The Longhorns rallied late for a 2-0 start, as the Houston Cougars look to begin their season on the right note following an exhibition win.

College basketball report: Week 1

Shaka Smart. Jamie Squire/Getty Images


TEXAS LONGHORNS (2-0)

Last week (2-0): W-Northern Colorado 69-45, W-Purdue 70-66

This week: Tuesday vs. California Baptist, Friday Prairie View A&M

The Texas Longhorns are off to a 2-0 start to begin their 2019-20 college basketball season. Led by Andrew Jones who scored a career-best 20 points (8-13 FG, 4-5 3PT) in an emotional return following treatment for leukemia, Texas opened the week with a 69-45 victory over the Northern Colorado Bears. Following the blowout victory, The Longhorns finished the week with an early-season test at Purdue on Saturday. Behind junior guard, Matt Coleman III —who recorded 22 points and seven assists— the Longhorns knocked off the Boilermakers in a 70-66 comeback victory inside the Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, IN. Texas trailed 62-57 with a little over three minutes remaining in the second half before closing the game on a 13-4 run. Up next, the Longhorns will return to Austin to take on the California Baptist Lancers on Tuesday, and the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Friday.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (1-0)

Last week (1-0): W- Northwestern State 77-63

This week: Monday vs. ULM, Friday Gonzaga

The Aggies opened their season with a 77-63 win over the Northwestern State Demons inside the Reed Arena in College Station. Texas A&M new head coach, Buzz Williams, picked up his first win thanks to a 22 point performance by Savion Flagg. Up next, the Aggies will continue their four-game homestand against the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks on Monday, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Friday.

HOUSTON COUGARS (0-0)

Last week (1-0): W-ASU 106-42 (exhibition)

This week: Tuesday vs. Alabama State, Friday BYU

The Houston Cougars have yet to open their 2019-20 college basketball season, but still found their way into the win column with a 106-42 exhibition victory over the Angelo State Rams. The Cougars will tip-off their new season with a two-game homestand on Tuesday against the Alabama State Hornets, and the BYU Cougars on Friday.

RICE OWLS (2-1)

Last week (2-1): L-Arkansas 91-43, W-Pennsylvania (80-61), W-Wayland Baptist 65-40

This week: Tuesday at Northwestern State, Saturday at UCSB.

With a full set of games to begin the season, the Rice Owls had a solid start to their 2019-20 campaign. After opening the new year with a loss to Arkansas Razorbacks (91-43), the Owls won back-to-back games against the University of Pennsylvania Quakers (80-61), and Wayland Baptist Pioneers (65-40). The Owls will begin a two-game road trip starting on Tuesday against the Northwestern State Demons and the UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.

BAYLOR BEARS (1-1)

Last week (1-1): W: Central Arkansas 105-61 -57, L: Washington 67-64

This week: Friday vs. Texas State

The Baylor Bears' 2019-20 season got off to a convincing start with a 105-61 victory over the Central Arkansas Bears. In the win, Baylor recorded 18 3's with Jared Butler leading the way with 30 points and eight triples on the night. The celebration would not last for Baylor as they closed out the week with a 67-64 loss to the Washington Huskies. The Bears will look to bounce back from a disappointing outing against Washington on Friday when they take on the Texas State Bobcats.

TCU HORNED FROGS (1-0)

Last week (1-0): W: Southwestern University 83-62

This week: Tuesday vs Louisiana

The TCU Men's Basketball team recorded their first victory of the new season with an 83-62 win over the Southwestern Pirates on Thursday. Senior guard, Desmond Bane, kicked off his final year with 26 points shooting 63% from the floor and 50% from behind the arc. The Horned Frogs will hit the floor for one game next week against the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns on Tuesday.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (2-0)

Last week: (2-0) W: Eastern Illinois 85-60, W: Bethune-Cookman 79-44

This week: Wednesday vs. Houston Baptist

The Texas Tech Raiders have opened their new season with back-to-back blowout victories. The first came in an 85-60 win over the Eastern Illinois Panthers, and a 79-44 win over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. The Raiders' defense played a tremendous role in their victories, as Texas Tech held its opponents to an average of 52.0 points on 35% percent shooting, 27.3% from behind the arc. The Raiders will return to the court on Wednesday for a game against Houston Baptist inside the Chaparral Center in Midland.

SMU MUSTANGS (1-0)

Last week (1-0): W: Jacksonville State 74-65

This week: Tuesday vs. New Orleans, Saturday vs Jackson State

Unlike their in-sate AAC rival (UH), the SMU Mustangs opened their season on Tuesday with a 74-65 victory over the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. SMU's junior guard Tyson Jolly poured in a career-high 21 points, eight rebounds and two steals in the win. The Mustangs will host the New Orleans Privateers on Tuesday, and the Jackson State Tigers on Saturday.

LSU TIGERS (1-0)

Last week (1-0): W: Bowling Green 88-79

This week: Wednesday @ VCU, Saturday vs Nicholls

Although they did not create the same buzz as their acquaintances on the gridiron, the Tigers opened their season with back-to-back home wins over the Louisiana Tech Readies, and the Bowling Green Flacons. The Tigers will hit the road for a battle against VCU on Wednesday and will return home for an in-state match against the Nicholls Colonels.

My friends are degenerates
But I'd never change them
Liars, cheats, and hypocrites
Not the type for saving

- A Day To Remember

If you listen to the Blitz, that is the second hour intro. And if you have been paying attention to Houston sports this week, you know it has been filled with liars, cheats and hypocrites. Many have said it was the worst 24 hours in Houston sports history. From a national attention standpoint, it might be the best, because finally the rest of the nation has noticed the sports scene here.

For years, Houston sports fan has chafed that their teams don't get enough attention from the national media.

They are getting plenty of attention now. Congrats, Houston, this is what your sports teams are known for after one of the most bizarre weeks in Houston sports history.

The liars

University of Houston quarterback D'Eriq King made the odd decision to red shirt after four games, with the presumption he would return in 2020. He constantly repeated that he would be back. On Tuesday night, clearly hoping to avoid the spotlight, he announced during the national championship game his intent to transfer.

He insisted he was staying several times, despite rumors that turned out to be true that he never had any intention of returning. It was a bad look for coach Dana Holgorsen, who banked his 2020 season on King, and a worse look for King, who could have just said "as of now, I am planning on staying." Instead he was intentionally misleading.

And the national media noticed. Even though it happened during the championship game, the story made the front page of ESPN.com, and it mentioned all the times King said he was staying. It was a subtle way of highlighting the lies.

It was a bad look for everyone, and closed out a rough day for Houston sports fan.

The earlier news, of course, was The Big Lie.

The cheats

Well, that's easy. The Astros were hit with a loss of draft picks, a fine, and year-long suspensions for their manager and GM.

Shortly thereafter, owner Jim Crane fired GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch. Major league baseball's discoveries were damning.

There is no doubt the Astros cheated. It's hard to believe that everyone in the organization did not know. But the statement exonerated Crane. We can debate if the punishment was enough, but lost in all of it was that it was a "player-driven" scheme. MLB chose not to punish the players, presumably since there is nothing in the collective bargaining agreement to allow it. Regardless, it leaves a lot of questions. Which players? All of them? Just the stars?

Make no mistake, this has been a major national story from the beginning. It dominated talk and headlines on Monday, even in the wake of NFL playoffs and the college championship. The national opinion? The Astros are cheaters and should have been punished more. If you are a fan, you likely don't care. Or you blame the whistleblower. But the nation has a different opinion. If the team struggles in 2020, you can bet the narrative will be that they can't win without cheating. This one isn't going away. But the controversy let someone else off the hook...

The hypocrites

Rest assured, no one was happier to see the Astros announcements than Bill O'Brien, whose epic, historic collapse in Kansas City was swept to the back pages. His inane comments that "we are headed in the right direction" went without being called out. His poor decisions went unnoticed. His inability to look at his organization and recognize change is needed was lost.

We have been saying that in Houston for years. But after his flaws were exposed to a national audience, finally the rest of the world realizes he is in over his head. Several national outlets said he should be fired.

O'Brien said again he won't hire a GM. He said that defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is expected to return next year despite two years of terrible defense. His complete power over the organization makes it clear meaningful change is not coming. We get that O'Brien is not going anywhere, but his stubborn reliance on yes men and cronies and refusal to bring in a legitimate offensive coordinator or replace Crennel means there is no hope for the franchise to take the next step. Sometimes you need new voices. O'Brien's just gets louder and louder and drowns out everyone else's.

Since he became coach, the other three teams in the AFC South have made the AFC Championship Game. The Texans are the only team to fail to do that. Yet they are going in the right direction, according to O'Brien.

What does it all mean? 

The city's teams are finally getting national run. Whether or not it is for good reasons in immaterial. Houston is in the national spotlight. If you are a fan, all you can do is embrace the liars, cheats and hypocrites, and roll with it. And wait for the Rockets to find a way to make news.

The reality is this has been going on for decades. Baseball in particular is a sport that welcomes cheating. Athletes and teams have been lying to you for years. Speaking of hypocrites, if you ripped the Patriots but defend the Astros? The bottom line is fans love to turn a blind eye. And that's just fine. But pretending this isn't a reality is naive.

As fans, you want to believe you are rooting for good people. You wear their jerseys. But the reality is when that much money is on the line, people are going to do whatever they can outside the rules. Maybe it is overly cynical, but the truth is most of them grew up in a culture of cheating and taking short cuts and trying not to get caught. Should we act surprised when they do? Bad people exist in all walks of life. Money attracts more of them.

There is a LOT of money in sports.

And to think it is just Houston is silly. Players like Cody Bellinger saying the Dodgers did things the "right way" might want to hold off. More will come out, and you look even worse when you say stuff like that and your team is the next one.

That leaves Houston fans to just embrace and accept reality. And before you say, "this is harsh and unfair..." is there anything in here that is not true?

Oh, and enjoy the 2017 World Series, because at this rate, that is all you will be able to hang your hat on.

But at least the national media notices you now.

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