4 keys to a UH victory in the conference tournament
UH will face in-state foe SMU with its postseason on the line during the second round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday. Here are four things UH needs to do to secure a victory.
Field goal percentage:
UH will have to force SMU to take and make difficult shots, because the Mustangs are ranked No. 12 in the nation in FG percentage, shooting at .490 per game, while the Cougars shot a solid .458 percent from the field for the season. Offensive efficiency will be in play, with both teams ranking within the top 55 in the nation in team assists per game.
Points off turnovers:
The Cougars will have to execute on offense consistently throughout the game, because the Mustangs rank No. 20 in the nation in points allowed at 62.1. This is due to their pestering defense, swiping 7.5 steals per game causing points off turnovers, while UH averages 13 turnovers per game.
The game could come down to a battle in the paint. UH was outrebounded 41-29 in the last meeting with SMU. The Cougars can’t give up second-chance points, which have proven to be a problem in previous matchups.
Points in the paint:
This conference has some of the most talented backcourts in the nation, which this game might come down to, if junior forward TaShawn Thomas doesn’t get the touches he needs in the paint to produce. Thomas is averaging 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds, ranks second in the conference in blocks per game with 2.6 and also shoots an efficient .590 percent from the field.