Destination: Omaha - NCAABB

New Houston coach Todd Whitting earned the reputation of a strong recruiter and coach during his time as an assistant at TCU.

Now Whitting hopes to turn the Cougars around sooner rathern than later.

We're working on an in-depth story about Whitting and his vision for the Cougars. For now, though, here's some inside scoop on the state of Whitting's program:

* Whitting said the Cougars have less than 30 players on roster right now, so pitching depth could be an issue next season. It especially could be an issue if pitchers Jared Ray and Taylor Hammack can't make a full recovery from injuries.

* Speaking of Ray and Hammack, the Cougars delayed fall workouts for a couple weeks because they're still unable to pitch. Both players had injuries last season, but Whitting believe the pair will be ready to pitch in live action once team workouts begin on Sep. 27. Both Ray and Hammack are instrumental to UH's success next season.

* Whitting believes that no matter what conference you're in, you need to schedule to be a national seed in the postseason. Therefore, he has really hit the ground hard running trying to piece together strong non-conference schedules. The Cougars will play a home-and-home with Mississippi beginning in 2011. They also have set up home-and-home series with Oregon, Oklahoma State and Alabama. The 'Bama home-and-home begins in 2013.

* I asked Whitting about the rumors that Houston could be entertaining the idea of going to the Mountain West. Whitting, as a former TCU assistant and very familiar with the MWC, said he has no preference on a conference and believes that no matter what you should always schedule tough out of conference. Whitting believes UH baseball will be fine no matter what decision is made.

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