Men's Basketball Sports

Led by Sasser, UH dominates AAC’s 2022-23 season awards

UH senior guard Marcus Sasser took home the AAC's Player of the Year award for the 2022-23 season. | Anh Le/The Cougar

UH senior guard Marcus Sasser took home the AAC’s Player of the Year award for the 2022-23 season. | Anh Le/The Cougar

Led by Marcus Sasser being named Player of the Year, Houston dominated the American Athletic Conference’s 2022-23 season awards, which the league released on Wednesday morning.

“I’m just proud of our kids. Proud of what they’ve accomplished,” said UH head coach Kelvin Sampson. “Regardless of how the season ends, I’ll make sure that they understand that.”

Sasser led UH in scoring during the regular season, averaging 17.1 points per game. The senior guard ranked second on the team in assists (103) and steals (54).

Sasser joins Quentin Grimes (2020-21) as the only other Cougar to win Player of the Year during UH’s 10 seasons in the AAC.

Kelvin Sampson was named the AAC’s Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season after leading UH to a nation-best 29-2 record as well as tying the best single-season record in league play at 17-1. This is Sampson’s fourth time receiving this award.

Sampson picked up his 700th career win in UH’s season-opener against Northern Colorado.

Junior point guard Jamal Shead earned the AAC’s Defensive Player of the Year honors, joining former UH guard DeJon Jarreau (2020-21) as the program’s second player to win this award. Shead led UH in steals with 56 steals during the regular season.

Jarace Walker became the first UH player to win the AAC’s Freshman of the Year award. The 6-foot-8-inch forward ranked second on the Cougars in scoring, averaging 11.1 points per game, and rebounding, pulling down 6.7 boards per game.

J’Wan Roberts took home the AAC’s Most Improved Player of the Year after increasing his scoring by over seven points per game from last season, going from averaging 3.2 points as a sophomore to 10. 5 points during his junior season. Roberts scored a career-high 26 points in UH’s Feb. 22 win over Tulane.

Justin Gorham (2020-21) is the only other Cougar to win the most improved player award.

Roberts led the Cougars in rebounds, averaging 7.7 per game, and tied the team-high in blocked shots (39). The 6-foot-7-inch forward also led UH with five double-doubles.

Senior forward Reggie Chaney rounded out the Cougars to win individual awards, being named the AAC’s Sixth Man of the Year. Averaging 13.5 minutes off the bench, Chaney was the tone-setter for the Cougars in the post, doing a lot of the dirty work that doesn’t show up on the stats sheet. Chaney averaged 2.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 29 games played. 

Chaney joined Armoni Brooks (2017-18) and Jarreau (2018-19) as the only Cougars to win this award.

Along with the six individual awards won by UH players, several Cougars were named to all-conference teams.

First-Team All-Conference

G – Marcus Sasser

Second-Team All-Conference

G – Jamal Shead

F – J’Wan Roberts

F – Jarace Walker

All-Freshman Team

G – Emanuel Sharp

F – Jarace Walker

F – Terrance Arceneaux

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