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NCAA hoops: Another big win for Tech, Baylor and A&M struggle

What is going on with Billy Kennedy and A&M? SportsDay

TEXAS LONGHORNS (11-6, 2-3 BIG XII)

Last week (1-1): W-TCU 99-98 2OT, L-@ Oklahoma State 65-64

This week: Wednesday vs. Texas Tech, Saturday @ West Virginia

Playing their first game since the announcement that sophomore guard Andrew Jones has been diagnosed with leukemia, the Longhorns played possibly their game of the season and beat TCU 99-98 in double overtime. The Horns were forced to play with a limited rotation with the absence of Jones and the injured Kerwin Roach. Only seven players got minutes in the game, including Dylan Osetkowski logging 20 points in his 49 minutes on the floor. Eric Davis, Jr. led Texas in scoring with 22 off the bench. The Oklahoma State Cowboys wouldn’t miss their shot in the final seconds, as Tavarius Shine tipped in the game winner with only 6 seconds left in OSU’s 65-64 victory. Texas had a double digit lead throughout most of the 2nd half, but a late 13-0 run got the Pokes back in the game. Davis again led the Horns with 18 points in defeat. Mohamed Bamba put up 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Horns face the top of the conference this week, taking on Texas Tech and taking a road trip to West Virginia. 

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (11-6, 0-5 SEC)

Last week (0-2): L-@ Kentucky 74-73,  L-@ Tennessee 75-62

This week: Tuesday vs. Ole Miss, Saturday vs. Missouri 

Once off to an extremely promising start, the wheels may be falling off in College Station. Texas A&M got Robert Williams and Admon Gilder back, but their return wasn’t enough to stop their slide in SEC play. Kentucky, playing without Quade Green, stole a 74-73 victory over the Aggies on Tuesday. The Aggies had two missed three pointers in the closing seconds from Gilder and D.J. Hogg. Tyler Davis’ performance was the highlight of the loss, as he put up 21 points on 8 of 10 shooting. After a few close losses for the Aggies, they got blown out by Tennessee, 75-62. Rebounding and turnovers were a big part of the Aggies’ problems. They had 17 turnovers and got out-rebounded 38-29. Gilder had 16 points in the win. Next week’s schedule has the Aggies at home against Ole Miss and Mizzou. 

HOUSTON COUGARS (14-3, 4-1 AAC) 

Last week (2-0): W-Tulsa 104-71, W-@ East Carolina 65-49

This week: Wednesday @ Tulane, Saturday vs. Wichita State

Coming off a frustrating loss to Wichita State last week, Houston came out with a vengeance on Thursday night, logging a lopsided 104-71 win over Tulsa. They did it in historic fashion, hitting 18 three pointers, the most in AAC history in a conference game, and set a school record for most points scored in a conference game. Rob Gray led the way with 34 points and 8 assists in the win. The Coogs shot 55% from the field to Tulsa’s 39%. The Cougars kept rolling against East Carolina, taking a 65-49 win over the Pirates. Corey Davis, Jr. led the Coogs with 20, and Rob Gray added 12 points and 9 assists. Houston held East Carolina to under 30% from the field in the win. The Cougars travel to Tulane on Wednesday and get a rematch with Wichita State this weekend. 

RICE OWLS (4-14, 1-4 CUSA)

Last week (0-1): L-North Texas 85-78

This week: Thursday @ Southern Miss, Saturday @ Louisiana Tech

Rice had no answers for North Texas’ 3-point shooting, as the Mean Green hit 17 3-pointers en route to an 85-78 win over the Owls. Connor Cashaw was the bright spot for Rice, scoring 30 points and 6 rebounds in the loss. Ako Adams also pitched in 16 points in the effort. The Owls’ disastrous season continues with road trips to Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech on the schedule this week.

BAYLOR BEARS (11-6, 1-4 BIG XII)

Last week (0-2): L-@ West Virginia 57-54, L-@ Iowa State 75-65

This week: Monday vs. Oklahoma State, Saturday @ Kansas

Baylor did a great job defensively against West Virginia, but at the end of the day the Mountaineers walked away with a 57-54 win. The Bears were hoping for a measure of revenge. Last season, Baylor went into West Virginia with the school’s first ever #1 ranking, and were promptly blown out by WVU. This year it was 2nd ranked West Virginia, their highest ranking since Jerry West played there, defending their poll placement. The Bears held WVU to 31% shooting, but shot only 35% themselves in the loss. Baylor’s 21 turnovers were a killer, as they only forced 11. Manu Lecomte led the Bears with 13 points in defeat. The Bears lost again on Saturday, dropping a 75-65 battle with Iowa State. Freshman Tristan Clarke had his best game of the year, putting up 16 points and 15 rebounds for Baylor in the loss. The Bears shot just 4-18 from 3-point distance, including a brutal 0-7 from Lecomte. Baylor gets Oklahoma State before traveling to Kansas this week. 

TCU HORNED FROGS (13-4, 1-4 BIG XII)

Last week (0-2): L-@ Texas 99-98 2OT, L-@ Oklahoma 102-97 OT

This week: Wednesday vs. Iowa State, Saturday @ Kansas State

TCU suffered a heartbreaking loss to Texas on Wednesday night, dropping a 99-98 double overtime thriller. Jaylen Fisher missed a game winning layup at the buzzer. The Frogs rallied from a 13 point 2nd half deficit to take the game to overtime, led by Kenrich Williams 26 points. The woes continued for TCU against Oklahoma, with TCU dropping another OT thriller 102-97. Fisher led the Frogs with 22 points, but his OU counterpart Trae Young put up 43 points for the Sooners. The loss was TCU’s 4th Big XII loss after going 12-0 in non-conference play. All 4 losses have been by 4 points or less, and the Texas loss was their 2nd by a single point. TCU gets Iowa State and Kansas State in the coming week. 

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (15-2, 4-1 BIG XII)

Last week (1-1): L- @ Oklahoma 75-65, W-West Virginia 72-71


This week: Wednesday @ Texas, Saturday @ Iowa State

Texas Tech struggled to defend one of the best players in the country, particularly in the 2nd half, as Trae Young and Oklahoma got a 75-65 victory on Tuesday. Young, who leads the nation in scoring and assists, put up 27 and 9 in the win. Tech’s defense held up in the first half, allowing Oklahoma only 29 points, but the Sooners boomed in the 2nd half, running away with the game by shooting 56% in the 2nd half. Keenan Evans put up 19 in the loss. He was the only Red Raider in double digits. Things got brighter for the Raiders, as they got their biggest win of the season on Saturday, a 72-71 win over West Virginia. Tech shot 50% from the field, and were led by Keenan Evans 20 points. Tech senior forward Zach Smith has a broken foot, and may not play for the rest of the season. The Red Raiders travel to Texas and Iowa State this week. 

SMU MUSTANGS (12-6, 2-3 AAC)

Last week (0-1): L-Temple 66-64

This week: Wednesday @ Wichita State, Saturday vs. Tulane

SMU lost a shocker to Temple on Thursday, 66-64 in Dallas. The loss broke a 33-game home winning streak for SMU, which was the second longest streak in the country. Shake Milton led the Mustangs with 25 points. He hit 5 of his 6 free throws. The rest of the Ponies combined to shoot 4 of 11 from the stripe. SMU has now lost 3 straight games after a strong non-conference run and a 2-0 start to conference play. Things won’t get easier this week as SMU travels to play top-5 ranked Wichita State and return home for a revenge matchup against Tulane. 

LSU TIGERS (11-5, 2-2 SEC)

Last week (1-1): W-@ Arkansas 75-54, L-Alabama 74-66

This week: Tuesday vs. Georgia, Saturday @ Vanderbilt. 

On a night when LSU star Tremont Waters wasn’t at his best, senior forward Aaron Epps stepped up with 13 points and 11 rebounds in a 75-54 win over Arkansas. Waters, who had been on fire of late, had just 8 points on 3 of 10 shooting. LSU shot 53% from the field, holding the Hogs to just 33%. The LSU roller coaster hit another low against Alabama over the weekend, as the Tide took a 74-66 victory over the Tigers. Waters led the Tigers with 19 points, on just 5-13 shooting. The Tide bench outscored LSU’s 28-11. LSU gets Georgia at home before taking a road trip to Vanderbilt this week. 

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Many of the games have been hard to watch. Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

They say that breaking up is hard to do, then comes the rebuilding, and that's where the real pain happens. Last week, the 4-9 Rockets lost a tough game, 103-91, to the very average San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center. That night, Ben McLemore scored 21 points, while P.J. Tucker contributed four points.

Every other point for the Rockets was scored by a player who wasn't on the team last year. That's no way to build a fan base of young people, or older people, or anybody. Because of COVID restrictions, the Rockets can sell only 3,000 tickets to games, and they're still having to offer special deals like four tickets and four drinks (soda, water, wine or beer) for $79.

The night the Rockets fell to the Spurs, DeMarcus Cousins was out with an ankle injury (surprise), John Wall was out with a sore knee (shock), and Eric Gordon sat with a lower leg injury (stunning). They were not sidelined by COVID protocol, it was age creakiness. All three are on the other side of 30. All have a history of missing games because of injuries. Danuel House also missed the game because of a bad back and COVID protocol.

The Rockets took to the floor with able-bodied Mason Jones, David Nwaba, Rodions Kurucs, Kenyon Martin Jr., Jae'Sean Tate and Christian Wood. They're nice players, for sure, they're on an NBA roster. But the NBA is a megastar-driven operation. How many of them would you recognize if they were standing behind you at Costco? The way the Rockets sign, trade and cut players, many or most of the current roster won't be around next year. Becoming a fan of a current Rocket is like falling in love with the Rug Doctor you rented for the weekend at a supermarket. It's going back Monday.

Last year, the head coach was Mike D'Antoni, the general manager was Daryl Morey. Both are established and respected figures in the league. Would you recognize the Rockets new coach Stephen Silas? Can you even name the Rockets new general manager?

And that's how you sink to 14th place in the Western Conference standings, inevitably a lottery team, the end to the Rockets' eight-year run of making the playoffs … the longest current streak in the NBA. The 2021 Rockets aren't just a lousy product, it's worse, they're a boring team. Gordon and Tucker, maybe the two most popular Rockets veterans, are rumored to be traded soon. Fans will have abandonment issues.

Maybe the Rockets should offer something stiffer than beer on "Guys Night Out" next Thursday when the Portland Trail Blazers visit Toyota Center. Good seats available.

That's not what you want to see

Did you see where the New York Mets fired their general manager Jared Porter because he sent explicit, uninvited, unanswered text messages to a female reporter?. Porter absolutely deserved to lose his job. What he did was awful and cruel. More than just losing his job, he should be committed to a home for the terminally stupid. Who does something that moronic? So unconscionable and abusive, on top of being job-killing.

But not all junk shots are meant to be hurtful – here's one that's actually funny, and totally inadvertent and innocent. Several years ago, a local sportscaster not only took a photo of his naked, anatomically correct body, he posted it on Facebook for all of his friends, indeed the world, to see. I won't name the local sportscaster because he was the victim of his own innocent lack of focus. It could have happened to anybody. Not me, thankfully, but anybody else.

Here's how it happened. The sportscaster was taking a shower, and when he emerged, he noticed his kitten curled up in the bathroom sink. Aw, isn't that cute? The sportscaster grabbed his phone and took a photo.

And posted it on Facebook. He didn't notice that, in the background of the photo, in the mirror, was his naked body. You can't say he was butt naked because it was full frontal nudity. You can't say it was a wardrobe malfunction because there was no wardrobe involved. Fortunately his wife noticed the mishap and told the sportscaster to delete the photo.

Here's the real problem, and his solid alibi. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put huge, wide mirrors in the bathroom, especially opposite the bath tub? There's a good look, you're naked, dripping wet, with patches of soap you missed rinsing off. This should be a fleeting disturbing image, not one to be preserved on film or online. Solution: don't bring your phone, or any photographic equipment, into the bathroom. We've all taken accidental photos. Nobody needs to see a photo of your disgusting body. You are not Michelangelo's statue of David. I don't let my dog watch me take a shower or any other business conducted in the bathroom. There is a reason that bathroom doors have locks. Use them.

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