LADY COUGARS BASKETBALL
Jones ranks among
;v KENAN SINGLETON THE DAILY COUGAR
How do you like your blasphemy?
Many may call for my head for this
next statement, but the greatest
basketball player in UH history isn't
Elvin Hayes or Hakeem Olajuwon or
Clyde Drexler. Yes, those guys
manhandled the competition during
their tenures at UH and are among the
NBA's 50 Greatest Players. But the
greatest basketball player in UH
history can't manhandle anyone.
Meet UH's XX factor — senior
The best female player on campus
since she was a senior at Bay City
high school (her father, David joined
the coaching staff in 1999), Jones has
morphed into the high woman in
Houston's hardwood hierarchy.
Need numbers? Jones has averaged
i little over 23 points per game during
her four-year career at UH. She led
the country in scoring last season
127.5 ppg) and is 11th in the country
this season (21.1).
But Jones, much like the modern
woman, is adept at multi-tasking. She
is 16th in the country in steals (3.4 per
game) and has averaged more than six
rebounds during her career.
Her most telling statistics are not
her gaudy individual numbers,
however. UH's winning percentages
in head coach Joe Curl's two seasons
before Jones were .185 (5-22) in
1998-99 and .250 (7-21) in 1999-
2000. And not a single postseason
Since then? The Lady Cougars
went 19-13 (.594) in Jones' freshman
season, 26-8 the next (.764) and 15-13
last season. If Jones were on
two of the
or Sony —
a household name.
Instead, she is the reigning two-
time Conference USA Player of the
Year (and the odds-on favorite to win
her third consecutive honor).
And she may become a fixture in
households across the country when
she is a high draft pick in the WNBA
This was a program that was DOA
and MIA before Jones' arrival in
2000. No offense to Curl and
company, but Chandi makes up
reasons one through 22 that the
Cougars are ranked No. 23 in the
latest ESPN/USA Today coaches'
Sure, Curl and Co. are the
recruiters, but Chandi is the recruiting
tool. And Curl and Co. may draw up
If Jones were on Connecticut or
Tennessee ... she'd probably be Sears
or Sony — a household name.
the X's and O's, but Chandi supplies
the most important letter — W.
But, like her favorite childhood
player, Michael Jordan, Jones can't do
it alone. That's where Curl and Co. —
junior forward Sancho Lyttle and
senior guard/forward Nicole Oliver —
come in. MJ never won one without
Scottie Pippen or Phil Jackson.
Neither can CJ.
(Originally printed Feb. 4, 2004)
Some of Chandi Jones' top
• Conference USA Female
Athlete of the Year
• Conference USA Player of
the Year (2002, 2003)
• All Conference USA First
Team (2001, 2002, 2003)
• 2003 National Scoring
•Associated Press All-
Mention (2002, 2003)
hoops.com Third Team All-
• Women's Basketball News
Services' Second Team All
• Women's Basketball
Journal Freshman Ail-
American First Team
•Conference USA All
Freshman First Team
coach file: JOE CURL
In his six seasons at UH, Joe Curl has helped the Lady Cougars claim national prominence. He
boasts a 88-38 record at the helm of the Lady Cougars. In the 2003-2004 season, he recorded
the team's highest number of wins in a season, 28, and led the team to the NCAA Championships
for the first time since 1992. He has certainly brought the Cougars a long way, and learned a lor,
since logging only 1 2 wins in his first two seasons as head coach.
Overall record: 238-18 1 (.568 pet)
Past coaching positions: Blinn College (men's), Trinity Valley Community College, Stephen F.
Awards (2004: Associated Press Coach of the Year,
Conference USA Coach of the Year
Education: Bachelor's degree from Wayne State University;
master's from University of Central Oklahoma
Family: Wife, Lesa; two daughters: Angela, Jennifer
"We're going to go in confident, but I want to go in there with confidence and the 'then-some' factor
We're going to have do everything we do, rebound and then some, we're going to have to play
rense than we ever have and then some."