An Off Game And An Odd Game

The Temple game was the ultimate aberration. While the Coogs have come out sloppy in some games this year, they’ve ultimately righted the ship. This Houston team did not seem focused, did not seem ready to play, and never snapped themselves out of it.

The Cougars never put together a real run, either: Houston never led by more than 3 points. That’s strange. It was the first time this season UH did not lead at the half.
 

 
Houston started this season winning nine in a row before falling to Alabama, then won 9 more in a row and fell to Temple. If that pattern holds, the Coogs will win nine straight then fall to Wichita State on Senior Night, then win nine straight and fall in the national title game.
 

 
My basketball conspiracy theory is that refs that work 4-5-6 days in a row will call a choppy, no-flow game because they have tired legs. You see a lot of that on Sundays and we’ve seen it in the past with other refs.

On Sunday, though, UH had something I’d never found before: referee Ron Groover worked a game for the 10th straight day (in 9 different states). Sunday’s crew allowed no flow to the game and virtually every time they went down the floor three times, a whistle would blow.

Ron Groover is tired, y’all // Photo by Mario Puente

UH has not played well in no-flow games this season: Kent State, USF, Alabama, and Temple. In the last four games UH has played where both teams have 20+ fouls, UH has struggled, going 2-2 and shooting only 60% from the line (62/103). The Cougars have missed 13, 8, 10, and 10 free throws in those games.
 

 
Temple made 14 field goals in the game. Fifteen times this year, UH has beaten a team that has made more than 15. Two other teams made 14 field goals against UH this season: Oral Roberts (they lost by 38) and UNF (lost by 34).
 

 
Over the last 19 years, since Tom Penders’ first season in Houston, I cannot find any game where a team made just 14 field goals and beat UH.
 

 
Fewest FG that UH has given up in a loss in the Kelvin Sampson era (2014-Present):

FGOpponentDate
14Temple1/22/2023
15Villanova3/26/2023
18Memphis2/22/2020
19Tulsa1/11/20
19Arkansas-Pine Bluff12/17/14

 

 
Free throw make/miss – first half and second of Temple:

1st Half
make
miss
miss
make
miss
make
miss
 

2nd Half
miss
make
miss
make
make
miss
miss
miss
make
make

make*
miss
make
make

*first-time UH made both FTs in a possession
 

 
UH has been #1 twice this year and both stints have lasted two weeks.
 

 
Houston will try to shake this off. The team meets for film study and then practice this afternoon (and possibly more film after practice). With a short turnaround before flying to Orlando on Tuesday, I don’t believe it will be a grinding practice.

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Ryan Monceaux
Ryan Monceauxhttp://www.hounil.com
Ryan is the publisher of GoCoogs. He is also a real estate agent and entrepreneur.
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