Pregame notes: Houston vs. Texas A&M

News and notes heading into tonight’s game vs. Texas A&M:

Today’s game will be the eighth in the NCAA Tournament against teams that were in the Southwest Conference with the Cougars. UH played six of the seven games before joining the SWC. Only the Baylor Final Four game has been played since 1972.

Kelvin Sampson was visibly upset every time his players missed a freethrow. He knows how important they’ll be in games like tonight.

Kelvin in Saturday’s press conference about leadership:

But you said the most important thing is you have to earn it. When something’s earned, that means you own it. When somebody gives you something, that means you might be renting it. That means it ain’t yours.

So if they’ve done that, that means that they’ve earned my confidence and it’s over a period of time. It’s, like, I don’t let our team vote on captains. You let a kid vote on captain, they’re going to vote for their friend. I’ll tell who the captain is because I watch them in practice every day. We don’t pick captains before the season.

During the season, I’ll say, okay, we got our captain now. I know who it is. Jamal, you’re a captain. A lot of times your best player is not your captain. Those teams are liable to underachieve. When your best player is not your hardest worker, then you potentially have an issue.

Thankfully for us, our best players have always been our hardest workers. And that’s a big part of our culture.

On March 24:
– Last year, UH’s season ended against Miami.
– In 2022, Houston beat 1-seed Arizona.
– In 2019, Houston’s Sweet 16 streak began with a win over Ohio State, and
– In 1967, the Coogs lost to #1 UCLA in the Final Four.

Emanuel Sharp is one of my favorite guys to talk to because he’s interesting and easy-going. He and I talked for a little bit yesterday about A&M and his game on Friday (and his shoes):


The end of the video was a tiny part of a lighthearted disagreement he had with Ramon Walker (that lasted at least 25 minutes) over a women’s NCAA Tournament player. Later, Jamal Shead and L.J. Cryer entered the fray, and J’Wan Roberts joined after that. The disagreement was over a player scoring a lot of points and whether it was a “good 40” or a “bad 40” – Emanuel said it was a bad. I asked him if he’d ever had a bad 40, and he laughed and said, “hell nah.” But he still insisted it was a bad 40. Ramon rightly pointed out that the player in question went 18/20 from the floor.

It got to the point where it was pretty much the entire locker room vs. Emanuel, as #21 took some good-natured ribbing. But Emanuel refused to give any ground, although about 20 minutes in, he said, “Let me change my argument.”

Just didn’t go well for Eman // © 2024 by




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