Staff Editorial

Basketball team’s success beneficial to UH’s growth

UH basketball fans had a reason to celebrate this March. 

The men’s basketball team advanced to its first NCAA Tournament since 1992, once again becoming a nationally recognized competitor. Although the Cougars fell 89-77 to Maryland in the first round Friday, fans still had a chance to experience a glimpse of the postseason and hope for the success of the Phi Slama Jama days of Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon.

The man who led the charge, Tom Penders, is expected to resign today after six seasons. He went 121-77 at UH, leading the Cougars to five postseason appearances, including two showings in the National Invitation Tournament, two in the College Basketball Invitation and this season’s historic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Penders will ride off into the sunset, leaving fans to ponder the legacy that he created at UH. Star players Aubrey Coleman and Kelvin Lewis are gone after this season, having accomplished the goal they set out to achieve upon arriving at UH.

But there’s hope for the future of UH basketball. 

More specifically, there’s hope for the future of UH’s athletic program. 

The football team was nationally recognized last season, and the basketball team is back on the map. This, in case you all are unaware, could also help UH’s efforts to achieve flagship status.

Although Penders is leaving after a tenure mired in mediocrity, he deserves credit for turning around a once downtrodden program. His efforts will allow the next coach to have an easier time of taking the program to new heights.

Coleman and his teammates made the University proud, as well. We should all be proud of them and continue to support the tradition they have revived. 

However, a key ingredient to maintaining that success is the support of the students.

The next coach could be the one to help the Cougars become major players on a national level. But he’ll need the help of students, alumni and other fans to reach that plateau.

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