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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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UPDATED: August 13, 2023 -- 4:55 a.m. CT

POSTED: August 2, 2023 -- 2:05 p.m. CT

The Houston Cougars Men's Basketball program will take an international tour Down Under as it soon begins a 12-day trip with four games in Australia.

The Cougars will compete in four games and visit Australian sites over nine days after departing Houston on the evening of Aug. 4. After flying four hours to San Francisco, Houston will fly almost 7,500 miles (or nearly 16 hours) to Sydney, Australia's largest city.

For Coogs fans preparing to follow the team on its social media suites, the east coast of Australia is 15 hours ahead of Houston (When it is 1 p.m. (CDT) in Houston, it will be 4 a.m. (AEST) the next day in Australia.)

This will be the third international tour for the Cougars under Head Coach Kelvin Sampson with previous trips to Italy (2019) and China (2015). However, it will be the program's first visit to the Southern Hemisphere.


Houston will play four games against Australian competition on the tour with one game in Sydney, one game in Cairns (pronounced Kehns) and the final two contests in Melbourne.

The Cougars will play under FIBA rules with four 10-minute quarters and a 24-second shot clock.

The Cougars meet the East All-Stars at 7 p.m. (AEST)/4 a.m. (CDT) Monday, Aug. 7, inside the Shore School Gymnasium in Sydney. After a flight to Cairns, the Cougars take on the Australian National Team at 10 a.m. (AEST) Wednesday, Aug. 9/7 p.m. (CDT) Tuesday, Aug. 8, at Cairns State High School.

Houston takes on the Frankston Blues from the NBL1 South at 7 p.m. (AEST)/4 a.m. (CDT), Saturday, Aug. 12, inside Dreamstreet Lending Arena. The Cougars close their international competition against the Australia Select Team at 6 p.m. (AEST)/3 a.m. (CDT) Sunday, Aug. 13, inside Keilor Basketball Stadium with both of those games in Melbourne.

Houston Cougars Men's Basketball Games in Australia

(schedule subject to change)

Time (CT)
Aug. 7 Mon W, 93-52. East All-Stars Shore School Gym YouTube link
Aug. 9 Wed L, 99-65. Australian National Team Cairns State High School No streaming
Aug. 12 Sat W, 109-64. Frankston Blues Dreamstreet Lending Arena Live stream
Aug. 13 Sun W, 88-50. Australia Select Keilor Basketball Stadium YouTube link


In addition to the games, the Cougars will enjoy visits to many Australian attractions on their tour.

The team will visit the Sydney Opera House – one of the nation's most familiar landmarks – on its first day in Australia (Aug. 6) with a trip to Manly Beach the next morning (Aug. 7).

The Cougars also will take an excursion on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef, home of the world's largest reef system and more than 30 species of whale, dolphin and porpoise and more than 1,500 species of fish on Aug. 10.

On Aug. 11, Houston will enjoy the Melbourne Football Club's Australian Rules Football game that evening. The Cougars also will visit the Melbourne Zoo on Aug. 13 with a dinner cruise of the Sydney Harbor set for Aug. 14.

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