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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Kelvin Sampson: "Caleb can't shoot like Armoni and Corey; but, he can score the ball."

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POSTED: December 31, 2019 -- 8:05 a.m. CT

Last week, with less than 2 minutes remaining in the championship game of the 2019 Diamond Head Classic, the Houston Cougars led the Washington Huskies 67-65. Houston had the ball with 8 seconds left on the shot clock. Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson called timeout to set up a play. Coach Sampson designed a play for Caleb Mills.

Redshirt-freshman, Caleb Mills. Mills is averaging 12.3 points in 21.5 minutes per game. He's shooting 40.7% from the floor including 35.1% on three-point shots.

Mills took advantage of the trust placed in him and delivered when he scored a tough driving lay-up high off the glass to make the score 69-65 Houston with 94 seconds remaining. Houston won the ball game, 75-71, and won the Diamond Head Classic.

I asked Coach Sampson if drawing up the play for Caleb is an example of how much he trusts Caleb.

"Yeah," Coach Sampson responded matter-of-fact. "Well, a lot of it has to do which sideline you take it on, too. If I had taken it (the timeout) on the far sideline, I might have called something different. But, I knew I could get him going left to right. The ball was taken inbounds in front of me - our bench - we were on that sideline going back to his right hand.

"I knew that if we, could get, - we overloaded to one corner; so, he could get to turn the corner. Once he turns the corner, he's a shot maker," Sampson commented."

Sampson continued, "The only better shot maker we've had here (UH) is Rob Gray. We used to run that stuff for Rob. We really done it for anybody last year. We didn't have those kind of -- I'd have run something for Armoni (Brooks) and Corey (Davis Jr) shooting the 3 because that was their strength.

"Caleb can score. There's a difference between being a scorer and a shooter. Caleb can't shoot like Armoni and Corey; but, he can score the ball."

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