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.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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