Chicken Knowles

Johnny Jones
Associated Press

Defense, rebounding cost LSU in loss at Houston

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Having lost the biggest games on their non-conference schedule to date, LSU entered Sunday’s game at Houston in a position where they could ill-afford any more losses before the start of SEC play. But thanks to issues on the defensive end of the floor Johnny Jones’ team suffered its fourth loss of the season, falling 105-98 in overtime at Hoffheinz Pavilion.

Ben Simmons fouling out late in regulation did the Tigers no favors in the extra session, which came as a result of a Keith Hornsby three-pointer with nine seconds remaining in regulation. But when you defend and rebound at the level that LSU did Sunday night, it’s tough to win close games.

Houston shot 51.4 percent from the field and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, converting those opportunities into 20 second-chance points. The played who posed the biggest issue for LSU in this regard was junior forward Chicken Knowles, who accounted for 20 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with six of his boards coming on the offensive end.

Houston scored 50 points in the paint Sunday night, taking advantage of numerous defensive breakdowns in the process. Those points came from second-chance opportunities and dribble penetration, with guard Rob Gray Jr. hitting multiple floaters on his way to a career-high 31 points. That all isn’t on the shoulders of the LSU big men given Houston’s ability to get quality looks off the dribble, but the Tigers need more from the likes of Aaron Epps (12 points) and Elbert Robinson III as they combined for four rebounds in the game.

The addition of Arizona transfer Craig Victor will help LSU in the front court; besides Simmons they don’t have much in the way of consistent production on the glass in the paint (Epps and Robinson average a combined six rebounds per game). But the Tigers’ issues when it comes to their lack of attention to detail, which was once again evident against Houston, cannot be solved by the arrival of one player.

That’s going to be a collective effort, and to this point in the season LSU hasn’t shown the ability to do this against quality competition on a consistent basis.

The offense is there, and the return of Hornsby is a big deal for a team that had issues with perimeter shooting. Hornsby scored 32 points, shooting 6-for-10 from three with his teammates combining to shot 3-for-16 from deep. Simmons added 13 points, 14 rebounds and five assists before fouling out, and Quarterman accounted for 27 points, ten rebounds and six assists off the bench (disciplinary reasons).

For all the talk about Simmons’ individual gifts and how his game translates to the next level, there’s work to be done at the college level first. And if Simmons and his teammates are to have any shot at getting to the NCAA tournament, they have to straighten things out on the defensive end.

After three years, ‘Chicken’ is headed to ‘The Bucket’

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Some of you that are new to the college hoops blogosphere may not remember this story, but I certainly do.

Three years ago, during the summer of 2011, the Louisville blog Card Chronicle discovered that there was an elite Class of 2012 recruit that went by the name Chicken Knowles. Louisville’s home arena, the KFC Yum! Center, is colloquially known as ‘The Bucket’.

Obviously, Louisville fans wanted to ‘Bring Chicken to The Bucket’.

It was a meme that lasted for months. It became popular enough that Card Chronicle made #BringChickenToTheBucket t-shirts and Knowles actually started to consider Louisville even though the school wasn’t recruiting him. The whole thing truly was hilarious and is recapped in full right here.

Why am I bringing this up now?

Knowles wound up heading to Houston to play his college ball, and tonight, the Cougars will pay a visit to … Louisville.

Two-and-a-half years after the campaign started, Chicken will finally be heading to the Bucket.

Houston forward ‘Chicken’ Knowles eligible to play immediately

Houston Athletics
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On Tuesday the Houston basketball program received the good news it has been waiting for, as the NCAA declared redshirt freshman Danrad “Chicken” Knowles eligible to play immediately. Knowles, who was a Top 100 prospect out of high school had to sit out last season for academic reasons.

“We are grateful that the NCAA has ruled quickly in Danrad’s case, and we are excited that he has been allowed to compete this season,” Houston head coach James Dickey said in the release. “I appreciate all the efforts of our administration and compliance department throughout this process. As excited as our coaches, players and fans will be with this news, no one will be more excited to hit the court than Danrad on Thursday night.”

While unable to join the program last season Knowles took classes at Houston, and he’s been working out with the team all fall. His clearance gives the Cougars another front court option, with senior TaShawn Thomas expected to lead the way. Knowles’ first opportunity to see game action will come on Thursday when the Cougars host UTSA.

Houston was picked by the coaches to finish seventh in the American Athletic Conference last month, but in Thomas and guard Danuel House the Cougars have two talented players capable of giving opponents headaches on a nightly basis.