and I felt that I
would receive a better education in the
United States. And
we felt pretty good
about my decision to
come to the Univer-
sity of Houston,
School is the most
important thing. If
I go back to Spain
without my degree,
my coming to Houston will have been a
Cougars Suffer Worst Season
Brooks1 man-to-man defense crumbles
The Cougar Cagers managed to
get the most unwanted stat in
Cougar history. The team
headed by rookie Coach Alvin Brooks
delivered the first losing season in 34
It was a season so draining to
the Cougar fans, that many of them
gave up after a 13-game losing streak.
After finally posting a win against
Rice, Brooks acknowledged the crowd,
thanked them for coming and said
things would get better. He came
through, sort of, with a Southwest
Conference record of 5 and 9. Still, the
Cougars ended the season 8 and 18.
The fault didn't entirely lie
with Coach Brooks, but also with a
young crew of players who remained
after former Coach Pat Foster left for
Brooks looked to play more
man-to-man defense than Foster.
"We'll employ a full-court defensive
style," said Brooks. "In the past, our
bread and butter defense has been a
match-up zone in the half court."
The Cougars started with a
definite disadvantage, losing defensive power Bo Outlaw and 1993's leading scorer, David Diaz. Brooks had to
rely on Cougar veteran Rafael
Carrasco, sophomore Jermaine Johnson, and newcomer Tim Moore to step
up their game.
In Brook's favor were senior
Anthony Goldwire, 3-point threat
Jessie Drain, and new guard Willie
"We have got a few guys who
are trying to adjust to new roles
on the team," Brooks said.
Jessie Drain started several
games the previous year, but found it
hard to adjust this year's new line up.
"We're still getting used to each other,"
Anthony Goldwire had trouble
adjusting, too. "I like playing the point
better than two-spot, but the change
has made this a very frustrating year,"
The season started well enough
with wins in two exhibition games and
against the Akron Zips and Southwest
Missouri State, but then everything fell
Before the season, Brooks took
a look at a hard schedule, with teams
like UCLA and DePaul in the line up.
He hoped that his team could meet each
right out of the tunnel with an aggressive game, but Cougars couldn't make
the effort to take charge, losing 13 games
in a row, most of them by 5 or more
"This has been terribly hard to
get used to," said Rafael Carrasco about
the losing streak. "Things just haven't
fallen into place this year."
The Cougars lost the first half of
their SWC schedule, also. A game
against the University of Texas lead to
the worst loss in 25 years, 110-78. The
Texas press took the roundballers right
out of the game.
"We practice real hard everyday," said Goldwire. "But when we get
into the game, we have mental breakdowns."
Even with some signs of encouragement late in the season, the Cougars
couldn't put two wins together until the
last two games of the season.
The Cougars couldn't win the
SWC title, but they could put on a good
show at the conference tourney in Dallas, right? Wrong, dead wrong. Texas
Tech pulled out all the stops and crushed
the team, 110-86. Tech also seemed to
get the best of each foul.
"You don't have a chance to win
when a team goes to the free-throw line
as much as Tech did," Brooks said.
Brooks has a hard mountain to
climb, and many students and alumni
watching his every move, but he has
already recruited some of the state's top
talent for the next few years. Hopefully,
neither he nor the rest of us will have to
endure another losing season.-Michael