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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

November 25, 2011 at 6:15 AM

Scouting report: Houston Baptist

tyler russell vs uw.jpg
Scouting report: Houston Baptist
Game info: 3 p.m. Friday at Edmundson Pavilion
TV: None
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM
Record: 2-3.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Coach: Ron Cottrell 398-258 in his 21st season as Huskies coach.
Prediction: Picked to finish tied for fifth by league coaches in the six-team Great West.
Series: This is the first meeting between Houston Baptist and Washington.
Previous game: All five HBU starters scored in double figures in the Huskies’ 88-83 victory over Cal State Fullerton for an 88-83 victory in the Beryl Shipley Classic Sunday at the Cajundome.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Freshman guard Tyler Russell (right) scored a career-high 20 points and pulled down a career-high six rebounds in Sunday’s victory. He was named the Great West Conference Player of the Week after helping the Huskies to a 2-2 record last week. In the past four games he averaged 14.5 points and 3.8 rebounds, while shooting 48.9 percent from the field, 46.2 percent from beyond the arc and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. Russell was recently inserted into the starting lineup and came off the bench in the first four games.
— At 6 feet 11 and 275 pounds, fifth-year senior forward Joe Latas is the biggest player and most experienced player for the Huskies. The Cleveland native spent his first three years at Cleveland State before transferring to HBU. He sat out last season. He sank a game-winner in the final second to give the Huskies their first victory this season, a 76-74 overtime win over Bethune-Cookman.
Photo credit: Houston Baptist


OVERVIEW:
— Houston Baptist was hurt by injuries last season and stumbled to 5-26 record and a last-place finish in the Great West conference after it was picked as the favorite to win league title.
— The Huskies return one starter and five letter winners. They start three freshmen guards and four newcomers average at least 17 minutes.
— HBU lost 76.7 percent of its scoring from last season when Andrew Gonzalez graduated. He was sixth in the nation at a 22.9 points per game.
— Four HBU players are averaging double figure scoring, but none more than Latas’ 12.6 points per game. HBU is averaging 73.2 points per game and allowing 78.4. The Huskies are getting out-rebounded 38.4 to 33.8.
— Senior 6-7 forward Terry Bembry, who averaged 6.7 boards per game last season, is the top returning rebounder. He started the first four games.
— Cottrell is known for his up-tempo offense and pressure defense, a philosophy he learned from his mentor, former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson. The Huskies play a 10-man rotation. Everyone averages at least 9.4 minutes. None of the starters average more than 26 minutes per game.
— HBU is leaving the Great West and will join the Southland next season.
— The Huskies are entering their first year of full NCAA Division I membership since Cottrell resurrected the HBU men’s basketball program in 1991. During the NAIA years, the Huskies won nine consecutive Red River Athletic Conference championships and competed in the NAIA national tournament 10 straight years. Cottrell built the basketball program into one of national prominence, perennially ranked in the NAIA Top 25 and finishing the season as one of the NAIA’s top 10 teams six times.
— In addition to his coaching duties, Cottrell is also the associate director of athletics. He was also served as HBU’s athletic director for 15 years.
— HBU has a 2,200 student enrollment and its home court Sharp Gym has a 1,000 seat capacity.
STARTING LINEUP:
F – Joe Latas, 6-11, 275, Sr., 12.6 ppg., 7.6 rpg.
G – Marcus Davis, 6-5, 190, Jr., 11.0, 3.8
G – Ronald March, 6-5, 170, Fr., 12.2, 4.2
G – Tyler Russell, 6-0, 180, Fr., 12.0, 3.6
G – Marcel Smith, 5-6, 160, Fr., 8.4, 1.8 apg
KEY MATCHUP:
— Washington will have a size advantage in the back court and at power forward. If Houston Baptist tries to run and gun with UW, then that favors the home team Huskies who are looking to rebound from last week’s embarrassing defeat at Saint Louis. Abdul Gaddy doesn’t need a big game, but he struggled in his last outing and he should be able to be effective on both ends of the court against Smith. Perhaps the most intriguing battle will be in the middle between 7 foot center Aziz N’Diaye and Latas. N’Diaye had difficulty defensively in the previous game and Latas is capable of putting up big numbers. He had 19 points and 14 rebounds in HBU’s first win.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, top 25

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