Junior forward Fabian White Jr. posted 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Cougars to a home victory win over in-state enemy SMU.

Cougars take home victory over SMU Mustangs

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After a disappointing defeat to Tulsa on Saturday, the Houston Cougars bounced back with a 71-62 victory over their in-state foe, SMU Mustangs, Wednesday night, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston. With the win, the Cougars have now won seven of their last eight games while improving to 3-1 in conference play.

It was another impressive performance for big man, Fabian White Jr, as the junior forward registered his third double-double of the season with 17 points (6-12 FG, 5-5 FT) and 10 rebounds in the win. One week after averaging 22.5 points and taking home American Athletic Player of the Week honors, freshman guard, Caleb Mills scored 15 points (5-13 FG, 4-5 FT) in 14 minutes of play off the bench.

"Like coach always says, great performances starts in practice," White said after the win. "Having good practices translate to the game, and that's what I've been having so far this week. As long as I can continue having good practices, I should always play this good."

Following a fastbreak basket scored by sophomore guard Quentin Grimes, the Cougars closed out the first half on a 13-3 run to take full advantage of the game. The Mustangs missed 13 of their final 15 shots in the first period, as Houston capitalized on the Mustangs' mishaps to take a 31-20 lead into the halftime break.

Although the Mustangs went on a second-half surge, the Cougars never relinquished their lead. SMU cut the Cougars' double-digit lead down to four midway through the period before Houston took off on a 14-5 run. The Cougars play on the glass played a tremendous part in their win, as Houston pulled down 15 offensive rebounds which converted to 11 second-chance points.

"We had a lot more heart and desperation this game than last game," White said. "As long as we keep progressing and having that desperation, we should be fine."

In the loss, Houston native Kendric Davis scored a game-high 19 points, while Feron Hunt added in 14 points and two steals for the Mustangs.

Following the win, the Cougars will travel to Wichita to take on the 15-2, 3-1 Wichita State Shockers, Saturday night, inside the Charles Koch Arena in Wichita.

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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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