Houston’s final season as a member of the American Athletic Conference could be one to remember even after losing three of its top four scorers.
Having Marcus Stasser for more than 12 games will be a huge help as will the arrivals of transfers Mylik Wilson and Sadarius Bowser. Add in a top-15 recruiting class and this is not going to be a fun team to deal with during the 2022-23 season.
When looking at the college basketball playoff odds, Houston (+1000) is fourth in the odds to win the national title.
Houston came in at No. 3 in both the Associated Press and Coaches poll. The Cougars picked up one first-place vote in each of the national polls.
Houston was picked to win the AAC title for the fourth season in a row and received first-place votes from each of the head coaches from the other conference teams.
- 2021-22 record: 32-6
- 2021-22 American Athletic Conference Record: 15-3
- Coach: Kelvin Sampson
- Odds to win national title: +1000
Sasser was averaging 17.7 points, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game when his season came to an end a season ago. He went off for 25 points in a one-point loss to Alabama so he will be a player worth keeping an eye on. Per the college basketball betting lines, he is priced at +850 in the odds to win the national player of the year.
Losing Kyler Edwards, Fabian White Jr. and Josh Carlton means that the Cougars will need to replace 38 points and 14.4 rebounds per game.
Taze Moore also began his professional career leaving Houston without four double-digit scorers from a season ago.
Tramon Mark, who averaged 10.1 points, 2.4 assists and 1.4 assists in seven games, will be coming back. Jamal Shead (10 points, 5.8 assists, 2.6 steals), Reggie Chaney, Jawan Roberts and Ramon Walker Jr. also averaged more than 10 minutes per game.
Freshman Jarace Walker is being touted as a potential top-10 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Fellow forward Terrance Arceneaux and guard Emanuel Sharp are other incoming freshmen.
— Josh Criswell (@criswell_sports) October 31, 2022
Former Texas Tech guard Mylik Wilson and Charleston Southern forward Sadarius Bowser both transferred in.
Houston Cougars Outlook
Even with Sasser and Mark playing in a combined total of 19 games, Houston won 32 games and reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament before falling to Villanova. The Cougars’ offense was held to 44 points as the missing pieces were felt. Three of Houston’s five losses during the regular season were by two points or less.
Houston will be heading into the Big 12 next season so the goal this season is to sweep both the regular season and tournament titles in the American Athletic Conference. There is more than enough talent to make that happen.
With games at Oregon and Virginia, at home against Alabama, at a neutral site against Saint Mary’s should prepare the Cougars for the conference portion of the schedule.
Houston will begin 2023 by playing in-state rival Southern Methodist followed three days later by a trip to Cincinnati. The Cougars will play Memphis in two of the final five games of the regular season and it is quite possible those contests will decide the AAC’s regular-season title.
Something to consider for those who bet online: Houston is 45-3 at home over the last three seasons. The Cougars covered in 10 of the last 12 games during the 2021-22 campaign.
2022-23 Houston Schedule
- Season opener: vs Northern Colorado, Nov. 7, 8 p.m. ET
- American Athletic Conference opener: at Tulsa, Dec. 28, 9 p.m. ET
Other Games to Watch
- vs Saint Joseph’s (at Annapolis, Md.), Nov. 11, 6 p.m. ET
- vs Oral Roberts, Nov. 14, 7 p.m. ET
- at Oregon, Nov. 20, 9:30 p.m. ET
- vs Saint Mary’s (at Fort Worth, TX), 8:30 p.m. ET
- vs Alabama, Dec. 10, 3 p.m. ET
- at Virginia, Dec. 17, 1 p.m. ET
- vs UCF, Dec. 31, 2 p.m. ET
- vs Southern Methodist, Jan. 5, 6 p.m. ET
- at Cincinnati, Jan. 8, 2 p.m. ET
- at Tulane, Dec. 17, 6 p.m. ET
- at UCF, Jan. 25, 6 p.m. ET
- vs Cincinnati, Jan. 28, 1:15 p.m. ET
- vs Tulsa, Feb. 8, 7 p.m. ET
- at Southern Methodist, Feb. 16, 6 p.m. ET
- vs Memphis, Feb. 19, 2 p.m. ET
- at Tulane, Feb. 22, 8 p.m. ET
- at Memphis, Mar. 4, 11 a.m. ET