In their final season as a Conference USA member Houston was hoping a five-member recruiting class led by guard/forward Danuel House and forward Danrad “Chicken” Knowles would help them improve on their 15-15 mark in 2011-12.
Unfortunately for head coach James Dickey the Cougars will be without Knowles this season, as it was announced that he won’t be joining the program until next season.
Along with House, freshman center Valentine Izundu and junior college transfers Brandon Morris and Tione Womack (both guards), this group was seen by many as exactly what the Cougars needed to make a smooth transition in to the Big East in 2013.
Knowles will be a part of that group but unlike the other four he won’t have a year of college basketball under his belt.
"We look forward to Danrad joining our program for the 2013-14 season when we enter the BIG EAST Conference." -- Head Coach James Dickey --—
(@UHCougarMBK) September 07, 2012
Neither the school nor Dickey offered any further comment on the situation, citing federal student privacy laws and adding that there would be no further comment.
The remaining four newcomers join a team that lost its top two scorers from last season as both Jonathon Simmons (14.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Alandise Harris (13.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg) left the program.
Simmons declared for the NBA Draft and went undrafted, and Harris transferred to Arkansas.
That leaves sophomores TaShawn Thomas (10.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg) and Joseph Young (11.3 ppg) as their leading returnees from the 2011-12 campaign, meaning that there will be opportunities for the newcomers.
But to not have Knowles, who was a Top 100 recruit according to many of the major recruiting websites, robs the Cougars of a 6-10 talent with the potential to become an even more versatile threat down the line.
And college basketball has to wait for one of the better nicknames around for another year.