College Basketball report: week 4

The Texas A&M Aggies embark on a three-game losing streak while the SMU Mustangs bring home the Southwestern Showdown championship

Are Buzz Williams and the Aggies No. 1?

TEXAS LONGHORNS (6-1)

Last week (1-0): W: McNeese State 73-71

This week: Tuesday vs. UAB, Sunday Texas A&M

The Texas Longhorns improved to 4-0 at the Frank C. Erwin Jr. Center with a 73-71 victory over the McNeese State Cowboys on Saturday. In a surprising turn of events, it took a pair of free throws by Courtney Ramey to seal the deal for Texas, as the sophomore guard recorded 14 points in the win.

Texas' guard, Andrew Jones, also registered 14 points off the bench while shooting 6-for-14 (42.8%) from the field. Following the win, the Longhorns will take on the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Tuesday, before opening up their Lone Star Showdown against Texas A&M on Sunday.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (3-4)

Last week (0-3): L: Harvard 62-51, L: Temple 65-42, L: Fairfield 67-62

This week: Sunday vs. Texas

The Orlando Invitational did not go as planned for the Texas A&M Aggies over the past week. A&M finished the tournament in last place after dropping all three games, which began with a 62-51 loss to the Harvard Crimson.

After suffering through a 23-point defeat to Temple —where only one player (Josh Nebo, 12) scored in double figures — the Aggies ended the tournament with a 67-62 loss to Fairfield. While riding a three-game losing streak and sitting under .500 on the season, the Aggies will look to bounce back against the Texas Longhorns on Sunday.

HOUSTON COUGARS (3-2)

Last week (1-0): W: Houston Baptist 112-73

This week: Wednesday vs. Texas State, Sunday South Carolina

The Houston Cougars took a 39-point victory over the Houston Baptist Huskies in a game that was over within the first five minutes. Sophomore Nate Hinton recorded a career-high 24 points (6-11 FG, 3-4 3PT) and 15 rebounds in the blowout win. Marcus Sasser also recorded a career-high with 18 points, as the sharpshooting freshman from Red Oak, Texas shot 6-for-9 (66%) from 3-point range.

Following the win, the Cougars will look to make it two straight on Wednesday when they take on the Texas State Bobcats, before traveling to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks.

RICE OWLS (5-4)

Last week (0-0): No Games Scheduled

This week: Saturday vs. Lamar

The Rice Men's Basketball program had a peaceful Thanksgiving break with no game on the schedule. The Owls will look to end their two-game losing streak on Saturday against the Lamar Cardinals inside the Montagne Center in Beaumont.

BAYLOR BEARS (5-1)

Last week (0-0): No Games Scheduled

This week: Tuesday vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks, Saturday vs. Arizona Wildcats

While riding a four-game win streak, the Baylor Bears will return to the court on Tuesday to take on the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks, and the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday inside the Ferrell Center in Waco.

TCU HORNED FROGS (5-1)

Last week (1-0): W: Wyoming 64-47

This week: Tuesday vs Illinois State, Friday USC

The TCU Men's Basketball team closed their MGM Resorts Main Event showcase with a 64-47 victory over the Wyoming Cowboys. Although TCU shot 42.4% from the floor, their play on the defensive end played a tremendous factor in the Horned Frogs' victory. They held the Cowboys to 14 points in the first half while shooting 17.8% from the field, 18% from behind the arc. Desmon Bane recorded his second consecutive double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds in the win.

After going 1-1 during their MGM Resorts Main Event exhibition, the Horned Frogs will return to Fort Worth for a showdown against the Illinois State Redbirds on Tuesday, and USC on Friday.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (5-2)

Last week: (0-2) L: Iowa 72-61, L: Creighton 83-76

This week: Wednesday vs. Depaul

Following a 5-0 start to the season, the Texas Tech Red Raiders are riding a two-game skid after going winless during the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. The Red Raiders dropped their first contest of the first round in a 72-61 loss to Iowa. Following the loss, the Red Raiders endured a tough defeat to the Creighton Bluejays.

After trailing by 14-points at the half, Texas Tech outscored the Bluejays 42-28 in the second period to force overtime en route to an 83-76 loss. Texas Tech had no answer for Marcus Zegarowski, who scored a game-high 32 points (12-18 FG, 3-8 3PT) in a win for Creighton. Up next, Texas Tech will travel to Chicago to play DePaul (8-0) inside the Wintrust Arena on Wednesday.

SMU MUSTANGS (7-0)

Last week (2-0): W: Hartford 90-58, W: Abilene Christian 70-51

This week: Tuesday vs. Northwestern State, Saturday vs Georgetown

The wins keep coming for the SMU Mustangs who are currently riding a seven-game win streak. The Mustangs breezed to the Southwestern Showdown title with back-to-back blowout victories over Hartford (90-58) and Abilene Christian (70-51). After averaging 18 points and 7.3 assists, Kendric Davis took home tournament MVP honors, while Tyson Jolly and Feron Hunt join Davis on the All-Tournament team.

The Mustangs will return to Dallas as champions for a two-game homestand on Tuesday, to take on Northwestern State, and Georgetown on Saturday.

LSU TIGERS (5-2)

Last week (1-0): W: Missouri St. 73-58

This week: Tuesday vs New Orleans, Sunday vs Northwestern State

The LSU Tigers put on a shooting client on Friday in their 73-58 win over the Missouri St. They shot 53.7% from the field, and most of their damage came on the inside as LSU scored 34 points in the paint. Forward Darius Day helped the Tigers come away victorious with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

The Tigers will continue their four-game homestand on Tuesday against New Orleans and Northwestern State on Sunday.

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College football needs to call a timeout on the 2020 season.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 are set to announce, maybe today, perhaps in a few weeks, whether they will play football this fall.

Already the Ivy League, Mountain West and Mid-American Conference have canceled their fall football season for health and safety reasons amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Power 5 conferences – the Big Ten, Pac-12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 and Southeastern Conference – should get onboard and put their football seasons on hold, too.

While some elected officials without medical degrees say that coronavirus amounts to little more than sniffles for young people, healthcare experts argue that college-age people, while they do recover quickly and may not exhibit symptoms, do contract and spread the virus.

There has been a 90 percent increase of young people testing positive for the virus in the past four weeks. More important, health experts say they can't measure the long-term effects of the virus, which may include brain damage, heart disease and reduced lung capacity.

There is a simple solution to play or not play college football this fall – postpone the season to next spring, when health experts will know more about the disease. There possibly could be a vaccine by then, which would allow fans back in stadiums.

Many high-profile college players and coaches weighed in on the debate Monday, almost unanimously saying that the 2020 football schedule should be played on schedule, starting in a few weeks.

Players, including Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, adopted the hashtag #WeWantToPlay. In a tweet, Lawrence said that players would be more at risk for coronavirus if the fall season doesn't move forward. "We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football."

Lawrence added that, if the football season is canceled or postponed, players "will be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely."

Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN, "Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home."

Two points: University presidents should listen to only one group of people – healthcare professionals – when they decide whether to cancel or postpone the fall football season. Yes, players want to play during this pandemic. But players also want to play when they are injured or their brain was just scrambled by a vicious tackle. We applaud athletes who play with a broken leg. We see players with concussions plead with their coaches to put them back in the game.

As for the argument that players are more likely to catch the virus if they're sent home – who's sending them home? These are student-athletes. Students. Most college campuses will be open with students attending classes this fall. Major college programs like Clemson have 85 full scholarships designated for football. Colleges won't take away players' scholarships if the football season is canceled. Clemson's campus will open Sept. 21 for in-person classes.

ESPN college football analyst Greg McElroy also said the season should be played as scheduled: "If they're (players) OK, then I'm OK." Texas governor Greg Abbott chimed in on the players' side. He said, "It's their careers, it's their health."

What "careers" is he talking about? There are about 775 colleges that play football. Only 1.7 percent of all those players will play in the NFL or another professional league. On Sept. 3, Rice University will play Army. It is unlikely that any of those players will have a career in football. However, given the excellence of academics at those colleges, players will have career opportunities in something other than football. The average NFL career is 2-1/2 years. Rice and Army grads can top that.

The NBA is completing its season in a bubble in Orlando, with players confined to their hotels between games. Only 22 teams are in Orlando for the lockdown. The Rockets organization sent about 35 people, including coaches, players and essential personnel to Orlando.

Baseball is playing its season outside a bubble. So many players are testing positive for coronavirus that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred last week threatened to end the season if teams don't do a better job of enforcing the league's health protocol. What's left is an unbalanced season. For example, the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners have played 18 games, while the St. Louis Cardinals have played only five games. The ironically first-place Miami Marlins, which had 18 players test positive, have played only 10 games.

College football can't be played in a bubble. There are too many teams, with some having more than 100 players and 20 coaches. And no sport thrives on fans' excitement and marching bands like college football. Several colleges, including the University of Texas and Texas A&M, have stadiums that hold more than 100,000 fans. Even if college football could be played in a bubble, it would require isolating players from August to January, when they're supposed to be in class. I know … supposed.

This one is easy. For the health and safety of players, play the fall 2020 season in spring 2021.

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