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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: "I'd like to play a game between Cincinnati and South Florida just so we can get another game in."
POSTED: February 20, 2021 -- 12:39 p.m. CT
Kelvin Sampson brought up the possibility he may add a game to the 2020-21 Houston Cougars Men's Basketball schedule. The game would take place at Houston's Fertitta Center. The opponent would be an NAIA team. If a game versus an NAIA team is agreed to within the next few days, it would be the second NAIA opponent Houston has faced this season. Earlier this month, the Coogs defeated Our Lady of the Lake 112-46 on February 6th. Facing an NAIA opponent does not count towards the NCAA NET rankings.
The reason for adding another game is not based on the level of competition. The reason is because Kelvin Sampson says his team needs to play games. Period.
"I'd like to play a game between Cincinnati (Feb. 21) and South Florida (Feb. 28) just so we can get another game in," Kelvin Sampson said during his Friday media session. "We just need to play."
"You can't play 3 times in 20 days and think you're in a rhythm. We need that," Coach Sampson continued. "Practice is practice at this time of year. You always get something out of practice; but, at this time of year, practicing for five straight days is no fun for anybody."
Coach Sampson says adding another game would be beneficial for Houston's younger players.
"We need to play games to stay sharp -- especially our young kids like Tramon Mark. Tramon Mark needs to play games. (Houston sophomore guard) Marcus Sasser. Marcus is struggling to make shots right now. He needs to play games. Get his confidence back a little bit.
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With games being postponed this season due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, nearly every college basketball team's schedule has been disrupted this season.
"We've got so much stuff going on; and, the only we're going to get better as a team at this time of year is you have to play games," Sampson remarked. "Right now, it's so sporadic. This one game a week. You don't know if the next game is going to get played until two days before. It's just a blank show."
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