Houston Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Houston Cougars

American (23-8, 13-5)

Houston played very well in what turned out to be a pretty tough American Athletic Conference. The Cougars finished the season in a tie for first place in the conference pecking order and spent a good portion of the season ranked in the top 25. With their tough defense and ability to hit the glass effectively, this is a Houston squad that has the tools to win a couple games in the NCAA Tournament.
Big Wins: 1/18 at Wichita State (65-54), 3/1 Cincinnati (68-55), 3/7 Memphis (64-57)
Bad Losses: 12/15 Oklahoma State (55-61), 1/11 at Tulsa (61-63), 2/15 at SMU (72-73)
Coach: Kelvin Sampson
Why They Can Surprise:
Coach Kelvin Sampson’s team is going to play tough defense. And they are going to hit the glass hard. Both of those are a team effort, but the emergence of Chris Harris, the lone senior on the team, has helped keep Houston as one of the top teams in the nation in those two categories. His ability to block shots provides the Cougars with a much needed playmaker in the paint. Fellow forward Fabian White will help out on the glass too, but it is guard Nate Hinton who easily leads this team in rebounding. At 6-5, Hinton is a big guard who can score from anywhere on the floor and use his athleticism to play great defense as well.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Houston has quite a few scoring options. Caleb Mills, Quentin Grimes, DeJon Jarreau and Marcus Sasser join Hinton as quality scoring options. This group can be inconsistent offensively though and that is in part due to their youth. Jarreau is the only upperclassmen of that bunch and Harris is the only senior on the roster. That does bode well for the future and Houston could spend the next two seasons as the team to beat in the American Athletic Conference, but for now it will be a concern heading into the NCAA Tournament. Most of these players have Sweet Sixteen experience from last season, but that was as roleplayers. Now they will have to take center stage in the bright lights of March.
Probable Starters:
Nate Hinton, Sophomore, Guard, 10.6 ppg, 2.0 apg, 8.7 rpg
Quentin Grimes, Sophomore, Guard, 12.1 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3.7 rpg
Marcus Sasser, Freshman, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 1.7 apg
Fabian White, Junior, Forward, 9.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Chris Harris, Senior, Center, 4.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.0 bpg
Key Role Players:
Justin Gorham, Junior, Forward, 3.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
DeJon Jarreau, Junior, Guard, 9.0 ppg, 3.7 apg, 4.3 rpg
Caleb Mills, Freshman, Guard, 13.2 ppg, 1.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.3 (133rd in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.1 (11, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.2 (256, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.3 (7, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (204, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.7 (159, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.0 (106, 3)
Rebound Margin: 9.5 (1, 1)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (193, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (70, 2)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2019NCAARound of 64 win over Georgia State
2019NCAARound of 32 win over Ohio State
2019NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Kentucky
2018NCAARound o f 64 win over San Diego State
2018NCAARound of 32 loss to Michigan
2017NITFirst Round loss to Akron
2016NITFirst Round loss to Georgia Tech
2013CBIFirst Round win over Texas
2013CBIQuarterfinal loss to George Mason
2010NCAARound of 64 loss to Maryland
2009CBIFirst Round loss to Oregon State
2008CBIFirst Round win over Nevada
2008CBISecond Round win over Valparaiso
2008CBISemifinal loss to Tulsa
2006NITFirst Round win over BYU
2006NITSecond Round loss to Missouri State
2005NITOpening Round loss to Wichita State
*all team stats through 3/8