Houston Basketball: 2020-21 season preview for the Cougars

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The reasons why Houston Basketball will be featuring three new starters when the 2020-21 season tips off runs the gamut. Nate Hinton (10.6 PPG) declared for the NBA Draft following his sophomore season, fellow 31 game starter Fabian White Jr (9.3 PPG) has been ruled out for the entire season following surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee, and Chris Harris (4.1 PPG) started 20 of the 30 games he played as a senior.

The trio of Cougars that will be replacing the aforementioned players on the court at the start of each game will have starting experience stemming from last season.

Marcus Sasser ( 8.1 PPG) will once again run the offense for Coach Kelvin Sampson. Despite the fact that Sasser hit 35 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc last season, as a point guard, he averaged fewer than two assists per game, joining him in the backcourt will be the Cougars leading scorer 6’3 Caleb Mills.

The 2020-21 season saw Mills start just seven games while averaging 13.1 points. The consequence of Mills in the starting line-up is a completely new frontcourt for the Cougars.

In order to accommodate Mill’s scoring ability, last year’s off-guard DeJon Jarreau will move to small forward. The 6’5 /185 redshirt senior averaged nine points while hitting just 17 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

With 6’7  Fabian White Jr. unavailable, 21 game starter Quentin Grimes (12 PPG) will occupy the four spot. The inclusion of 6’5 Grimes, who logged some minutes in the backcourt last season, essentially puts the Cougars in a small-ball mentality early on. That mentality transfers all the way to the center position as 6’8 forward/center Brison Gresham will be the man in the middle.

As the only player over 6’8 who has any playing time in a Cougars’ jersey, Gresham will increase his 11 games started, 15 minutes, three points, and four rebounds that he averaged last season. Look for Arkansas transfer forward Reggie Chaney to have an impact for Houston as well.