Welcome back to Stock Up, Stock Down, our weekly look around women's college basketball in the state of Texas.
What happened this week in the state? Let's take a look:
Stock Up: Houston
Here come the Cougars.
After a disappointing 3-5 start, the team has run off four wins in a row, beating Jacksonville State, Louisiana, Florida State and Texas A&M Corpus.
Now, that's not a murderer's row, but the Cougars are beating the teams that they need to beat, and there was a road win against an ACC team mixed in there, even if the Seminoles aren't one of the top ACC programs.
The Cougars are now up to 67th in Her Hoop Stats rating, putting it ahead of teams like Mississippi State and Rutgers.
Over the last five games, Laila Blair is averaging 12.4 points per game, while Bria Patterson is shooting 47.1 percent from deep. Tatyana Hill has ignited things on the other end, averaging 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks per night.
Houston finally looks like the Houston team we expected to see this year.
Stock Up: Texas
Over the last five games, the Longhorns have the 13th-best net rating in the country — and the best in the Big 12.
After losing to Tennessee, the Horns have reeled off five wins in a row. There was the convincing win over A&M that we've already talked about, then a 40-point win over Idaho, and then, well, this:
We were supposed to get a big meeting of Arizona and Texas, but COVID issues led to the cancelation of that game. So, Vic Schaefer went on Twitter to find a game. He did, getting a last-minute meeting with San Diego on the schedule. UT won 74-58 against a solid Toreros team that is just outside the top 100 in HHS rating and has only lost to major conference teams.
Stock Up: NaLyssa Smith
Not that Smith's stock can go up too much, but after the WNBA draft lottery last week decided the order of the 2022 WNBA Draft, Smith's name started quickly showing up on mock drafts.
The Athletic has Smith going No. 1 overall to the Mystics. No mock I've seen has her going lower than second to the Fever.
It seems that WNBA talent evaluators are saying the same thing that we in Texas have been saying for years: NaLyssa Smith is very, very good and is going to continue to be very, very good for a long time.
As for her play this year, over the last five games Smith is averaging 20.4 points, 14.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 58.1 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three. Her extended range has been a nice development as Nicki Collen has expanded the spots on the floor where Smith is doing things offensively.
Stock Down: Texas Tech
Texas Tech was looking really good, but then got to the interesting part of the schedule, with games against Ole Miss and LSU.
And, well...the Raiders lost to Ole Miss 65-50 and then to LSU 74-60. Not terrible losses, but Tech never really seemed to have a shot in either game.
Vivian Gray has played just three games this season, but the play of Rhyle McKinney and Lexy Hightower had made us think that the team could weather her absence.
But McKinney shot 1-for-7 against Ole Miss, while Hightower had just seven points. Against LSU, the duo got going, combining for 24 points, but the team as a whole shot 40.7 percent and Bre'Amber Scott — finally in the lineup after her own injury concerns — shot 4-for-13 off the bench.
Tech has now lost three of four. The Raiders next play Incarnate Word, so they should get another non-conference win before conference play begins.