By RENALDO DORSETT
THEY may be playing in different locations this year, but the Bahamian duo and former teammates at the University of Houston still are posting productive numbers in their senior seasons.
LJ Rose moved from one “Cougar” programme to another when he transferred from Houston to BYU for the third stop of his NCAA basketball career, while Danrad Knowles has been a consistent contributor in the starting lineup for Houston this season.
Knowles finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks to help lead the Cougars to a 64-61 win over Tulsa in American Athletic Conference play inside the Hofheinz Pavilion on Wednesday night.
With under two minutes left to play, Knowles split a pair at the line to bring his team within one and they took the lead on the next possession.
With the win, the Cougars won their third straight league game and moved to 12-3 overall and 3-0 in the American Athletic Conference play. They will face their first ranked team of the year when they host the No.22 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats this Saturday at 8pm.
On the season, Knowles is averaging 10.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game with starts in 13 of the 15 contests played.
They will play their first game this season against a ranked opponent when
Knowles, who averaged six points and 3.7 rebounds per game as a junior last season, addressed the changes in his game during the offseason and his relationship with head coach Kelvin Sampson.
“It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve developed over time, and that’s a big plus. We’ve still got a long way to go, but we’re going to get there,” Knowles said. “[Learning from head coach Sampson]. It’s been hard, but all you’ve to do is take it and learn from it. Just suck it up. There’s not much you can do but listen and learn. He’s made me more mentally tough and intense. Hopefully, you don’t see me spaz on the court. It’s going to be a fun season.”
Rose, has been a stabilizing force at point guard for the BYU Cougars thus far and was named a co-captain in the preseason.
Through 15 games, all starts, he has averaged 6.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and a team leading 5.4 assists per game.
At 11-4 and 2-0 in West Coast Conference play, the Cougars returned to the floor last night in conference play against Saint Mary’s, however results were unavailable to press time.
Following an injury-plagued senior season with the Houston Cougars, where he appeared in just two games, Rose joined BYU following graduation.
Although he played sparingly as a senior, as a junior Rose averaged 9.8 points and 5.3 assists in a starting role when relatively healthy. In that season he became the 17th player in Houston history to register multiple seasons with at least 100 assists, dishing out 101 in 19 games.
At the national level for Team Bahamas, Rose was the starting point guard for the Bahamas when they won gold at the 2014 Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships. However, he suffered an injury in the opening game of the tournament and was relegated to the sidelines.
Rose was the ninth-ranked point guard in the class of 2012 by ESPN.com coming out of Westbury Christian Academy. He chose Baylor over Arizona, Memphis and Georgetown.
In his freshman season with the Bears, he posted 0.9 points and 1.2 assists, in sparse playing time, prompting his transfer to Houston the following year where he gave the Cougars a strong Bahamian connection on the court alongside Knowles and current Houston assistant director for player development, Mikhail McLean.
Rose is the son of Lynden Sr and Marilyn Rose and comes from a strong basketball bloodline following the success of his father and his uncle, the late Cecil Rose.
Lynden Sr played collegiately at Houston, where he was a member of Phi Slama Jama, and was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the sixth round of the 1982 NBA Draft
At Houston, Lynden Sr played alongside current BYU coach Dave Rose on the Phi Slama Jama squads at Houston from 1980-82.
“I think it was a perfect fit for L.J. I think he recognized that,” Dave Rose told DesertNews.com, “We had quite a few guards transfer. We were looking for an experienced player to help our team. There are so many ways that he can help us. When he came here and visited and felt comfortable with the players and the atmosphere, I think he thought this would be a great place for him to finish his career. We’re really fortunate to have him.”
LJ Rose is also the cousin of former BYU guard Archie Rose, who averaged 1.3 points and 0.3 assists per game in two seasons for the Cougars after transferring from Lee College.
Cecil Rose also played collegiately for Houston where he scored more than 1,200 points for the programme. He was selected in the 1978 Draft by the New Jersey Nets.