UH’s Jamal Shead, Marcus Sasser to play against Auburn
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Jamal Shead and Marcus Sasser said they will play in Houston’s Saturday night matchup with Auburn in the second round of the NCAA Tournament after getting banged up in the Cougars’ tournament opener.
“I’m playing tomorrow, 100 percent,” Sasser said.
Shead quickly followed, saying there is no way he doesn’t play on Saturday night.
“I’m good,” Shead said. “I’m 100 percent going (Saturday).”
Pulling up for a mid-range jumper late in the first half of UH’s win over Northern Kentucky on Thursday night, Sasser aggravated the groin injury he suffered in the American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals on March 11.
While Sasser, who got the start in UH’s NCAA Tournament opener, did not play in the second half against Northern Kentucky, the All-American guard said his groin already began to feel better.
“I thought it was worse than it was last night,” Sasser said. “I really thought I probably went back to ground zero. But a couple of minutes after I got on the bench, started putting pads on, got on the bike and stuff like that, it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.”
Rehab has been the name of the game for Sasser and will continue to be his No. 1 priority until the ball is tipped against Auburn at 6:10 p.m. on Saturday at Legacy Arena.
“I’ve been doing a lot of rehabbing, a lot of stretching, a lot of massaging literally 24/7,” Sasser said.
Shead said he hyperextended his right knee, which had been bothering the UH point guard prior to Thursday night’s game, late in the first half against Northern Kentucky.
“It just hurt in the moment (Thursday). My adrenaline came down a little bit,” Shead said. “I’m fine now.”
The UH point guard said his injury is nowhere near as bad as the ankle sprain he suffered against Tulsa a season ago.
When asked about the status of Sasser and Shead, Kelvin Sampson said his stance remains the same as it has been his entire coaching career.
“It’s up to him and the trainer,” Sampson said. “If the trainer thinks he can go and the kid thinks he can go (then he’ll go). I trust Marcus. Like I trust Jamal. I trust them all.”