Men's Basketball Sports

DeJon Jarreau ‘played like an All-American’ in UH rout of Tulane

UH senior guard DeJon Jarreau rises for a dunk during a game against Cincinnati in the 2020-21 regular season at Fertitta Center. | Andy Yanez/The Cougar

UH senior guard DeJon Jarreau rises for a dunk during a game against Cincinnati in the 2020-21 regular season at Fertitta Center. | Andy Yanez/The Cougar

As Houston senior guard DeJon Jarreau got closer and closer to tallying up a triple-double on Friday night, his teammates cheered him on and made sure Jarreau knew how much more needed to be done to get there.

First came the assists, the 10th, a pass to sophomore guard Marcus Sasser for a 3-pointer. Then came the points, his 10th and 11th coming off a jumper. And lastly was his 10th rebound, which came just over the four-minute mark off a missed free throw from Tulane forward Kevin Cross.

“He played like an All-American today,” Tulane head coach Ron Hunter said of Jarreau after the game. “That kid was really, really special. If he can play this way, I think that (UH) is hard to beat. It allows them to score. Defensively, they’re always going to be there, but when he can play like that, it gets them to another level.”

Jarreau became just the seventh player in UH program history to record a triple-double and the first Cougar to do it since Bo Outlaw in 1993. He was also the first American Athletic Conference player to reach that mark since Laquincy Rideau did it in 2019 for South Florida.

“I’m just grateful for that,” Jarreau said. (My teammates are) happy for me. That is special.”

After the game, Jarreau found his head coach Kelvin Sampson, and the two shared a moment after the 6-foot-5-inch guard was able to reach the unique accomplishment. A few moments later, UH great, Elvin Hayes, also found Jarreau to congratulate him on the triple-double. 

“I’ve always told him that he was going to get a triple-double for us because he could,” Sampson said.

Most valuable

More importantly, Jarreau’s triple-double helped launch UH past Tulane in the AAC Tournament, and into the semifinals.

While the Cougars ended up winning the game by 25 points, not all was smooth sailing throughout the contest. As UH struggled to score a basket in the first half, the one constant was the New Orleans native, who had six assists and no turnovers at halftime.

Once the shots started falling for the Cougars, the Green Wave just could not keep up.

Jarreau’s performance led to strong praise from Hunter for the entire team. He believes that if the guard is able to keep his play at as high of a level as it was on Friday, especially when it comes to the playmaking, the Cougars will be one of the final teams standing at the end of March.

“I’ve seen really good teams, and I know teams that know how to win in the tournament, and (UH) has the makeup of teams that can really win in the tournament,” Hunter said. “Why I say that is because regardless of what you do, they can defend. That’s why Jarreau, what he did today, that is probably their next step. 

“Houston gets in trouble when they have these big lulls in their offense. And when he can play like that, if they can get that consistently … whether it is Baylor, Gonzaga, or whoever, they would really struggle against this Houston team.”

As UH prepares for its semifinal game in the AAC Tournament on Saturday, Friday’s game provided more proof for Sampson that, for him, Jarreau is the most valuable player for the Cougars.

“DeJon is a special player,” Sampson said. “I’m so happy for him because that is a memory for him … Unselfishness and toughness. That is what shows up on triple-doubles.”

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