This Friday, there is an NCAAB matchup between the BYU Cougars and the Houston Cougars. This will be the first meeting between these teams this season and it will take place at the Fertitta Center.
BYU Looks For First Road WinThe BYU Cougars have been pretty good up to this point in the season. The Cougars have won two of their first three games including a five-point victory against Southern Utah at home in its last game. In that game, BYU's defense was amazing as it only allowed 63 points while forcing the opposition into committing 18 turnovers. However, all of those games occurred at home as BYU now has to travel for the first time this season in pursuit of a victory. To make matters worse, it has to face off against a team that is currently undefeated and is known for having a very noticeable home-court advantage. If BYU plans on winning this tough road game, its defense will need to continue playing well.
Leading the Cougars offensively is senior guard Jake Toolson who looked solid this season. He is currently averaging a team-high 15.7 points per game along with 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He is also extremely efficient as he is shooting 85.7% from the foul line so he has the ability to ice games late when given the opportunity. That free throw shooting ability might come in handy late if this game comes down to the wire.
BYU's most underrated player is senior guard TJ Hawswho has been okay so far this season. He is currently averaging 13.3 points per game along with 3.3 assists. However, Haws is only shooting 44.4% from the floor and 30.0% from the three-point line which is a major decline from last season. Now, he will look to get back on track in a hostile environment on Friday night.
Houston Looks For Another Home WinThe Houston Cougars have been great up to this point in the season despite a very small sample size. The Cougars managed to beat Alabama State by 26 points at home in its only game so far. In that game, Houston's defense was amazing as it only allowed 56 points while forcing the opposition to shoot just 34.7% from the floor. However, BYU is significantly better than Alabama State so this game will be a better test to determine just how good this season's Houston team actually is in comparison to last season's team that lost in the Sweet 16 to Kentucky. Luckily, this game will also be at home where Houston has thrived over the last few years so it should be able to get the victory with the support of the crowd.
Leading the Cougars offensively is freshman guard Marcus Sasser who looked solid this season. He is currently averaging a team-high 14.0 points per game along with 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists. He is also extremely efficient as he is shooting 55.6% from the floor and 57.1% from the three-point line. Now, he will face the first real test in his college career as he will look to lead his team to another home victory.
Houston's most underrated player is freshman guard Caleb Millswho has been okay so far this season. He is currently averaging 7.0 points per game along with 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists so he has been involved in a variety of ways. However, Haws is only shooting 28.6% from the floor and 20.0% from the three-point line so he definitely has room to improve. If he develops more consistency with his shot, he has the ability to become a very solid college basketball player.
Trends found on Covers.com, are:
- Cougars are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Cougars are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 Friday games.
- Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- Cougars are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.