College Basketball Report: Week 7

The Baylor Bears extend their winning streak to eight while the Texas Longhorns drop an unexpected game to Providence

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TEXAS LONGHORNS (9-2)

Last week (0-1): L - Providence 70-48

This week: Monday vs High Point Panthers

The Texas Longhorns' five game-winning came to an unexpected end in a 70-48 defeat to the Providence Friars on Saturday. The Longhorns failed to score 50 points in the loss, as Providence held Texas to 31.7% shooting from the field, and an unpleasant 14.3 % from behind the arc β€” UT's lowest shooting percentages of the season.

Sophomore guard Courtney Ramey led the way for the Longhorns with 12 points, as Jase Febres added six points in 33 minutes. Following the loss, the Longhorns will return to action on Monday for a home showdown against the High Point Panthers.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (5-5)

Last week (1-0): W - Oregon State 64-49

This week: Monday vs. Texas Southern

The Texas A&M Aggies won their second consecutive game in a 64-49 victory over the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday. It was Deja VA for the Aggies as it was their second come from behind win after trailing at the half by 11. A&M outscored Oregon State 42-19 in the final 20 minutes while shooting 13-for-27 (48.1%) from the field.

Senior forward Josh Nebo led the Aggies in scoring with 15 points and seven rebounds in the win. With one game on the schedule, the Aggies will look to make it three straight wins on Monday when they take on the Texas Southern Tigers.

Houston Cougars (9-3)

Last week (3-0): W - UTEP 77-57, W - Portland 81-56, W - George Tech 70-59

This week: Wednesday vs. Washington

Following a loss against the OSU Cowboys, the Houston Cougars are currently riding a three-game win streak after a perfect 3-0 week. The Cougars picked up a 20 point victory over the UTEP Miners, a game in which Houston recorded a season-high 11 blocks β€” with big man Brison Gresham leading the way with a career-best six rejections.

Following the win, the Cougars hit the road to participate in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, where UH opened the tournament with back-to-back wins against Portland (81-56) and George Tech (70-59).

After going scoreless in the win against the Miners, Quentin Grimes has been on fire in Hawaii averaging 22.0 points on 64% shooting from the field. The Cougars will face off against the Washington Huskies for the tournament championship in a Christmas Day showdown.

RICE OWLS (8-4)

Last week (1-0): W - St. Thomas 103-70

This week: Sunday vs. Sam Houston

The Rice Owls took a wire-to-wire 33-point victory over the St. Thomas Celts on Thursday inside the Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston. The Celts allowed 12 of the Owls 15 man roster to score, with Trey Murphy III leading the way with 21 points (8-14 FG, 5-10 3PT), 10 rebounds and a block.

Following the win, the Owls will return to Tudor Fieldhouse for a Sunday showdown against Sam Houston State.

BAYLOR BEARS (9-1)

Last week (1-0): W - Tennessee-Martin 91-63

This week: Monday vs. Jackson State

Following a one-point victory against the Butler Bulldogs, the Baylor Bears won a convincing 91-63 victory over the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks Wednesday night. While leading the Bears to a win, Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell each scored 19 points apiece, while sophomore guard Flo Thamba added 11 off the bench.

Win the win, Baylor has extended their winning streak to eight ahead of their home match against the Jackson State Jaguars on Monday.

TCU HORNED FROGS (8-3)

Last week (0-1): L - Xavier 67-59

This week: Monday vs George Mason

This game was the first meeting between TCU and Xavier since December of 1980, and it took the Musketeers nearly 40 years to seek their revenge.

After winning two games in a row, the Horned Frogs suffered a 67-59 loss to Xavier on Sunday. An enormous portion of TCU's defeat came due to the lack of production off their bench, as the Musketeers' second until outscored TCU 20-5 in bench points.

In addition to the lack of bench production, TCU gave up nine offensive rebounds that converted into 17 second-half points for Xavier. Following the loss, the Horned Frogs will return to action on Monday to face off against the George Mason Patriots.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (8-3)

Last week: (1-0) W - UTRGV 68-58

This week: Sunday vs. CSU Bakersfield

After a slow start to the game, the Texas Tech Red Raiders capitalized on a 42-point second-half performance to take a 68-58 victory over Texas–Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros on Saturday. With the win, the Red Raiders moved up one spot to No. 23 in the Associated Press Top 25 College Basketball rankings.

Freshman guard Jahmi'us Ramsey led the Red Raiders in scoring with 15 points (6-12 FG, 2-7 3PT), while his backcourt mate Terrence Shannon, Jr added in 14 points (5-9 FG, 4-4 FT) in the win. Following their third straight win in a row, Texas Tech will return to the court on Sunday for a showdown against the CSU Bakersfield.

SMU MUSTANGS (9-2)

Last week (1-1): L - Georgia 87-85, W - Georgia State 85-76

This week: No game schedule

The SMU Mustangs dropped their second consecutive game in an 87-85 double-overtime loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. SMU put up a good fight but was not enough to overcome Georgia's Sahvir Wheeler layup in the final two seconds of the game.

After the loss, the Mustangs bounced back with an 85-76 victory over Georgia State. Feron Hunt and Kendric Davis scored 18 points apiece, as SMU shot 52% from the floor.
With no games on the schedule, the Mustangs will return to the court on Wednesday, Jan. 1st in a conference showdown against USF.

LSU TIGERS (7-4)

Last week (0-2): L - East Tennessee 74-63, L- USC 70-68

This week: Sunday vs Liberty

After heading into their break on a four-game win streak, the LSU Tigers' winning ways came to a halt with a 74-63 loss to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers Wednesday night. In the loss, the Buccaneers won the battle of the board as they outrebounded the Tigers 40-29 and recorded 15 second-chance points.

Following the loss against East Tennessee State, The Tigers suffered a heartbreak 70-68 defeat to the USC Trojans on Saturday. Senior guard, Skylar Mays nearly carried LSU to a victory with a game-high 21 points (6-14 FG, 8-10 FT), to go along with six rebounds, three steals and a block in the loss.

In the midst of a two-game skid, the Tigers will return to the court on Sunday for a match against the Liberty Flames.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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