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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Men's Basketball

Kelvin Sampson ready to take control and foster growth


Coming in with high expectations after James Dickey’s role as head coach, Kelvin Sampson is ready to take advantage of the fresh talent at UH and foster the growth of a competitive program.

WEB-Justin-Tijerina-5429

Kelvin Sampson steps into the head coaching position at UH ready to lead the team’s fresh talent in the right direction. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

The Cougar: First off, how does it feel to be at the head of things for UH basketball?

Kelvin Sampson: I’m excited. This basketball program at UH has so much room for growth. There are some schools that have everything we don’t have, yet they don’t really have a ceiling above them. The things that Houston doesn’t have, you can get. The thing that we have is priceless. The area we live in, proximity to players, major city, airport. There are so many things we have here that a lot of schools would like to have. Even though we’re an urban campus, once you get on the inside of UH, you would never know. I went to undergrad at a small college in North Carolina, and grad school at Michigan State University. It’s a beautiful campus [Houston], and has so many things to offer so I’m excited about that.

TC: With the team, what are the things you want them to focus on developing first?

KS: For me, I don’t know if I’ve changed a whole lot in terms of what you do when you first take over a program. The first thing you do is establish cultures that you want your team develop, and that encompasses on the court and off the court. I was really pleased with our academics this summer. Class attendance, grades, everybody put forward the effort. That was a big part of what we emphasized this summer just from a discipline standpoint.

TC: What are your expectations for this season, and what do you hope to accomplish?

KS: Really, I never said we want to make the NCAA tournament or we’re going to win 20 games or we’re going to the Final Four. I want to show improvement and just keep getting better with this team. I think September is going to be an important month in terms of building some mental toughness and getting guys to battle through things so they can get tougher.

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