In March Towards Fort Worth, Questions Remain

Cougars need to be better from close-in to advance in March.

Marcus Sasser brings it up

A conference title. 23 wins. And doing it all with a remade starting lineup.

There is plenty to celebrate about the 2019-2020 UH basketball team.

But at the same time, there are some concerns. Who will bring the ball up in crunch time? Who’s the guy shooting with the game on the line? Can the Cougars make shots at the basket?

Heading into the AAC Tournament, we look at the good, the great, and the questionable from recent games and the entire season. This is a two-part series:

COTY: Kelvin Sampson has been Coach of the Year in the league the last two seasons and they likely won’t give it to him again. But he’s earned the award more in 2019-2020 than any other season.

Kelvin has continually mixed and matched his lineup and built enough quality depth so that when someone has an off-night, there’s another guy ready to step up. Guards like Grimes, Jarreau, Mills, and Sasser would start for most teams in the NCAA Tournament but Kelvin can use them like a hockey coach uses line shifts.

Sampson coaches as Penny sulks

No one could have expected a team that lost Corey, Galen, and Armoni to compete for a conference title. The fact that this team competed and then won the crown speaks volumes about the guy leading them.

The Gif: Here’s an animation of the Memphis game. If you take layups and dunks out of the equation, UH is pretty good from the middle of the hoop to the right sideline. And the Coogs are generally pretty bad on the left side. Makes sense, right?

In the Memphis game, UH was 5/22 from the left side (22.7%) and 14/30 from the right side (46.7%). At UConn, UH was 1/8 from the left-wing and sideline. Teams are forcing the UH guards left and it’s working.

In Fort Worth, watch as defenders try to cut off the right side and give the Coogs plenty of room on the left.

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