Under first-year head coach Kelvin Sampson, Houston is off to a 4-1 start on the season and the Cougars will get a big boost as starting point guard L.J. Rose is expected to return this weekend following a broken foot. Sampson told CBSSports.com‘s Jon Rothstein that Rose is expected to debut on Saturday against South Carolina State.
The 6-foot-4 junior’s return should be a nice addition for Houston. The pass-first point averaged 8.9 points, 5.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore and should make the Cougars’ other players better by getting them open looks. The former Baylor transfer had been replaced in the lineup by Cavon Baker, who filled in admirably early this season coming from the junior-college ranks.
Now the question becomes how Rose’s addition changes Houston’s rotation? Sampson currently has seven players averaging at least 20 minutes per game and Rose will obviously take a large chunk of minutes away from some of those players. This is a “good” problem to have though and with the American Athletic Conference looking wide open early in the season, Rose’s return could give Houston a chance to be a conference contender.