These five college basketball coaches make the most of what they’ve got

Houston: Coach Kelvin Sampson is one of the nation’s best at securing players who will make an immediate impact, as he proved in 2016 with transfers Damyean Dotson and Ronnie Johnson. But Sampson is equally talented as refining the skills of his squad, which ranked within’s top 100 for effective field goal percentage (and second-best in the American Athletic Conference). Per the chart, only 14 other high major coaches developed their returning players better — meaning they exceeded projected performances — and the Cougars are not only deep (37 percent of their minutes was allocated to the bench in 2016), they are experienced. Rob Gray, a 6-foot-2 guard, made 48 percent of his twos last season — significant because his usage rate by far led the team — and took more than a third of Houston’s shots. Add Dotson, uber-athletic Danrad “Chicken” Knowles and Galen Robinson, one of the conference’s best freshmen, and Houston should be an AAC contender.

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