Desperate to turn over a new leaf in the new year, West Virginia traveled to Houston to play the 3rd-ranked Cougars. Houston defeated WVU by a score of 89-55 in a game that got ugly early on. The Houston defense is as good as advertised. From the opening tip-off, they proved to be too much for the WVU Basketball offense to handle.
The lone bright spot for the Mountaineers was the performance of backup big man Patrick Suemnick. Suemnick followed up a season-high in minutes and points against Ohio State with a new season-high in both categories in the loss against Houston.
Patrick Suemnick : 12 points | 6-8 FG | 5 rebounds | 28 minutes
Big 12 newcomer Houston has their sights set on making it to Phoenix for the Final Four in April. This group is that good. Their defense is among the best in the nation. In addition, they have great guard play. Jamal Shead and Baylor transfer LJ Cryer lead the way for a potent Houston offense. Houston is legit, and at this point in the season, they have as good of a shot as anybody does at cutting down the nets in Phoenix.
In the 2022-23 season, the Cougars earned a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. They fell to Miami in the Sweet 16 and finished the season with a record of 33-4. Now part of the Big 12, Houston will be faced with a much more challenging schedule, but they have a roster talented enough to win the Big 12 under head coach Kelvin Sampson.