Last week we wrote about the potentially high ceiling Houston basketball could have if it were to join the Big 12. If paired with entry into the Big 12, its Phi Slamma Jamma pedigree and location in a major metro area could lead to some solid recruiting.
It appears that might already be happening without the added allure of a major conference.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the Cougars have added two local blue-chip prospects from the Class of 2012. Forward Danuel House (15th overall, ESPNU) and Danrad “Chicken” Knowles (47th overall, ESPNU) have decided to stay home and try to bring back the glory days.
House told the Chronicle:
“Coach Dickey made me feel like I was wanted and loved on my official visit,” House said. “He just talked to me and told me I could start a new tradition by taking my own leap of faith — to start something new, a new tradition, and bring that Phi Slama Jama back and maybe we can start something new. That was big. That’s why me and Chicken decided to go to UH.”
Obviously winning recruiting battles doesn’t always translate to wins on the court. But the fact that Dickey is persuading Houston kids to stay home is a strong start to improving the program. At the very least House and Knowles can talk up Houston to future members of their local AAU team.
I have to reiterate again that the state of Houston’s basketball team and what it could bring to the conference will carry as much weight as their marching band and campus computer labs. But should Dan Beebe like their football program enough to add them, the basketball program might eventually add something to the competitive balance of the league.