The Houston Cougars are hoping their new conference home gives them an assist in returning to national prominence.
After spending the last 17 years in Conference USA, Houston starts a new era in the American Athletic Conference - formerly the Big East - this season.
The Cougars won 20 games last season for the first time since 2009 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational after missing the postseason the previous two seasons. The last time Houston made the NCAA tournament was in 2010, when the Cougars fell in the first round to Maryland.
Coach James Dickey said the Cougars, as well as the rest of the league, will have great exposure with every game being televised, something Houston has not had in the past.
TaShawn Thomas, who averaged 16.9 points per game and led the Cougars with 9.8 rebounds, will lead the team this season along with Danuel House, who was Conference USA's freshman of the year a year ago after finishing with 12.4 points and 4.9 r...