Non-conference college basketball games are certainly not ideal at the end of February, but this is not a typical season and a good matchup with Western Kentucky traveling to Houston on Thursday.
Both teams do well in the interior. Houston ranks eighth in the nation in rebound rate (Western Kentucky Rates 18th), and the Cougars also lead all Division I teams in shooting percentage of opponents.
Houston ranks fourth on a per-possession basis on defense and 21st on a per-possession basis on offense, with Gonzaga, Beiler and Wright State out of just four teams in the top 21 of each category Is one. .
For everything the Cougars do well on defense, they allow for a lot of trips to the free-throw line, yielding the 11th-most free-throw attempts per game on defense in the country. It plays into the hands of Western Kentucky, making 78.9 percent of its free throws, which ranks 11th in the nation. Jordan Rawls leads at a 90 percent rate, with fellow guards Josh Anderson (87.9) and Luke Frampton (87.5) making the most of their chances.
Western Kentucky has given 73 points or fewer in its last 10 games that did not go to overtime. The Hiltopers Bay should be able to keep on a Houston team that shoots four of its top five scorers at 42 percent or worse off the field.
drama: Western Kentucky, +12.