TEXAS LONGHORNS (14-10), (4-6)
All for Texas 🤘 https://t.co/X5wg45nOvP— Texas Longhorns (@Texas Longhorns) 1581386483.0
Last week: (0-2): L - Texas Tech 62-57, L - Baylor 52-45
This week: Saturdayvs. Iowa State
Before becoming Baylor's latest victim, the Texas Longhorns dropped a winnable game on Saturday in a 62-57 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Overall, it was a tale of two halves for the Longhorns as the Red Raiders trailed by as many as 16 points during the first half. After a nearly perfect half, UT allowed the Red Raiders to outscored them 43-26 in the second period, as Texas Tech shot 54.5% from the field, 42.8% from behind the arc.
Up next, the Longhorns will look to end their two-game skid on Saturday in a road game against the Iowa State Cyclones.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (11-11), (5-5)
📹 R U N I T B A C K | M I Z Z O U: PT 2 #GigEm https://t.co/ZdpLL0f5M4— Texas A&M Basketball (@Texas A&M Basketball) 1581037200.0
Last week: (1-1): W - Missouri 68-51, L - South Carolina 74-54
This week: Wednesdayvs. Florida, Saturday vs. Georgia
The roller-coaster season continued for the Texas A&M Aggies. They started the week taking a 68-51 victory over Missouri, in a game in which four players scored in double-figure with Josh Nebo led the way with 18 points, six rebounds and two blocks in the win. It was a night the Tigers struggled offensively with Xavier Pinson leading the way with nine points.
Following the win, the Aggies suffered one of their worst defeats in conference play in a 20-point loss at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Up next, the Aggies will return to the court on Wednesday to take on the Florida Gators.
Houston Cougars (19-5), (9-2)
Houston #cougars up big at the half leading 38-18 over the Wichita State #Shockers. Quentin Grimes leading the way… https://t.co/cEwuBC1pbh— Coty Davis (@Coty Davis) 1581281728.0
Last week: (2-0): W - Tulane 75-62, W - Wichita State 76-43
This week: Wednesdayvs. USF, Saturday vs. SMU
After a disappointing loss to Cincinnati which ended their five-game win streak, the Houston Cougars bounced back with back-to-back wins against the Tulane Green Waves and Wichita State Shockers.
As they look to stay atop the American Athletic Conference, the Cougars will hit the road for a showdown against the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday before taking on the SMU Mustangs on Saturday in Dallas.
RICE OWLS (12-13), (4-8)
OWLS WIN! Rice holds off Middle Tennessee to earn the 91-83 victory! #GoOwls👐 x #TheRiceWay https://t.co/mtzxI9u1fh— Rice Basketball (@Rice Basketball) 1581210193.0
Last week: (2-0): W- UAB 86-72, W - Middle Tennessee 91-83
This week: Thursdayvs. Old Dominion, Saturday vs. Charlotte 49ers
Currently, in the midst of riding their longest winning streak of conference play, the Rice Owl extended their win streak to three picking up victories against UAB and Middle Tennessee.
In a win against the Blue Raiders, the Owls went 12-of-12 from the free-throw line in the closing minutes as Rice held off Middle Tennessee, 91-83. In addition to picking up their fourth win of conference play, Rice earned its first-ever win in Murfreesboro, Saturday inside the Murphy Center.
Up next, the Owls will return home to take on Old Dominion in Houston.
BAYLOR BEAR (21-1), (10-0)
WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW That's 2⃣1⃣ straight wins for the No. 1 team in the country!! #SicEm 🐻 | #1TGF 🏀 https://t.co/QeniJbUah6— Baylor Basketball (@Baylor Basketball) 1581394318.0
Last week: (2-0): W - Oklahoma State 78-70, W - Texas 52-45
This week: Saturday vs. West Virginia
The Baylor Bears survived a hard-fought battle against Oklahoma State on Saturday, as the ball club came away with an eight-point victory. As one of five players to score in double-figures, sophomore guard MaCio Teague recorded four made 3-point field goals to score 24 points and seven rebounds to lead the way for the Bears.
As the nation's top-ranked school, Baylor will put their 21 game winning streak on the line on Saturday, in a home Big-12 showdown against West Virginia inside the Ferrell Center in Waco.
TCU Horned Frogs (13-11), (4-6)
FINAL: No. 3 Kansas 60 - TCU 46 https://t.co/DTPqflNZOc— TCU Basketball (@TCU Basketball) 1581188165.0
Last week: (0-3): L - Oklahoma State 72-57, L - Kansas 60-46, L - Texas Tech 88-42
This week: Saturday vs. Kansas State
By far their worst week of the season, the TCU Horned Frogs lost by an average margin of 25 points with their worst coming in an 88-42 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. In an attempt to end their six-game losing streak, the Horned Frogs will return to the court on Saturday to take Kansas State inside the Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth.
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (16-8), (7-4)
Our largest margin of victory in a Big 12 game. Ever. Enjoy. 😎 🔴#4To1 | #WreckEm⚫️ https://t.co/wEfXKvZiXT— Texas Tech Basketball (@Texas Tech Basketball) 1581397047.0
Last week: (3-0): W - Oklahoma 69-61, W - Texas 62-57, W - TCU 88-42
This week: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State
Before handing the TCU Horned Frogs a 46 point defeat, the Texas Tech Red Raiders won two close back-to-back games against Oklahoma and Texas this past week.
Their best win came in a 62-57 victory over the Longhorns, in a game in which the Red Raiders fought back from 16 points down to take the dub. Freshman guard Jahmi'us Ramsey led the way with 18 points (6-7 FG, 2-2) and two steals in the win.
Following a near-perfect week, Texas Tech will look to make it four straight wins in a road game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday.
SMU MUSTANGS (16-6), (6-4)
They know I’m giving it my all regardless of the outcome ❤️ https://t.co/OibEr4xGc2— Kendric Davis (@Kendric Davis) 1581044313.0
Last week: (1-0): L - Temple 97-90
This week: Wednesday vs. Connecticut, Saturday vs. Houston
With one game on the schedule, the SMU Mustangs dropped a heartbreak loss to the Temple Owls on Saturday.
After leading 48-31 at the half, the Mustangs had no answer for the Owls in the second half and overtime, as Temple outscored SMU 66-42 to take the comeback victory. Temple's Quinton Ross scored a game-high 25 points, as the senior guard registered 10 during the extra period.
Up next, the Mustangs will take on Connecticut on Wednesday before going to war in an in-state battle against Houston on Saturday.
LSU TIGERS (17-6), (8-2)
Focus in‼️ Two big games this week. #BootUp 🐯 https://t.co/m5o4QpKE6O— LSU Basketball (@LSU Basketball) 1581348406.0
Last week: (0-2): L - Vanderbilt 99-90, L - Auburn 91-90
This week: Tuesday vs. Missouri, Saturday vs. Alabama
The LSU Tigers' 10 game winning streak came to an end on Wednesday after dropping a nine-point defeat to the Vanderbilt Commodores. While Trendon Watford led the way with 26 points (8-13, 9-10 FT), the freshman forward from Birmingham would be outplayed by Vanderbilt's Saben Lee, who recorded 33 points (13-20 FG), six assists, and four rebounds in the win.
After an overtime loss to Alabama, the Tigers will look to keep their place atop of the SEC in a home match against the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday.
Over the course of the last few years, I've noticed a marked change in my writing. It coincided with the ebbs and flows of the sports culture here in Houston. Namely, the Rockets and Texans falling off while the Astros tried to keep the city's hopes afloat. Even with winning titles, going to consecutive American League Championship Series, and staying a top contender, the Astros couldn't hold the city's collective attention (in some realms) as much as the Texans.
I don't care what you say. Football is king here in Texas. The Astros winning helped the city get over the debacle that was on Kirby and Polk. What they truly desired was a respectable football team. Having gone without for years, finally getting one, it not being up to par, being okay for a while, then taking a nosedive, it made fans feel like they were in a Twilight Zone of sorts.
Enter DeMeco Ryans. Not only has he changed the culture in the organization, but they're winning too! Who'd have thought the Texans would be in the Wildcard position this late in the season? Absolutely NOBODY! Well, I won't say nobody. There were some overzealous fans wearing Battle Red and Deep Steel Blue-tinted glasses who would say this same thing no matter what happened in the offseason. This is why DeMeco Ryans is the NFL's Coach of the Year right now, and there's no debate to be had.
The first reason was already listed above. He came to the Texans organization and changed the culture. From top to bottom, the expectations and thought processes have changed for the better. Gone are the days of people feeling like they're walking on eggshells around an arrogant jerk who had no reason to be such a blowhard. No longer are the sidelines patrolled by one and done coaches who were more of a placeholder than a purse on a church pew on Sunday morning. He brings a presence, an aura if you will. When he walks in a room, people genuinely are excited to see and talk to him. He obliges willingly and fully engages by talking directly to people and making eye contact. Never heard him yell or be condescending.
Secondly, and perhaps most notably, he's winning. Last year at this same time, the Texans were 1-8-1 and in last place in the AFC. They finished the year 3-13-1 and picked second overall in the draft. As of this writing, they're 6-4, second place in the AFC South, and sixth place in the AFC as one of the Wildcard teams. They're scheduled to play the Jags this weekend with sole possession of first place in the division on the line. No other team in the league has made as big a jump in the standings from last season to this one than the Texans. NRG Stadium was the loudest some have heard it the last couple wins against the Bus and Cardinals. Craziest part: it wasn't even full to capacity.
Changing the culture and winning goes a long way. Perhaps the biggest influence DeMeco has had is his commitment to player development. When he was with the 49ers, they raved about how he turned them into better players. Fred Warner was emotional over losing DeMeco as a coach for what he's done for Warner's career. Pairing a coach like him with players like C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson Jr, and others with the same level of commitment has this team in place to not only win, but be a factor for years to come.
I've seen coaches make some unreal turnarounds in my lifetime. It usually comes with a ton of other sweeping changes. While he did have the number two and number three picks in this past draft, this team was in shambles. The salary cap was a mess, draft capital was abysmal, and the team was devoid of talent. General manager Nick Caserio came in and cleaned up a lot of it before DeMeco was hired, so he should get some credit. However, he set a table for DeMeco to come in and work his magic. It's hard for a GM to make those moves and not have a coach to help finish the job. He bought the groceries, but had no chef. DeMeco came in and not only cooked a great meal, but he set a nice table and cleaned the kitchen when he was done.
If this man doesn't win Coach of the Year, fire everybody who has a vote. No coach in the league has done what he's done over the course of this season from last season. Improving the winning of a franchise and changing their culture to the point where the fan base did a complete 180-degree turnaround means the award should already have his name on it. The trophy should be in Houston in a lock box at a secure location. There should be plans already made, but flexible enough for their impending playoff run. If you can name a better candidate, I'd love to hear your argument. Send it to me on November 33rd. Promise it'll be the first thing I read that day.