The Cougars were sitting pretty at 9-5 on Jan.4 coming off a thrilling 70-69 win over Tulsa to open up Conference USA play. That win seems like ages ago as the Cougars have not mustered up a win since. Houston has dropped four games in a row to fall to .500 on the season with a 9-9 record and a disappointing 1-4 mark in C-USA play.
It's been an up and down campaign for Houston filled with winning streaks and losing streaks to put them in 10th place in the conference standings with 11 games left in the regular season. (Marshall is pacing the conference at 13-5 overall, with a 4-0 record in C-USA play.)
The Cougars started the season 3-0, then dropped five of their next six games to fall to a brutal 4-5. Then they rallied, led by Jonathon Simmons and Alandise Harris, to a season long five-game win streak heading into C-USA play. The Cougars were getting hot at the right time. Simmons was dialed in and had scored 13 points or more in eight straight games to pace the Cougars, including a five-game streak of 20 or more points. (He poured in a season-high 26 points on Dec. 6 at Texas State.)
Then the Cougars cooled down and disappeared as if they went into the Witness Protection Program during their four-game losing streak. Houston is being outscored 303-222 in this stretch and will need some home cooking Jan. 21 vs. ECU to get it back on track and post a notch in the win column. The Cougars have six home games and five road games left in the regular season.
Can they get back to their winning ways? We will see. ECU is a mere 9-8 on the season and dead last in C-USA with an 0-4 record. The Pirates are also on a four game losing streak following a five-game winning streak.
One thing is for sure: there's no reason for a school with UH's history - 19 NCAA Tournaments (last in 2010) and five Final Fours - to keep losing this badly for long.