In an 83-36 thumping, there are a lot of individual performances to praise, but the overall team effort was the most impressive thing. The Cougars brought the energy and were ready to go against Northern Colorado. Last year’s Hofstra game was fresh on the team’s mind (UH trailed by 13 with 8:30 left before rallying and winning in OT), but there would be none of that on Monday night.
UH held Northern Colorado to 10 field goals, the second-fewest given up by UH in (at least) 15 years. Last year, ECU shot 8/50 at Fertitta.
To find another defensive lockdown like ECU and UNC, you must go back to Grambling making 12 shots on November 12, 2011. So it would be 12/11/12/11 … or something.
316 teams played last night and no one in the country made fewer than 13 shots last night. Except Northern Colorado.
The 39 field goal attempts by Northern Colorado tied the lowest by a Houston opponent since San Diego attempted 38 shots on 11/27/09, early in Tom Penders’ last season. Rice attempted 39 shots on January 28, 2015.
J’Wan Roberts is The Identity Guy: 12 points, six boards, and three steals in just 21 minutes.
Roberts had, by far, the best defensive rating in the game last night (points allowed by a player per 100 possessions). His rating of 41.9 was better than second-place Reggie Chaney by 15 points (Chaney was 56.9).
This season, GoCoogs is teaming with Sparkle to give out the Sparkle Glass Cleaner of the Game. Monday’s winner is Jarace Walker. Six offensive rebounds (12 total) in his first game set the standard for what he can be. Walker has bought into the culture and rebounded like a 5-star power forward should.
It took him a while to get going on the glass, but Jarace had eight boards in 6.5 minutes as the first half wound down. Two came on the same play – he rebounded two of his own misses. Having the fortitude to stick with the play twice a row is something. He may not have shot the ball well, but his hustle and rebounding were more than enough to get him praise by Kelvin Sampson.
Won’t find this elsewhere: The first play of the game, the alley-oop from Jamal Shead to Jarace, had been practiced several times on Sunday. Kelvin told the team that it would be the game’s first play – a chance to announce Jarace’s collegiate debut and get Fertitta rocking.
One problem: Jarace slipped.
That’s a Sportscenter Top-10 moment waiting to happen, but you have to finish the play.
UNC’s top shooters, Kountz (#1) and Johnson (#2), combined to average nearly 35 ppg last year on 49.7% shooting. But the Bear duo was mauled by Sasser and Shead in the opener. They shot a combined 3/16 (18.8%) from the floor for just 11 points on Monday.
Emanuel Sharp came in late and showed off his tight, electric shot. He finished with 11 points in eight minutes, but Sampson stomped his foot in frustration when Sharp entered the game and immediately gave up a layup on an out-of-bounds play. Kelvin even mentioned it in the postgame.
Sharp will be a big-time contributor at Houston for years to come, and that was a learning moment. Still, his shot is so compact, and he releases it so fast that he will get lots of chances to shoot it.
Lagniappe: Cam Tyson had 35 points on 7/12 shooting from beyond the arc in Seattle’s win over UCSD last night. Good for him – a good dude that just wanted to play more minutes. He’s flourishing at Seattle.
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