The buzz around UH hoops hasn’t been this palpable since Phi Slama Jama dunked their way into the national spotlight in the early 1980s.
After winning a school record 33 games, the University of Houston Men’s Basketball program competed in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time in 35 years under the leadership of two-time American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Kelvin Sampson. On March 18, the Cougars earned their highest end-of-season ranking since 1983 with a final Associated Press poll finish at No. 11 and a final USA TODAY Coaches’ poll rank of No. 12. At 33-4, the Cougars earned their first outright conference (AAC) regular-season title since 1984.
Pending the Board of Regents’ approval, Sampson has signed a contract extension through the 2024-25 season and will lead the Cougars into a bright future. “We built this program to a point where we can compete for championships now, and I am glad our administration is on board,” said Sampson. “I am proud of our team this year. The people that matter most are the players. Everything we do is for them. We have great young men who represent this University the right way.”
In 2019-20, the Cougars will return with second-leading scorer Armoni Brooks (’20), American Athletic Conference All-Freshmen Team member Nate Hinton (’22) and the league’s Sixth Man of the Year, DeJon Jarreau (’21). Several transfers and nationally-ranked freshman recruits will also join the Cougar roster for the next season. “We’re back in the lab,” Hinton said. “Everybody knows who we are now. Now it’s on us. We can’t just be content with what we’ve done. Now it’s time to push the brand to greater heights.”