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Hughey and Coogs announce non-conference schedule; "We have to continue to make the jump."

August 3, 2018

The Houston Cougars Women’s Basketball program will play 13 non-conference games, including 5 home contests, during the 2018-19 season, Head Coach Ronald Hughey announced Friday.

Houston will play during the month of November inside Health & Physical Education (H&PE) Arena on the campus of nearby Texas Southern University before opening the $60-million Fertitta Center against Texas A&M, out of the Southeastern Conference, Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

2018-'19 Houston Cougars women's hoops Non-Conference Schedule

Date Opponent Location
Tue., November 6 at California Berkeley, California
Fri., November 9 Georgia Tech H & PE Arena
Wed., November 14 at Louisiana Tech Ruston, Lousiana
Fri., November 16 Boston College H & PE Arena
Sun., November 18at Incarnate Word San Antonio, TX
Wed., November 21 at Columbia Columbia, New York
Satu., November 24 New Mexico H & PE Arena
Wed., November 28 at Florida Gulf Coast Fort Myers, Florida
Sat., December 1 at East Tennessee State Johnson City, Tennessee
Wed., December 5 Texas A&M Fertitta Center
Mon., December 17 Texas - Arlington Fertitta Center
Fri., December 21 at George Mason Fairfax, Virginia
Sun., December 30 at Southern Miss Hattiesburg, Mississippi

The HRR: Coach, this non-conference schedule looks to be the most difficult non-conference schedule you've had in your time at UH. Have you lost your mind?

Coach Hughey: Well, Kris, we actually found our mind. Our competitive mind!

Before we get to the games, our first scrimmage is against Oklahoma State. If you want to get better, you've got to go and practice against the best. We're also scrimmaging against Mississippi State.

The HRR: Oklahoma State is in the Big 12. Mississippi State is in the SEC. The only Power 5 Conference not represented is the Big Ten.

You open the non-conference schedule with Cal from the Pac-12 and Georgia Tech from the ACC.

That's a tough start to the season.

Coach Hughey: Exactly.

The HRR: Glancing at the schedule again. You've got Florida Gulf Coast, too. This is not last year's schedule.

Coach Hughey (laughing): Not at all. And, again, we put it together because we knew we had all the players who score, rebound, got deflections, all of that, were coming back (this season).

And, we're adding a talented freshmen class and a talented juco (junior college) player. We knew we could challenge them to the best of our abilities; and, they would be up for it.

The HRR: This non-conference schedule goes to what you've mentioned previously about your goal to reach the Sweet 16. One of the things the NCAA Committee looks at is non-conference strength of schedule. This schedule should take care of that.

The non-conference schedule plus the four conference games against UConn and South Florida -- two top 25 teams -- means you, the coaching staff, and the players have their work cut out to do this season.

Give me some thoughts on this schedule overall.

Coach Hughey: We're real excited about the schedule. With scheduling, you have to want to play people; and, people have to want to play you.

This schedule wasn't forced upon us. We have total control over it. It was great to be able to get these teams.

Our administration and our staff said the same thing: 'You picked up the challenges.'

At some point, you have to make the jump. We went from six wins to 12 wins. We made the jump. We went from 12 wins to 20 wins. We made the jump. We have to continue to make the jump. Why not go from 20 wins to 25, 26 wins and get to the Sweet 16?

Make the jump.

The HRR: What will it take for the team to make that jump?

Coach Hughey: Some things will have to happen for us: of course, we have to be healthy. We're knocking on wood everyday.

We're working and training hard. We're doing a lot of pre-hab stuff and making sure we don't run into any problems (with injuries) like that. Trying to take care of our part with nutrition as well to limit injuries

Secondly, you have to have a little luck. We have to live right and do some things.

Thirdly, you have to have your kids respond with the things we call our core values. They have to have a relentless effort every, single day. No one is going to be able to coach your effort.

Fourth, you have to have an elite attitude. Every day. Nobody is going to here to have to push you in everything. Players have to be accountable to each other.

They have to be disciplined which is something we lacked last year.

You've got to be able to take care of those things.

Lastly, you've got to have character. At the end of the day, those qualities are what will carry you through life, through any kind of job, any kind of perseverance and things like that. Those core values for us are things we're looking forward to help us push through to get to the goals and aspirations that we have and the destination we have for this year on top of having a little luck and staying away from injuries.

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