College Basketball Report: Week 17

The Houston Cougars reclaim their place atop of the American Athletic Conference

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TEXAS LONGHORNS (18-11), (8-8)

Last week: (1-0): W - Texas Tech 68-58

This week: Tuesday vs. Oklahoma, Saturday Oklahoma State

On Saturday, the Texas Longhorns came away victorious in a 68-58 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders inside United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock. Andrew Jones tied his career-high in the win, as the sophomore guard recorded 22 points 57.1% from the field.

Up next, the Longhorns will travel to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners before welcoming the Cowboys to Austin on Saturday.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (14-14), (8-8)

Last week: (0-2): L - Kentucky 69-60, L - LSU 64-50

This week: Wednesdayvs. Auburn, Saturday vs. Arkansas

After winning three straight, the Texas A&M Aggies are riding a two-game losing streak after dropping games against No. 6 Kentucky (69-60) and LSU (64-50). In both games, junior guard Savion Flagg led the way averaging 17.0 points, while Josh Nebo recorded 11.5 points and 7.5 boards.

After a disappointing week, the Aggies will look to end their losing streak ahead of the Conference Tournament on Wednesday against the Auburn Tigers.

Houston Cougars (27-7), (12-4)

Last week: (1-0): W- Cincinnati 68-55

This week: Thursdayvs. UConn, Sunday Memphis

The Houston Cougars reclaimed their spot atop of the American Atheltic Conference with a 68-55 win over the Cincinnati Bearcats inside the Frittata Center in Houston. Despite a subpar shooting night as a team, Marcus Sasser led the way with a game-high 21 points in 33 minutes, as the sharpshooting guard recorded a dozen in the final period shooting 8-for-16 (50%) from the field, 5-for-12 (41.6%) from 3-point range.

Ahead of closing out the season in a home match against Memphis on Sunday, the Cougars will travel to Connecticut to take on the 17-12, 8-8 UConn Huskies, Thursday, inside the Gampel Pavilion in Storrs.

RICE OWLS (14-15), (6-10)

Last week: (1-0): W- Middle Tennessee 77-66

This week: Wednesdayvs. Southern Miss, Saturday UTEP

The Rice Owls closed out their regular-season series against Middle Tennesse Blue Raiders with a 77-66 win on Sunday. Trey Murphy III fell two rebounds short of recording a double-double with 17 points (8-14, 4-9 3PT) and eight boards in the win.

After trailing 29-24 at the half to the Blue Raiders, the Owls went on a tear in the second half. Rice shot a sizzling 64.2% from the field, 55.5% from behind the arc, as the scored a season-high 53 second-half points. Following the win, the Owls will take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Wednesday.

BAYLOR BEARS (26-3), (15-2) 

Last week: (1-1): W - Kansas State 85-66, L - TCU 75-72, W - Texas Tech 71-68 OT

This week: Saturday vs. West Virginia

After ending their 23-game winning streak to Kansas, the Baylor Bears dropped their second conference game of the season in a 75-72 loss to the TCU Horned Frogs.

Despite holding a seven-point lead at the half, the Bears' defense became a no show in the final 24 minutes, as Baylor allowed the Horned Frogs to score 54 points on 76.1% shooting from the floor, 63.4% from the deep.
Following a win over Texas Tech on Monday, the Bears will look to close out their regular season schedule in a road game against West Virginia.

TCU Horned Frogs (16-13), (7-9)

Last week: (1-1): L - Iowa State 65-59, W - Baylor 75-72

This week: Wednesday vs. Kansas, Saturday vs. Oklahoma

After a tough loss against the Iowa State Cyclone on Tuesday, the TCU Horned Frogs picked up their most impressive victory of the season against No. 4 Baylor Bears.

Behind a 23-point performance from senior Desmond Bane, TCU outscored Baylor 54-44 in the second half while shooting 76.1% from the floor, 63.4% from the deep. Up next, the Horned Frogs will look to end their Big 12 conference schedule on a high against the Kansas Jayhawks on Wednesday, and the Oklahoma Sooners.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (18-12), (9-8)

Last week: (0-0): L- Oklahoma 65-51, L - Texas 68-58, L - Baylor 71-68 OT

This week: Saturday vs. Kansas

Despite experiencing their worst stretch of the season, the Texas Tech Red Raiders nearly pulled an upset over the No. 4 Baylor Bears on Monday. Behind freshmen guards, Jahml'us Ramsey (13) and Kevin McCullar (13), Texas Tech ended the night shooting 50% from the floor inside the Ferrell Center in Waco.

Although they had a solid night from the field, the Red Raiders could not stop Baylor from scoring from the outside, as the Bears connected on 10 3-point field goals on 42% shooting from deep.

Up next, Texas Tech will look to get back to their winning ways on Saturday against the Kansas Jayhawks to close out their 2019-20 college basketball season.

SMU Mustangs (19-9), (9-7)

Last week: (2-1): W- Memphis 58-53, L - Wichita State 66-62

This week: Wednesdayvs. UCF, Saturday vs. USF

Before falling to Wichita State on Sunday, the SMU Mustangs took a 58-53 victory over the Memphis Tigers on Tuesday. Junior forward Tyson Jolly recorded a double-double of 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, as SMU forced 21 turnovers in which they converted into 20 points.

Following the win, the Mustangs will travel to Orlando to take on the UCF Bulls on Wednesday.

LSU Tigers (20-9), (11-5)

Last week: (1-1): L - Florida 81-66, W - Texas A&M 64-50

This week: Wednesday vs. Arkansas, Saturday vs. Georgia

After a 15 point loss to Florida, the LSU Tigers picked up a 64-50 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday. In the win, it was a great all-round performance from Skylar Mays, as the senior guard recorded 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting with four treys, to go with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Up next, the Tigers will look to end their regular-season conference schedule on Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs.

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Here's why the Texans will make the playoffs under Lovie Smith

1. The Houston Texans had a mentally tough practice Saturday. The team has worked a lot in pads and Lovie Smith noted the days starting to build up on them during this practice. The head coach said this is a good practice because it is like the fourth quarter of the games the team will end up playing.

2. Davis Mills threw one of the best passes he has thrown all camp on Saturday. In a red zone drill, he dropped back and whipped a pass between two defenders into the tightest window he has had all camp. Nico Collins hauled in the threaded pass for a score.

3. A few reps later Davis Mills struck again. With traffic from linebackers and defensive backs, he found Chris Conley for a score. It wasn’t as tight of a window as the first one, but Mills snapped it off nonetheless.

4. Pharaoh Brown made something hard look very easy on Saturday. With Mills rolling out and tossing the ball to Brown in the back corner Brown hauled in a one-handed catch and had both feet down. Touchdown. Brown then acted like it was no big deal.

5. Pharaoh Brown has had a wonderful camp. Lovie Smith named him the starting tight end. The thing that really jumped out to me today is he makes his work look easy. He isn’t straining to excel in his opportunities. The good ones always make it look easy and it has looked easy for Brown so far.

6. Rookie linebacker Christian Harris is on the shelf for a few days. He joins fellow rookie Kenyon Green as players who are injured. Max Scharping played left guard with Green down. Wide receiver Phillip Dorset practiced while veteran wideout Chester Rodgers did not.

7. Roy Lopez flashed again today. While Friday was about the rushing attack and Lopez made his presence felt at defensive tackle, he got into the pass rush Saturday. Lopez would have had a bone-crushing sack in a live rep.

8. Ross Blacklock hasn’t been consistent. A statement like that is good and evil. There are some plays where Blacklock looks like he isn’t a factor. I watched one today. A play later he had what would have been a sack on the play. He’s a player to watch in the preseason games closely.

9. Don’t expect to see Derek Stingley in the preseason opener next Saturday. Lovie Smith wouldn’t commit to the rookie cornerback playing in the preseason. Smith did say Stingley is on track to play week one in the regular season.

10. Brevin Jordan has had a nice camp and should be an important piece for the team. Jordan had a bad drop in 7-on-7 drills that he was beating himself up over for a few minutes. That was out of the norm. He’s been used a lot and will be on the field a bit it seems for the Texans.

11. Brevin Jordan also rattled off a few contenders for the quote of the day. He exclaimed he had taken care of himself this offseason and he finally had abs. He also revealed he’s quite the fisherman and once caught a 125-pound tuna. When asked what he did with the tuna Jordan laughed and said “RIP tuna!”

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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