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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailHOUSTON-Friday, for the first time in the Mark Pope era, BYU men’s basketball (2-1) hits the road as they battle the Houston Cougars (1-0) for a 7:00 pm MST tip-off at the Fertitta Center.After outlasting an athletic and long Southern Utah squad, 68-63 Wednesday, BYU will face another athletic squad in Houston.Pope is 2-1 in his young BYU head coaching career and is currently 79-57 (.581) as a Division I men’s head basketball coach.BYU currently scores 71.7 points per game, which ties them for 207th nationally with Bethune-Cookman and Virginia Commonwealth.Senior guard Jake Toolson (15.7 points) is leading the Cougars in the stead of senior forward Yoeli Childs, who is currently serving an NCAA-mandated 9-game suspension. The transfer from Utah Valley also leads the squad in free throw percentage (.857).Also picking up the slack for the Cougars are senior guard TJ Haws (13.3 points per game) and redshirt junior guard Alex Barcello (12 points per game). Barcello’s 7 steals and 2 blocks also lead the squad, making him a versatile and valuable player for Pope.Defensively, BYU surrenders 65.7 points per game, ranking them 142nd nationally. This ties the Cougars with Saint Louis, Boston U., Appalachian State and Saint John’s.The Houston Cougars are coming off an 84-56 rout of the Alabama State Hornets of the Southwest Athletic Conference Tuesday in their only game of the season to date.Houston is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who has excelled everywhere he has been in college basketball.He is currently in his sixth season coaching the Cougars and is 117-52 (.692) at Houston. In stints at Washington State (1987-1994), Oklahoma (1994-2006), Indiana (2006-2008) and Houston (2008-present), he is 542-279 (.660).The Cougars’ 84 points per game currently has them tied for 57th nationally in scoring offense. They are tied with Saint Louis, Lipscomb, Southern Utah, Towson, Campbell, Maryland and Portland State. Houston shot 51.6 percent from the field against Alabama State, which ranks them 31st nationally.Presently, Houston is led by freshman guard Marcus Sasser (14 points per game) and sophomore guard Quentin Grimes (13 points, 5 rebounds per game).Defensively, the Cougars giving up 56 points to the Hornets has them ranked 33rd nationally in scoring defense. They are tied with Texas-Rio Grande Valley, Dartmouth and Northern Colorado.Oddly enough, the Cougars have no blocked shots on the season but Houston’s defensive leader is redshirt freshman guard Caleb Mills, as he had two steals Tuesday against Alabama State.Houston leads this all-time battle of the Cougars 5-2, including a 2-0 mark at Houston in the series. Tags: BYU Men’s Basketball/Cougars/Houston Basketball Written by November 14, 2019 /Sports News – Local BYU Men’s Basketball Visits Houston Friday In Battle of Cougars Brad Jameslast_img read more