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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Kelvin Sampson: "They will really attack early; and, they play a lot of guards."

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POSTED: February 21, 2021 -- 9:00 a.m. CT

The Houston Cougars (17-3 overall, 11-3 in the American Athletic Conference) face the Cincinnati Bearcats (7-7, 5-4) Sunday afternoon inside Fertitta Center. Tip time is high noon. ESPN is broadcasting the game.

Houston is coming off a 68-63 road loss to the Wichita Shockers Thursday, February 18, while the Bearcats defeated UCF 69-68 at home on February 14.

Cincinnati has won four games in a row since coming off a 25-day pause for COVID-19 issues on Feb. 4, winning those games by a combined nine points. Eight of Cincinnati's 14 games this season have been decided by five points or less.

Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson gave the media a brief scouting report of the Bearcats Friday morning.

"John (Cincinnati Head Coach John Brannen) is a good coach," Sampson said. "He's got a good plan. More than any team in the league, they try to score in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock. Very rarely do you see the shot clock under 15. If it is, that means that they couldn't get a shot."

"Two guys that are playing well right now is the kid that is starting at point guard or would have been the point guard at Michigan: David DeJulius.

"Keith Williams has been a four-year starter - arguably, the best athlete in this conference.

"But, they will really attack early; and, they play a lot of guards: DeJulius, Davenport, Keith Williams -- their leading scorer; big time athlete; really good driver, averaging about 15 a game."

"DeJulius playing well. Really well lately. He had twenty-six points at Temple recently."

"(Mika) Adams-Woods started for them last year. Vogt hadn't had a great year; but, he's starting to play better now."


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Sampson concluded: "All these teams in this league - with this COVID stuff - I don't think there's anybody that much better than anybody else. And, I include us in that group."

Houston is second place in the AAC while Cincinnati is in 5th in the conference.

The teams split their two regular season match-ups last season: Cincinnati won 64-62 on Feb. 1, 2020, at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati; and, Houston won 68-55 on Mar. 1, 2020 at the Fertitta Center.

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