Houston Wins, Shares AAC Championship

The Cougars beat Memphis, 64-57, on Sunday afternoon to lock-in the two-seed in the AAC Tournament. UH will play SMU on Friday night in Fort Worth.

Sunday was senior day for the team’s only senior, Chris Harris. Harris had four rebounds, two blocks, and two points in the game.

Chris Harris and Kelvin Sampson

Once Wichita State beat Tulsa, Houston won a share of the AAC championship. UH finished the regular season 23-8 and 20th in the NCAA NET and have gone undefeated at home in AAC play for the second time in the league’s young history.

“It’s incredible because his culture is set. If you don’t play hard, you’re not going to be on the floor,” Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said. “If you don’t go all out, you won’t be on the floor. He has his culture at that point and it pushes your kids to a level of confidence that you have like no other. That’s the way they are.”

Fabian White played more aggressively in the game and that led to great outcomes for the junior. He finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds – the second-highest scoring and rebounding performance of his career.

Fabian White goes inside.

White had seven offensive boards and 13 shot attempts, also the second-highest totals in his 3 years on Cullen. Fabian got involved down low and made his jump shots from the wing – a really great combo for his game.

Quentin Grimes had 17 points on 7/13 from the floor. He had been shooting it pretty well before the hip flexor injury and it appears that form is returning.

In a first since he moved to CBS in 1985, Jim Nantz was back at UH calling a Cougar basketball game. Nantz served as the public address announcer at Hofheinz and host of the Guy V. Lewis TV show on KUHT while he was in school.

Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, and Bill Raftery preparing to tape the intro to the game.

Nantz was beaming throughout his day at Fertitta Center and was gracious with students, taking photos with dozens of them.

“He’s a legend and an icon,” Sampson said of Nantz. “You know what I love about him? He’s a Cougar, and he’s proud of that.”

Jim Nantz acknowledges the crowd with the Cougar paw

UH ends the regular season 23-8 and have won their second conference title in a row. The Coogs are 20th in the NCAA NET and are looking for a solid run in Fort Worth to lock in an NCAA seed in the 5-6-7 range.

All images © Mario Puente 2020.