Kelvin Sampson’s Impassioned Answer In The Postgame


Any discussion of UH’s Tuesday night game vs. North Carolina A&T must include Kelvin Sampson’s postgame press conference. The ninth-year head coach did not talk about the game very much, instead focusing on his young players, their development, failures, the transfer portal, recruiting experts, parents disrupting a player’s learning process, and more.

Here are some of his thoughts and video clips from the postgame (you can watch the 23-minute press conference here).

Kelvin discussed:

– the quick turnaround after the Alabama game and how difficult that is for a team like this that plays so hard. He made an effort to get the bench involved early – for example, Ja’Vier Francis was in the game before the first media timeout. Soon after, Emanuel Sharp entered the game, and with 13:38 to go in the first half, Terrance Arceneaux checked in. At that point, Houston had four freshmen on the court (along with starter Jarace Walker).

– the most significant thing for freshmen is turnovers (Sharp and Arceneaux combined for seven turnovers). Sampson said it would happen again but that they’ll learn. He called Jamal Shead a “turnover machine” when he got to UH, but he’s grown into a team leader. He joked that Shead once threw “one of the five worst passes in the history of the game.”

– the time Francis got last year in mop-up, aiding his development. He said that the staff purposefully did not go after frontcourt players in the portal because of how happy they were with Francis.

“We like the guys we have,” Sampson said. “You don’t always have to get somebody in the transfer portal. We saw all the big guys that were available. We like Ja’Vier.

“Some people might not have liked him, but they’re fans. They don’t know what they don’t know.”

– Sampson said that starting Sharp and Francis in the second half was a little reward for their aggressiveness but then mentioned, “I just don’t ever get caught up in who starts and doesn’t. I don’t even know why people worry about that. It doesn’t matter.”

Then came “the answer.” Kris Gardner of Houston Roundball Review asked a question about Ja’Vier’s defensive improvement. Sampson took the question and went on a 7+ minute journey covering several topics. The answer should be seen instead of described.

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