Sophomore guard Jherrod Stiggers set a Houston freshman single-season record with 67 3-pointers, but he was considered to be more of a one-dimensional offensive player after his 2012-2013 campaign.
“(Head coach James) Dickey pounded it in my head that I had to do something different other than shoot, so now I’m trying my best to drive in the paint and get to the free throw line,” Stiggers said.
Stiggers averaged 8.1 points per game last season, providing a nice spark off the bench, but UH (6-2) needs more from him this year. The Cougars lost their leading scorer when junior guard Joseph Young, who averaged 18 points per game, transferred to Oregon this offseason. Stiggers has filled Young’s spot in the starting lineup.
UH will need even more offensive production after its second leading scorer, sophomore forward Danuel House, suffered a lower-leg injury that will sideline him indefinitely.
Stiggers said he was nervous but ecstatic with the increased responsibilities of the starting lineup.
The Cougars want him to defend, rebound, drive and get to the free-throw line — and not to settle just for 3-point shots — when they continue their season today in College Station against Texas A&M, Dickey said.
“We know he’s a very good 3-point shooter, but we want some balance in his game, and he’s working hard to show that,” he said. “He hit some big shots last year, and he has already hit some big shots this year. He’s got a lot of confidence, so he’ll take big shots, and he’ll make them.”
Stiggers said he has accepted the assignment and knows the areas the team needs him to improve on.