Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

How Kelvin Sampson Could Help UH


Mar 14, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Chris Jones (3) is fouled in the second half by Houston Cougars forward TaShawn Thomas (35) as Cardinals forward Mangok Mathiang (12) looks on in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference college basketball tournament at FedEx Forum. Louisville defeated Houston 94-65. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 14, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Chris Jones (3) is fouled in the second half by Houston Cougars forward TaShawn Thomas (35) as Cardinals forward Mangok Mathiang (12) looks on in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference college basketball tournament at FedEx Forum. Louisville defeated Houston 94-65. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Well, as you may have heard, James Dickey’s stay as coach at the University of Houston is over after four years and the search for the new coach is in. One coach in particular is Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson, which in my opinion, could be one of the biggest steals in college basketball.

The University of Houston has been in hibernation when it comes to college basketball since Texas’ Tallest Fraternity finally graduated and went to the pros. AND THAT WAS 30 YEARS AGO. Now, it’s bleak. You barely see anyone in Hofheinz Pavilion now at the games, unless the Cougars play someone REALLY good. I went to two of those games, on New Year’s Eve against UConn and the last home game of the season against Memphis. The atmosphere was awesome and the way that it should be for a basketball power like Houston… Or what used to be. It’s the small things that can help.

When Coach Dickey left, he did leave the basketball team in a better state than he left it. When I was a freshman, he just got there. I had no intention of seeing the team. My first game wasn’t until my sophomore year. Now, UH has a new practice facility coming soon for hoops. “The Hof” is FINALLY getting renovations soon. These things will more than likely help with retention of recruits.

Dec 13, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson calls out to the players during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors 116-112. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Sampson – who is a legitimate possibility last time I heard – is one of the best defensive minded coaches I have ever seen. Sampson has coached the Rockets on an interim basis before, when Kevin McHale was on bereavement. One of the Cougars’ glaring weaknesses is defense. You see? Perfect! He could have potential to rebuild this program to its former glory.

With no Louisville Cardinals and no Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the American Athletic Conference after this year, believe it or not, the Houston Cougars may be the catalyst to the AAC’s success. They have the talent. The whole team will have more experience, plus their star player would be a senior in TaShawn Thomas.

So, in conclusion, if Kelvin Sampson goes from Red Nation to Cougar Nation, there could be so many things he could help do to raise Houston Cougar basketball from the dead. But it won’t happen overnight. I’m just asking for two things: Better attendance and a spot in the NCAA Tournament for once. That’s all. Is that so much?

And if you don’t know, now you know.

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Tags: Houston Cougars Kelvin Sampson

  • Trufus Teller

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