The case for Kelvin Sampson

Great article from a year ago via the Houston Chronicle.

Goes over his past and time at Houston really well.

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Sampson would be a great hire for us at exactly the right time.

After two decades of almost irrelevancy, we can’t take a chance on limited experience or a mid major.

This program has to play big and Sampson or Beard would be huge home run hires.

Known quantities, experience, respect of coaching peers, players, have run large programs and have rebuilt programs, and are currently very nationally relevant.

His team is in the sweet sixteen playing Kentucky. Do you think his detractors will back off if his team kicks Kentucky out of the tournament? I would assume he can recruit Texas. He might do nicely. Now watch UCLA grab him.

Here is what Jay Bilas has to say about Sampson’s team:

“The Cougars are tough as nails. Undersized at almost every position, Houston fights. The Cougars fight for rebounds, fight for position, fight for loose balls and fight for respect. Well, they have the latter, and they will continue to fight for the former three,” wrote Bilas, who ranked Houston No. 12 of the remaining Sweet 16 teams. “Will Houston beat Kentucky? With a healthy PJ Washington, probably not. Without Washington, Houston will win. It is that simple. I love this Houston team.”

If Sampson can bring Houston from nowhere, recently, to this point in five years, I wonder what he could do with our facilities and tradition?

2015–16\tHouston\t22–10\t12–6\tT–3rd\tNIT First Round
2016–17\tHouston\t21–11\t12–6\t3rd\t NIT First Round
2017–18\tHouston\t27–8\t 14–4\tT–2nd\tNCAA Division I Round of 32
2018–19\tHouston\t33–3\t 16–2\t1st\t NCAA Division I Sweet 16
Houston:\t116–51 (.695)\t 58–32 (.644)\t
Total:\t614–323 (.655)

There is so much smoke about this, it’s hard to believe it will actually happen … but … if it does, great. In 14 years at OU and IU, he made the tournament 13 times, sometimes (at OU) with very good teams.

I’m pretty certain the coaches most would consider a “home run” hire will not consider coming to the hill. There are probably only a handful of those type guys. Beard would be in that group and it’s pretty clear he won’t come.

My point has been all along that an upgrade from Mike is basically a crap shot. I’d say 50/50 at this point.

But unless we hire Calipari or a couple of other slime balls I’ll support the new hire.

It’s what we do as Razorback fans.