Commentary Men's Basketball Sports

Much needed size, skill added to center position


Red-shirt junior Danrad Knowles served as the primary center last season for the Cougars, but with two true centers coming in, should find some assistance in the post. | File photo/The Cougar

Houston’s basketball team kept hearing that the team has “no size,’ throughout their 2014-2015 season.

Last year Danrad “Chicken” Knowles filled in at center, standing 6’10” and weighing just 190 pounds.

Knowles started all 32 games and was the team’s third-leading scorer and re-bounder, but he wasn’t a true center.

Facing off against teams like SMU who had four players standing 6’10 on their roster while UH had only one, as well as conference foes Memphis and Cincinnati, who head coach Kelvin Sampson called “just huge”, made the season a challenge.

“We don’t really have a center,” said Sampson at the end of last season. “Chicken is more of a four or three. You see where his shots come from. That’s just the way he’s wired. He’s more comfortable shooting 15 feet and out instead of five feet and in. We have what we have, but we’re going to recruit and bring some guys in.”

Size deficiency will no longer plague the team.

Sampson now has four players who stand 6’9” or above, including two new faces who will compete to fill in at the center position.

The question now is who will be Houston’s go-to, and what can each bring.

Chris Harris (6’10”, 200 pounds): One of two incoming freshmen, Harris joins Houston fresh off a senior year of high school where he recorded a game-high 26 points to lead Madison High School to an 83-70 win over four-time state champion Yates High School.

He set a tournament record at the Coventry Health Tournament of Champions in Peoria, Ill, swatting 31 blocks in four games.

Harris was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 5A All-State Team and the District 20-5A First Team for two straight years.

Coach Sampson will be able to mold and develop Harris, given his experience with coaching notable center Dwight Howard in his time with the Rockets.

Harris will serve as a reliable backup and will continue to improve with experience, and with a few upperclassmen ahead of him, will have time to grow into the college game.

Kyle Meyer (6’10”, 225): Meyer joins the Cougars after averaging 15 points and 8.4 rebounds last season at Eastern Florida State College, advancing the Titans to the NJCAA national tournament.

He was named the Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference Player of the year.

Meyer is a versatile center, whose size will help Houston against taller opposition, having played in 34 games last season.

He can score in the post, pass and is possibly one of the best outside shooters on this team, and his reliable offense will provide Houston with a go-to man on offense.

With his offensive ability and experience, Meyer will be a great asset and make an immediate impact.

[email protected]

1 Comment

  • Great news, Knowls battled gamely last year, but the team was just too small. The Chronicle is reporting that the Coogs are one of 8 finalists in the running for Jarrett Allen, a 5 star center from Austin who is one of the premier big man recruits in the country. Coach Sampson is showing an ability to recruit for need, and he already impressed with what he was able to do with such an undersized roster last year. There is reason for optimism at Hofheinz.

Leave a Comment