Houston Cougar Men’s Basketball opens their season on Monday vs Northern Colorado, the first day games can occur according to the NCAA schedule. Probable starters for UH are Jamal Shead, Marcus Sasser, Tramon Mark, Jarace Walker, and Reggie Chaney. I expect J’Wan Roberts to be the first man off the bench.
Reid Gettys will be the color analyst for ESPN+.
Several players told me that Jarace Walker had his best practices of the year this week. He’s learning to simplify his game and is “just playing ball.” He’s getting tougher, too.
In the last two years, Houston is 60-10, the best record among all DI teams. The Cougars are 2nd if you expand it to 3, 4, 5, and 6 years.
Since 2015, UH has had 186 wins, the most by a Texas school by 17 (Baylor – 169 wins). UH has 28 more wins than third-place Texas Tech (158).
Javier Francis is going to be a force on the inside. The question is, where will he find the minutes with this stacked frontcourt? His play in the Duke *super-secret* scrimmage is one of Kelvin’s favorite “doesn’t show up on the stat sheet” things. Francis played limited minutes vs. Duke but changed several shots, forcing other shooters to hesitate.
Shead and Sasser are going to get the lion’s share of the pub, but I’m all in on watching the frontcourt this season.
When asked, UH players prefer the black uniforms overwhelmingly to the others. UH is 27-9 in those uniforms (75%), usually reserved for big games. Houston is 13-1 in white Cougars uniforms, 6-0 in the white throwbacks, and 15-1 in the grey uniforms that were popular a few years ago.
UH is 60-4 at Fertitta Center all-time and 41-1 in their last 42 home games.
Kelvin Sampson will be going for win #200 at Houston and #700 overall on Monday night. UH went to great lengths to clarify his win total because Wikipedia shows him with 698 wins currently.
According to UH: “In 1996-97 at Oklahoma, Coach Sampson was credited with a forfeit win vs. Texas Tech. The NCAA (and Houston records) show Oklahoma at 20-10 in 1996-97. Wikipedia currently shows Oklahoma with a 19-11 mark that season.”
That 96-97 Texas Tech team was coached by James Dickey.
The Cougars go into the season at #3, the highest preseason ranking for the school since 1984. Houston has been in the Preseason AP Poll 13 times, including each of the last five seasons.
UH has been in the Preseason AP top 10 six times and in the top 5 three times.
When they’ve been top-5 in the preseason, UH has finished #1 (1968) and #5 (1984). The AP does not conduct a poll after the NCAA Tournament.
2022 marks the third year in a row that Houston has been in the top 10 at some point in the season. That distinction also happened during Phi Slama Jama and the Elvin Hayes/Don Chaney/Ken Spain years.
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