This article is part of our College Hoops Barometer series.
As we approach the midway point of the college basketball season and head into the meat of conference play, the cream appears to be rising to the top. Familiar schools litter the top 25, albeit with a few exceptions. We've already talked about the Buffalo Bulls in previous columns, but have not yet mentioned the Houston Cougars. Those that follow college basketball know Houston made the NCAA Tournament last season, and even won a game. However, prior to last season, Houston had not won a tournament game since the days of Akeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Phi Slama Jama (1984). In fact, the Cougars have been to the big dance just twice in the last 25 years.
However, the Cougs are building off of last season's success, starting out the 2018-2019 campaign with 14-straight wins. Corey Davis Jr. and Armoni Brooks lead as upperclassmen, but Houston has nine players managing at least 14 minutes per game, including UMass transfer Dejon Jarreau and highly touted freshman Nate Hinton. The Cougars are deep, experienced and talented. While UCF and Cincinnati will also be powerhouses in the American Conference, the Cougars, who made the American Conference Title Game a season ago, could end up being the most dangerous of the bunch.
Happy New Year to all! The story of this college basketball season continues to unfold.
Romeo Langford, G, Indiana - Duke's trio of freshmen sensations has been getting all the publicity this season, but there are other first-year players with huge