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No. 21 BYU Basketball Hosts Defensive Power No. 4 Houston

Jan 22, 2024, 1:42 PM

BYU forward Jaxson Robinson pre-game against Iowa State in the Marriott Center...

BYU forward Jaxson Robinson pre-game against Iowa State in the Marriott Center (Courtesy of BYU Photo)

(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – After suffering a tough road loss against Texas Tech, No. 21 BYU turns its attention to one of the conference’s best teams, the No. 4 Houston Cougars.

Houston is coming to the Marriott Center after putting together a defensive masterpiece against UCF. They held the Knights to 42 points.

On the offensive side of the ball, they are led by senior LJ Cryer. He’s averaging 15.2 points per game.

Texas Tech scored more points (53) against BYU in the second half compared to the entire offensive output from UCF against Houston.

BYU/Houston Series History

Houston leads the all-time series 5-3. The last meeting was a thrilling one for BYU when T.J. Haws hit a ridiculous fallaway jumper at the buzzer to secure the win.

Things have changed drastically for Houston basketball since that last meeting in 2019.

Last season, Houston earned the number one overall seed in the NCAA tournament. They lost in the Sweet Sixteen to the Miami Hurricanes after winning 33 games.

Point guard Jamal Shead was named Big 12 conference player of the week for Houston after averaging over 19 points per game last week in wins against Texas Tech and UCF. He’s the first Houston player to win that award.

Head coach Kelvin Sampson has installed one of the nation’s most suffocating defenses. The Cougar’s defense is number in scoring defense, scoring margin, and turnover margin.

It will be a massive challenge for BYU to get a win at home.

BYU vs. Houston: How To Watch, Listen

Location: Marriott Center

City: Provo, Utah

Tip-Off: 7 p.m. (MT)/9 p.m. (ET)

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM )

What you need to know about BYU Basketball

  • The Cougars went 1-1 last week with a ranked win over Iowa State, and a loss against Texas Tech.
  • They slipped one spot in the AP poll from 20 to 21.
  • BYU remains top three in the country in the following categories: assist-to-turnover ratio, assists per game, three-point makes per game, and scoring margin.

  • BYU has left at the half in 51 games under head coach Mark Pope. They are 49-2 in those games. Both losses have come against ranked teams (Gonzaga in 2021, Texas Tech in 2024)
  • The average margin of defeat in four losses this season is 7.8 PPG.
  • BYU’s ranking in the NET is 5th.
  • BYU’s ranking in KenPom is 10th.

Personnel Notes for BYU Basketball

Noah Waterman will be a game-time decision after suffering a concussion against Iowa State. He returned to the game against the Cyclones but was unavailable against Texas Tech. Richie Saunders learned he was starting in his place two hours before tipoff.

Fousseyni Traore is also a game-time decision. He logged 12 minutes against the Red Raiders after not playing against Iowa State.

Trevin Knell remains a game-time decision after suffering a foot injury against UCF earlier in conference play. He played 17 minutes scoring six points against Texas Tech.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter @baiamontematt here.

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No. 21 BYU Basketball Hosts Defensive Power No. 4 Houston