Three things Duke basketball fans should know about Houston

Duke fans may not know a lot about Houston so let's take a deeper look at the Blue Devils' Sweet 16 opponent.

Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson reacts with guard Emanuel
Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson reacts with guard Emanuel / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

Duke may have a height advantage over Houston but the Cougars are tough in the post

Another interesting aspect of the Cougars' roster is that they don't have much height. In fact, they have no player over 6-foot-9.

Thus, Duke fans might be prone to believe that 7-footer Kyle Filipowski might be able to dominate inside. That will be easier said than done, though.

Earlier this year, Houston held Baylor center and potential NBA Draft pick Yves Missi, a dynamic 7-foot freshman, to just two points on 1-5 shooting. What's more, in the regular-season finale, Houston held 7-foot-2 Kansas star center Hunter Dickinson to just 11 points on 5-10 shooting.

The key for Houston is that their big men are stocky and strong. Ja'Vier Francis is 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, and J'Wan Roberts and Joseph Tuggler are both around 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds. Meanwhile, Cedric Lath is their biggest player at 6-foot-9, 265 pounds.

What will be telling in this game is whether or not Filipowski can get his perimeter game going. He is quicker than the Houston big men and he could have success by drawing them away from the rim to open up driving lanes for himself and open up the lane for his teammates.

If Filipowski has to do most of his work with his back to the basket, though, it could be a long day given how brutal the Cougars are when playing defense in the paint. Of course, how this game is officiated will be key as well because the officials will have to decide how much contact they will let the Cougars get away with.

So don't just assume that this shorter Houston team can be taken advantage of in the post. They are a pack of dogs down low and they swarm the paint like few teams in the country can. Filipowski had better bring all the fight he has to this contest because it will be grown men only down low.