against either Texas Tech or Pittsburgh.

“I’m glad we’re going there 5-0,” Dickey said. “We’re going to have to really lace them up tight and be ready to go Monday night.”

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