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In terms of current student-athletes, who is UH’s biggest star?
Brad Towns – Really tough question. This is the first time in a long time where there isn’t a real standout in the big sports. In recent years there was D’Eriq King, Ed Oliver, Greg Ward, Corey Davis, and Rob Gray. Those guys put up big numbers and were the ones that would make things happen. They played their way into being the “face of the program” – those were the guys I wanted to watch.
But we don’t have anyone like that on campus at the moment. Football is a ghost town when it comes to stars. Marquez Stevenson is the closest because he has put up some solid seasons. But, his success is dependent on an offensive scheme to put him in a position to succeed, a QB to get him the ball consistently, and an offensive line that can protect the QB. There is hope that those things will be there in 2020 but with little info coming out of the brief spring practices, so far I have seen nothing to base that hope on.
Ryan Monceaux – Stevenson is an interesting name but I can’t think of a school in the country where a WR is the star of the team much less an entire athletics department.
If this question were limited to just football, I’m not sure I would have an answer. The last two stars quit on their teammates. For the last 8 games, the punter was the de facto star.
Towns – Yeah. So that takes me to basketball. Kelvin Sampson’s basketball team was an interesting one this year because it wasn’t built on the back of any single star. This was a group of guys playing their roles and playing exceptionally as a unit.
But if I have to pick one guy then I’ll say Caleb Mills. Looking to next year, Mills is a star in the making. The redshirt-freshman led the team in scoring and kept improving all throughout the season. I so wanted to see him in the postseason to put the country on notice.
Instead, we get to look forward to having a seasoned sophomore step up and be the face of the program.
Monceaux – Good answer, good answer. Mills very well could be the breakout guy. The fun thing about this team is that next year, the guy could be several people. If you’d have asked me this question the day after King “redshirted” then I’d have said DeJon Jarreau. But he stepped back this year.
Normally, I’d say this discussion would need to start with the QB. Unfortunately, we’re in a bit of a spot here as Clayton Tune is 2-7 as a starter so far (wins over UNT and Tulsa). That’s hard to get excited about.
I think the biggest star on campus is Nate Hinton. On a team of excellent players that fit well together, Hinton is the glue. This year, he led the team in three-point shooting percentage, steals, and in rebounds (and offensive rebounds!). All that from a 6’5″ guard.
In fact, Nate might be the best rebounding guard in the country. He also played a huge part in this team shutting down opponents’ three-point shooting (8th nationally in 3PT FG defense but first when accounting just for conference games).
Hinton is a winner. Perhaps not a star in a flashy, traditional sense. But Kelvin Sampson has been molding him since day one to take over this team. Cougar Basketball isn’t built on shooting but on defense and toughness.
That’s Nate Hinton.