No. 1 Baylor Bears and No. 10 LSU Tigers extend their winning streak as conference play continues.

College Basketball Report: Week 11

College Basketball Report: Week 11
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TEXAS LONGHORNS (12-6), (2-4)

Last week: (1-2): W - Oklahoma State 74-64, L - Kansas 66-57, L - West Virginia 97-59

This week: Saturdayvs. LSU

The start of the Big 12 Conference has not been kind to the Texas Longhorns with a below .500 record. After recording a 12-point victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Longhorns dropped back-to-back games against the Kansas Jayhawks and the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The 38-point loss to the Mountaineers proved to be the Longhorns' worst performance of the season, as UT allowed West Virginia to shoot 51.4% from the floor, 42.9% from behind the arc and trail 45-20 heading into the halftime break.


With one game on the schedule, the Longhorns will look to bounce back in a home match against the hot LSU Tigers.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (8-8), (2-3)

Last week: (0-2): L - LSU 89-85, L - South Carolina 81-67

This week: Tuesdayvs. Missouri, Saturday vs. Oklahoma State

The Texas A&M Aggies hit a rough patch last week and are currently riding a two-game losing streak heading into their match against the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday, before taking on the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday.

The Aggies dropped a heartbreak overtime loss in a game against the LSU Tigers, where they fought their way back from 10 down at the half. Unfortunately, A&M could not carry over their second-half surge against the Gamecocks, as South Carolina shot 48.3 % from the floor, 53.3 % from 3-point range.

Senior forward Josh Nebo led the Aggies in scoring both games averaging 19.0 points and 2.5 blocks per game.

Houston Cougars (12-4), (2-1)

Last week: (2-0): W - SMU 77-62, W- Wichita State 65-54

This week: Thursday vs. UConn, Sunday vs. USF

Winners of eight out of their last nine games, the Houston Cougars swept through their opponents picking up wins against the SMU Mustangs and the Wichita State Shockers.

In the win against No. 16 Wichita State, the Cougars had one of their best defensive performances of the season, as Houston recorded nine blocks and held the Shockers to 32.2% shoot from the field, and 20% from behind the arc. Following the win, the Cougars will come into Thursday showdown against UConn tied with Wichita State atop of the American Athletic Conference.

RICE OWLS (9-11), (1-6)

Last week: (0-3): L - Louisiana Tech 72-56, L- Southern Miss 81-68, L - North Texas 79-59

This week: Thursday vs. UTEP, Saturday vs. UTSA

Loser of seven of their last eight games, the Rice Owls are currently riding a three-game losing streak after a winless week.

The Owls suffered a blowout defeat in all three games, losing by an average margin of 16 points, with their worst coming at the hands of North Texas on Monday. Up next, Rice will look to end their worst skid of the season on Thursday in a CUSA showdown against UTEP.

BAYLOR BEARS (16-1), (6-0)

Last week: (3-0): W - Iowa State 68-55, W - Oklahoma State 75-68, W - Oklahoma 61-57

This week: Saturday vs. Florida

While improving their national rank to No. 1, the Baylor Bears extended their conference play winning streak to six with wins against Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma over the past week.

In the win against Oklahoma, Macio Teague led the Bears to a close win with 16 points and three steals. Following their overall 15th straight victory, the Bears will put their winning streak on the line against Florida on Saturday.

TCU HORNED FROGS (12-5), (3-2)

Last week: (0-2): L - West Virginia 81-49, L - Oklahoma 83-63

This week: Tuesday vs Texas Tech, Saturday vs Arkansas

After riding a four-game winning streak, the TCU Horned Frogs dropped two consecutive conference games in a loss against West Virginia and Oklahoma last week. In both games, the Horned Frogs lost by an average margin of 26 points, which indicates their two worst two-game stretch of the season.

Up next, TCU will look to return to their winning ways against the No. 18 Texas Tech Red Raiders on Tuesday, before taking on the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (12-5), (3-2)

Last week: (2-0): W - Kansas State 77-63, W - Arkansas 72-52

This week: Tuesday vs TCU, Saturday vs Kentucky

After dropping two of their first three conference games, the No. 16 Texas Tech Red Raiders had a prefect week picking up wins against the Kansas State Wildcats and Iowa State Cyclone.

Against Iowa State, the Red Raiders finished the game shooting 54.3% from the floor and connecting on nine 3-point field goals in the win. Sophomore guard Kyler Edwards registered a career-high five 3-pointers and finished with 22 points inside the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

Up next, Tech will look to extend their winning streak against the TCU Horned Frogs on Tuesday.

SMU MUSTANGS (13-4), (3-2)

Last week (1-1): L - Houston 71-62, W - Temple 68-52

This week: Wednesday vs ECU, Saturday vs Memphis

The SMU Mustangs opened the week dropping their second straight game in a loss to in-state rival, the Houston Cougars. In the loss, the Mustangs did not have an answer for Houston's Fabian White Jr., as the junior forward recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Following the loss in Houston, SMU returned to their winning ways in a home victory over the Temple Owls, a game in which Tyson Jolly had one of his best performances of the season with 25 points and 14 rebounds, two steals and a block in the win.
The Mustang will stay home for an AAC showdown against ECU on Wednesday before traveling to Memphis to take on the Memphis Tigers on Saturday.

LSU TIGERS (13-4), (5-0)

Last week (2-0): W - Texas A&M 89-85, W - Ole Miss 80-76

This week: Tuesday vs Florida, Saturday vs Texas

No. 10 LSU Tigers continued their hot start in conference play and extended their winning streak to six last week.

Both games went down to the wire as the Tigers needed an additional five minutes to pull off a win against the Aggies, a game where LSU nearly blew a 10 point lead at the half. Five players scored in double-digits for LSU with Trendon Watford and Skylar Mays each scoring 19 points apiece.

The Tigers will return home on Tuesday for a match against Florida before a Big-12 showdown against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday.

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The torch has been passed to Yainer Diaz. Composite Getty Image.

Victor Caratini! Dylan Coleman! Jake Meyers as the primary centerfielder! Not exactly the moves of Astros’ fans dreams at baseball’s Winter Meetings this week in Nashville. Still, better hearing they added a couple of guys on the margins than that they traded Alex Bregman or did something else as absurdly damaging to the Astros’ 2024 chances. And remember, it’s still early in the offseason. The meetings were pretty much a dud for “wow” transactions until Wednesday’s word that the Yankees were about to make the move to acquire superstar Juan Soto from the Padres.

The Astros signing Caratini to a two year 12 million dollar free agent contract seems an overpay, especially with the Astros clearly attempting to stay below the first Competitive Balance Tax threshold of 237 million dollars for the coming season. However six mil per season for an okay backup is indicative of how flush with cash the industry is. If the Astros get 2023 Caratini he’ll be fine as the Astros’ catcher complement to Yainer Diaz. Organizationally the Astros came to the conclusion that it was time to move on from Maldy, his contributions notwithstanding. It probably helped that Dusty Baker is not here to a pitch a little fit over it. Justin Verlander will get over it. Frankly he should enjoy pitching with a vastly enhanced chance of offensive support from his catcher.

2023 Caratini was significantly better in his playing time than Maldonado was in his. A .711 OPS won’t have Caratini confused with Adley Rutschman or Will Smith but that would be a solid number for a backup catcher. In 2021 and 2022 Caratini’s OPS came in at a weaker .632 then .642. Maldonado’s OPS was .606 this year, his best since 2020. As a receiver, Caratini is reasonably well regarded. His pitch framing numbers were above average, Maldonado’s pitch framing was graded as about the worst in the big leagues. Caratini was terrible at throwing out opposing base stealers, so was Maldonado. Maldonado led the Major Leagues in passed balls for the second year in a row, in a hair under half the innings caught Caratini had zero (like Diaz).

Maldonado was a gritty and respected veteran. The preponderance of playing time he got in 2023 hurt the team. The Catching Yoda/Mensa/Mastermind stuff became a bit much. When Framber Valdez threw his no-hitter Maldy wet-nursed him through it? As Framber unraveled most of the second half of the season, how bad would he have been if not for Maldy? Cristian Javier stunk for months, how bad would it have gotten if not for Maldy? As Hunter Brown regressed by the month (starting when Maldy bumped Diaz as his primary catcher), if not for Maldy, what? Come on.

Yainer Diaz’s time is now. 100-plus starts behind the plate are his. The Astros’ offensive history at the catcher position is mostly feeble. Brad Ausmus played more than twice as many games as Maldonado as an Astro, and was at least as bad as Maldy at the plate. Alan Ashby made himself into a solid contributor through most of the 1980s. “Ash” hands down has the best offensive career posted by an Astros’ backstop. Still, it’s not like Diaz is chasing down Mike Piazza or Pudge Rodriguez. No Astro has hit 20 home runs in a season as a catcher. Yainer hit 23 homers as a rookie but only 14 of them while catching in the game. Diaz seems a lock for 20 with 30 certainly not out of the question.

The 27-years-old Coleman is a cheap flyer taken. I mean, if you couldn’t make it on the laughably bad Royals… For the Astros Coleman is a straw grasp for a bullpen which saw its depth badly damaged with the presumed free agent departures of Hector Neris, Ryne Stanek, and Phil Maton. The only certain arms for the Astros’ ’24 pen are Ryan Pressly, Bryan Abreu, Kendall Graveman. And Rafael Montero since finding a taker for the two years 23 million dollars left on his contract is a fool’s errand. So that leaves three or four slots to fill. Coleman actually had a fine 2022 with the Royals posting a 2.78 earned run average in 68 innings. His 2023 was a disaster, with him regularly pretty much having no clue where he was throwing the ball. 19 walks in 18 and 1/3 innings led to an 8.84 ERA and spending most of 2023 in the minors. His control was lousy there too. Coleman was wild through his college career and in the minors. The Astros hope to fall into something somewhat helpful. Oh yes, Coleman works cheap. He’s not salary arbitration eligible until 2026.

Meyers works cheap too. He’ll make a little more than the MLB minimum salary of $740,000. Hence the Astros’ give him another shot after two poor offensive seasons. Despite his pop gun throwing arm, Meyers’s defensive metrics are very strong. Carrying his bat (if better than atrocious) is more viable with Diaz regularly in the lineup, and if Jeremy Pena shows improvement after his mediocre sophomore season. 2024 would have been the expected debut season of Drew Gilbert in the Astros’ outfield, but he’ll debut as a Met via the Justin Verlander trade.

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