By Bryan Kriss - email@example.com
Before the 2011 AAU season started, there were few basketball junkies outside of Texas who were aware of Danuel House and Danrad "Chicken" Knowles, but after outstanding performances throughout the spring and summer for their Texas PRO AAU squad, that has all changed. Previously starting out the year unranked, both have shot up the charts considerably as House holds onto the 16th spot in the 2012 top 100 and Knowles checks in at #73. To top off their stellar season, they have the city of Houston buzzing with their recent pledge to join Coach James Dickey and the Cougars.
Their decision may come as a surprise to some as they both turned down several scholarship offers from BCS conference schools, but with all of the talent that Houston produces, maybe all it takes is a couple of hometown stars to make the Cougars a more attractive option for other top prospects in the area.
While location and other things likely played a role in their decisions, it sounds like the coaching staff is what made the biggest difference.
"I went to Houston because the staff reached out to me and told me I could start something different and bring a tradition back," House explained. The coaches were also a big influence on Knowles as he adds: "I really like Coach Dickey and staff, but I knew Coach Brooks from when I was in the 9th grade, so it played a big role in it."
Both players will likely make an immediate impact when they step on the floor for the Cougars. House will bring his non-stop motor, explosive athleticism, and ever-improving skill set to the wing while Knowles will bring a unique skill set for a long face-up forward who can score from inside and out. It will be interesting to see how these on-the-rise prospects fare for a Houston squad that now appears to be on the rise as well.