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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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PREVIEW: Houston Cougars at Wichita State Shockers

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POSTED: January 18, 2020 -- 12:35 p.m. CT

The Houston Cougars face the Wichita State Shockers today (January 18) at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Both teams are 3-1 in American Athletic Conference play. Based on each team's stats through the first four conference games, today's game should be close.

Houston (13-4 overall, 3-1 AAC) has scored 72.0 points per game in AAC play while Wichita State (15-2, 3-1) scored 73.3 points per game. Houston has allowed AAC opponents to score 65.5 ppg while Wichita State has given up 71.8 ppg to AAC foes.

Both teams have balanced scoring attacks. Houston's Caleb Mills is scoring 15.5 ppg to lead the Coogs. DeJon is next scoring 12.0 ppg followed by Nate Hinton's 11.5 ppg. Fabian White Jr averages 9.8 ppg; however, in Houston's 71-62 win over SMU Wednesday night, White scored 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Jamarius Burton leads the Shockers scoring 15.0 ppg followed by center Jaime Echenique's 11.3 ppg and guard Erik Stevenson's 11.3 ppg. Dexter Dennis is next scoring 9.7 ppg.

In AAC games, Houston has made 98 of 239 field goal attempts (41.0 fg%) and 65 of 90 free throw attempts (72.2 ft%). The Coogs have made just 27 of 91 three-point attempts (27.9 3pt%).

Wichita State has made 98 of 262 field goal attempts (37.4 fg%) and 71 of 104 (68.3 ft%). The Shockers have made 26 of 89 three-point attempts (29.2 3pt%).

On average, Houston has out-rebounded conference opponents 44.0 to 33.0 while Wichita State has been out-rebounded 42.8 to 39.8.

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As of games played through January 17, Wichita State has a NCAA NET ranking of 16 while Houston's NET ranking is 44.

Last season, the NCAA moved to its NET metric (NCAA Evaluation Tool) to replace the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) as the primary sorting tool for evaluating teams during the Division I men's basketball season.

Wichita State is 1-2 in Quadrant 1; 4-0 in Quadrant 2; 3-0 in Quadrant 3; and 7-0 in Quadrant 4. Houston is 2-1 in Quadrant 1; 2-2 in Quadrant 2; 6-1 in Quadrant 3; and 3-0 in Quadrant 4.


The NCAA men's basketball committee divides all 350 plus Division 1 men's basketball teams into 4 quadrants: Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. Each quadrant consists of rankings which also depend on whether the game is at home, on the road, or at a neutral site.

Quadrant 1 (Q1) rankings:

Quadrant 2 (Q2) rankings:

Quadrant 3 (Q3) rankings:

Quadrant 4 (Q4) rankings:

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