Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Live Scouting: Houston vs. Rice


Victor Calzada/AP

Victor Calzada/AP

Conference USA foes, Houston and Rice, squared off Saturday at Tudor Fieldhouse on the Rice University Campus.  This game was the second and final game between the two teams in regular season C-USA play.  Bust The Clock was in attendance to scout junior Houston guard, Aubrey Coleman.

Before we get into the evaltion of Aubrey Coleman, I would like to give a brief description of the venue for this game.¬† Tudor Fieldhouse is a fabulous venue to watch a college basketball game.¬† Maximum capacity is slightly over 5,000 people and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.¬† Formerly known as Autry Court, the venue was renamed Tudor Fieldhouse after Rice alumnus, Bobby Tudor, generously donated $7 million to the renovation campaign.¬† The former Autry Court opened in 1950 and has been the home for the varsity men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and swimming programs as well as a variety of activities for Rice students.

Nick Kotsatos/Bust The Clock

Nick Kotsatos/Bust The Clock

For the first half, I took my seat in the upper level over looking the Houston basket.¬† Sitting higher up gives you a great perspective on the entire floor and allows you to not only watching everyone at once, but also the development of the team offense/defense.¬† Both teams came out rather flat and stayed that way the entire game.¬† Aubrey Coleman scored the second basket of the game for Houston after grabbing an offensive rebound.¬† Coleman isn’t a lights out shooter but he is a fantastic rebounder, especially for a guard.¬† Though this game saw Coleman go 5-14 from the field, it also saw him grab a total of 12 rebounds, 4 of which were on the offensive end.

Given the poor shooting from both teams, especially the Cougars who went 18 for 61 from the field and 1 for 13 from three, this game wasn’t the best to watch from a fan’s perspective.¬† However, from a scouting perspective, this game still providing some useful information.¬† When the game is sloppy and the shooting poor, evaluation of a player’s demeanor and coachability become more of a focal point.¬† How a player reacts to adversity his teammates, and his coach’s instruction is just as important as how that player performs physically.

For the second half, I moved from the upper level and sat 4 rows directly behind the Houston bench.¬† From this location, I was able to get a better feel for how Aubrey follows instructions and interacts with his teammates.¬† Coleman is a coach’s dream.¬† He follows instructions well and doesn’t sulk when things are going poorly.¬† This game came down to the wire and Coleman executed perfectly.¬† As mentioned, he isn’t a lights out shooter, but he is a flat out scorer and knows how to put the ball in the basket.¬† Late in the game, Coleman hit two clutch shots, a lay up and jumpshot, to give Houston the lead for the first time since leading 19-18 in the first half.¬† Coleman showed a lot of poise down the stretch and didn’t get rattled.¬† He played well with his teammates, a very good attribute, and helped bring his team back from a 10 point defecit to lock up a 54-51 win.

After watching this poorly played game, I didn’t come away feeling enthusiastic or¬† negative about Aubrey Coleman.¬† I came away feeling more blah than anything else.¬† That said, this game was just one game and can’t and won’t categorize or label Coleman’s game.¬† The Cougars still have two more regular season games before heading to the Conference USA tournament and a potential post-season tournament (NCAA, NIT, CBI, etc.).¬† Additionally, Coleman will have his entire senior season for scouts to evaluate his game.¬† Bust The Clock will monitor Coleman’s progress while he remains on campus and provide a more detailed scouting report down the road.¬† In the mean time, here is a brief synopsis of what I took from Houston’s game at Rice.

Aubrey Coleman is a strong, physical combo guard who can score in bunches.  Though he posses a-typical form on his jumpshot, he does have a high release point.  Coleman rebounds extremely well and does a good job sharring the basketball.  He has an inate ability to get to the rim and free throw line.  In this game, Coleman came away with another double-double after scoring 12 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.  Unfortunately, he also had 2 turnovers and no assists in this game.  Coleman also only got to the free throw line twice, though he made both attemps.

Stay tuned for more analysis on Aubrey Coleman…

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