After a rough first semester, Junior Etou continues to make positive strides for Rutgers, which will play the first of two games in Texas on Sunday at Houston. The freshman, who didn't play in the Scarlet Knights' first six games, set career highs with 14 points and 37 minutes in Wednesday's victory over Central Florida. "I'm glad he is here with us," head coach Eddie Jordan told the Star-Ledger of the 6-7, 225-pound Etou. "I'm glad he got over his first semester freshman blues. He has a will to win and to do things right. I am glad we have him. He is very special."The Cougars will be looking to shake off some blues of their own, a result of last week's 39-point loss to defending national champion Louisville. After winning three straight games, including its first two in the American Athletic Conference, James Dickey's team has dropped games to Cincinnati and 14th-ranked Louisville, which made 15 3-pointers against the Cougars. "We need to close out with a great sense of urgency," Dickey told reporters of his team's 3-point defense, or lack thereof. "They utilized the weapon extremely well. We just have to close out with a quicker sense of urgency and get our hands up to discourage shots and challenge shots better."TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS Sports NetworkABOUT RUTGERS (8-9, 2-2 American): Junior guard Myles Mack, who leads the team in scoring at 16.8 per game, became the 40th player in Rutgers history to join the 1,000-point club in the win over Central Florida. "The beginning of the game I guess I was thinking about it so much, that's why I didn't come out too strong," Mack told reporters. "After that, I got it off my mind. After the four points (needed for 1,000) , I came out and gave it my all." Mack finished with 25 points and Jerome Seagears returned from missing a game with an ankle injury to get 18 points as the Scarlet Knights snapped a two-game losing streak.ABOUT HOUSTON (10-7, 2-2): The return of starters Danuel House and L.J. Rose wasn't much help against Louisville, but it should make a big difference against the Scarlet Knights. House missed nine games due to surgery on his right knee, and a foot injury kept the point guard Rose out for five games. "I'm more optimistic now than I was earlier," Dickey told the media of the team's injury situation, which also includes forward J.J. Richardson, who didn't play against Louisville due to a foot injury. "At one point I was concerned if we'd get any of the three back."TIP-INS1. Mack became the first Rutgers player to get 1,000 points as a junior since Quincy Douby in 2005.2. Houston won the only meeting between the teams 95-84 in December 1973.3. House is second in scoring with 13.9 per game for the Cougars, behind TaShawn Thomas' 16.9 per contest.PREDICTION: Houston 67, Rutgers 65