This is Coach Sampson’s 4th year as HC and, in my opinion, the health and vitality of UH basketball continues to improve and prosper. As of last night’s victory over USF, Coach Sampson’s overall W/L record stands 20 Ws over .500. His successful recruitment of high quality players is impressive and reaching into talent rich North Carolina shows that he has national recruiting ambitions. He has a quality assistant coaching staff and a new arena to be opened at the start of the 2018-2019 season.
Listening to television broadcasters, I hear a familiar theme…that his teams exercise discipline and patience on offense while playing excellent defense. Last night, it was mentioned that Coach Sampson’s goal was to create a team that is difficult to guard. Think about that for a moment…he wants to develop a team that is difficult to guard. That is a significant goal because Guy Lewis developed teams that were difficult to guard. Teams that are difficult to guard become championship teams.
To make matters better, I believe (and I could be wrong) that there is a potential succession of leadership in the works when the day comes that Coach Sampson retires. I expect that his son will take over the control of the program, providing continuity and a seamless transition from Coach Kelvin Sampson to Coach Kellen Sampson, thus leading UH basketball into a bright future for years to come.
The successful transition of UH basketball leadership has been a plague in the past. The baton was passed from Coach Lewis to Coach Foster, but he wasn’t able to shake the shadow of Coach Lewis’ success and he wasn’t able to please the UH alumni and fans, so he left the program. Once gone, UH basketball fell into an unfortunate abyss of mediocrity for over 20 years.
As for the present and immediate future, the UH program is close to returning to the Foster years.
We won’t reach the Guy Lewis years until we actually win a first round game in the NCAA Tournament, which may be closer than some realize. Once that happens, UH basketball program will once again become a regular fixture and force in the NCAA championship tournament for years to come.